If you've ever thought, "Gee, it would be great if Nascar's Dale Earnhardt Jr. could ride with me everywhere I go, giving directions and being awesome," then Rightway GPS has just the navigation device for you.
The Rightway Spotter Dale Jr. Edition is a fairly basic portable navigation device (PND) with a fairly standard feature set, but it adds prerecorded turn-by-turn directions by Dale Earnhardt Jr. The unit also includes photos and videos of Earnhardt that can be played back directly on the device with its built-in multimedia player.
However, while Earnhardt may be quick on the track, on the road we found that getting rid of his voice and using the hidden text-to-speech function made navigating much faster and much easier.
The Rightway Spotter adopts the standard PND design, with a 4.3-inch LCD touch screen dominating the front panel. The display's resolution is 480x272 pixels. The screen features an antiglare coating, which reduces glare when used outdoors. Direct sunlight proved to be too much for the unit's backlight, resulting in washed-out colors.
Along the Spotter's top panel are an on/off switch, buttons for Menu and Sleep, and a raised hump where, presumably, the GPS antenna lives. A hidden stylus is recessed into the top left corner. Down the left side are a headphone jack, a power adapter port, a mini USB port, and an SD card slot. The unit's speaker is located on the back panel.
The unit features 64MB of RAM and no internal memory, so all the data for maps, points of interest, and media is preloaded onto a 2GB SD card that ships with the unit. The CoPilot navigation application will not even launch if the SD card is removed or the "copilot" directory on the card is damaged, so be careful.
The Spotter ships with a 12-volt power adapter, suction cup mounting cradle, an adhesive dash mounting adapter, and instruction manual.
The Rightway Spotter, Dale Jr. Edition's most distinctive feature is the use of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s voice for turn-by-turn directions. To accomplish this, Rightway recorded Earnhardt saying about 80 phrases such as "Hang a left" and "Back her down, you've gotta turn around."
In addition to Earnhardt's voice, the Nascar star's likeness appears on the unit's boot screen and the menu icons and vehicle position indicators feature Earnhardt's related imagery. A set of custom POIs called "Dale's Favorites" that lists restaurants and businesses frequented by Earnhardt himself. Additionally, the unit ships with an SD card preloaded with photos and videos of, you guessed it, Earnhardt.
The Spotter features turn-by-turn directions spoken in three English dialects (American, U.K., and Australian) with 17 selectable voices. Six of these voices are computer generated text-to-speech voices that read street names aloud. Earnhardt's is not one of them.
An itinerary feature allows users to fairly easily plan complex routes with multiple stops.