on July 19, 2009
Pros: large hard drive, lots of POI's, colorful accurate maps.
Cons: slow performance, poor FM transmitter quality, poor PC integration, poor route navigator calculator, infrequent lockups, MP3 playback kills performance even further.
Summary: I previously had a Tomtom GO 300 which got stolen from my vehicle, so I replaced it with the Jensen because it was on sale. There are some advantages that the Jensen has over the Tomtom, such as its maps tend to be much more accurate and uptodate, with much more POI's. The Jensen comes with a huge 12GB hard drive rather than on a flash-based storage, though you can add SD flash to it through a slot; but this seems to be redundant, as the hard drive is more than big enough.
The unit uses Windows CE 5.0 as its operating system, which might explain it poor performance. But despite this, there doesn't seem to be a way to upgrade the OS, and surprisingly there isn't very much PC integration available. With Tomtom, they gave you a CD with a PC app that was used to update and upgrade its GPS units. Nothing of the sort exists for Jensen, the CD comes with only documentation. Plugging the Jensen into a PC USB port just makes its internal hard drive show up, which you can then use to copy files from your PC hard drives to the Jensen hard drive. But there's no integration between them otherwise.
The unit frequently comes up with poor choices of routes, despite having good quality accurate maps available. For example, even if you have set it up to use the fastest route, it usually ends up picking the shortest route instead, which isn't necessarily the fastest route. Also it picks up the satellites extremely slowly, it will sometimes not pick them up even after 10 minutes! And even when it has picked up the satellites, it's navigation speed is poor, it doesn't seem to keep up with the actual position of the vehicle very well.
Don't bother using its built-in FM transmitter to tune your radio to it. The quality of the sound is terrible, lots of interference noise comes through all of the time. And don't bother using its MP3 playback either. Not only would you need to listen to the music through this crappy FM transmitter, playing MP3's also kills its performance while navigating. It really can't multitask very well.
The unit seems to be packed with a lot of interesting features, at least on paper. But it hasn't been implemented well. A jack of all trades, a master of none.
on December 4, 2008
Price paid $299
Instruction manual is below average.
No telephone customer support, only email.
GPS: Tracks position quickly. Accuracy of voice prompts is perfect. Road names only given for highways. Lets you know if exit ramp is on left or right side of highway. Can use shortest time or shortest distance. Somewhat tedious at times to use the menu for POI's. Route can also be made by tapping the desired location on the map. Overall decent functionality of GPS. A step below my prior GPS (Lowrance iWay 500c) in terms of ease of use and the appearance of the display. In fact, one of the weaknesses is the somewhat cheap appearance of the map display.
Uses the XM mini tuner which needs to be purchased separately for $30. Excellent display for the XM. 30 presets. No record feature. While a bit bulky to carry, there is a battery and I have used the NVXM1000 on the go as well. Not small enough to exercise with but good to bring to a ball game, etc. Requires an XM antenna connected to the back of the device. (I had an old 25 foot antenna that I delicately cut and spliced down to about 2 feet. This was a bit difficult - there is a small firm central wire, then a clear insulating layer, then wires, then the outer shell of the wire. I gingerly separated the central wire, removed its insulation and soldered the two central wires together. The outer wires were then soldered together.) The FM transmitter is a bit weak and uses channels in the 96.1 - 99.9 range. At least with my car stereo, the signal to noise ratio is less than optimal; so I have opted to use the earphone jack to connect to my tape deck. The NVXM1000 can also be directly connected to your car stereo. Easy connection if you have an audio input jack on your car stereo. Using headphones, the sound quality is good. There is an internal speaker which is functional (sound quality equivalent to a cheap transistor radio). No record feature. It does have a memory feature to notify you of songs or artists you like.
MP3: Called Jensen for help for MP3 playback. All songs must be placed in a single folder. The MP3 playback features are minimal. Only options are random or alphabetical play.
Photos: Like the mp3 feature, unable to get it to work.
Overall, a decent value at $299.