By Eric Yang
on 2.29.08

harmon.kardon.gps.810.guide.+.play.screen.1.jpgFactory car navigation systems are one of the last bastions of sheer profit motive in the car industry. Well, outside of repairs. $2,500-$3,000 for a crippled navigation system that’s outdated within a year. Seriously?

Take our advice, forego the factory nav and get a portable GPS. You’ll get twice the features, newer technology and be able to take it with you between rides or places. Spend the extra cash on other options, upgraded wheels, a used Hyundai or even a year’s worth of gas.

We’re getting ourselves the new Harmon Kardon Guide+Play GPS-810. It’s a full-featured system with a 4.3″ screen and wireless control knob so you can place the controls anywhere you feel comfortable. No more reaching for the screen when it’s mounted far up on the dash. Sure, the nav has 12 million points of interest, built-in maps of the U.S. and Canada but ups the ante with these drool worthy features after the jump.

What this means to you: In-car video? Check. In-car music player? Check. In-car handsfree phone calls? Check. Live traffic updating? Check. Oh yeah, and it’s a navigation system too.

Cost: $400 @ Best Buy

harmon.kardon.gps.810.guide.+.play.jpg

  • Wireless controller knob
  • Audio player (supports MP3/AAC/WMA formats) and headphone jack
  • Video player supports MPEG4 (AVI)and H.264 formats, as well as downloads using Windows Media® DRM10
  • Wireless FM transmitter transmits voice prompts, music, and phone conversation over your car’s stereo
  • Includes car/home power adapters, USB cable, carrying case, and rechargeable battery with up to 4 hours of life
  • 4.3″ color (480 x 272 pixels) touchscreen control5
  • 12 million of points of interest
  • Internal flash memory includes maps of the U.S. and Canada
  • Text-to-speech technology lets voice prompts announce road names over the built-in speaker
  • Includes FM-TMC traffic-info receiver (additional subscription fees apply after free 90-day trial)
  • SD card slot (supports SDHC cards)
  • Bluetooth technology for making and receiving hands-free calls with your compatible cell phone

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