February 4, 2007

Via Michelin X-930 Arrives for Review

ViaMichelinCenterShot.jpg
We are pleased to have the Via Michelin X-930 GPS in house for review, after a lot of readers asked about its performance and there seems to be a widely varying opinion of the unit out there. I thought that it would be good to get our hands on it to see for ourselves what the unit was truly like. The X-930 is Via Michelin's first step into the US market, and they entered over the holidays with a pretty good price online at J&R. With the continued low prices, we'll take a look at it with its value price in mind.

The value end of the market is getting pretty full of brands you know and a whole bunch of brands you don't. This unit comes from Via Michelin, yes the tire company, that is also very much into travel help and travel guides. This philosophy of helping travelers is what's behind the launch of GPS systems for Via Michelin.

Update: Even more information on the Via Michelin X-930

The X-930 is small, and light: flat form factor and only 4.7 ounces, measuring only 4.8"L x 2.8"W x 0.7"D. The unit may be low priced, but it still comes equipped with the SiRF star III chipset, and a 3.5 inch touchscreen. This screen is a widescreen format, so its actual real estate is slightly different that other 3.5" touchscreens that are in the regular format ratio. The unit has spoken turn cues (not text to speech found in higher end models), and an on board li-ion battery that is not user replaceable. It comes with maps of the continental US pre-loaded on a 1GB SD card that needs to stay in the unit. Via Michelin chose NAVTEQ maps which will make for a better experience as you can avoid the TeleAtlas upgrading that is going on for other units using TeleAtlas (Aside: The TeleAtlas map situation is in the middle of being resolved as they are rolling out much improved maps as we speak, and I believe that their map quality will be comparable to NAVTEQ in the near future.) The unit doesn't have an MP3 player, but that is not a big concern of mine, as these players are often a nice addition but not always a great listening experience.

ViaMichelinX930InBox.jpg

The Via Michelin X-930 comes with:

  • The Via Michelin X-930 GPS
  • Car mounting suction cup and adhesive disk to mount on dash
  • Stylus
  • Via Michelin DVD ROM - Includes Canadian Maps according to Via Michelin website.
  • 12V power adapter
  • Mini-USB cable
  • wall charger
  • Quick Start Guide

    More at Amazon and Via Michelin

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    Posted by Scott Martin at February 4, 2007 4:16 PM
  • Recent Comments

    I have lost my chip for U.S maps.
    I bought a chip and cant find anywhere to download info onto new chip.


    Posted by: Herb Krebs at September 22, 2008 8:17 AM

    I am from canada , i got x-930 as a gift , lost dvd software , is there any other way to download canada map or to get dvd,??, I talked to viamichelin people they said know, can any one send me or upload in torrent,
    without canada map its usless. if someone can email at rex1010@gmail.com

    Thanks
    Rex


    Posted by: Rex at May 28, 2008 3:00 PM

    About 7 out of 10 rating. The unit itself is smaller comared to some other GPS systems and it seems to work great as soon as it gets a fix. sometimes i am already halfway to my destination before it get s a fix. Everything else about the unit works great though. My first unit was giving me trouble and called customer support, very helpful, even sent it in to have it fixed. They sent me a whole new unit back. Very good customer service.


    Posted by: Erik at April 5, 2008 7:53 PM

    HORRIBLE!! That's all I've got to say. I bought four of these for the Holidays and gave three of them as gifts. First off you cannot enter a state highway as a destination. Here in New Jersey many of the state highways have addresses and when I tried to enter an Applebees restaurant on Route 23 - it could not recognize the address. Twice now I've been directed to roads that haven't existed in years. Ok, I figured I needed an update so I went to the Michelin site and found out you can't update without registering the product. When you go to register the product, the site doesn't recognize the U.S. issued units - so you can't register it and you can't update it. Shame on Michelin for their lack of support for this product as well as their careless disregard for customers that purchased these models. I'm embarrassed that I've given these pieces of garbage as gifts.


    Posted by: Jerry at February 8, 2008 10:00 AM

    HORRIBLE!! That's all I've got to say. I bought four of these for the Holidays and gave three of them as gifts. First off you cannot enter a state highway as a destination. Here in New Jersey many of the state highways have addresses and when I tried to enter an Applebees restaurant on Route 23 - it could not recognize the address. Twice now I've been directed to roads that haven't existed in years. Ok, I figured I needed an update so I went to the Michelin site and found out you can't update without registering the product. When you go to register the product, the site doesn't recognize the U.S. issued units - so you can't register it and you can't update it. Shame on Michelin for their lack of support for this product as well as their careless disregard for customers that purchased these models. I'm embarrassed that I've given these pieces of garbage as gifts.


    Posted by: Jerry at February 8, 2008 9:59 AM

    Some map and software updates are available here:

    http://www.viamichelin.co.uk/viamichelin/gbr/jsp/nav/MaSupportHme.jsp

    Never got a single software update to work. Never found any maps for anywhere outside Europe or U.S. I bought this unit for $180 in a local grand-opening sale in Feb. That's about all it's worth. The hardware is excellent, but lack of US support and insane GUI hampers this model. I had to actually write my own cheat sheet that I keep with the unit just to perform common tasks. When I tried to register this product on their US website, they would only let me choose European models and maps, as if 930 was never intended for US release. ViaMichilin gave up support almost immediately to focus on the similar X-950's.
    As long as I don’t loose the cheat sheet or try to update it, it’ll work great. Uses Windows CE platform- would be good for hacking if someone could try ;)


    Posted by: Doug K at August 8, 2007 8:49 PM

    I have a question. How do you download other maps on to my nav.system or if its possible to download other maps.


    Posted by: amador at June 30, 2007 3:26 AM

    I bought one of these units a couple weeks ago and LOVE IT!.

    Heres the link to the user manual: http://www.viamichelin.com/viamichelin/gbr/jsp/nav/MaTelechargementHomeRub9.jsp

    It would be a shame if the guy above returned this excellent unit. For the future, maybe a little search on Google yourself could have yielded better results for you.

    I travel for a living and this unit has guided me from airports to hotels and restruants all over the US.



    Posted by: Warus at April 25, 2007 12:36 PM

    My dad bought one of the x930 ViaMichelin units. He asked me to find him a user's guide for it as the unit he bought only had a Quick Start guide. Though the Quick Start referred to www.viamichilin.com/us to get one, the site is a re-direct to a net wide marketing sales. I've looked and looked, but to no avail. There seems to be a) no support for it available via phone and b) no user's guide.
    I'm going to recommend that he take this piece of junk back and get his money. If a company can't support a technial unit with a user's guide, they have no business be in that business.
    I would also, as you are in the GPS review business, recommend that you add whether a good user's guide is supplied, is available, etc. The same on support.


    Posted by: Terry Olsen at April 21, 2007 6:33 PM

    my mate has one of these and swears by it. I was about to jump in and get one as well but found out that via michelin are about to launch some new units so I'm now going to wait to try and have a look at these - found some spec at the place my mate got his x930 from. They are called the x960 and the x970 and you can see a picture here, http://www.easydevices.co.uk/pp/Dedicated_GPS/ViaMichelin_Sat_Nav/ViaMichelin_Navigation_X-960_Europe.html


    Posted by: Mark at March 13, 2007 3:01 PM
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