New Portable GPS System With Free Traffic Warnings

Many people have not yet heard of a company by the name of Navigon. Navigon is not new to the GPS business, though, as they have been a leader in the GPS industry since 1991. This past summer, Navigon released their first two portable GPS units to North America, both preloaded with NAVTEQ maps of the United States and Canada. The first two models released by Navigon are the 5100 and the 7100, with retail prices of $499 and $649 respectively. The Navigon 2100 will be in stores by October at a retail price of $249.

What makes these new GPS units so appealing is the fact that they come with a built-in traffic receiver that is subscription-free for life. This holds true for the 5100 and 7100 models, but you must purchase this service as an upgrade for the 2100 for $99. This is the first time that a portable GPS device has offered this service for free. The traffic service works by notifying you, on-screen, when a traffic accident or congestion is up ahead so that you can find an alternate route. It's really a handy feature to have in a GPS device.

Navigon has also equipped their new GPS devices with a cool new 3D feature, which allows the user to view the road in a photo-realistic view on the display. The touch-screen LCD screen is 3.5 inches on the 2100 and 5100, while the 7100 boasts a larger 4.3 inch display. These displays offer daytime and nighttime settings, and feature a tough anti-glare coating to help protect the screen, as well as reduce glare.

Other nice features that Navigon has included in their new GPS models are automatic speed warnings, lane assistance, text to speech (TTS) functionality, and Zagat ratings. The lane assistance feature will help guide you into the correct lane while en route to your destination, and it will help eliminate having to cross over 3 lanes of traffic at the last minute to make a turn. The TTS feature will give the user spoken directions and street names, which will help the driver keep their eyes on the road and not on the device. Navigon has also included a huge database of points of interest (POI) in their new GPS models. Both the 5100 and the 7100 come equipped with Zagat ratings for their POI's, which will give you the highest rated hotels, restaurants, museums, etc. You need to purchase this feature for the 2100 model, which will cost an additional $39 for the Zagat reviews and ratings feature.

These new GPS models are beautiful inside and out. Their mirrored, chrome surround make them one of the best looking portable GPS units that I have ever seen. Navigon may give Magellan, Garmin, and TomTom a run for their money with their new portable GPS lineup!

References: Navigon

Joe Eitel
Guest Blogger

Oct 4, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

this review reads more or

this review reads more or less like markrting material. There are lots of GPS fora discussions abou this brand noting some serious problems. If it can't do its core feature, routing, well; the rest doesn't matter. The concensus comparing it to google maps, Garmin products and TomTom devices is that there is regular poor routing relative to the competitio.

Lane assist is on othe GPS units, what the navigon has is "reality view." But this reality view is static, ti doesn't move as you do and causes problems of its own. Reading forums it looks like people are turning it off anyway.

You note it has day and night display brightenss, but don't note competing products in the price range does but the others are automatic and the Navoigon isn't!

I think a designer might like the form, but form follows function when it comes to technology and this seems to be a case of form OVER function -- the big no no in industrial design..