Navigon 40 Easy review: Navigon 40 Easy

Roadshow Editors' Rating

7.5 Overall

The Good Lets you find the cheapest car parks; Takes you from the car park to your door; Easy access to your favourite POI categories.

The Bad Frustrating user interface; No voice recognition.

The Bottom Line The Navigon 40 Easy is a feature-rich, but relatively affordable sat-nav that's let down only by its frustrating user interface.

The Navigon 40 Easy is Navigon's 'Goldilocks' sat-nav, sitting above the Navigon 20 but below the 70 in the company's pure sat-nav model range. It's available in three guises; Easy, Plus and Premium. This Easy edition lacks the motion sensor, text-to-speech and spoken TMC of the Plus model and does without the Bluetooth hands-free, voice commands, 3D graphics and Live services in the Premium model.

The Navigon 40 Easy has the same user interface, mapping data as the smaller Navigon 20 Plus, so make sure you read that review for the full lowdown on those features. It's available to buy now for around £140.

Big screen

The primary reason for buying the Navigon 40 Easy over the Navigon 20 is its larger screen. The unit comes with a healthy-sized 4.3-inch touchscreen display that runs in a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. Naturally, this makes the unit slightly easier to read than the Navigon 20 and also a tiny bit easier to use if you've enormous sausage fingers.

The Navigon 40 Easy lacks the motion sensing gubbins seen on the Plus model, so you'll have to exert yourself physically and tap the screen to bring up the menu instead of waving a casual hand at it. 

Sadly, Navigon hasn't taken advantage of the extra screen real estate on offer to tweak the fiddly postcode entry system. Like the Navigon 20, you'll still need to flick back and forth between numeric and alphanumeric entry screens a total of six times to enter a seven-digit postcode. That's fairly disgraceful given the fact the screen is big enough to accommodate the full alphabet and numbers 0-9 simultaneously.

Hot spots

Most sat-nav-using motorists will admit points of interest are an occasionally useful feature, but accessing them usually involves scrolling through dozens of useless options, by which time you'll probably have found the POI you're looking for anyway. Navigon has attempted to take the pain out of POIs, however, by introducing its MyBest POI feature.

Using this, users can select their three most commonly used POI categories (e.g. hotels, parking garages and restaurants), which can then be quickly accessed from the navigation menu without having to scroll through the full list of POI categories. It's a thoughtful feature, but one that will rarely be used if you're only after a device to get you from A to Z.

Park on the cheap

One of the Navigon 40's most useful features is its Clever Parking feature. Not only does it find you a local parking lot, it'll also provide information on opening hours and prices. This is particularly useful in city centres, as it allows you to give a wide berth to overpriced car parks. Not all car parks in your local vicinity are listed, and we found the prices for one or two car parks was out of date, but it's a feature we really appreciate nonetheless.

Final destination

If you find yourself getting lost between a car park and your final destination, you'll love the Navigon 40 Easy's Last Mile feature. Once the device has taken you to a car park located near your final destination, it will then offer to guide you, on foot in pedestrian mode, from the car park to the door of wherever it is you're trying to get to.

As an added bonus, it'll even take you back to where you parked your car. Obviously, physically carrying the device with you isn't always ideal, and users could simply resort to using the mapping function on their smart phones to take them to their ultimate destination, but it's a thoughtful, effective addition nonetheless.

Conclusion

The Navigon 40 Easy has some usability foibles that could drive you insane, but handy features such as Clever Parking or Last Mile make it a useful companion on unfamiliar journeys. 

Edited by Jennifer Whitehead

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