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First Direct-Dock GPS Head Units Debut

Eclipse and Alpine are two of the first car audio companies to offer head units with a port to dock directly with a portable GPS.

In a first of its kind promotion, Eclipse is teaming up with TomTom to offer an Eclipse-branded in-dash CD player that docks directly with a TomTom portable GPS.

The TomTom unit slides into a slot in the Eclipse AVN2210P, essentially converting the TomTom unit, a version of the GO 510, into a double DIN CD receiver. Users view the navigation maps directly on the TomTom’s 3.5-inch screen. Other features of the Eclipse AVN2210P are a front-panel USB port, MP3/WMA, satellite radio capability, iPod control and mono Bluetooth capability when used with an adapter. 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 an Alpine “Dock & Roll” double-DIN A/V head unit. When the head unit 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 Alpine A/V unit works with the new Blackbird via an adapter, but does not allow the Blackbird to be inserted directly into the chassis. The IVA-D105 is expected to ship in May at $899.