So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Entry-level GPS with lane assistance and a sleek design
- Sleek design, easy to grasp interface, lane assistance, road safety features, TMC “ready”
- No text-to speech, no Bluetooth, Bulky window mount, poor viewing angle and sunlight glare, cluttered map view
Navigon’s 2110max is a reasonably low priced GPS, but the lack of text-to-speech and Bluetooth capabilities may be a deal breaker for some.
Price$ 379.00 (AUD)
Navigon’s entry-level GPS unit may lack text-to-speech technology and Bluetooth, but it offers most of its big brother's other features, including lane assistance, 3-D junction views and road safety features.
Aesthetically, the 2110max is identical to the 2150max. It’s finished in a combination of gloss black and matte black plastic and feels reasonably well built. The piano black finish does attract plenty of fingerprints, but it gives the device a slick look and feel. The unit is German engineered and comes with a 24-month warranty. Unfortunately, the 2110max's window mount is annoying: it comes in two pieces held together by a screw and it is large, bulky and difficult to mount.
The 2110max has a 4.3in widescreen display with excellent brightness and a great horizontal viewing angle. Unfortunately, the vertical viewing angle is poor. Glare is another issue: we struggled to see the display in any sort of bright light while driving.
Although it lacks the colour and appeal of many other models, the minimalist menu interface is simple and clearly defined. The main screen centres around four large boxes with text descriptions. Unfortunately, speed is an issue. Finger taps registered on the touch screen but there was regularly lag, particularly when adjusting settings.
Entering an address is a three-stage process of typing the suburb, street name and house number using the on-screen keyboard, which has a standard ABC layout. Points of interest can be searched near your current location, in a specific city or nationwide. POIs are displayed on the map with small icons and some even use official company logos; for example, Subway stores are denoted on the map by the company's official logo.
The navigation experience is above average. However, the map screen is a little cluttered with icons compared to most other automotive GPS devices, so the unit may have a steep learning curve. Unfortunately, text-to-speech capabilities aren't included. The NAVTEQ maps are fairly detailed, with 2-D and 3-D views and day and night modes available. The maps come with a number of handy guidance features, the best of which is Lane Assistant Pro. This feature provides graphic lane assistance when entering and exiting complex motorways and freeways. Whereas ordinary GPS units may advise you to “keep left”, the lane assistant box will display all available lanes and clearly tell you which one you should travel in. We found it helpful, especially in and around large city roads and motorway junctions.
Also featured on the 2110max is signpost display, which attempts to include realistic representations of upcoming street signs, and Reality View 3D, which provides easier to comprehend junction views on freeways and motorway exits. In addition, Navigon utilises Road Sense Safety Plus, providing speed and red light camera alerts, school zone warnings and notifications for bus lanes, accident black spots and railway crossings — all free out of the box.
Navigon claims the 2110max is Traffic Message Channel “ready”. The unit has a TMC antenna built in, unlike many other units. According to Navigon, traffic services will be available in early 2009, although details are yet to be announced.
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