The Truth About Cars » Gizmos http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 02 May 2016 23:59:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Move Over!!!!!! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/move-over/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/move-over/#comments Fri, 20 Jan 2012 11:54:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=427458 Don’t you sometimes want more attention? Aching to simply blow people away? The people at Banshee Horn LLC might just have the thing for people who want to be noticed. It is called the Banshee Horn, and it does what the name says. The folks promise in an email to TTAC that the gadget helps […]

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Don’t you sometimes want more attention? Aching to simply blow people away? The people at Banshee Horn LLC might just have the thing for people who want to be noticed. It is called the Banshee Horn, and it does what the name says. The folks promise in an email to TTAC that the gadget helps […]

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Review: BlackBerry VM-605 Speakerphone http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/10/review-blackberry-vm-605-speakerphone/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/10/review-blackberry-vm-605-speakerphone/#comments Thu, 08 Oct 2009 13:55:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=331534 The latest advancements in communication imply a great future for the automobile. And yet, like my former manager in Corporate America once said, “I can’t wait to go to a place where my BlackBerry doesn’t work.”  Like most BlackBerry addicts, I doubt she really meant it. Mostly because these handheld email magnets are legalized crack, […]

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The latest advancements in communication imply a great future for the automobile. And yet, like my former manager in Corporate America once said, “I can’t wait to go to a place where my BlackBerry doesn’t work.”  Like most BlackBerry addicts, I doubt she really meant it. Mostly because these handheld email magnets are legalized crack, […]

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Product Review: Peak Wireless Back-Up Camera System http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/07/product-review-peak-wireless-back-up-camera-system/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/07/product-review-peak-wireless-back-up-camera-system/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2009 14:25:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=324109

Rear view cameras are becoming commonplace on SUVs, CUVs and luxury cars. But only as part of very expensive option packages. If you prefer spending your money on things like groceries and house payments, or have an older vehicle, you’re pretty much out of luck. But not entirely. Peak (yes, the antifreeze people) offer the Peak Wireless Back-up Camera System. To see if it passes muster, I installed one on my 1999 Chevrolet Tahoe.

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Rear view cameras are becoming commonplace on SUVs, CUVs and luxury cars. But only as part of very expensive option packages. If you prefer spending your money on things like groceries and house payments, or have an older vehicle, you’re pretty much out of luck. But not entirely. Peak (yes, the antifreeze people) offer the Peak Wireless Back-up Camera System. To see if it passes muster, I installed one on my 1999 Chevrolet Tahoe.

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Product Review: Microsoft Zune http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/06/product-review-microsoft-zune/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/06/product-review-microsoft-zune/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2009 14:27:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=320258 The Microsoft Zune prides itself in being the only significant alternative to Apple’s wildly popular iPod and iTunes duo. But there’s a problem: Zune distances itself from the industry standard software and hardware systems. Considering Microsoft’s dominance stemming from the personal computer revolution, the Zune’s unique value proposition is less like the corporate mothership and […]

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The Microsoft Zune prides itself in being the only significant alternative to Apple’s wildly popular iPod and iTunes duo. But there’s a problem: Zune distances itself from the industry standard software and hardware systems. Considering Microsoft’s dominance stemming from the personal computer revolution, the Zune’s unique value proposition is less like the corporate mothership and […]

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Review: Ford SYNC http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/05/review-ford-sync/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/05/review-ford-sync/#comments Wed, 13 May 2009 22:21:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=314869

Ford seems to be the only part of the big 3/2.5/1.8 that's embracing technology as a way to win customers. Their SYNC system got massive airplay in the Blue Oval's ads. Down at the dealer level, FoMoCo's been pushing SYNC like crazy. Strange, then, that I've noticed a distinct lack of reviews on the SYNC. So I hopped into a Ford Fusion for a week to answer a simple question: it is any good?

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Ford seems to be the only part of the big 3/2.5/1.8 that's embracing technology as a way to win customers. Their SYNC system got massive airplay in the Blue Oval's ads. Down at the dealer level, FoMoCo's been pushing SYNC like crazy. Strange, then, that I've noticed a distinct lack of reviews on the SYNC. So I hopped into a Ford Fusion for a week to answer a simple question: it is any good?

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Product Review: Porsche Design P’9522 Phone http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/review-porsche-design-p9522-phone/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/review-porsche-design-p9522-phone/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2009 20:09:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=307012 One of my long-standing disagreements with the editor: the Porsche Cayenne is a dangerous diffusion of the Porsche brand. I never believed that. I’d call Robert up and tell him— if I could dial this new Porsche Design P’9522 phone with its razor thin buttons. Or use it stateside for that matter. Perhaps I’ll e-mail […]

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One of my long-standing disagreements with the editor: the Porsche Cayenne is a dangerous diffusion of the Porsche brand. I never believed that. I’d call Robert up and tell him— if I could dial this new Porsche Design P’9522 phone with its razor thin buttons. Or use it stateside for that matter. Perhaps I’ll e-mail […]

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Product Review: RallyCam 3000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/11/product-review-rallycam-3000/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/11/product-review-rallycam-3000/#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2008 13:39:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=136292 When my esteemed editor suggested I review the RallyCam, I envisioned a simple one camera with a small recording device. Instead. the edgecameras.com people sent me their RallyCam 3000, a three-camera system with a sophisticated control unit integrated with a multi-use video recording device. The devices came packed tightly in their container. I was quickly overwhelmed by cables, clamps, remotes and plastic bags. The numerous instruction sheets were not very helpful. But TTAC's Best and Brightest are persistent bastards, as are their legally-trained representatives. So away we go...

