By Branko Miletic
It’s true that GPS technology has had a massive uptake in Australia. However it’s also true that the GPS is not popular with everyone- with me being one of those people whose life would remain perfectly fulfilled without ever having to use a GPS.
At the same time, Navman's new MY85XLT unit makes even a GPS-a-phobe as myself impressed by the unit.
One thing that had always annoyed me with these units was the time, or rather lag, it took to register changing speed zones. This is not a problem with the MY85XLT – as soon as you pass a new speed sign, the unit changed – it was the closest thing to instant I have seen for a while.
Moreover, with the unit's Premium service, you get a number of warnings that you have not gotten before, such as safety camera warnings, narrowing road alerts, accident black spots and traffic alerts – all via the dulcet and soothing tones of the lovely 'Karen'.
In the past, 'Karen' sounded like she was going through a speech therapy lesson, but with this model, the voice is smooth and the pronunciation even.
With a big and clear 5-inch touchscreen designed to make it easier to drive safely and stress free, something that is becoming more difficult in places like Sydney, the MY85XLT also provided the choice of going the shortest, fastest or most direct routes. Now you'd think the answer would be obvious, but let’s face it, we all travel differently and this GPS unit at least recognises that fact.
On top of that, with the ability to answer your phone through the unit, see points of interest and plan your trip well in advance, the MY85XLT was almost fun to play with.
On the downside, like most GPS units, it has the annoying ability of forcing me to drive ways that I know cannot be any faster, or at best, are only marginally quicker (like 100 m less in a 40 km trip). In other words, feigning intelligence when all its doing is following a satellite.
I do remember the days when trying to read the Gregory's or UBD could be just as frustrating but at least the book didn't sound like it was admonishing you for your last wrong turn.
Coming with live traffic updates, 3D landmarks, Places of Interest, 3D junction maps and two years of free map updates, along with its ability to be used as a Blue-tooth phone connection, the MY85XLT is a great idea for your car and an even better idea for Father's Day.
Pros: easy to use, fast response, can be used as a phone hand-free kit
Cons: provides occasional strange routes; sometimes can't find its own location
3.5 Shacks Out of 5