The Good The Alpine iXA-W407 features a large 7-inch color touch screen that makes it ideal for in-dash viewing. iPod and iPhone AV playback are included out of the box, as is Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling and audio streaming. GPS navigation and other features can be added with external modules.
The Bad Screen isn't adjustable for viewing angle. Browsing media is a bit clunky. Installation is more involved than it is on competing units.
The Bottom Line We're pleased with the Alpine iXA-W407's "less is more" approach to in-car entertainment. The interface is less cluttered, more responsive, and easier to navigate than the previous generation's.
Alpine iXA-W407 Digital Media Station
Last year, we took a look at the Alpine iXA-W404 and found that though the double-DIN receiver showed promise with its swipe-based interface, the OS just wasn't ready for prime time, so we decided to wait for the next iteration. Well, the next iteration is here and it's called the iXA-W407.
Compared with the iXA-W404, the Alpine iXA-W407 is a good example of a "less is more" approach. For starters, the physical controls have largely been removed. There's no double-action encoder knob--only a row of buttons along the bottom edge of the touch screen for volume control, slide left and right (which we'll discuss in a moment), source selection, and two setup buttons, labeled visual and setup.
Having fewer physical controls frees up real estate on the double-DIN-sized face for a bigger color touch screen. The iXA-W407's big 7-inch QVGA screen dwarfs the 4.3-inch display in the previous unit, which makes the W407 an ideal receiver for in-dash video playback. Alpine also seems to have increased the touch screen's (or GUI's) responsiveness, as touch inputs and screen swipes are registered almost immediately with none of the stutter that plagued the previous generation iXA.