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A couple of years ago a portable dedicated in-car navigation system was something unusual. Now, it’s a pretty common sight. In fact, sales are said to have gone up over 1,300 per cent over the past year. Not surprising then to learn that sat-nav units are also now one of the most stolen items from cars so if you buy one keep it hidden.
This might be difficult on Acer’s new GPS unit as the in-car cradle for the unit is surprisingly large. Acer has done sat nav before and the d150 is the follow up to the d100. Can Acer compete with specialists such as TomTom or Garmin?
I was in a good position to find out as I have a TomTom One that sits more or less permanently on the right of my dashboard, so the Acer was set up in the middle og the dashboard for comparison.
As with other portable in-car sat-nav, the d150 is designed to work out of the box, However, it’s certainly not as slick looking as its competitors. The housing is large, bulky and a frankly a bit ugly. The 3.5in, 320 x 240 resolution screen is surrounded by a seemingly oversized bezel, and the buttons on the fascia have a loose feel to them. In particular, the central joystick generally doesn’t sit straight most of the time, which gives the whole thing a rather cheap feel to it.
However, the buttons do mean you have direct access to volume controls, whereas on the TomTom you have to touch the screen first. The joystick can be used to move through menus and scroll around the map, and the Plus and Minus buttons are used for zooming in and out. On the right, one of the buttons brings up the map options, while the other takes you to a separate main menu for the device.