I’ve spent the last several weeks testing a clever little device called the Adeo, a combination GPS receiver/chronograph that works with any MP3 player, and I love it. The idea may sound familiar, but I believe that the folks behind the Adeo have it all over the Nike + iPod system. If you’re in the market for a device like this, I’d put the Adeo at the top of the list.
The Adeo is about the size and shape of a package of Chicklets, and probably weighs less at 2.1 ounces. You can either use it alone or in conjunction with an MP3 player, and once it’s set up, it’s amazingly simple to use. As you start your workout, the Adeo begins tracking your time and distance and announces your elapsed time, total distance covered, elevation above sea level, calories burned and current pace every quarter mile. It also has the ingenious capability to sense when you’ve stopped for a few seconds, like at an intersection, and automatically pauses your workout.
After your workout, you can connect the Adeo to any PC or Mac via a USB connection and upload your data using the included MotionTrak software. The application is intuitive and blessedly simple to use and also gives you the option of storing your workouts on the company’s servers so you can see aerial views of your running routes and keep an online training log. The Adeo can hold up to 10 hours of workout data, so you don’t have to go through this process but once a week or less if you choose.
In practice, there are a few minor drawbacks to using the Adeo. If you’re using it with an MP3 player, as I did with an iPod Mini, you are compelled to wear a fairly large neoprene belt that has slots in the back for the Adeo and the MP3 player. The belt is much like the water-bottle carriers many runners use on long runs, and it shares their annoying tendency to ride up and end up under your rib cage after a few minutes.
The other problem I encountered was with the battery. The Adeo has a rechargeable lithium ion cell, which the company says has a life of six hours after a charge of four to six hours. However, several times I went for runs of an hour or a little more and by the next day, the battery was completely dead. Having to charge the battery after every run got to be a bit much.
But overall the Adeo was simple to use and the GPS receiver worked in a number of areas where my standalone GPS watch often loses its connection with the satellites. At $149 the Adeo isn’t cheap. But when you consider that an iPod Nano and the required Nike + kit cost $230 minimum, the price doesn’t seem out of line.
Give it a look and I think you’ll be impressed.