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The right side of the unit contains LCD brightness and contrast controls, while the power switch and the IR port are located on the left. Around back, you'll find a USB 2.0 port (for map and firmware upgrades) and a 12-volt power connector. Unfortunately, an AC adapter isn't included, so you'll have to purchase that separately for $18.95. Finishing out the NavOne are a port for connecting an external antenna to the bottom of the device and a socket for mounting the unit on a tripod. The suction-cup mounting hardware clips onto a socket on the back of the unit and attaches to the vehicle's windshield. The mount is very flexible and can be adjusted to any viewing angle, but we found that it couldn't support the weight of the NavOne for long periods and became dislodged when traveling over rough terrain.
In addition to the usual vehicle-navigation features, including voice-guided and text-based driving directions (in English, Spanish, and French); automatic route creation using addresses or POI; automatic route recalculation; and compass, odometer, speedometer, and trip-timer functions, the NavOne 3000 gives you trip-planning capabilities. These features let you preprogram up to 10 destinations for each trip, and you can store up to five trips (or plans) at a time. We liked that you can mark and store waypoints with this unit, a feature not available on many vehicle-navigation systems. Also unique is the IR port, which lets you beam address information from your PDA (compatible with Windows Pocket PC 2002 or later and Palm OS 5.0 or later) directly into the unit's address database.
Although the NavOne is ready to use right out of the box, we recommend thoroughly reading the user manual to get acquainted with the menu system, which is unintuitive and requires knowledge of the submenu structure to plan trips and display certain status screens. Entering address or city information requires scrolling through the letters of the alphabet using the rocker switch, which is an inconvenient and slow process; again, this is where a touch-screen solution is needed. Furthermore, while the screen displays GPS-satellite signal strength in bars, the unit lacks a true GPS status page for tracking the number and the position of locked satellites.The first time we powered up the Cobra NavOne 3000, it acquired a strong fix (measured by green signal bars) within 30 seconds and, on subsequent tries, was equally fast. We tested the unit in New York City and were impressed with the accuracy of its voice-guided directions and the precision with which it tracked our location on the map. Also impressive was the NavOne's ability to hold an adequate signal lock in areas where the sky was partially blocked by trees and tall buildings. As expected, we momentarily lost reception in lower Manhattan, but the NavOne reacquired a fix within 5 seconds. The internal gyroscope also did a good job providing a virtual lock while we drove through the Battery Tunnel, although we were out of the tunnel for about 20 seconds before our location on the map reflected our true position.