There are countless trends competing for attention in the gaming notebook and laptop space but not all of them are either useful or benefit the core gaming experience.
Navman EZY40 GPS unit
Navman's EZY40 GPS unit offers good value for money, but it was let down by its touch screen's responsiveness
- Simple UI, clear map screen, decent value, 3D junction view, lane guidance
- Loss of GPS reception at times when navigating CBD area, touch screen isn't always responsive
The Navman EZY40 GPS represents decent value for money as an entry level offering, but does have a few niggling faults that detract from the overall navigational experience for newbies.
Price$ 249.00 (AUD)
The Navman EZY40 GPS unit is targeted at first time users thanks to its easy to use interface and a relatively low price. It offers decent value for money, but the touch screen wasn’t always responsive in our tests, and the loss of GPS reception in heavy CBD areas may detract from its initial appeal.
The EZY40 GPS unit may be an entry level model in Navman's sat nav range, but it does borrow some design cues from the company’s more expensive product line; namely its attractive, gloss black bezel contrasting with a silver rear. The window mount is similar to the one used with other Navman units and is easy to put into position and adjust. The power switch on the top of the GPS unit enables you to put it into sleep mode when it is not in use, but we didn’t like its slider style button — as it's too easy to accidentally slide it to "reset" rather than "off". Thankfully, the EZY40 only takes a few seconds to power up after being switched off.
The Navman EZY40 GPS unit replaces Navman’s previous entry level model, the Navman C40 GPS unit and this new offering now has a standard 4.3in resistive touch screen. The display has a matte finish so it’s reasonably readable in direct sunlight, although its viewing angles aren't the best. In our tests the touch screen was responsive overall but we found entering addresses using the on-screen keyboard was often a hit and miss affair — we sometimes had to repeatedly tap the screen to make a selection.
Entering a destination on the Navman EZY40 is done via a single "find" menu where you can search using keywords, POI's, postcodes or by picking an area on the map screen. As an example, you can search for "Star City" or "Casino" to bring up similar results, which is a time saving feature. Navman also includes a "near me" menu, which uses your GPS location to quickly find the nearest food, petrol, parking, hotels, ATMs or emergency services, simply by tapping the appropriate icon. Regular address entry is a three-stage process of city, street, then the house or building number.
The Navman EZY40's map screen is spacious in size and easy to read. Street names are clear and a small yellow arrow points to each street to minimise confusion. Tapping anywhere on the map brings up a map options menu where you can adjust the voice volume, bring up zoom controls, see SUNA traffic information (available via an optional accessory), see an overview of your route or cancel the route. The route overview displays a list of all the turns, a complete overview of the route and information including distance to go, ETA and average speed. Voice guidance is clear and comprehensive and the EZY40 includes an Australian text-to-speech voice that deals with Australian pronunciation quite well. Audio is loud and clear, but could use a boost when driving in busy city traffic.
Navigation performance is adequate but the EZY40 does possess a few niggling issues. The EZY40's Navteq maps also have a tendency to miss a number of 'no right turns', and also didn't warn of some red light cameras that we passed, although we were alerted about speed cameras, railway crossings and accident black spots without any issue. Using the EZY40 in Sydney's CBD, we encountered the occasional loss of GPS signal due to the high amount of tall buildings affecting the devices ability to gain and maintain a GPS fix. Though this only happened occasionally and for a few seconds at a time, it isn't an ideal scenario. School zone warnings have been improved from the earlier models and are now time relevant, so the warnings only appear when it's between 8:00am - 9.30am and 2.30pm - 4:00pm in NSW (and the relevant times school time zones when used in other Australian states).
Despite being an entry level unit, the Navman EZY40 includes lane guidance, 3D junction views and speed sign and limit alerts. Junction views and lane guidance are very useful when entering and exiting unfamiliar freeways and motorways. Traffic light locations are incorporated into the voice guidance (for example "turn left at the traffic lights"), which is handy for keeping your eyes on the road and surrounding traffic.
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