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Navman S100 review

Verdict:

Review Date: 13 Feb 2009

Price when reviewed: £185

Supplier: http://www.amazon.co.uk

Reviewed By: James Morris

Our Rating 3 stars out of 5

User Rating 4 stars out of 5

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Although satnavs get more sophisticated with every generation, they usually remain chunky, so Navman's S100 is an unusual development.

Navman claims that this is the world's thinnest satnav, and a polished aluminium body further enhances its iPod-like appearance.

The S100 has a new software interface called Spirit, and users of previous Navmans will find this completely different. In fact, it's different from any previous satnav because it uses a similar glide touch system to the iPod Touch. You can scroll through menus by dragging your fingers. We found it wasn't as slick as the iPod, and was frustrating at times.

The S100 follows some of the latest trends in satellite navigation. It has Lane Guidance, which includes a full-screen view of the junction and also realistic road signs, so you know exactly what to look out for. You also get 3D models of key landmarks, and the database is more recent than that of the S30 3D.

A simple but useful addition is the ability to search by keyword rather than having to drill down through an address. As well as choosing shortest, fastest or easiest routes, you can also select the most economical, which attempts to minimise fuel consumption. You can also access the Navman Connect local search, supplied by Infobel, for a greater range of POIs. However, this works only with the desktop PC software and not via the device itself. There are no traffic updates supplied, but you do get a 12-month trial of safety camera information, after which updates cost £35 per year.

Although the device itself has a new design, this hasn't been carried forward to the screen cradle. You still have to hook up the power via the usual mini-USB connection. Also, the way the device slides into its dock is fiddly and we found it too easy to drop.

As innovative as the glide touch interface and physical design of the S100 may be, it's a bit overpriced. You only get UK and Ireland maps as standard. TomTom's Go 530 Traffic includes traffic updates for just £11 more.

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