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Tech Report – Garmin GTU 10

What if you want to keep track of your child’s whereabouts but he or she is too young to carry a smartphone? Or what if you have a dog that has a habit of wandering off and you want to be able to track him down in a hurry?

Luckily, there are some exceptional GPS-powered tracking devices available – and one of the best is Garmin’s GTU 10 GPS locator.

The GTU 10 is small at just over 3-inches long and less than 2 ounces, but not small enough to be unnoticeable. It’s all black with gray trim, and comes with a protective carrying case and a holder that can be easily clipped onto a backpack, dog collar, or belt. There is also an adhesive mount for attaching the device to a car dashboard or other solid surface.

The GTU 10 is activated by pairing it with your computer. After you download a small browser plug-in, you can connect the device using a free-to-create Garmin account. You can also monitor the GTU 10 through the free Garmin Tracker apps for the iPhone or Android smartphones.

Once everything is set up, you just log in to your Garmin account on your computer or phone and you will see the location of the device on a map. You can also personalize your device by giving it the name of the child or pet you are tracking, or by giving it a description (my car, my suitcase).

The GTU 10 can be set to check in every 30 seconds, every 5 minutes, every 15 minutes, or only when you ask it. However, the more you check in, the faster you drain the battery. Checking in every 30 seconds will require a daily charge, whereas checking in “on-demand” could mean a charge only once or twice a month.

If you don’t want to bother with checking in, you can create up to 10 different “geo-fences,” so you are only alerted when the device moves into or out of a certain area. For example, if you want to know when your child arrives at school or leaves for home, you can create a geo-fence around the school grounds.

If you are using the GTU 10 with a smartphone, you can also use the tracking app to guide you to the device, which could be very useful in an emergency.

The Garmin GTU 10 costs $199.99. The tracking service is free for the first year but then costs $50 per year per device after that. For $5 per year more, you can get DeLuxe Tracking, which gives you access to 7 days of tracking history and other tracking features.

Comment by Jacob, posted 5/29/2011, 3:49 PM:

I especially like what you said about: "You can also monitor the GTU 10 through the free Garmin Tracker apps for the iPhone or Android smartphones<a href="http://garmin1490tcritic.com">.</a>" because I don't think many people fully realize that it can be integrated there as well. Thanks
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