By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Cobra and Whistler debuted radar detectors for 2006, which include one of the first models with a full-color screen from Cobra and new models with remote control from Whistler.
The 2006 Cobra line is capped by the XRS9930 detector with an OLED screen, similar in quality to those used in cellular phones, said Cobra marketing and sales senior VP Tony Mirabelli. The screen can display system check warnings based on diagnostics performed by the detector when the car starts up, said Cobra. It measures the car battery condition and voltage for the car's electrical system. The XRS9930 has a suggested retail price of $229.95, and the step-down model XRS9830, with a two-color version of the OLED screen, has a suggested price of $209.95. Both will be available March 31.
Almost all the new Cobra 2006 models include Ku-band protection. The Ku band is used in Europe and operates at a higher frequency than K and X bands for a more precise beam, said Mirabelli. Although there has been industry talk of the band coming to the United States, it has not yet been adopted. Mirabelli said Cobra included Ku protection so that customers could be assured the product “will not be obsolete if Ku is introduced in the future.”
Whistler said it is not including Ku band protection in its 2006 radar detector line because its research determined that Ku will not be used by law enforcement in the United States in the near future, according to Whistler marketing director Pam Craig.
Whistler's new 2006 detectors include two with remote control modules and several models with exchangeable colored trim plates. The XTR-220 and XTR-520 come with a remote control that is useful in SUVs or minivans that have large windshields or dashboards where the detector may be hard to reach.
The units are expected to carry suggested retail prices of $11.9.95 and $159.95, respectively. Models XTR-325, 425 and 560 include snap-in trim rings in various colors, and model XTR-560 adds customizable alert tones. Users can press a record button on the 560 to record individual alerts for the various radar bands. The text display is also customizable. Suggested retail price for the XTR-560 is $199.95.
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