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When my esteemed editor suggested I review the RallyCam, I envisioned a simple one camera with a small recording device. Instead. the edgecameras.com people sent me their RallyCam 3000, a three-camera system with a sophisticated control unit integrated with a multi-use video recording device. The devices came packed tightly in their container. I was quickly overwhelmed by cables, clamps, remotes and plastic bags. The numerous instruction sheets were not very helpful. But TTAC's Best and Brightest are persistent bastards, as are their legally-trained representatives. So away we go...

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NEXTAR Snap3 3.5″ Navigation System Review http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/01/nextar-snap3-35-navigation-system-review/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/01/nextar-snap3-35-navigation-system-review/#comments Fri, 11 Jan 2008 17:28:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/news-blog/nextar-snap3-35-navigation-system-review/ 0071412993911_500×5002222.jpgLooking at last year’s Black Friday ads made it clear that a portable GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) satellite navigation device was the season’s most popular loss leader. Even department stores like Macys were offering a GPS device on the cheap. This strategy continues; last week our local Walgreen’s had a Nextar GPS device at the front counter for under $200, right there next to mints and quit smoking gum. I wanted to see if a cheap GPS unit could compete with the big boys. So I contacted Nextar, and they provided us with a Snap3. 

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0071412993911_500×5002222.jpgLooking at last year’s Black Friday ads made it clear that a portable GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) satellite navigation device was the season’s most popular loss leader. Even department stores like Macys were offering a GPS device on the cheap. This strategy continues; last week our local Walgreen’s had a Nextar GPS device at the front counter for under $200, right there next to mints and quit smoking gum. I wanted to see if a cheap GPS unit could compete with the big boys. So I contacted Nextar, and they provided us with a Snap3. 

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Motorola HS820 Bluetooth Headset http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/01/motorola-hs820-bluetooth-headset/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/01/motorola-hs820-bluetooth-headset/#comments Tue, 08 Jan 2008 18:49:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/product-reviews/motorola-hs820-bluetooth-headset/ l10464664.jpgI know it's not PC to say so, but I hate a lot of things. For example, I hate people walking around with those stupid cell phone earpieces looking like Lt. Uhura from Star Trek. They wear them like some sort of fashion jewelry, even when they're not asking John to phone Sally to tell Jorge he needs to phone Mary. For my sake, they should put their headsets away when not in use. Meanwhile, to find out what these people see in these devices and whether they have any practical use, I tested the suddenly very cheap Motorola HS820, a small Bluetooth, wireless headset.

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l10464664.jpgI know it's not PC to say so, but I hate a lot of things. For example, I hate people walking around with those stupid cell phone earpieces looking like Lt. Uhura from Star Trek. They wear them like some sort of fashion jewelry, even when they're not asking John to phone Sally to tell Jorge he needs to phone Mary. For my sake, they should put their headsets away when not in use. Meanwhile, to find out what these people see in these devices and whether they have any practical use, I tested the suddenly very cheap Motorola HS820, a small Bluetooth, wireless headset.

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Sears DieHard 10/2/50 amp Automatic Battery Charger Review http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/01/sears-diehard-10250-amp-automatic-battery-charger-review/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/01/sears-diehard-10250-amp-automatic-battery-charger-review/#comments Thu, 03 Jan 2008 19:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/product-reviews/sears-diehard-10250-amp-automatic-battery-charger-review/ 02871222000.jpgLike most middle aged men, I had a car crisis. So, after convincing my wife that an Imola Red BMW M Roadster isn’t “chick magnet red,” I bought my dream car. Of course, the dream is never the reality. I rarely drove the M. Summers were too wet and hot (real men don’t drive a convertible with the top up and the a/c on). Fall was too wet. Ah, winter in Florida! It’s the best ‘vert weather but… I just got a new daily driver. So Emily became a garage queen. And died.

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02871222000.jpgLike most middle aged men, I had a car crisis. So, after convincing my wife that an Imola Red BMW M Roadster isn’t “chick magnet red,” I bought my dream car. Of course, the dream is never the reality. I rarely drove the M. Summers were too wet and hot (real men don’t drive a convertible with the top up and the a/c on). Fall was too wet. Ah, winter in Florida! It’s the best ‘vert weather but… I just got a new daily driver. So Emily became a garage queen. And died.

