This is the baby of the 2009 Navman range and, as such, it comes fitted with a bog-standard, entry-level 3.5-inch touchscreen. This is quite a step down from the rest of the MY range, which all sport larger-than-normal 4.7-inch screens. The lack of screen girth is most evident when entering destinations, where the keys on the virtual keyboard are on the teeny weeny side.
On the map screen, instructions are only slightly smaller than on the big screen models. This small miracle is achieved by moving the distance-to-destination/time/speed box, which normally resides in the top right-hand corner, to an awkward spot just underneath the info bar that runs along the top of the screen. Another item that's migrated is the touch sensitive menu button, which moves to the bottom left corner. The on/off/reset slide switch remains on the unit's top edge.
Despite being considerably smaller overall, the MY30 is thicker and chunkier than its siblings. That said, it utilises the same windshield mount as the rest of the MY range; it's quite compact, so glovebox storage shouldn't be too much of an issue, and it sticks like a limpet.
The stark minimalism of the map screen and the large pastel coloured icons of the main menu would make Samuel Beckett happy. Destination entry is a snap, especially when using the keyword search feature. Unless, of course, you're scrolling through a list of the 1000 George streets in your city. By default, the menus are navigated via a button scrolling arrangement, although the iPhone-style slide-to-scroll system is still available — it's better than on last year's much maligned S-Series Platinum models, but still occasionally confuses a slide with a button press and vice versa.
For an entry-level device, the MY30 is reasonably specced, with text-to-speech, junction view, lane guidance, camera and school zone warnings, and the aforementioned keyword search. Do keep in mind that if you spend AU$100 more for the MY50T you'll get a much larger 4.7-inch screen and traffic messaging.
The MY30 contains the latest Navteq maps, but unlike the latest set of Whereis maps, lane guidance is limited to some major intersections, as well as highways, freeways and motorways. Likewise the junction view feature, which replaces the usual map screen with large virtual representation of an upcoming turn, is limited to highway and motorway exits.
As we've experienced on other Navman units, speed and red light camera locations are signalled by a loud ding-dong followed by a prominent on-screen warning. While school zones are heralded in the same manner, they border on being useless. That's because the warnings pop up all the time, regardless of the time or days they're actually in operation — after a while we tended to tune out all school and camera warnings. Also, the zones are defined as any spot within half-a-kilometre radius of a school, so often don't correspond to the actual school zones.
Like all sat nav devices, the MY30 will get you to your destination, but the route chosen will usually be slower than that devised by a local. As with the MY50 before it, we noticed a large number of missing traffic restrictions, such as no right turns, in Sydney's inner suburbs. Wander off course and the MY30 will take quite a few more missed turns before charting a truly new course that doesn't involve u-turns (frequently illegal or impossible to execute ones) or right turns onto major roads without the aid of a traffic light (despite the presence of traffic light locations).
In the CBD, performance was variable. Like the vast majority of portable nav devices, the MY30 sometimes placed us a street or two across from where we actually were, as signals from the GPS satellites above were bounced around by the giant concrete and glass structures around us. Text-to-speech street name pronunciation was hit and miss: phoneme information allowed some prominent Aboriginal road names, like Sydney's Parramatta Road, to be uttered intelligibly, while others still required some mental gymnastics to figure out.
The MY30 is a good looking device at a good price, and it works reasonably well most of the time. With the TomTom One 140's recent price cut to AU$299, we'd (just) go for that over the MY30 on the basis that it offers greater lane guidance and the ability to not only correct map errors, but to download and share these with other users.