The Medion GoPal P5235 stands apart from other consumer satnavs with a huge 5in touchscreen display and the addition of a fingerprint reader to deter thieves.

This monster display makes for a particularly clear and well laid-out interface, with large icons easily serviceable with the aid of a stylus. However, it also adds heft to the brick-like Medion GoPal P5235 and, at 260g, the GoPal's pedestrian and bicycle modes are fairly redundant.

The screen can also be slow to respond to a finger-press or stylus-click, and launching applications is sluggish - particularly navigation. However, once up and running the Medion GoPal P5235 is fast to secure a GPS fix, and the screen can be recalibrated from the Settings menu.

Before recording a fingerprint, you first need to enter a password and specify when this should be requested. This can then be used to bypass biometric security, which is handy if you accidentally chop off a finger but not so great for undermining thieves. Rest assured, then, that the Medion GoPal P5235 will lock after three unauthorised access attempts are made, and can be rescued only with your universally unique identifier (UUID) code and SuperPIN.

Safety-camera positions are preinstalled; you can request alerts and opt whether to display locations on the map. While speed is measured at all times, some users may be pleased with the Medion GoPal P5235's resistance in nagging you at a speed between 5 and 30mph above the limit at your discretion. Traffic message channel (TMC) alerts are also provided for the lifetime of the device; a dipole antenna can be found in the box to boost the reception of the built-in receiver.

Search options are very good, and country, town and street input is complemented with full postcode support and the ability to enter exact co-ordinates - the Medion GoPal P5235's Compass feature is useful here. The GoPal has a decent stab at guessing your destination to save time too, offering up place names as you type.

The Berlitz Travel Guide is an interesting feature for tourists and is available in 19 European countries, including Estland and Litauen (perhaps better known as Estonia and Lithuania). It provides tips on interesting places to visit, restaurants, shops, entertainment attractions, tourist information - find something you like and you'll get directions in a single click.

You can search for a full selection of POIs near your current position, at your final destination, along the way or at any place of your choosing. As with recommendations in the Berlitz Travel Guide, each is provided with a map of its location, full address, phone number, route options (mode of transport, whether you want a short, fast or economic route, roads to avoid and so on) and the ability to save it as a favourite or home address or to simply navigate to it.

During navigation a quick menu lets you access certain features - by default this includes information on the maximum and average speed travelled, distance covered and time taken, various points of interest (POIs), a compass, traffic information and the ability to save your current position. Such options can be replaced with quick links to features that better suit you, but that's pretty much where the Medion GoPal P5235's customisation options end. You'll certainly have to make do without comedy voices, fancy icons to mark your position on the map and the like.

Additional features include an FM transmitter that lets you channel the Medion GoPal P5235's output through your car's stereo speakers, an alarm clock, MP3 player, Picture Viewer and Sudoku game. You can supplement the GoPal's 2GB onboard memory via an SD Card slot on the righthand side of the device.

The Medion GoPal P5235 is one of three 5in-screen models with biometric security released by Medion; the other two being the P5435 and the X5535. This is the low-end model - which may explain the Bluetooth status LED and microphone hole on the GoPal's casing, given that neither handsfree calls nor voice-activated control are available.

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Medion GoPal P5235: Specs

  • Navteq European maps
  • Medion GoPal Navigator AE 4.7 Navigation software
  • 600MHz SiRF Titan processor
  • 2GB internal memory (expandable with SD Card)
  • 5in (480x272) TFT display
  • TMC antenna
  • FM transmitter
  • safety-camera alerts
  • Berlitz Travel Guide
  • MP3 player
  • Picture Viewer
  • Sudoku
  • full postcode search
  • fingerprint reader
  • password-protection
  • alarm clock
  • POIs
  • stylus
  • windscreen mount
  • lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • car charger
  • USB cable
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 144x94x19mm
  • 260g
  • 1-year warranty
  • Navteq European maps
  • Medion GoPal Navigator AE 4.7 Navigation software
  • 600MHz SiRF Titan processor
  • 2GB internal memory (expandable with SD Card)
  • 5in (480x272) TFT display
  • TMC antenna
  • FM transmitter
  • safety-camera alerts
  • Berlitz Travel Guide
  • MP3 player
  • Picture Viewer
  • Sudoku
  • full postcode search
  • fingerprint reader
  • password-protection
  • alarm clock
  • POIs
  • stylus
  • windscreen mount
  • lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • car charger
  • USB cable
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 144x94x19mm
  • 260g
  • 1-year warranty

OUR VERDICT

The Medion GoPal P5235's enormous screen allows for clear, concise maps and a wonderfully intuitive interface. With excellent search options and a handful of time-wasting applications, this somewhat cumbersome device is ideal for road trips abroad. Biometric security is a nice addition.

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