WOOT -- a product review. I took the Clarion MiND to find the grave of F. Scott Fitzgerald and then, in his honor, to the bar. Hit the jump to find out how it all went down.
The Clarion MiND looks pretty and is fun to hold in your hands. It's also fun to pretend you can teleport yourself with. Several people at the bar even stopped to ask what the hell I was playing with and whether the seat beside me was taken. Including some ladies, who, if I didn't have my eyes on the prize (booze) I may have talked to.
Getting around the MiND is easy. A touchscreen and scrolling set of icons takes you to the application you want. No frills, gets the job done. Also, it comes with a stylus for navigation and typing which was nice because I have fat-ass fingers and can't type on my iPhone to sex a supermodel. So that was a nice change.
The GPS capabilities were as to be expected. This is your typical view.
I've had both TomTom and Garmin units in the past, and the MiND performed similarly. No boner, but I wasn't expecting one. Just really hoping. You type in your destination, and it gives you turn by turn directions. Also, it lets you know the speed limit on the road you're driving, which I totally ignored because those are merely suggestions by the man to keep a good driver down. Anyway, in the case of finding F. Scott Fitzgerald's grave, I entered this address:
520 Veirs Mill Rd, Rockville, MD 20852
And, after all the turns the MiND told me to make, and a couple extras I made because I spotted a Hooters along the way, that's where I ended up. Look, these are my legs hanging out with F. Scott. We're chillin'.
Here's another picture. The slab in front of the gravestone has the last line of The Great Gatsby inscribed. At this point I started to get a little teary so I had to punch a hole in a tree to feel better. I meant to take a picture of the oak afterward but I forgot.
Well after a nice pow-wow with Francis I decided to hit a local watering hole in his honor. I told my girlfriend if she could just drop me off I'd MiND(!) my own way home. I know, pretty foolish of me letting a woman drive my car, but hey, I was on a mission. A mission to drink the ghost of F. Scott Fitzgerald under the table! Bring it, Francis!
So I moseyed up to the bar and got a beer and start flirting with the MiND's other features. WiFi picked up no problem, and I was cruising the interwebs in no time. The other applications:
It has a Youtube application. It plays Youtube videos. This is me watching the Atlanta Grape Lady. Cheaters never win, lady, because cheaters go "OOH OOH OOH OUCH OUCH OUCH I CAN'T BREATH!"
There's a MySpace application that I didn't bother using because Facebook totally kicks the shit out of MySpace every day of the week. The Firefox-based web browser is fully functional and took me to all the sites I cared to see, including, and pretty much limited to: Geekologie, Thesuperficial, and Iwatchstuff. The forward and backward functions worked well.
The built in weather forecast comes via The Weather Channel and was about as accurate as throwing darts. But that's not the MiND's fault. The unit comes with 4GB of internal memory and Realplayer preloaded so you transfer all your homemade porno movies on there to show to your friends. You just better make sure your heat looks reasonably sized, or they'll all make fun of you. You can transfer files to the unit via microSD, USB, and miniUSB.
The battery only lasts about an 1.25 hours fully charged which sucked walking around but it comes standard with a cigarette-lighter adapter. So, provided you don't have your mini-fridge plugged in, you should be straight for driving.
One of the handiest features of the MiND is its internet connectivity via cellphone. If you have a 3G cell phone you can connect to it via Bluetooth and browse the interwebs on the road. This could be handy when you're trying to figure out which truck stop has the coolest novelty condom machines in its bathrooms.
Overall, the MiND seems perfect for the person with no smart phone, GPS unit, or iPod. Currently priced at about $520, the MiND is at the very high end of traditional portable GPS units. I'd suggest giving it a look if you're in the market for a new GPS unit, don't mind spending a little extra, and don't already have a smart phone or mobile media player. But, if you're like me and already have a jailbroken iPhone (for turn-by-turn directions) and a handful of iPods, you're probably better off spending your money on something else. But hey, if you have money burning a hole in your pocket, your pants will soon be aflame. And when pants burn, women are liberated. Am I right or what? Here's one last shot of the unit.