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Escort Laser Shifter ZR3 Review http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2007/12/escort-laser-shifter-zr3-review/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2007/12/escort-laser-shifter-zr3-review/#comments Wed, 05 Dec 2007 10:14:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/product-reviews/escort-laser-shifter-zr3-review/ zr3pkg.jpgIt's a never-ending battle between speeders and the police. Since the e-wars began, the police have moved from simple X-Band radar-based speed detectors to sophisticated KA-band radar guns, radar detector detectors (no really) and laser speed detection devices (with charming names like Stalker LZ-1). While the best consumer radar detectors can sniff out X and KA-band signals from a long way off-- before the signal can bounce back to Officer Not So Friendly-- if your laser beam detector goes off, tag you’re it. If you’re speeding (which you probably are as you’re reading a laser jammer review), you’ve been nabbed.  

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zr3pkg.jpgIt's a never-ending battle between speeders and the police. Since the e-wars began, the police have moved from simple X-Band radar-based speed detectors to sophisticated KA-band radar guns, radar detector detectors (no really) and laser speed detection devices (with charming names like Stalker LZ-1). While the best consumer radar detectors can sniff out X and KA-band signals from a long way off-- before the signal can bounce back to Officer Not So Friendly-- if your laser beam detector goes off, tag you’re it. If you’re speeding (which you probably are as you’re reading a laser jammer review), you’ve been nabbed.  

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Magellan Maestro 4040 GPS Review http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2007/10/magellan-maestro-4040-gps-review/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2007/10/magellan-maestro-4040-gps-review/#comments Sat, 20 Oct 2007 12:21:43 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=5915 b000nmkhw6_update-1-lg.jpgGiven the changing pace of technology, the price of factory-fitted satellite navigation and the itinerant traveler's tendency to rent their chariot, a portable GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) navigation system is the ideal solution. When choosing an electronic pathfinder, map quality makes all the difference. Magellan (like Garmin) uses the premier map data supplier Navteq. The Magellan Maestro Series offers three models with a "just right" screen size (4.3"). The 4000 ($399) is the base model. The 4040 ($499) adds Canada (the maps, not the country) and Bluetooth, which lets you access addresses lurking inside your phone/palmtop. Although you can upgrade the 4040 to real-time traffic data for another hundred bucks, that same Franklin buys you the 4050 ($599) with a built-in traffic jam info receiver. On the road, the Magellan's 4040's geek fabulous 20-channel sirfsStarIII chipset instantly locked onto a GPS signal and updated quickly. The maps are pellucid, the voice prompts clear and the touch screen ergonomically sound. On the downside, the map disappears during recalculation and full-on sunlight is still a bugbear (a built-in visor would help). While RV-ing seniors might appreciate the AAA's TourBook info and roadside assistance (trip A members only), it would be nice to be able to choose a more (ahem) upmarket guide. Overall, the 4040 is a decent but not outstanding GPS device-- at $499. But Costco's got 'em for $349 (in store price, call ahead). For that money, you're good to go.

Stars (out of five)

Price                $349
Looks               4
Ergonomics        4
Ease of Use       4
Value for Money 4
Gotta Have It     3
Overall              4

 Should this be a TTAC-approved product?

Click here to vote

View Poll Results

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b000nmkhw6_update-1-lg.jpgGiven the changing pace of technology, the price of factory-fitted satellite navigation and the itinerant traveler's tendency to rent their chariot, a portable GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) navigation system is the ideal solution. When choosing an electronic pathfinder, map quality makes all the difference. Magellan (like Garmin) uses the premier map data supplier Navteq. The Magellan Maestro Series offers three models with a "just right" screen size (4.3"). The 4000 ($399) is the base model. The 4040 ($499) adds Canada (the maps, not the country) and Bluetooth, which lets you access addresses lurking inside your phone/palmtop. Although you can upgrade the 4040 to real-time traffic data for another hundred bucks, that same Franklin buys you the 4050 ($599) with a built-in traffic jam info receiver. On the road, the Magellan's 4040's geek fabulous 20-channel sirfsStarIII chipset instantly locked onto a GPS signal and updated quickly. The maps are pellucid, the voice prompts clear and the touch screen ergonomically sound. On the downside, the map disappears during recalculation and full-on sunlight is still a bugbear (a built-in visor would help). While RV-ing seniors might appreciate the AAA's TourBook info and roadside assistance (trip A members only), it would be nice to be able to choose a more (ahem) upmarket guide. Overall, the 4040 is a decent but not outstanding GPS device-- at $499. But Costco's got 'em for $349 (in store price, call ahead). For that money, you're good to go.

Stars (out of five)

Price                $349
Looks               4
Ergonomics        4
Ease of Use       4
Value for Money 4
Gotta Have It     3
Overall              4

 Should this be a TTAC-approved product?

Click here to vote

View Poll Results

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