The Alpine iXA-W404 takes the fantastic interface of Alpine's line of digital media receivers, stretches it vertically, and adds a new feature: a touch screen.
Now, you can control the unit using the lightning fast double-encoder knob or by lightly dragging your finger across and tapping the 4.3-inch QVGA color touch-screen monitor. The interface more or less apes Apple's coverflow, so users of iPods and iTunes should find it familiar.
The unit, like all of Alpine's digital media receivers, features a full-speed USB connection that's optimized for iPod, which you'll be getting a great deal of mileage out of due to the iXA-W404's lack of an optical drive.
Bluetooth handsfree, HD Radio with iTunes tagging, and satellite radio add-on modules are available, as is Alpine's IMPRINT digital-audio processing module. Final pricing for the unit is still up in the air.
In other news, Alpine has also released its iDA-X305. This is, for all intents and purposes, identical to the current iDA-X100 with the exceptions of an updated aesthetic, 5 more watts of max power (now 50 watt by 4 channels), and a "Works with iPhone" sticker on the box, which is interesting because, if we're not mistaken, the previous iDA-X100 and iDA-X100 already unofficially supported the iPhone.