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Eclipse bridges the gap between in-dash and portable navigation

Eclipse unveils the AVN 2210p


Eclipse kicked off its CES 2007 press conference with the unveiling of the AVN2210p, an in-dash navigation and multimedia system that doubles as a handheld portable navigation device. The system comes in two parts, with a standalone portable navigation device, similar to the TomTom One, slotting into a double-DIN-sized audio unit installed in a car's dash.

The AVN 2210p's SD card-based navigation system features real-time traffic information as part of TomTom's optional service package, and can be updated by downloading maps from the Internet. The navigation system provides 3D maps and turn-by-turn voice directions, which play either through the car's speakers (when the system is docked), or via a built-in speaker (when the unit is detached).

When docked in the audio bezel, the 3.5-inch touch screen navigation unit acts as a control interface for all of the AVN2210p's audio and communication features.

Like the Eclipse AVN6600 that we reviewed last year, the AVN2210p is compatible with iPods (an iPod dock transfers controls for song selection and playback to the unit's touch screen), and can be used as a Bluetooth hands-free calling interface with the addition of an optional module. It can also be used as a receiver for either XM or Sirius satellite radio with separate subscriptions.

A USB port on the front of the audio unit enables drivers to play digital audio files from a thumbdrive or other portable media players.

Eclipse executives also touted the ability of the AVN 2210p to download content from the Internet via GSM mobile devices. Software for content download and playback is available as an option from TomTom's Plus services. The system also works as a garden-variety regular CD player (the entire faceplate rolls down to reveal a single CD slot) with the capability to play MP3s and WMA-encoded discs. The AVN 2210p will be available in stores in the spring and will retail for around $900.