So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Kogan EziNav G3 GPS unit
Kogan's budget GPS unit is sleeker and more refined
- Elevated roads, Bluetooth, good voice navigation, large LCD display
- Cluttered map interface, major roads can be confusing, no lane guidance, 3D landmarks are sporadic
If you need a cheap GPS unit, Kogan's EziNav G3 is a good option. Unfortunately the map interface and some voice directions can be confusing.
Price$ 249.00 (AUD)
The original EziNav from Kogan was a fat and not very stylish GPS unit. It wasn't particularly well-built either; our review unit died after only a year's use. Its successor, the EziNav G3, is sleeker, more capable and much more refined. Though you'll find a better menu interface and navigation capabilities on GPS units from more popular brands, the EziNav G3 GPS unit's budget price tag is hard to turn down.
Though much thinner than its predecessor, the Kogan EziNav G3 GPS unit still offers standard connections like an SD card slot, a mini-USB port for charging and input/output jacks for headphones. The GPS unit has a 4.3in touch screen, which is large for this price point. We would appreciate a screen with better sensitivity, but it still works well.
The software used on the EziNav G3 GPS unit, Nav N Go's iGo My Way, is separate from operating system, so it must be opened after turning the device on. Unfortunately this means you must wait significantly longer to acquire a GPS signal; it’s a five to six minute process in all. If you do input a destination before the signal has been fully acquired, it will most likely calculate a route based on your last known location rather than your current location. During testing we lost a signal several times without reason but the EziNav G3 was able to quickly recover and resume navigation.
Like many Navman GPS units, the EziNav G3 GPS unit offers the ability to view 3D models of popular landmarks to help drivers navigate inner-city areas. As with Navman's GPS units, these landmarks are sporadic — we counted around 15 in the Sydney CBD — and can sometimes obstruct the driver's view of the map. You can also view elevated roads, which helps when displaying highway exits, but these can be hard to see on the map. Elevated roads and 3D landmarks can be enabled or disabled separately.
Unlike the streamlined, user-friendly interfaces found on more popular GPS units from TomTom and Navman, the EziNav G3's map interface is cluttered and difficult to learn. Buttons on the right side of the screen are clearly labelled but important GPS options are also available by clicking unlabelled icons on the left-hand side of the screen; hardly an intuitive design. While we became accustomed to the interface after some use, it definitely isn't an easy introduction to GPS units. A "Simple Mode" is available within the navigation software, but this reduces the settings rather than simplifying the map interface.
The EziNav G3 GPS unit uses voice alerts for speed and red light cameras and when you exceed the speed limit, instead of using jarring alarms. Voice directions are quite clear; the GPS unit will tell the driver to "turn left at the roundabout at the first exit", rather than just saying "take the first exit." Text-to-speech is largely implemented well, though some street names were occasionally mispronounced. Our main qualm with voice navigation is the use of national road designations on major roads instead of their common name. The Hume Highway, for example, is called "X31", which can easily confuse drivers.
Using Bluetooth to pair the EviNav G3 GPS unit with a mobile phone was a painless process, and the speaker’s quality is sufficient for use while driving. Unfortunately, we were unable to get our iPhone to appear in the GPRS or Internet Explorer menus on the EziNav G3.
Kogan's EziNav G3 GPS unit offers a basic multimedia player capable of playing MP3, MP4, FLV and AVI files and displaying JPEG photos. It also has a text file reader. These functions can be accessed while running Nav N Go, but the limited memory on the GPS unit means that they cannot actually be used without first closing the navigation software. These features are accessed through a stylish user interface that is significantly more attractive than we have come to expect from Kogan.
Budget GPS units are bound to have their issues, and the Kogan EziNav G3 certainly isn’t flawless. It is a fantastic improvement over its predecessor, however, though it still suffers from some interface issues that can make it frustrating to use.
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