With GPS increasingly being integrated into smartphones some may be signalling the death knell for standalone systems. That said MP3 playback has been a feature of mobile phones for ages now and I don’t see Apple, Creative or SanDisk quaking just yet.
The AA (Automobile Association not Alcoholics Anonymous) is the latest company to follow this logic and is using its well regarded name to burst into the GPS market.
The ‘AA Navigator Vive!’ is the result and it should appeal given its compact size and weight (95 x 73 x 21mm, 170g), proportionately large 3.5in touchscreen display and pre-installed UK and ROI maps (which leave its SD card expansion slot free for photos and music or the optional European map pack). An attractive £149.99 RRP isn’t doing it any harm either.
Despite the bargain price the Vive has all the features you’d expect from a more pricey system with a full seven digit postcode search, 2D or 3D maps, 50,000 points of interest including AA hotels and restaurants and the option to route around the Congestion Zone or toll roads. Furthermore, you’ll get six months free speed camera software and alerts which – if you’re like any of the TR petrol heads (of which I’m a fully signed up member) – is utterly vital.
The Vive works straight out the box, comes bundled with a windscreen mount, 12-24V car charger, mains charger, USB sync cable and Backup CD and I can certainly think of worst ways to part with 150 quid… like three speeding tickets, three parking fines, 18 days Congestion charge, 10 minutes parking in South Kensington, five minutes parking in Knightsbridge, road tax…