Jensen NVX227 Review by GPSLodge
-Hands On Review by GPSLodge-
As the GPS market matures and expands, more manufacturers are getting into the GPS category from logical jumping off points. Jensen, the long time consumer electronics brand, has come into the market with a series of announcements to offer a line of GPS navigators ranging from the economical to the full featured. I am always interested to see new products in the category, new competition because it drives innovation and growth, with the ultimate benefactors being the consumer. So, today we turn our eyes to the Jensen NVX227, the value model entry from Jensen. The unit uses a SiRF star III chipset, has a 3.5 inch touchscreen and runs a customized version of the iGo software interface which is better known from the Mio line of products where it is customized and billed as the Mio Map interface. The Jensen NVX227 ships with North American maps preloaded on an SD card, and does not have media playing capabilities (not a big miss in my mind).
The Jensen NVX227 is a flat form factor GPS system that has the antenna internally mounted with a small nub on the top that is the only clue that its in there. It’s not as small as some other flat units, so while it’s easily stowed, I wouldn’t say that its totally pocketable. The extra space on the unit offer you more flexibility to use hard coded buttons to navigate as opposed to software touch buttons on the screen. These buttons include an on/off switch, a +/- pair to zoom in on the maps, a “menu” button, a waypoint-marking button, and a four-direction rocker button that allows you to alter the map view and change the volume setting. At points using these buttons seemed to tax the system, and it wasn’t as responsive as I wanted.
The overall design of the system is to have the GPS unit itself snap into a windshield mount saddle that cups and hold the unit. The windshield mount is a bit clunky and not as svelte as I have come to appreciate in some of the more minimalistic units like the Nuvi 250 or the TomTom ONE. The unit has a couple of articulating joints that allow you to set a good angle for the unit and then leave it there. The saddle accepts the GPS with ease and has a release button in the front that allows the unit to be removed. The larger mount also houses a speaker that is clear and easily heard over road noise. The NVX227 also has a speaker on it that is easily heard when the unit is not nested in the mount. The power cord, a mini USB terminal, plugs into the back of the windshield mount, and a proprietary plug couples the mount to the GPS. There is no mini-USB connection on the GPS itself.
I was happy with the navigation capabilities on the iGo equipped NVX227, although the unit was a little slower to grab a signal than other units that use a similar interface. The upgrade that the unit has with the newer iGo interface is that it offers “type ahead” capabilities. So, if you are navigating to “Maple St”, the and start typing “M-A-P-L”, the unit will show only those letters on the keyboard that are capable of coming next in the possible street names where you are searching. This makes a very big difference on a screen this size and makes input a lot quicker and easier. When the unit whittles the list of potential street names down to a few, it pops up to the next screen to offer you only the few streets that make sense even if you haven’t finished typing out the name. This was present on the earlier versions of the iGo interface, and combined with the type- head capability, it makes for short order of typing in names.
The interface is slightly more complex than the Mio Map version of iGo, and on par with the V7/My Guide Navigator 1000, in that there are extra settings to allow you to customize the routing capabilities. So, in routing, you can select shortest or fastest, while also using a slider to slide from “Fast” to “Optimal.” Similar to the V7, this slider scale seems to alter how the unit considers routing possibilities and as a result how fast the unit generates the routing. Set to Fast, the unit performs on par with other value entries into the marketplace at this price level. When set to optimal, the unit took twice as long to calculate my torture test route from my house in Massachusetts to Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. On the “Fast” method setting, it generated a route that took/estimated 52 hours, but while on the optimal setting, the unit calculated a route that was to take only 46 hours. That route took me up through Canada, and then down. The two routes were within 2 miles of each other for overall distance. In more everyday routing, I didn’t see a big difference in travel times. This is all similar to the V7 performance.
The maps are not from the latest TeleAtlas mapset, which is a disappointment. (They are the ones that are present on the currently selling Mio C310x models.) One area that the Jensen NVX227 doesn’t fare too well against the Mio C310x is the fact that the NXX227’s screen isn’t as bright as the Mio’s, which makes it a little harder to read in the brightest conditions.
After driving for a couple of weeks with the Jensen NVX227, I came to appreciate the type ahead features that the unit offered. It makes quick work of inputting your address that you are going to route to. I would like more GPS units to have this feature. The mount is rougher to get set, and vibrates slightly when driving, but once mounted, it’s not an issue to leave it there. If you are going to be taking it on and off a lot to avoid GPS thefts, this isn’t the best experience. The screen brightness will only be a concern in the brightest conditions, and nicely enough, the unit flips from day to night settings at a decent hour. The interface is good and on par with other units that use the iGo software.
What's in the Box - Jensen NVX227 Jensen NVX227 GPS Unit
Windshield Mount with internal speaker and mini-USB power connection
12-volt power cord (mini-USB at end)
Manual on CD ROM
Jensen Quick Start guide
SD Card with North American (FULL US + Canada) Maps
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Posted by Scott Martin at April 30, 2007 5:21 AM