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The car stereo that does everything

The car stereo that does everything

Pioneer showed off its long-awaited AVIC-Z1 at CES. This double-DIN in-dash car stereo brings in all the functions we would expect to see in a top-of-the-line head unit, then goes a little further. Most of the interface is accessed through its 7-inch touch screen, although a few buttons on the bezel give quick access to volume control and the main menu. We expect such functions as Bluetooth cell phone integration, navigation, and media playback, which the AVIC-Z1 delivers. But its 30GB hard drive and Microsoft Windows Automotive operating system allow for refinement.

For example, navigation includes live traffic from XM. Trip routing is intelligently adaptive so that if you consistently choose a different route then it suggests, it will start routing to your preferred route. In some areas of the country, navigation includes lane information, letting you know specifically which lane to be in for the next turn. With 11 million points of interest, it's easy to find gas stations, restaurants, stores, and attractions. The AVIC-Z1 has text-to-speech voice guidance, letting it tell you the names of roads you need to look for. A voice-command system lets you tell it what address to route to or select a media source. Its Bluetooth integration copies the phone book from a paired phone, and the interface has a number pad for dialing, letting you keep your phone in a pocket. Better yet, phone numbers are included for its points of interest and can be dialed through the Bluetooth integration. The screen folds down, revealing a DVD/CD slot. The AVIC-Z1 can rip CDs to its hard drive and tag them from its preloaded CDDB info. Finally, with an adapter from Pioneer, an iPod can be hooked up to the unit, and full control will be transferred to its interface.

Pioneer AVIC Z-1