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ViaMichelin X-960 and X-970T: Sat-navs and tour guides

ViaMichelin has unveiled two new devices that will not only tell you where to go, but where to eat and which hotels to sleep in. Handy


ViaMichelin's new sat-navs focus on added extras to differentiate themselves from the crowd.

Both the X-960 and X-970 come with ViaMichelin's hotel, restaurant and tourist recommendations from the Michelin Guides, in addition to thousands of ViaMichelin points of interest such as speed cameras, petrol stations and other useful locations.

They give you access to ViaMichelin's dandy new services, including free map and speed camera updates and seasonal points of interest such as locations of big sporting events. You can also use a Web service called My ViaMichelin, which lets you set up itineraries for holidays to share with friends and family, for example. You can even synchronise address information with your PC.

While the two new devices look a little similar on the outside, they have different features on the inside.

The X-960 is a small, entry-level sat-nav that weighs about 136g and costs £160 for the UK version. It comes with maps of the UK and Ireland preinstalled and is ideal if you need something to pop in a bag when you're walking about.

The X-970 is basically the same, but comes with free traffic updates and Bluetooth, so that you can use it as a hands-free car kit. Unlike the other model, it will also read out road names. Expect to pay about £240 for the X-970 UK version.

If you want European maps, the X-960 European version costs about £200 and the X-970 European version about £400. -AL