HP iPAQ 314 Travel Companion review

A compact and powerful sat nav, only let down by its speakers

We were impressed by the excellent screen, clear mapping and neat styling of the iPAQ Travel

TechRadar Verdict

With a whole host of good features, it's disappoiting that this device should fall down on something so important as it's audible directions


  • +

    Good screen

  • +

    Easy to follow

  • +

    Nice styling

  • +



  • -

    Poor quality speaker

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With a slim design and rounded edges, the iPAQ 314 Travel Companion (£246 inc. VAT) slips easily into the pocket.

The 4.3-inch display has a resolution of 800 x 400 pixels, and offers a sharper picture than most of its rivals. It's bright enough to use even in direct sunlight, and colours are vibrant and accurate.

Functions are carried out using on-screen menus and buttons, with only a couple of hardware keys for power and volume settings.

Clear screen

Unlike many satellite navigation devices, the screen is mostly clear from buttons when on the move. However, a host of secondary buttons appear when you tap the screen.

This is ideal, as it allows a good level of control without compromising map space. The on-screen keypad is large enough for comfortable use, but the numbers are on a separate screen.

The iPAQ accepts full postcodes, but it requires a space to be entered in the middle. The mapping is clear and concise with a variety of 2D and 3D viewpoints available. A night mode switches the maps to darker colours, reducing reflections.

As well as highlighting over ten million POIs (Points of Interest), the Travel Companion includes 3D images of the most famous landmarks.

Weak speaker

The GPS chip is a SiRF Star III - the fastest and most accurate adapter currently available. We found satellites were located rapidly, and the iPAQ was quick to re-route us if we took a wrong turning.

The speaker on the rear of the device is small though, and on our review unit was not loud enough to be heard in faster driving conditions.

Bluetooth is built-in, letting you use the Travel Companion as a hands free kit for your mobile phone. However, the poor quality speaker made this function next to useless.

The excellent screen, clear mapping and neat styling help the iPAQ Travel to impress, but those wanting audible directions to accompany the visual ones should avoid this device until the sound quality is improved.

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