Let's get the most important fact about the Binatone Carrera X350 out of the way. It's available with a zebra-print fascia. If you need more information on this bargain- basement sat-nav we'd be very surprised. But what follows are the non-zebra print details about this £80 GPS device.
For your 80 squids you get an 89mm (3.5-inch) screen, which is capable of directing you to your destination in a 3D or 2D manner, should you have an aversion to the third dimension. There's also spoken navigation available, with turn-by-turn instructions. You also get told where the government is keeping its little road-side
piggy banks speed cameras, so you can ensure you're sticking to the speed limit.
UK and Ireland maps are installed as standard, but if you opt for the Europe-wide coverage then you'll be looking at an extra £40, taking the cost up to £120. With the UK maps you get thousands of points-of-interest pre-installed on the device, so never again will you have to hunt for a Little Chef, the nation's favourite roadside eatery.
The design of the Binatone isn't actually that bad either. The screen isn't the biggest we've seen, so you'll need pretty good eyesight to make everything out, but the voice guidance should help out with that when you're whizzing along the byways and highways of our great country. You get a little pen to prod the screen with if your fingers are the size of butcher's choice sausages. This is handy for text input, but every other menu has icons large enough for even the most meaty fingered to hit the right spot, which is good, because no one wants to be messing around with a pen at 60mph.
We noticed that while setting up our route (to Little Chef Hounslow, our local restaurant) there were times when the unit was unwilling to proceed. We aren't sure if that's because it wants to save us from some aspect of the Little Chef eating experience -- surely not -- or if the unit itself is easy to confuse. Jabbing the screen with the pen didn't seem to help that much either.
We're going to be bringing you a full review of the X350 at some point soon, one that actually involves taking the sat-nav out of a building and testing its ability to take us places -- possibly not a Little Chef. So stay tuned for that. -Ian Morris