updated 12:00 pm EST, Sat January 6, 2007
Clarion NICE 430 and VRX
As part of its pre-CES introductions, Clarion this morning unveiled devices tailored to music and navigation on the road. The N.I.C.E. 430 (pictured, above) is a new upgrade to the company's GPS mapping units and serves as an all-in-one replacement for drivers and pedestrians alike. The 4.3-inch touchscreen system is rare for its inclusion of 1GB of internal memory rather than depending solely on its SD card slot; the 430 has room for maps, music, and photos at the same time, Clarion says. Beyond media playback, the handheld integrates Bluetooth for hands-free calling and supports RDS data for real-time traffic warnings. The refreshed N.I.C.E. should be ready sometime this year for $500.
Read through for information about the company's VRX series in-car players.
Clarion has also introduced a trio of in-dash car entertainment systems. Each of the three units fits in a single DIN slot and has extensive iPod and video support, offering direct control of audio and video on Apple's player (including through existing steering wheel controls) as well as DVD playback and a port for a rear-view camera. The simpler VRX375USB (bottom-left) uses a 3.5-inch LCD built into the head unit for its viewing, with separate buttons for navigation; it can also play unprotected AAC, MP3, and MP3 songs from discs or external USB drives attached to a rear-mounted port. In turn, the higher-end VRX575USB (bottom-right) shares these same features but replaces the analog controls with a flip-out 7-inch touchscreen. The flagship VRX775VD drops the AAC support and USB connection of the 575 model in favor of readiness for Bluetooth calling and satellite radio receivers. Clarion expects its VRX models to retail for $500, $800, and $1,100 respectively. As with its new GPS device, however, Clarion only specifies the release date as sometime in 2007. [note: product-specific links will become active soon]