Navman has dramatically overhauled their portable navigation systems, and the first of the new S-Series models is the S30 - an entry-level unit that carries plenty of features despite its low price tag.
- Stylish design, compact window mount, vivid interface, keyboard says letters out loud, preloaded speed and red light camera alerts
- Re-routing times a little slow, no text-to-speech
The S30 is an ideal GPS unit for those on a budget. The entry level unit combines a stylish design with good maps, a reasonable feature set and a very competitive price.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
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The S-Series focuses on a stylish and intelligent design. Cased in a silver and gloss black plastic, the S30 features prominent Navman branding on both the front and rear. Despite the lightweight and small frame, the unit feels well built and the design is much more modern looking than previous Navman units. A highlight is the window mount; it's small and lightweight and is easy to clip on and off if you are moving the unit from car to car.
The S30 features a vivid menu system; it's bright and colourful, with clearly labelled icons. Most operations are accessed via the main menu screen - tapping the displayed icons can navigate to your saved home location, a specific address, one of 500,000 points of interest (POI), a saved favourite destination or a recent destination. You can also edit or change any preferences from the home screen. Gone are the physical parking and fuel buttons of previous units - these are now accessed via icons on the main menu, along with tourist destinations, food outlets and emergency services.
The S30 is equipped with the popular SiRFstarIII GPS receiver and its performance is efficient and speedy, taking less than a minute to pick up a GPS signal.
When searching for a specific address the S30 filters suburbs by state, reducing the list of results to a manageable number. The destination can then be pinpointed by navigating to a specific house number, intersection or to the centre of the street or city, and you can also navigate multi-stop trips. The S30 doesn't allow searching via postcode though. The address entry screen uses an on-screen keyboard that can be set to either normal alphabetic or QWERTY, but you'll need to use your fingertips for the best possible accuracy. A new feature says letters out loud as you tap them, aiming to prevent mistakes.
The S30 uses SmartS 2008 navigation software with the latest WhereIS R14 maps. The navigational experience is pleasing thanks to clear maps and precise voice instructions, though there is no text-to-speech on this unit. Tapping on the information box in the top right corner opens a convenient route information drop down - showing distance to go, time to go, speed, ETA and current time. An icon in the bottom right corner can display battery life, GPS reception and a mute button. Re-routing times are solid but not outstanding; the S30 can struggle to keep up, especially on main roads.
The usual routing options (avoid or warn of tolls, unsurfaced roads and ferry routes) are supported, and users can also set a preference for using motorways. Navman includes a user-configured preset speed warning alert and preloaded speed and red light camera alerts.
Battery life is rated at up to five hours, though we experienced closer to four on a full charge. There is no AC adapter included in the package, so you'll have to charge the S30 in your car, or via USB.
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