New Docking Portable GPS Debuts At CES

By Amy Gilroy On Jan 8 2007 - 8:00am

Some call it the next phase in navigation — direct docking of a portable GPS into a car radio. The products let drivers have their portable GPS and their factory-finish in-car navigation too.

Two such products are debuting here at International CES by Eclipse and Alpine.

In a first of its kind venture, Eclipse is teaming up with TomTom to offer an Eclipse-branded in-dash CD player that has a slot built in for a TomTom-branded portable GPS.

The double-DIN CD receiver will be co-branded with TomTom, whose portable will be based on the current GO 510. When the TomTom is docked, the navigation is viewed on the TomTom's 3.5-inch screen. It has the advantage of being securely mounted where the driver can easily see it. When the TomTom is removed, the head unit reverts to a smaller LED display.

Other features of the Eclipse model AVN2210P are a front-panel USB port, MP3/WMA, iPod control and mono Bluetooth capability when used with an adapter. It is satellite radio ready. The dual package is expected to ship in May at a suggested retail price of $899.

Alpine is introducing a second-generation Blackbird portable GPS that docks directly inside a Dock & Roll double-DIN A/V head unit. When the screen flips up, it reveals a slot for the new Blackbird. When the screen is closed, the system reverts to the larger 6.5-inch pulse touch screen for navigation. The model IVA-W205 offers real-time traffic, stereo Bluetooth for audio streaming and hands-free calling without an adapter, AM/FM/DVD, satellite radio capability, MP3, WMA and iPod full speed. Shipping is expected in April at a target retail of $899.

A second A/V unit works with the new Blackbird via an adapter, but does not allow the Blackbird to be inserted directly into the chassis. Called the IVA-D105, it is expected to ship in May at $899.

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