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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you guys think?

Unavi or NaviSurfer.

Navisurfer


It's been a while since we've heard anything about the NaviSurfer II, but for those patiently awaiting the update of this commuter computer, VIC Ltd. has just given the thing a pretty hefty overhaul. The new NaviSurfer II UBU-3G runs on an auto-specific Ubuntu 10.10 and sports a 7-inch touchscreen, 250GB hard drive, 2GB DDR2 RAM, 3G HSDPA modem, and three USB 2.0 ports. Possibly the most useful upgrade of all, however, is the inclusion of a built-in GPS receiver, rocking a Navit navigation system. Unfortunately for those lacking in the dashboard department, this sucker's Double DIN, or about twice the size of the standard car radio, but if you've got room for the thing, the NaviSurfer runs €300 (about $400).

Update: The VIC Ltd website is currently down -- looks like someone might be throwing a little too much traffic their way.
Source: VIC Ltd NaviSurfer II UBU-3G in-car PC gets built-in GPS -- finally -- Engadget

Note: Site is currently down, guess engadget sent a bit to much traffic.
 

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Neat product but not sure they match up exactly. It's kinda like comparing apple's to oranges. This until based on it's size would need to replace the stereo and therefore would not replace the blue screen at top like the Unavi does. The price seems really nice and I like the screen but those buttons on the upper left hand side are gross.
 

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unavi ties into the existing radio and bluetooth system.

its pretty much just replacing the radio display with one that is a gps.
 

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unavi ties into the existing radio and bluetooth system.

its pretty much just replacing the radio display with one that is a gps.
Which is why I won't buy it; you can't get guidance while listening to music and have the nav dim the music and speak... This unit will probably do that, but you may lose all steering contols and possibly BT phone integration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was just curious, I personally think im going to go with the unavi. However, the only thing i like with it is the 3g data.
 

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3g is nice, but you have to pay monthly for another cell line + data plan :p
unavi- cost is a big issue with this.

If anything, just to a do the DIY linked above with a viewsonic viewpad 7" it's 3g ready too.

I think I'm going to be doing the same thing with an archos 70. I don't need 3g connectivity.

what i need in the nav are:
-android 2.2 froyo
-mic
-bluetooth

the archos doesn't have gps out of the box, but you can get a bluetooth gps module and download the navi software, so you can mount the module anywhere in the car. The mic would be for google voice, integration.

I plan on using an arduino to control power related sequences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The 3g is not a cost issue, free for me. However, with using another tablet i really don't want to have to move the blue screen, at least with unavi you replace it.
 

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what i don't like about the unavi is that it uses a distro of microsoft CE. the optional obd2 port integration is a plus, though i wish they used a version of android instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
what i don't like about the unavi is that it uses a distro of microsoft CE. the optional obd2 port integration is a plus, though i wish they used a version of android instead.
Agree +1.
 

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True, but ....

I don't think Android was nearly as far along when the uNavi was first developed. Heck, my cellphone still only had Android 1.6 available for it for a long time after I owned the uNavi!

My other vehicle is a Jeep Patriot, and I bought a Koolertron replacement stereo for it last week. It looks just like a factory original unit but gives you a touchscreen GPS (Windows CE 5.0 based too, running iGo 8 GPS software), bluetooth and both iPod and USB/SD card integration, plus plays DVD movies and CDRs with MP3s or regular music discs.

To be honest though? I have the same issues with it as all these other WinCE devices so far. The user-interfaces are always "amateurish" and they've got bugs and weaknesses that let you know they're not original factory equipment by a long-shot.

For example, when you go to the GPS screen, it's obvious they're launching it as a separate app that they put in the background if you move away from the map screen and back to something else like the FM radio screen or the iPod screen. You can still hear the spoken directions (and yes, it quiets the music playing to speak and raises the volume back to normal when it's done talking) ... BUT, the spoken directions it give suck compared to my stand-alone GPSs I've used (Garmin, Navigon, etc.). If I'm on Interstate 40, for example, and need to get onto I-270 north? iGo will simply say "Exit the motorway in 1/4th. mile" ... "Exit the motorway in 400 feet." Name-brand units will say, "In 1/4th. mile, take the ramp, right, onto Interstate 270 north." BIG difference! But since iGo is running as a backgrounded task, you can't view the map to see exactly what it wants you to do without the music stopping first!

Other bugs I already found include iGo 8 not saving some of the settings, such as de-selecting the option to be warned when you exceed the speed limit on a road. If you tap to un-check that box? It's check-marked again the next time you use the GPS. I had to manually edit a SYS.TXT file on the SD card to get it disabled.

On my uNavi, I've always had issues too. Occasionally, I start my car and the "trip.exe" file that simulates the blue LCD screen that was removed doesn't always start properly. To see things like my AC/heater settings or my radio info, I have to manually go to an "ETC" menu on it and tap the option to enable the Trip program to get it to come back when that happens. One of the time zone setting screens is still in Korean, despite everything set to use English. And by its design (so not a "bug" but just the nature of the device), you can't hear it speak over your stereo if you turn your stereo to a setting other than AUX -- because it patches into the AUX/line input jack to get its audio to the factory stereo. Again, amateurish.

So frankly, as these vehicles get more and more sophisticated and people expect everything like bluetooth hands-free integration, GPS integration, and ability to remote control iPods? The original factory systems that can do all of it are starting to look far superior to the aftermarket "we rolled our own" stuff out there. There's really no good reason it couldn't be done better ... except it seems like nobody designing this stuff really has a good, solid software development team behind them, writing something from scratch.


what i don't like about the unavi is that it uses a distro of microsoft CE. the optional obd2 port integration is a plus, though i wish they used a version of android instead.
 

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i believe that android was on 2.1 and froyo was in beta a year ago, when I was researching tablets.

3.0 will be coming out soon, but don't want to upgrade until I've seen working vids of someone tablets running it with the features that I need.

one other thing that I was looking for is a capacitive screen, meaning glass and no pixel distortions when touching.

reading reviews of the viewpad, I don't think it would actually be good for navi. They say that viewing it at an angle is bad, even though it has a glass screen too.


EDIT: they post updates for unavi in their forum towards the bottom of the main page on here :p.

EDIT... again :p : Think I'm going to get the dell streak 5 tomorrow. only $50 with 2 year. Need to replace my craptastic iphone 3g (because of condition). Gives me a chance to mess with froyo before I commit to actually getting a tablet.

oh another thing, froyo has tethering built in, so you can get pretty much any wifi/bluetooth enabled tablet and get data cell service to it that way. Not sure how automated it will be to connect. i.e. might have to tell it to tether every time when bluetooth connects or not.

i wonder if you can connect bluetooth from the tablet to the car and have it push nav notifications through the car speakers that way. I'll see when I get my new cell and mess with it :p.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I imagine that there would be a wiring harness much like any other aftermarket unit.
 
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