- — 26 September, 2010 22:00
|Name||In-car GPS: Navman EZY40|
|At a glance:||Accurate maps,Descriptive voice commands,Lane guidance|
|Summary:||One of the best in-car GPS devices on the market|
A good in-car GPS should get you from A to B quickly, preferably without the need to open any farm gates. That may sound like a given, but the reality is that many devices have a tendency to lead you down the garden path, particularly in rural New Zealand.
With that in mind, a GPS device that flawlessly guides a driver through both urban and rural areas should be celebrated. Three cheers for the Navman EZY40.
The EZY40 displays crisp and surprisingly detailed maps on its 4.3-inch touchscreen. These maps are detailed enough to show you the names of nearby streets and prominent landmarks like petrol stations, without appearing cluttered. The user interface includes information such as the current road’s speed limit and how many kilometres you have left in your journey. Unlike some GPS devices, it doesn’t display your current speed by default, but this can be turned on by opening a drop-down sidebar.
During my testing in Auckland, Tauranga and throughout the Bay of Plenty, the EZY40 performed admirably. Entering my desired location was easy thanks to the predictive address bar, and the device consistently guided me along the roads I would normally travel. That’s always a good sign if you know an area well. New routes were quickly recalculated when I intentionally missed turnoffs and this recalculation took place within seconds – much quicker than many other GPS devices on the market. If you’re looking for a nearby restaurant, accommodation or petrol station, the device can suggest options via its “Near Me” menu option.
The EZY40 also has the edge on many competing products when it comes to voice instructions. It doesn’t provide the same selection of downloadable voices you might have with other in-car GPS devices, but the instructions delivered through the EZY40’s speakers provide superior detail. For example, you might hear something like “turn left in 400 metres, before the petrol station, Leo Street” or “at the roundabout, turn right, Beach Road”. That’s better than the plain-old “turn left in 400 metres”, common in some other GPS devices.
Lane guidance – an increasingly common GPS feature that will tell a driver which lane to be in prior to a turnoff – is well implemented. The feature is particularly useful on motorways during rush hour, where early warning that you need to be in the left lane may be the difference between getting to a morning appointment on time or arriving closer to lunch.
Perhaps the only mark against the EZY40 is its “current speed limit” database. Some of the speed limits shown on the device’s UI are inaccurate or out of date, so you won’t want to rely on them unless you have oodles of cash for tickets.
Its NavDesk online services application is relatively basic. Using NavDesk you can download the latest maps for New Zealand or buy overseas maps if you plan to take your Navman on the road. A selection of languages is also available for non-English speakers. The app won’t suggest upgrades quite as effectively as some other GPS device apps, but it’s perfectly usable.
Finally, any good GPS needs a good mount. The EZY40’s suction mount feels a little delicate but it works well enough and grips a car windscreen firmly. As is common with many GPS devices, the EZY40 has a limited battery life of less than three hours, but that shouldn’t pose a problem so long as you have it plugged into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter via the complimentary car-charger.