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Route 66 Mini Regional

Bargain

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

One sign of the unit's modest price is an occasional delay in the system finding itself on start-up. It's nothing extreme, but on some occasions we were good mile or two down the road before the Mini got its navigational act together.

Away from core navigational tools the Mini comes with Bluetooth for hands-free phone use, and a picture viewer.

Route 66 Mini regional sat-nav

The best way to use it is often to detach it and type with it in hand

Being a budget model you don't get a whole let of extras with the Mini. The UK-only maps are stored on a 1GB SD card, so any pan-European jaunts you may have planned will involve buying more maps and copying them onto a memory card.

Maps for other countries will set you back around €50 (£38) though you can buy regional ones for €10 (£7.60). A year's worth of UK speed camera data will set you back another €10, ditto 12 months' of global weather information or a year's worth of live traffic information. Speed limit warnings do not appear to be an option.

The Mini does, however, have the locations of what seems to be a decent number of petrol stations, hotels, eateries, banks and the like pre-loaded, and you can download some free Lonely Planet guides. You can also choose between a male or female guide voice and select from half a dozen map colour schemes.

Verdict

The odd glitch aside, Route 66's Mini offers excellent value for money. The maps and mapping may not be the best around, but the voice prompts are really rather excellent and help to make it less obvious that you're using the Pound Stretcher of satnavs.

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

80%

Route 66 Mini Regional

Cheap, cheerful, effective. For the price you can't really go far wrong...
Price: £90 RRP

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