Top positive review
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Eclipse AVN4430 better than most...
on April 25, 2010
I did an awful lot of research before deciding on the Eclipse AVN4430. There are a few important truths I learned about in-dash nav/stereo combinations that potential buyers should be aware of:
(1) They are expensive. But cost is not necessarily the best indicator of how good the unit will actually perform.
(2) None of them is perfect. There's just too much technology involved; and the more complicated they are, the more likely you are to experience glitches.
(3) Just about all of them are a pain-in-the-neck to operate. The manuals aren't much help, they are not particularly intuitive, and none are very well menu-driven.
With those aspects in mind, I'm quite pleased with the AVN4430. As others have indicated, it has a few failings. But if you search reviews for far more expensive nav/stereos by Kenwood, Pioneer, Alpine, et cetera, you'll find the complaints come with the territory.
The Eclipse loads up in a reasonable amount of time, has a great GPS unit in the Tom Tom, and does not require a course in "avanced electronics" to operate. I especially like that the GPS can be easily removed for updates via my home computer and used in other vehicles. Try that with virtually all other makes and models. And at around $600, it does what the $1000-$1200 systems do as well or better.
I'll finish by writing that my wife has a top-of-the-line (and quite expensive)Kenwood Excelon in her vehicle, and she continues to be frustrated with it after nearly a year of ownership. It's just too difficult to operate and the GPS is problematic. After using my Eclipse just one time, she said it was far more user-friendly.