uPro has got some good points and some bad, especially one that is from a brand new company.

The Good

– Distances are right on.

– Basic mode gives you a quick, easy to read view of distance to the green and distance to reach and carry hazards.

– Mark feature allows you to measure the length of your shots. Sometimes gives erroneous readings. However, this happens only when you kept the uPro in my pocket, so maybe buttons were being pressed by accident.

– Aerial view of the hole is awesome. Like looking at a yardage book, with continuously updating distances. There is a small red diamond that marks your position on the hole and moves with you. You can watch the little diamond track your position on the satellite view! Hazards like bunkers are marked front and back and also update continuously.

– Measure Mode lets you get a measurement to any point on the hole. You can use it to find the distance back into the fairway, but you really need a tree or something on the satellite image to reference. You can use it to find distances not mapped by the company, like a layup distance to the front of a creek.

– Trans-reflective screen is easy to see in Basic View even in bright sunlight. However, in Pro Mode, it can be difficult to see. You need to experiment with the viewing angle to get it right. In bright sunlight, you can see the screen best if you are angling it just off where the sun would be reflecting into your eyes. Or shade the screen with your hand.

– No subscriptions! You pay only for the courses you want. Courses cost the same no matter where in the country (and eventually the world) they are located. You never have to buy a course twice, even if you upgrade the device or have to replace the unit (lost, stolen, broken).

Courses are expensive if you buy them one at a time. One course costs $10 (3 credits), but if you buy 150 credits ($120), that comes to only $2.40 per Pro course.

The Bad

– One course had strangely mapped points on a couple holes. Some don’t make sense (you can tell they haven’t played the course!)

– Sync is VERY slow. To sync and download 1 course took over 10 minutes. Be patient.

– When syncing, the status box shows up in front of all other windows (on Windows XP) and cannot be moved to the back. So your computer is effectively stuck doing one thing for 10 minutes.

– No subscriptions. If you play a whole lot of courses (more than 50), it could get quite expensive.

– Distances do not automatically update if you are using the measure function in Pro Mode. You have to either exit measure mode, or switch back to basic mode to get an update distance.

– Not all courses are mapped yet. In Denver, about 70% of the courses are mapped. But of the 15-20, about 95% are mapped. Many of those that are not mapped yet are scheduled to be mapped in 2008. There is a schedule on uPro’s website (www.uprogps.com).

And if you choose an unmapped course as your home course, they will have it mapped in 4 business days, guaranteed. we recommend to check all the courses you play before buying this device.

The Ugly

– The software needs a little work–freezes up from time to time. During the first two rounds, it froze up once in each round. While annoying, all you have to do is hold the power button down for 8 seconds to force a power-off, then turn it back on. Of course, the re-boot process and getting back to your current hole takes a couple minutes. Their customer service department claims a firmware update will be available “in the next few weeks”. You can turn off the “automatic hole advance”, and it seems to fix the problem. The last 25+ rounds were freeze-up free after changing this setting. The automatic hole advance is unnecessary in my opinion. From the “Green View”, you can simply press the up button to advance to the next hole, or press the down button to go to the previous hole.

Suggestions

– Create a graphical overlay for the aerial views, or figure out a way to make them higher contrast. The Pro Mode can be somewhat difficult to see in bright sunlight.

– Faster downloading/sync

– Find and fix the bugs in the software that cause the freeze-ups

– If the upcoming software can mark every ball location, its only a matter of time before it will keep your score, shot-by-shot.

On the uPro website they state that additional software to keep score will be available by late summer 2008. Of course, if it freezes up and you lose data then such a feature is worthless.

The Bottom Line

This is a very new company and a very new product. Like most new products, they have a few bugs to work out. Hopefully they will be committed to fixing the problems.