Mobile phones have digital cameras, so why can't GPS units? That's the thinking behind Navman's N40i GPS with NavPix.
The Navman N40i is a mid-range GPS device for those looking for something more than the TomTom One but less expensive and feature packed that the top of the range models such as the Nuvi 360.
Style wise, and the N40i ticks all the boxes. The sleek black device is thin, and the buttons down the right hand side easy to read and work. The buttons offer quick access to things like finding the nearest petrol station or car park and you can also change the view without having to hunt deep in a plethora of menus. The main focus is of course the 3.5-inch touchscreen that displays all the relevant information.
On the back of the unit, and here is where it's different, is a digital camera.
Tapping into its still relatively new photo sharing service NavPix, the N40i like the Company's iCN750, allows you to upload and download further locations or share locations with friends and family that you've taken with you new digital camera.
The idea behind the offering is that when you are next around your mate's house or see a restaurant while driving along you snap a picture and this records the GPS position of the location for later use.
In practice its works well, although as one person we showed said "doesn't that mean you'll have to have been there already".
Navman, having perhaps thought about this already, has worked hard to create an online database with restaurants, shops and accommodation all included ready for you to upload or download and then transfer to and from your GPS receiver. The benefit is that you can drive straight to any picture you choose without having to punch in a postcode or address.
Aside from the camera, it's business as usual with the unit offering the chance to connect a bolt-on traffic device to monitor the traffic ahead and multiple views from top down to instructions only, depending on what you prefer.
We've been fairly hard on Navman in the past as its always seemed to only get two-thirds of the way to offering a complete package.
However with every model we've seen the units get better and better and the N40i is no exception.
The menu system is easy to use and the map interface also very good with nice graphical elements to the maps and unobtrusive data like speed cameras and petrol stations shown without blocking your view.
While the digital camera isn't a must have, it is none the less a nice feature (great for recording an accident for example), but where the N40i works is that Navman hasn't sacrificed any other feature to get it in or charging an overly expensive primium for its inclusion.
Finally Navman gets top marks.