“ Brand: Mio „
Many new cars come with built in satnavs these days, and lots of people use an app on their phones for directions. Both my car and my phone are old so I rely on a dedicated satnav machine to do the job.
It's a Mio Moov M400 and it's a few years old now but still does the job admirably. Mine cost £80 when they were new in 2009 but you can get it for around £60 now as it's quite an old model. However it still performs perfectly adequately. It's made from a tough plastic (mine's survived being dropped a couple of times) and it's mostly black but, unusually, has a very attractive dark red trim. It comes with all the necessary cables, a little pointy stick to prod the screen with and a neoprene case to keep it clean and offer a little bit of protection against knocks.
It's powered via a cable that plugs into the cigarette lighter socket that all cars have although it can be used on the rechargeable battery too. It has a responsive touch screen through which you can select your destination by address or as a 'point of interest' from a pull down list. It remembers all the places you've asked for directions to before, so they're easy to recall. You can even create your own list of favourite places too.
It behaves just like most other satnavs in that you can link it to your PC via a USB cable, it shows all local points of interest as little icons on the screen as you approach them, you can zoom in or out and select different map views (my favourite is the 3D view, which looks as if you're looking down from a helicopter at about forty-five degrees) and you can select from a list of voices that you want it to talk in.
The voices are all nice and easy on the ear. I've selected quite a posh lady voice for mine, though her accent can be a little unusual and I got concerned the first time that she told me to "take the second exit on the roundabout and enter the murder-way" when I wanted to get onto the M1 ! But the directions that it gives are precise and clear. I especially like that it tells you which lane to get into at junctions, something that other nav systems don't always do.
Probably the best thing about it is that it has a 4.3 inch screen. Comparing it to a 'normal' satnav is like comparing the old square televisions of your youth to today's flatscreens. This is a very wide screen satnav but not so big as to be intrusive. It sits comfortably in the corner of my windscreen (thanks to an included clip and sucker clamp that holds it securely in place) and is really clear.
There's no getting away from the fact that it's an old machine. And that the UK map updates cost £40. And that you can get pretty much the same quality navigation apps on a good-quality mobile phone now. There's plenty about this machine to stop me from wholeheartedly recommending it. It was once top of the range. Now it's just ok, just another of many machines doing very similar jobs.
But you know what? It's become like an old friend now and I really don't want to replace it.