The Navigon 70 Easy and 70 Plus Live – Coupling driving with relaxation?

I have never really been a fan of sat navs, finding them slightly patronising and off-putting and preferring to follow my own route with a good, old-fashioned map. Although I have to admit, how advanced has the world become when a machine can tell you when you need to start indicating to change lane in busy traffic? This “Active Lane Assistance”, which provides safe assistance when the traffic starts to get hectic, is just one of the many features of Navigon’s two new products – The Navigon 70 Easy and the Navigon 70 Plus Live.

Navigon-70

These two new additions expand Navigon’s 70-series family of large five-inch display screens designed to making route calculation easier than ever. Talking about the extended product range, Jorn Watzke, Executive Vice President of Product Line Management said:“With the extra variety in this product class, we are making it easier for our customers to find the right large-screen device for them.”

Both the 70 Easy and 70 Plus Live are neat, stylish devices but with large, realistic screens, which can provide you with a wealth of animated driving information if you require it. As well as the arguably patronising “Active Lane Assistance” – what’s wrong with just looking in your mirrors? – both sat navs include “Navigation My Best POI”, “Navigation MyRoutes” and “Reality View Pro”. By simply clicking on the “One Click Menu”, drivers are able to see their three favourite POIs, by clicking anywhere on the display. In addition to this mammon of highly sophisticated route reading technology, users can import their own destination via the Fresh-Software, which can be arranged in individually named groups.

The Navigon 70 Plus Live is marginally superior to its younger brother, the Navigon 70 Easy, in the sense that includes five Live Services for twelve months. These Live services include, “Weather Live”, “Google Local Search”, “Clever Parking Live”, “Mobile Safety Camera Live” and the improved “Traffic Live”, which provides users with information about motorways hold-ups, as well as obstructions on main roads and even country lanes. The 70 Plus Live even has a “Navigon Sightseeing” feature, which informs travellers of points of interest on their route.

If you are not “au fait” with all this sat nav terminology – and we assume that readers of Latest Gadgets are up to date with the latest techie lingo – the Navigon 70 Easy and Navigon 70 Plus Live, simply put, are designed to make driving a whole lot more relaxed – Being this relaxed will cost you though, £119.99 and £199.99 correspondingly.

Navigon Easy 40 satnav review

Convergence seems to be affecting all handheld devices with a touchscreen. From PMPs to gaming consoles and satellite navigation systems, it’s pretty likely that your smartphone – whether ‘Berry, Apple or Gingerbread flavoured – would be able to do a passable impression of gaming, music playback or getting you from A to B. And indeed if you have modest needs, then dedicated systems are not for you. However, there is something to be said for focus, be it the dedicated horsepower of a gaming console (Sony’s NGP looks particularly hard working), the storage capacity of a PMP or the increased functionality of a sat-nav.

Navigon-Easy-40

Navigon, a leading German brand sent us an Easy 40 to review, to see if we would prefer navigating with it to just winging it with a smartphone (although they also make some pretty full features smartphone software). Out of the box the unit is as expected, small, black and solid feeling plastic. I could accidentally drop it without worrying too much. The Windows CE based 4.3 inch touchscreen is thin and light and pops onto the windscreen with no trouble. But that’s the least I expect. So what’s it like to drive with?

Navigon also have a lovely little sightseeing function built in. Although this only has the sites you’d expect, when you are in an unfamiliar locale it can be reasonably helpful. It also can provide a little historical detail (I’m a born and bred Londoner and even I can’t tell you what half these buildings are). And I can think of countless times when the opening times function would have been a Godsend.

Other useful features included the Last Mile, that takes from where you park to where you actually want to be and will also help you navigate back to the car. You can also customise the places of interest so it will show you museums or service stations along the way – if you are really into service stations that is.

The Navigon Easy 40 is £130 or so from Amazon and is both feature packed enough to interest a serious motorist over the casual user and reliable enough to take on the more established brands (in the UK at least) of Garmin or TomTom.