Mio Knight Rider GPS

Mio Knight Rider GPS

Cool Yule Rating: 4.5 stars

Price: $269

Product Web site

Description: GPS units have become pretty boring lately. Turn by turn directions? Check. Points of Interest? Yawn. It's time that we did something fun with our GPS units, so why not include the voice of the original K.I.T.T. from the 1982 TV series Knight Rider? That's exactly what Mio has done with its Knight Rider-branded GPS unit.

This may seem like a one-trick gimmick, but even so Mio has done a good job by branding their unit with Knight Rider logos, glowing LEDs on the side of the unit that look likes K.I.T.T. is talking to you. The coolest feature – you can program's opening greeting to include your name (the default is "Michael, where do you want to go today?"). After changing it to my name (300 names are available), I geeked out a bit when I launched the unit and heard K.I.T.T. say, "Keith, where do you want to go today?"

The GPS functionalities of the device are pretty standard – turn-by-turn navigation (including multi-point trips), points of interest with searching functionality (including the ability to find the closest bank, restaurant, gas station, etc., to your nearest position), and pre-loaded maps of North America (other maps can be downloaded from the Mio Web site). When navigating, you have a choice of different views, including 2D, 3D and the ability to zoom in and out on your maps. The 3D viewpoint was pretty cool, offering details on road names, what my next turn was, and of course, the route. The 4.3-inch touchscreen was very bright and not hard to read, and the touch-screen interface was easy to navigate. The system could locate my position in under a minute, which beats my current GPS unit.

The device comes with a car charger and USB cable and a suction-cup mount. I would have preferred a regular charger, but powering via USB with my computer wasn't too much of a problem. The system also comes with MioMore Desktop 2008 software, which is an easy way for users to update maps, change the voice on the phone (although, would you really want to switch from K.I.T.T.?), and check for system updates.

Sadly, there are no rocket launchers or other cool features on the Knight Rider GPS. I was secretly hoping that having K.I.T.T. in my 2000 Saturn wagon would suddenly transform it into a sports car, but that didn't happen.

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