The Medion GoPal E3410 is a mid-range satnav device that is well worth your consideration.

There are many features that satnav manufacturers bundle into devices such as the Medion GoPal E3410 and, while some trinkets just bump up the price, others are nice little sweeteners – although you probably already own most of these features as standalone devices (you may well have come across such devices as 'MP3 player', 'mobile phone', 'camera' and 'organiser' before).

The paramount thing you should be looking out for when choosing a satnav is number-one. That's you: your security and your safety.

So, we were quite excited when a press release announcing the inclusion of fingerprint technology in Medion's satnav line-up landed on our desk – we'd not seen one of those before.

Unfortunately, we still haven't; of the two newly-released Medion models, only the £299 GoPal P4425 supports this exciting feature. Shame. But there are plenty of other ways that the Medion GoPal E3410 attempts to keep you safe and secure.

Since it's not the best idea to be fiddling with anything while you're on the road, such features as a text-to-speech engine and voice recognition for destination input will help keep fingers on the wheel and eyes on the road.

Which is handy, given that once it's in the (rather bulky) cradle accessing the Medion GoPal E3410's stylus can be a little fiddly – although not inaccessible. The voice technology is only as flawless as your voice is clear, but a little practice improves matters no end.

Bluetooth hands-free calls is another feature we were pleased to see but wouldn't necessarily expect in a device with a £190 price tag. If you have a compatible phone then this is one way to get around receiving three points on your licence and a £60 fine.

Free TMC reports are included with the Medion GoPal E3410, while the preloaded safety-camera database will cost you £7.50 per year for updates.

Medion claims a battery life of four to five hours for the Medion GoPal E3410, which is plenty for most journeys. Usefully, Medion also bundles a mains adaptor (unlike some well-known satnav manufacturers we could mention).

But if you were thinking that the Medion GoPal E3410 might be the driver's best friend, think again. Once on the road you can hardly fault the GoPal, but getting there takes more than a few trips around the block. Indeed, you'll find many of the usual setup options and, kindly, Medion has added 'Economic' to the usual 'Fast' and 'Short' route options.

It has also added the option of swapping the standard keypad for a mobile phone-style one; the point of which, we aren't entirely sure. There seems to be an abundance of settings screens and it's difficult to get back to the main menu once you've entered navigation mode, but otherwise the software interface is pretty intuitive.

NEXT PAGE: the horrors of destination input  > >