iriver W7 & Pioneer AVIC-F500BT
Multitasking portable devices aren’t a new concept. Most new GPS units offer the option of media file playback through an SD card slot or some other means of transfer. The option is added as more of a side note to the primary function, so less attention gets paid to things like the interface and sound quality. These two devices, announced at CES, have fully embraced this prevailing wave of device integration while maintaining their individuality. A trick the iPod touch knows well.
Pioneer has realized their hybrid concept by taking the voice-recognition capabilities of and in-dash GPS and combining them with the flexibility of portable navigation. This system, equipped with USB and SD card playback, can act as a standalone media player and portable navigation device or it can connect up to the car audio system via the AUX input. The main advancement here is the inclusion of newer VoiceBox software. This software is designed to recognize more natural, ‘conversational’ commands; rather then systematic commands and controls both phone calls and iPod interface. No working models exist as of today, yet release is set for March at a price that is yet to be determined.
iriver is known for superior sound processing in their media players. So, their version of a hybrid device is skewed towards the Media player side of things; the GPS isn’t built in. The W7 gives you the option of adding a GPS antenna that slides on to the back and also mounts to a cradle. All the add-ons you’d expect from iriver, like an FM tuner, voice recorder, large touchscreen, music, video, text, and photos are included along with an electronic dictionary, SD expansion slot, and Flash games; this makes the iriver W7 one versatile portable navigation device. The release is set in the US for spring of this year…This ship date shouldn’t be a problem considering Koreans have been rockin’ these since November.
Say tuned in to find out more about iRiver W10 with GSM phone built in.