Back before the explosion of funky new high-tech gadgetry, driving was often a tedious way to get from points A to B. Drivers would arrive at their destination with the sudden realization that they’d completely zoned out during their hour of commute. Lost drivers exercised their thumbs flipping frantically through street directories. And who hasn’t experienced the horn-honking frustration of crawling through a traffic jam after a stressful day at work?
In today’s hectic modern day world, developers are looking for newer and better ways to allow consumers to enjoy the few hassle-free moments they have while commuting to and from work. The last few years have seen a growing market for in-dash multimedia systems. Our Elinz team investigated the most commonly wanted features and came up with the following list:
• GPS with text-to-speech functionality
• Bluetooth connectivity (to allow hands-free mobile phone use)
• Ability to watch TV and DVDs (great for the kids or when stuck in traffic)
• SD/USB slots (for those long trips where carrying a stack of CDs simply isn’t practical)
• Radio connectivity
So, which is the best in-dash system on the market?
Our instinctive reaction was to yell, “Ours!” However, realizing that our opinion was just a wee bit biased, we decided to visit our local JB Hi-Fi to see what other goodies were out for sale.
The first thing we noticed was the pricing. At best, the most affordable top-of-the-range model was still slightly over twice the price of our best unit.
You may be thinking, “That must be because one is better quality.” Not so. Our units are so much more affordable simply because we buy in bulk straight from the manufacturer. We save hundreds of dollars by bypassing the middle men, and pass all the savings to our customers. As an online operating company, we also save on rental costs. Savings, again, go to our customers.
The second thing we noticed was the functions offered by other units. It seemed like the majority of them focused on watching DVDs, with the GPS/TV function as an additional (and extremely pricey) bonus. We compiled a comparison table with the differences between ours and one of the best units we could find on the market:
Elinz Electronics (DELEGADVB-T) Pioneer (AVH-P4250DVD)
GPS enabled Yes No
Bluetooth enabled Yes No
Playback file types DVD, DVD-RW, VCD, CD, CD-R, DVD, CD, WMA, WAV
CD-RW, MP3, MP4, WMA, AVI, MP3, AAC
In-built digital TV tuner Yes No
In-built radio tuner Yes Yes
Ipod/iphone compatible* Yes Yes
SD card/USB compatible Yes Yes
Picture-in-picture Yes No
Touch screen Yes Yes
Detachable control panel (theft deterrent) Yes No
Compatible with reverse camera Yes Yes
Dual zone functionality Yes Yes
Car factory logo startup screen Yes No
Price* $488 $1,049
*With certain ipod/iphones only. Check with companies to determine compatibility of your ipod/iphone
**Prices are excluding delivery cost. Prices are as quoted on product websites on November 18th 2010
So, again. Which is the best in-dash system on the market? We’re sure we don’t need to tell you our answer. Stay tuned for our next post, where we’ll be talking about the must-haves for any long road trip.