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Photos: Grading the road trip gadgets

CNET News.com's Daniel Terdiman lugged a slew of gadgets with him on his recent road trip. Which ones would he leave at home next time?
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1 of 10 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Apple Computer's Video iPod

My new 60GB Video iPod performed admirably on my recent road trip through the Pacific Northwest. Its battery life was impressive; it always worked; the video quality for shorts and downloaded TV shows was great; and it simply gave me exactly what I wanted when I wanted it. Grade: A

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2 of 10 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Globalstar GSP-1600 satellite phone

The Globalstar GSP-1600 satellite phone was unable to acquire a signal in a location with a wide-open view of the sky where I was able to get a signal with another satellite phone. Grade: C-

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3 of 10 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Magellan Roadmate 3000T

The Magellan Roadmate 3000T car navigation system definitely did its job. It helped me wind and weave through even some of the more remote forest roads of Oregon. The only problem was that it occasionally seemed to freak out and be unable to tell me where I was. But a quick reboot solved that. Grade: B+

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4 of 10 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Apple MacBook Pro

I loved using the MacBook Pro on the road trip. As the owner of a PowerBook G4, I'm intimately familiar with Mac OS X and the look and feel of this laptop. But this one is so much faster, and its built-in iSight camera and remote control make it easy to use. The only problem was that it occasionally had trouble playing DVDs with even small smudges. Grade: A-

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5 of 10 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Iridium 9505A

The Iridium 9505A satellite phone was terrific. It was able to get and keep a signal in many different locations, often with a less than 100 percent view of the sky, and that enabled me to stay in touch with home and work constantly. The only issue was that it occasionally dropped calls for no apparent reason. Grade: A-

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6 of 10 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Garmin GPSMAP 76CX

The Garmin GPSMAP 76CX handheld GPS system did everything I asked of it, and its battery life was more than impressive. I didn't end up having a chance to put it through all of its paces, but based on my experience with it, I'm sure it would have performed admirably if I had. Grade: A

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7 of 10 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Garmin Nuvi 350

I couldn't get the Garmin Nuvi 350 car navigation system to tell me it was anywhere but in Kansas. However, it may have been operator error, given that I seem to have not followed an important step in trying to use it. Grade: No grade

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8 of 10 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Canon PowerShot G2

I've had this Canon PowerShot G2 for four years, and it still works almost perfectly. For what it is. It took great pictures throughout the trip, in hot or cold. The only problem with it is that it's hard to take good action pictures at night, something that might be a little easier with a newer and higher-end camera. Grade: A-

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9 of 10 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

LG VX8000

My LG VX8000 cell phone was sort of an afterthought on this trip. But time and again I used it to call home or work, and often in places I wouldn't have thought Verizon would serve. My only complaint--more with Verizon than the phone--is that in certain significant towns in Oregon, the service it got was only available by roaming. Grade: A-

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10 of 10 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Sony PlayStation Portable

I meant to use the Sony PlayStation Portable. I brought several games. But I never got around to it. I can say that it's fun to use in the real world. Grade: No Grade

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