Navman has been producing standalone navigation devices for a while now, and I have to admit to having a soft spot for the company. There – I’ve said it.
The latest in the line is the Navman iCN 700 series. It comes in two versions: the iCN 720 that I’m reviewing here, which includes maps of the UK and Ireland. The iCN 750 includes maps for Western Europe and will set you back £499 (inc VAT). In all other respects the two devices are the same.
The iCN 720 brings the latest craze in navigation - widescreen – to the iCN series. The extra screen width is useful as it (obviously) allows more information to be displayed, but the knock on effect is that the hardware is both larger and more cumbersome to carry around than I’d like. You can carry some smaller navigation devices around for walking, but I suspect the sheer bulk of the Navman iCN 700 series puts that out of the question.
For the record, our Navman iCN 720 has dimensions of 136 x 77 x 31mm, and weighs a hefty 300g – twice that of many PDAs and three times that of your average smartphone.
The physical design leaves a little to be desired visually, and the row of buttons to the right of the screen seems to take up a lot more room than it should. But when you are actually using the kit in a vehicle its somewhat clunky appearance translates to buttons that are easy to find without bothering to look too far for them.
I can’t go far into this review before mentioning NavPix. The Navman 700 series devices have integrated digital stills cameras (1.3 megapixels). The lens is on the back of the device, and when you shoot an image it is captured with embedded location information. You can then use the picture as a point to visit on a trip. You can transfer pictures to your computer and share them with other people, either by emailing them or by uploading to the NavPix area of the Navman Web site.