Binatone's first foray into the crowded GPS satnav market, the Binatone Carrera X430 Europe, is a qualified success.
The Binatone Carrera X430 Europe coped well when driving around the more obscure back-roads of north London - a unique challenge that has defeated many lesser satnav devices.
And the 4.3in screen is a beauty. It's bright and plenty big enough, although the Binatone Carrera X430 Europe's quirky scroll function has a tendency to kick in just when you don’t want it to. It will, for instance, move you about 500 yards down the road just at the point you want it to scroll out. (For 'quirky', read irritating.)
Directions are given in a clear voice, with plenty of time to prepare for turns. The instructions are repeated several times, but the Binatone Carrera X430 Europe's not nearly as annoying as some other satnav devices we've tested. And the Binatone Carrera X430 Europe has a plethora of POIs (points of interest), including restaurants, petrol stations and speed camera alerts.
Oh, and the Binatone Carrera X430 Europe comes with a little stylus to use with its touchscreen. But as you can never actually use it when you’re driving, we found the pointer a little, ahem, pointless.
There are no additional functions, but that's fine. The Binatone Carrera X430 Europe is a satnav device alone, but how often do you use your GPS as a picture viewer or an MP3 player?
Sadly, in our tests the Binatone Carrera X430 Europe's battery drained very quickly, and it had a tendency to crash.
You can select the quickest or the most direct route for your car, as well as avoiding motorways, and their are pedestrian, van and motorcycle options, too.
We challenged the Binatone Carrera X430 Europe to take us, in the shortest route possible, from north London to the PC Advisor Summer Party. (Heaven alone knows why PC Advisor chose to have its Summer Party at the end of September, when the rain was sheeting down and gale force winds were a-blowing - but we feel this added to the stress test element of the Binatone Carrera X430 Europe's thorough workout.)
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Binatone Carrera X430 Europe's 'shortest' route took us off the M25 earlier than expected, around a few fields, and then back onto the A12 up towards Essex. Fortunately your quick-thinking reviewer ignored the suggested route and continued on his merry way to Maldon.
Happily, the Binatone Carrera X430 Europe was quick off the mark when we strayed from our agreed route and, given the complexity of the journey we specified, we were impressed with how quickly it worked out an alternative route.
But the Binatone Carrera X430 Europe is not quite the know-it-all it would have you believe. It left your hapless reviewer stranded between three villages in deepest, darkest Essex. This was because the postcode entered was around two miles from the intended destination.
To be fair, that was more our fault than the Binatone Carrera X430 Europe. The intended destination was a golf course, and your reviewer was within spitting distance of the 9th tee. But we realised this only after stopping to ask for directions three times prior to arriving at the venue.
Good in parts then, we liked the Binatone Carrera X430 Europe and it's good at its core job - satellite navigation. It's not without quirks, however, and the battery life is poor.