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ClarionMind may already be outdated

The lack of a dedicated data connection and poor integration among its applications keeps the ClarionMind from fulfilling the potential that its hardware possesses.

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We had high expectations for the ClarionMind when it arrived at our offices for testing. Touting an Intel Atom processor, Web connectivity, and multimedia playback, the ClarionMind appeared to be a quantum leap in in-car navigation and computing.

There's just one problem. They seem to have forgotten the Internet connection.

The ClarionMind lacks a cellular antenna of its own, instead relying on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-tethered phones with data plans to supply its Web connection. This is a bit like bringing a knife to a gunfight when you're entering a market populated with connected GPS devices (such as the Garmin 880 and TomTom GO 740 Live) and GPS-enabled smartphones (such as the iPhone 3GS and the Palm Pre).

The ClarionMind shows much promise. Its highly customizable interface is very easy to navigate, and the feature set is quite impressive. Hopefully, the next generation of 'Mind will bring a built-in data connection and perhaps address some of the stability issues as well.

Check out the full review of the ClarionMind.