- Compact size, NavPix technology, User interface, Good touch screen display, Parking and fuel buttons
- Can't save NavPix directly to SD card, Volume buttons, Can't search via postcode
A well priced, middle of the range unit that adds NavPix technology to ensure a solid and reliable navigational experience.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
The Navman N40i sits in the middle of the company's new range of dedicated in-car GPS units and offers convenient fuel and parking buttons, a 3.5in touch screen and NavPix navigation using photos taken by the unit's integrated 1.3 megapixel camera.
The N40i follows on from the iCN 720 and is the second GPS unit to come equipped with an integrated digital camera and NavPix technology. When a photograph is taken with the camera, the image is captured and stored with its GPS co-ordinates. The photos can then be browsed and, when selected, the N40i will navigate you back to them.
It is important to note that the unit uses your current GPS co-ordinates when you take the picture, so you have to physically be very close to the landmark you wish to store in order to get an accurate reading. Snapping a picture of Bondi Beach from the top of a hill won't suffice. NavPix can be assigned to the favourites list and uploaded to your PC or the Navman Web site (http://www.navman.com/navpix) with navigation points intact. This allows you to share your own findings and download other people's. Imagine you want to go out to dinner but don't have a specific spot in mind; just log onto the site, browse through the entries and download one that sounds like it suits you. You can add descriptions to NavPix, copy them to an SD card and then delete them from the N40i's 64MB of internal memory. A number of NavPix photos are present by default on the Australian edition including the Sydney Opera House, Federal Parliament, the 12 Apostles, Uluru, Flinders Street Station and Kings Park.
The N40i's compact size means this unit is better for carrying around than the iCN 720 and also means it's a little easier to snap NavPix photos. The NavPix functionality has improved since the first offering, as you are now able to navigate to a NavPix location directly from the main screen, just as you do with points of interest and regular address searches. Unfortunately though, you can't save a NavPix photo straight to an SD card - you have to copy it from the internal memory first.
The N40i is on the smaller side for a dedicated in-car unit, measuring just 118mm x 81mm x 22.5mm. Although it isn't designed to be portable, its compact size and weight of just 200g means it's easy to remove from your window mount for storage, or to take from car to car. Despite the small size, the N40i feels solid and well built thanks to a solid black plastic casing and Navman has conveniently included external volume controls on the right hand side. Although their presence is welcome, giving you quick access to volume on the fly, we prefer Navman's previous volume scroll wheel; the N40i's volume buttons are a flat, rubber style and can be difficult to press quickly while on the road. Navman also includes a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, SD card slot (for NavPix and extra maps) and a mini-USB port for charging and synchronising with a PC.
The N40i offers a 3.5in touch screen that is both bright and clear and responds well for most uses. The TFT display is excellent for viewing both day and night time maps and is further enhanced by Navman's easy to grasp interface. We found the screen had a good horizontal and vertical viewing angle, but it suffered a little in direct sunlight - even with brightness at the highest setting.
The unit is easy to operate thanks to the row of buttons on the left hand side. You can quickly change the map view using the Cycle Maps key; the N40i offers standard 2D and 3D views, as well as turn lists and next turn views. The latter shows information relative to the next turn including the direction to turn and the distance to it. There are also buttons for the Go-To and preferences menus as well as convenient parking and fuel buttons. Pressing these keys (marked with a P symbol and a picture of a fuel pump) brings up a list of the nearest parking and petrol stations which you can navigate to with two simple button presses.
The N40i is equipped with a SiRFstarIII Generation 2 GPS receiver and its performance is efficient and speedy. We found the unit took anywhere between 30 seconds and a minute to pick up a signal after being turned on, even with an obscured view of the sky.
Like most of the Navman range, the N40i is simple to use as most of its operations can be accessed via the Go-To screen. From here you simply tap the displayed icons to navigate to your home, a specific address or point of interest (POI), a saved favourite destination or a recent destination you've navigated to. The Go-To menu also allows you to program multi-stop trips (a maximum of 14 stops) and access the NavPix menu.
When searching for a specific address, the N40i filters suburbs by state which reduces the list of results to a manageable number. From there it is possible to search for a specific city, area, street or point of interest. The destination can then be pinpointed by choosing to navigate to a specific house number, intersection or even to the centre of the street. However unlike the iCN 720, the N40i doesn't allow searching via postcode. The N40i's address entry screen uses a large on-screen keyboard, however fingertips need to be used to ensure the wrong buttons are not accidentally pressed. There is also a number pad available by pressing the '123' button at the bottom corner of the keyboard.
The N40i uses SmartST 2006 SE mapping software with the latest WhereIS R13 maps. A map with all states of Australia is pre-loaded onto the unit. Overall, the navigational experience was pleasing thanks to a high level of detail on the maps themselves and precise, clear voice instructions. The maps can be zoomed in and out and are able to show current time, current speed, estimated time of arrival (ETA), distance to your destination and time to reach your destination. Voice instructions can be repeated by tapping the next turn diagram. The N40i's maps also allow specific areas to be avoided; for example, to drive around a suburb that frequently experiences traffic problems. Up to 10 avoid areas can be added, displayed as shaded areas on the map, and the unit takes these into account when planning a route. Our only complaint is with re-routing times; they aren't as quick as we would have liked and the device struggled to keep up with rerouting, especially when driving on main roads.
The usual routing options, such as avoiding tolls or warning when routes include tolls are supported. Users can also set a preference for using motorways or normal urban roads and this is taken into consideration when the unit calculates a route. Navman has also included a route demonstrator to preview your trip. Other features of the N40i include the ability to adjust the screen brightness as well as a user-configured preset speed warning alert.
The N40i doesn't include any speed camera or red light camera warnings out of the box but Navman has promised these will downloadable from the Navman Web site as of December. The secured download will be free and available for both the N40i and the N60i units.
The N40i sales package includes a copy of SmartST 2006 SE software for your PC, a car windscreen mount, cigarette lighter adapter, drawstring case, USB cable and AC power adapter. According to Navman the N40i's internal battery is rated at up to five hours, depending on usage. We averaged about three and a half hours of use before we had to charge the unit again, but this was no doubt diminished slightly as we were using the NavPix function.
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