December 27, 2008

Is the Insignia CNV-10 Worth $99 or the CNV-20 $149?

A lot of readers are writing in about the deals on the Insignia Connected GPS units at Best Buy - the Insignia CNV-10 a standard screen for $99, and the Insignia CNV-20 widescreen for $149. They come with a year's mobile connected subscription which will cost $99 a year after that.

Why all the hype? These units are internet connected GPS units that offer the promise of interesting capabilities: google search for businesses, traffic, and gas prices. When I reviewed the unit in November, the CNV-10 was $399, and for that money, it was an easy call: stay away, buy something else. Read My Full Review for more information.

A few of my findings:

  • Routing was decent, the unit uses NAVTEQ Maps
  • Google Search missed some basic businesses in my town
  • Traffic capabilities were a bust; I sat in bumper to bumper traffic and the Insignia thought I was on clear roads.
  • Traffic results - if it did see problems didn't seem to influence the estimated time of arrival.
  • The interface was clunky - very much second rate to TomTom and Garmin

At $99 or $149, are they a better buy? - Maybe.

High Expectations - Walk Away
If your expectations are that you get a connected GPS that works flawlessly and you require accurate traffic for a daily commute - still not a good choice. The traffic capability is not good enough.

Lower Expectations - Might be a great deal

If you are OK with a second rate interface and want occasional connected benefits, you may choose to grab this - I think it will work for you. You need to be aware of the shortcomings, and the potential for BestBuy to discontinue selling and ultimately supporting the unit.

I do have faith that some of the issues I saw can be remedied with a software upgrade, which makes me hopeful that the unit can be salvaged.

If you are interested in a capable connected GPS, consider the TeleNav Shotgun. I have been using it and will post a review in January.

Interested in "regular" GPS units - Check out the reviews of units I have used, or my Holiday Buying Guide for a good place to start.

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Posted by Scott Martin at December 27, 2008 8:48 AM

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