Garmin Asus M10 Review

A few hours and a credit card (13.2K NT if cash) were all it took today in Guanghua to become the owner of a working and Englished Garmin Asus M10 GPS phone. Before buying, I priced the device at a hole-in-the-wall (in the building between Zhongxiao Xinsheng MRT station and Bade Rd., and not the elementary school :stuck_out_tongue: ) 11.8K NT CN, 13K NT EN), stall at Digital Plaza (12K CN, and “English is impossible on the M10”), and the Garmin shop on Bade Rd (12K CN, 13.2K cash or 13.5K in plastic for English conversion). I went with the Garmin shop because the lowest price guy had never done the conversion before, and I obviously didn’t deal with the guys that said the conversion was impossible. Even at the Garmin shop, it took 15 minutes to get the manager to walk out in the street to test my “bought in the US” Garmin microSD map cards. The M10 wouldn’t load my English language map of Taiwan that works fine in my Zumo in Taiwan. The manager insisted that the GPS signal was strong enough inside his shop, and my map was bad. I wouldn’t buy the unit until the GPS part worked (post box opening and EN conversion, I had made payment conditioned on my Garmin uSD chip working and the EN conversion). I showed the manager that the chip worked in my Zumo, but that it couldn’t acquire the sats indoors. The stalemate ended when he walked outside, and the M10 acquired the sats.

Review in a nutshell: an iPhone with Windows Mobile. The GUI is basically a total rip of the celebrated Apple device, but with hard buttons for home, send, and end. The maps redraw as fast as in my Zumo 550. Audio quality is great. I’m using Chunghua 3G. The dedicated map slot is inside the case, beside the uSIM slot. There’s a separate uSD slot on the exterior for removable storage.

Minor nits are Microsoft bloatware, and there’s nothing like the iStore… but there is Windows Marketplace ( :raspberry: ).

The M10 sounds like a nice piece of kit.

Is your Taiwan map in English? What version/how recent is it?

The map is all in English/pinyin. I bought it on eBay from a Garmin distributor in Canada for USD 99 in 2008. The map has a 2007 copyright notice. English language Garmin maps of the 'wan are not available locally, and none of the shop staff in Guanghua had ever seen an EN language Garmin map of the 'wan until they saw mine work in the Zumo.

The M10 comes with an earbud/mic set that uses a 4 conductor plug. You can use headphones with standard 3.5 mm, stereo plug with the M10.

Follow-up. The M10 works fine on the AT&T network stateside, and with Garmin US uSD cards.

Doesn’t like MP3 format for music. It wants WMA.