After months of patiently waiting for Navigon’s new flagship to arrive, I spotted it at a local electronics store and before I could say “Rob Hubbard’s 8-bit remixes” I found myself walking out of the store as a proud owner of a Navigon 7310. It was announced at CES this January and it has now finally become available to many parts of Europe. Some of the features this GPS brags about are:
- Voice navigation
- Landmark View 3D
- City View
- Reality View Pro
- Lane Assistant Pro
- Real Roadsign Pro
- 4 GB SD card
As you can see, Navigon goes a abit overboard with the “Pro” suffix, but it probably lures saps like me to think their technology is on the cutting edge. Anyhow, as I got home I quickly unboxed it and except the 4.3″ GPS, the contents of the box was sparse: a carholder (and no, not the sleak one that you were led to believe was included), a mini usb to usb cable, a car charger incl. TMC antenna, a quick installation pamflett and a synthetic pouch for your precious GPS. First line of business was to log on to Navigons web site to redeem an included voucher so you could get the sleak design car holder. Next I connected the Navigon to my computer, which recognised two devices: one SD card and one unknown card which Windows Vista kindly asked me if I wanted to format. I decided against it. (Still today I have no clue about why it sees two devices and only one is recognised. )
Some software (Fresh and Sync) for the PC is preloaded on the SD card, that you can install on your computer. Navigon Fresh backs up your maps on the SD card, updates the Navigon software on the GPS, downloads map updates (which are not free, but you get a 80% discount on the maps for two years). Navigon Sync copies addresses from your contacts in Outlook and saves them to the GPS, don’t know how many will use this feature.
After having backed up my SD card I was ready to start playing with the thing, but the unit was completely unresponsive as long as I had it connected to the PC. It just showed a symbol of a computer connected to a GPS and nothing more. After googling a while and checking Navigon’s support site I gave up. The closest I found to getting an answer was that if the cable is not inserted well enough, the device is only prepared for data transfer and will not be charged. If anyone else has had and solved this problem, I am all ears!
The following day I took it out for a test drive around the familiar block and some less known roads as well. It picked up the satelites in a few seconds after I turned it on and were ready to go. I told it that I wanted to go to work and entered the address, it gave me three different routes I could take, ordered in estimated driving time. Since the Navigon 7310 also has a feature called “myRoutes”, it adapts the route choice based on time of day, traffic, and other preferences, which seems nifty in theory at least. As I approached an intersection, it added an overlay of the lanes and highlighted which lanes were approperiate for me. This can be a real life saver if you are in a busy and unfamiliar town and have with several lanes to choose from when either approaching an intersection or the road divides into several smaller roads. When you are approaching your destination, a small P appears, which when tapped, will offer directions to the nearast public parking garage/place available.
I have not had a lot of time to test it further, but it is a small device packed with promise. I will definetely keep it with me when on the road, since who knows when I get a craving for a some fine dining and then my Navigon 7310 with its plethora of POI’s will be there to direct me to the closest restaurant.