Navman N60i

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Navman N60i
  • Navman N60i
  • Navman N60i
  • Navman N60i

Pros

  • Excellent 4.3in widescreen display, NavPix technology, user interface, parking and fuel buttons,

Cons

  • Can't save NavPix directly to SD card, volume buttons, can't search via postcode, battery life could be improved

Bottom Line

A larger screen enhances an already enticing package. The N60i is an excellent GPS, with a great user interface and quality maps.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 10 stores)

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The N60i is the top of the line in-car GPS unit in the Navman range, adding a larger display, a remote control, and a 2GB of flash based ROM to the already solid N40i. The N60i also retains the convenient fuel and parking buttons, and NavPix navigation feature which uses photos taken by the integrated 1.3 megapixel camera.

NavPix

The N60i continues on from the N40i and is the third 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 along with its GPS co-ordinates. The photos can then be browsed and, when selected, the N60i 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 N60i's 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 N60i isn't as compact as the N40i, but it's still easy to snap NavPix photos. Users can navigate to a NavPix location directly from the main screen of the N60i, just as you do with points of interest and regular address searches. Unfortunately, you can't save a NavPix photo straight to an SD card - you have to copy it from the internal memory first.

Navigation

The N60i 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 N60i is simple to use since most of its operations can be accessed via the Go-To screen. From there you simply tap the displayed icons to navigate to your home, a specific address or point of interest (POI). 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 N60i 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. Like the N40i, the N60i doesn't allow searching via postcode. Once again, the 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 N60i 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 N60i's maps also allow specific areas to be avoided like suburbs that frequently experience 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 as they aren't as quick as we would have liked making the device struggle to keep up, especially when driving on main roads.

The usual routing options (such as avoiding tolls or warning when routes include tolls) are supported and users can set a preference for using motorways or normal urban roads when calculating a route. Navman has also included a route demonstrator which traces your proposed trip on a map to show you the way it suggests you travel. Other features of the N60i include the ability to adjust the screen brightness as well as a user-configured preset speed warning alert.

The N60i doesn't include any speed camera or red light camera warnings out of the box but Navman has indicated these will downloadable from the Navman Web site via a secured free download.

Design

The N60i is somewhat larger than the previous N40i, measuring 138.5mm x 82.5mm x 23mm and weighing 240g. Although we like compact units, we are prepared to tolerate the N60i's extra bulk as it has allowed for Navman to include a stunning 4.3in widescreen display. The anti-glare, high resolution, colour touchscreen is bright, clear and responds well for most uses. The 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, and also worked well in direct sunlight.

The N60i 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 N60i offers standard 2D and 3D views) as well as "turn lists" and "next turn" views. The latter shows information relative to the next turn you need to make including the direction to turn and the distance to it. There are also buttons for the Go-To and preference 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.

Build quality feels tough and sturdy thanks to solid black plastic casing and Navman has conveniently included external volume controls on the right hand side. Unfortunately, the N60i'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), an antenna socket and a mini-USB port for charging and synchronising with a PC.

The N60i sales package includes a copy of SmartST 2006 SE software for your PC, a car windscreen mount, cigarette lighter adapter, leather case, remote control, USB cable and AC power adapter. According to Navman the N60i'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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