Eclipse AVN2210p review: Eclipse AVN2210p

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Design: 9.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Eclipse AVN2210p provides a usable portable navigation system with a feature-rich, in-dash system for navigation, entertainment, and communication. Its intuitive interface for navigating digital audio connected via its USB connection is particularly nice.

The Bad The system's interface for playing digital audio discs is disappointing. In standalone mode, the TomTom device can lose its GPS signal in built-up areas; its lack of a pedestrian mode means that it's of limited use when on foot; and its sub two-hour battery life is way below par.

The Bottom Line The innovative Eclipse AVN2210p has many attractive features, including an intuitive navigation system, a great Bluetooth calling interface, and USB connectivity for digital audio. While it has a few usability drawbacks, the system is tough to beat for its price.

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The Eclipse AVN2210p is a novel addition to the aftermarket in-car navigation scene. It is the first system we have seen that combines the functionality of an in-dash GPS navigation device and media player with that of a standalone portable navigation device. It does this by using a TomTom Duo portable GPS device in combination with a unique docking mechanism, enabling drivers to insert and remove the touch screen navigation module at will. In its in-dash mode, the system can be used to play a variety of digital audio formats, including MP3 and WMA discs, and input from portable digital audio players via a front-mounted USB port. It can also be used right out of the box as a very useful Bluetooth hands-free calling interface with some advanced options, including instant phonebook transfer and text message playback.

Design
Apart from the hard button used to switch between map and audio view, all of the navigation functions on the Eclipse AVN2210p are controlled using the TomTom Duo's touch screen. Due to its dual functionality, the navigation screen on the Eclipse AVN2210p is far smaller than those on other double-DIN-size in-dash units. However, this size restriction does not impede functionality as much as it might, and maps and menus remain legible thanks to the TomTom's bright and colorful graphics. For digital audio playback, the Eclipse AVN2210p makes use of the same rotary volume knob/four-way push-button selector as that in the Eclipse CD3100. Curiously, disc-based audio cannot be controlled via the LCD touch screen, but media played via the USB port can.

Navigation
Whether the TomTom Duo device is docked or undocked in the AVN2210p cradle, all navigation functions are performed using its touch screen. Programming in a destination is straightforward, thanks to the colorful icons that populate each menu level. Destinations can be entered by address, ZIP code, city center, or cross street. Punching in an address on the system's touch screen keypad is easy and very quick, thanks to the impressive refresh rate of the menu level screens, and route calculation is equally swift. After selecting a route that meets their specifications (fastest, shortest, avoiding freeways, designated arrival time, etc.), drivers are given a whole host of features to preview their journeys before setting out. Specific route-preview options include: browse as text (gives a list of turn-by-turn directions); browse as images (shows each turn on the map); browse route on map; show route demo (runs through a virtual tour of the route, complete with turn-by-turn voice directions); and a route summary. When satisfied with the proposed route, the system gives turn-by-turn directions to a destination, either via the car's speakers (with the nav system docked) or via the TomTom Duo's built-in speaker. During route guidance, the screen displays roads in bright colors, with suggested turns illustrated with big, green arrows.

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Where to Buy

Eclipse AVN2210p

Part Number: AVN2210P Released: May 8, 2007
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date May 8, 2007
  • Voice navigation instructions