Review: iTrail GPS Tracker from SleuthGear

The iTrail GPS tracker is the latest “spy” offering from SleuthGear. It is a compact passive tracking device intended to be used when data logging is preferred over real-time GPS tracking. The device typically sells for about $190 at most retail security outlets.

The iTrail has quite a few features that make it intriguing. Yet whether or not it is the right device for you depends on the type of data you’re after and how you intend to use the device. It’s not something the U.S. military is going to use to keep track of troop movements, by any means, but it might be useful for you to track your children, investigate a cheating spouse, or control company-owned vehicles and equipment.

iTrail GPS Logger

Specifications

Let’s look at what’s under the hood to get started. In doing so it’s quick to see that the iTrail is not going to win any awards as the most high-powered GPS tracker on the market. Nonetheless, for the price it does have plenty to offer including:

  • 64 MB RAM
  • 750mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery
  • 35-second cold start time
  • USB 1.1 and 2.0 compatibility
  • power/memory LED status light
  • water resistant
  • temperature resistant from 14°F to 122°F

Size and Look

One of the strongest selling points of the iTrail is its size and weight. The unit weighs in at just 1.3 ounces and has dimensions of 8.8″ x 6.5″ x 0.7″. This makes it a truly compact tracker that can be concealed very easily for a lot of applications. The only thing users have to be careful of is to not completely surround the tracker with metal. Otherwise the GPS signal will be interrupted and data logging incomplete.

As for the look, there are pros and cons. SleuthGear sports a very unassuming design featuring a sleek black case. In fact, except for being labeled with the iTrail name you probably wouldn’t know what the device was if you found it lying around.

Unfortunately, the bad thing about the iTrail’s look is the fact that it is clearly labeled. Even if you didn’t know what was when you found it planted in your car, a quick Internet search using a smartphone would reveal that you were being tracked. SleuthGear probably should have left the case entirely blank.

Software

There have been some negative reviews about the software that comes with the device in that it is not as feature rich as some of its competitors. The flip side of that is the fact that it is extremely easy to use and rather intuitive. With the software and driver installed on your Windows-based PC it’s very easy to download the data and view the results accompanied by Google maps and Google Earth. If you can competently use a Windows-based PC the software should not be a problem.

On the negative side, SleuthGear only supports the Windows operating system for the iTrail device. If you’re running a Mac or a Linux distro you may be able to get it to work using a third-party application or the included software with a Windows emulator. There aren’t a whole lot of reports of Mac and Linux users being successful in doing so, however. Be advised that you might want to look at other devices if you’re not using a Windows PC.

Usability

The iTrail works about as good as any GPS tracking device can. There are some reports of signal dropout and data gaps but this seems to be related to improper positioning of the device. The one weak point in the device’s usability is its 35-second cold start time. SleuthGear hasn’t released any specifications about how long it takes the  iTrail to come out of sleep after a period of immobility; there’s always the potential of it not logging important information during that wake up period.

In terms of its accuracy the iTrail seems to be very close. It’s not possible to track it within 10 to 15 feet like an active tracking device, but we were able to determine that it is fairly accurate with its general location.

If you’re after a passive tracking device that won’t break the bank the iTrail is at least worth a look. It is a compact, lightweight, and dependable tracker that will suit most personal uses without straining your budget.

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