Of course, none of this affects the core functionality. The S100 does have a few unique features other than its design and interface, but not that many. One of the most useful is the ability to search by keyword. Normally, you would need to drill down through an address, starting with the city or town, then street. But the S100’s new keyword approach lets you enter any part of the address you can remember. So if you’re not sure which town an address is in, you can still find it quite quickly. In the past, this could be a process of trial and error, putting in a few possible towns until the right one was found.
The S100 also includes Navman’s 3D Landmark system, and as the maps are TeleAtlas 2008.10 rather than 2007.10, this is more complete than the one included with the S30 3D. So there is now a model for Wembley Stadium, for example. But we still remain unconvinced by this feature. Large landmarks loom in your peripheral vision as you drive, but they only appear on the sat-nav screen when you are virtually on the doorstep. While 3D models do have exciting potential to make navigation more visual and intuitive, they have a long way to go before this potential is realised.
More useful is the lane guidance system, which works in a similar fashion to the facilities recently added to TomTom, Navigon and Garmin devices. Navman claims its guidance graphics are the closest to the appearance of the real junction, with road signs tailored to look just like what you should be seeing through your windscreen.
Other than this, the features are fairly standard. There are driving and walking route modes, but no lorry, offroad or bicycle options. A new Economical calculation mode works out the route with the least turnings and junctions, so you can keep driving speed constant and thus use less petrol. You can also use the pin in the top right corner of the device to capture your own POIs and add them to the database.