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Acer P660 Portable Navigator - Acer P660 Portable Navigator
The P660 also includes a speed camera database and this is shown with a yellow box that reports the speed limit and your current speed along with a distance count down - nicely done. Unfortunately, it wasn’t up to date, and was missing several cameras that I passed.
The on screen display is good with a highly customisable sections that sit underneath the map that can display information such as the name of road your on, the destination, the current time and your ETA.
The actual 3D display is reasonably clear, with a blue arrow for your car over a red line displaying the route. The widescreen display means that there's room for a next turn arrow on the left side of the screen with plenty of room for the map on the rest of the screen. A safety mode kicks in replacing the map view with a simple arrow and instruction and this can be set to kick in at a speed of your choice.
Overall, I enjoyed using the Acer P660. It did its job and got me to destinations that I wasn’t familiar with without fuss with the female voice giving clear. While the navigation software itself is good, navigating the device itself takes some getting used. My biggest gripes was the sluggishness when searching, the need to scroll up and down to reach all the options and the disappointing performance of the TMC unit. In the end, it’s the latter that would prevent me from buying one over a TomTom, as I have found its TomTom traffic service provided over mobile phone and Bluetooth to a more effective and elegant solution.
Price wise the Acer P660 is well positioned, coming in at the same as a TomTom 510 with TMC from Dixons, with the advantage of offering maps for all of Europe on CD, compared to just the UK and Ireland with the 510. In terms of unit design and the look and feel of the software it’s a huge step forward over Acer's previous units but there’s still plenty of room for improvement in terms of the interface design.
Acer keeps persevering with sat-nav and the good news is that the products are getting better. The P660 is thin, light and good looking, but it’s also sluggish and still falls behind a TomTom for ease-of-use, while toe performance of the TMC is disappointing.
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