Clarion Review of MiND Navi with Intel Atom, Linux, DVB-T and WLAN

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Clarion is shaking up the navigation device market: In the car, the MiND all functions of a traditional navigation systems. After getting it can transform itself into a portable mini-computer, surf the Internet in one, watch videos or listen to music. How well does the Janus unit, the test reveals.

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Navigating them all. Anyone who buys a GPS system, you are sure of a rule. If the manufacturer with navigation equipment still want to make something that they already have to offer more than just routing. The Hitachi Group belonging to the manufacturer Clarion has, therefore, a ‘Mobile Internet Navigation Device’ – MiND short – developed, which also serves as a mobile PC. Since late 2008, there is the all-rounder on the U.S. market. In Germany, the device that was originally announced in January 2009, to have only since July. The reason: There were problems with the DVB-T module, which are now resolved.


Even at first glance it is evident that the MiND is different than ordinary navigation devices. In addition to an external antenna connector and a microSD card slot brings the Navi with rather unusual connections: On the right sit-USB, micro USB and 3.5-millimeter jack.

The device offers a 4.8 inch display. Thanks to a resolution of 800 by 480 pixels, it is razor sharp content dar. It is not just about maps and how to navigate, but also photos, videos or Web pages. The MiND is in fact designed as a cross between a UMPC (ultra mobile PC), and navigation equipment.

The user connects the device plugged into the included car mount and cigarette lighter with the MiND will switch to car-mode home screen (drive mode) and displays the map and three Quick Links. Defaults are weather, news, and RealPlayer. The user is stored here to request other links. DVB-T mode and video of the real player in this mode the way blocked. The user switches the hybrid outside of his car, it drives the Mobile Homescreen high fashion – with full access to all programs.

Driving mode: Fleet Address input, fast route calculation

In the main menu of the driving mode, the user enters a print on the card to the address input. Typing the destination expire quickly, because after the first letter of the unit right place and street names found in the database. Confirm the address and start calculating the route, look less intuitive. But once the user has learned how to do it, prepares the route command no more problems.

Since the device runs Linux and uses a fast Intel Atom processor at 800 MHz, there are no delays in the entry. It’s inevitable. A city route is calculated within two to three seconds – there’s nothing here to complain. Will the driver while riding in the map and zoom in or zoom out the map to read a street name or get a better overview, the MiND is based on the new view instantly.

During the trip, says the street names of MiND and warns of impending usually three times turning maneuvers. The latest announcement from acoustic and is unfortunately only at the last second. Thus turning is only feasible for responsive driver. A visual lane guidance supplements the prompts. Here Clarion remains behind Garmin back, which already displays two turning maneuvers in a row. Too bad.

On the left side of the display shows estimated arrival time and remaining kilometers. The driver has the information that is always in view. Right, the user sees a small compass. In spite of the information fields remain in the 4.8-inch display is enough room for the card.

Mode mobile music and video entertainment, trips to the Web

MiND is taken out of the car, the home screen changes to the Mobile-mode view. Like on a small PC users are now functions as the Web browser, RealPlayer, MySpace, YouTube and e-mail. With the fingers of the user scrolls at lightning speed through the menu, which can show the way, as a pretty carousel. The touch screen acts almost as smooth while that of the iPhone .

The RealPlayer plays music or videos – either from the internal memory or a microSD card. The MiND supports formats such as RealAudio, RealVideo, MP3, Windows Media 9, AAC, HE-AAC, Ogg, H.264, H.263 and MPEG4. For movies, the user must take a few seconds to load into account. Music starts immediately.

Even if the display provides not just for the cinematic experience, it sweetens the one or the other to wait. The picture quality is very good, even the finest explosions gets the user with all the flying parts with accuracy. For full viewing pleasure we recommend to set the display brightness in the settings at maximum. Otherwise, the images are too dark and unrecognizable many details.

Very nice, the integrated DVB-T module is to television. Back on the left side is a telescopic antenna. A transmitter can automatically scan the channels. In buildings, there is hardly any reception, the antenna performance in this unit is too weak.

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Clarion Review of MiND Navi with Intel Atom, Linux, DVB-T and WLAN, Seekyt
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.