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Hardware Review: 2010 Xenarc 700TSV TFT LCD Touch Screen Monitor

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by , 01-26-2010 at 12:30 PM (8664 Views)

What is it?

The Xenarc 700TSV is a 7-Inch 16:9 Widescreen VGA monitor with 5-wire resistive touch panel.

The Verdict:

The Xenarc 700TSV adds a few wrinkles to a product well-known for its outstanding quality. The addition of auto-brightness control is welcomed; however the lack of DVI certainly raises an eyebrow in 2010. The quality of the visuals on-screen somewhat makes up for this glaring omission.

See this product on the mp3Car Store HERE.



What’s in the box


The 700TSV comes with an instruction manual, VESA mount, an attachable stylus pointer, and a single-loom wire which includes connectors for USB, VGA input, 2 composite inputs, and an audio cable which connects to the built-in speaker. Also included are a home power supply, car cigarette lighter power supply, full function remote, and the touch screen driver CD.

Description:

The 700TSV is Xenarc’s latest entry in the 7-inch touch screen market. The company has an outstanding reputation for building high-quality displays, and the 700TSV is no exception. It’s a heavy screen, which usually indicates it’s solidly built to withstand harsh car PC environments. The 700TSV’s exterior design is built with both form and function, featuring solid tactile front buttons and a rear cable connector that keeps both power wires and input wires out of the way for fabricators.


The 700TSV allows for a near full-set of input connections. There is a VGA connector, 2 audio/video composite connectors, and an audio connector, which allows installers to run pc audio directly to the built-in speaker in the Xenarc. The speaker is 3 inches, so do not expect full-range audio, however it would be nice to be able to route GPS guidance prompts separate from your music. There are a few wires missing from the feature set, most notably a DVI connection. The majority of car PCs and PCs in general are shying away from VGA, so DVI should be included in all monitors in 2010. Also missing is an auxiliary connector allowing the 700TSV to automatically switch to an aux input, but this is forgivable as the first composite cable set have the feature built-in. So without the addition of DVI, you may be asking yourself what separates the 700TSV with Xenarcs prior offerings. The first new item is the presents of a light-sensor on the bottom front of the Xenarc panel.


This light sensor provides built-in brightness control. In my testing I found this sensor to work well. It provides a nice subtle change in brightness without any on-screen indicators getting in the way. However, I do wish the sensor dimmed the screen more during night-time operation. The brightness only appears to drop around 10%, and as a result the screen is still too bright at night.The most notable improvement may very well go unnoticed, but the 700TSV has an absolute beautiful display when compared to both Lilliput and Xenarc units in the past. The instructions call it “AISS- Advanced Image Scaling and Sharpness”. What this means to the average user is the images displayed on the 700TSV, both still and moving, are extremely crisp. When comparing this unit to my old 2008 Lilliput 629 I found the Xenarc display far more vivid. Edges are less jagged and it’s harder to spot the actual pixels at work.




The Positive:

• Top-notch display quality delivered from AISS
• Installation-friendly wiring
• Composite Input auto-switch
• 400:1 Contrast Ratio
• Native resolution of 800x480
• Auto-power on when VGA signal is detected
• Solid build, outstanding quality reputation

The Negative:

• No DVI input
• Only 1 composite connection can auto-switch
• Marginal sunlight-readability
• More expensive than competing brand’s product

The Verdict:

The Xenarc 700TSV adds a few wrinkles to a product well-known for its outstanding quality. The addition of auto-brightness control is welcomed; however the lack of DVI certainly raises an eyebrow in 2010. The quality of the visuals on-screen somewhat makes up for this glaring omission.

Specifications:
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Colors: 18-bit (262, 144 Colors)
Native Resolution: 800x480px
VGA Modes: 640x480 to 1024x768
Contrast: 400:1
Inputs: VGA, 2 x Composite Video Optional, 1 x PC audio
Touch Panel: Resistive 5 wires.
Power Consumption: <12W
Dimensions: 7.72W x 4.88H x 1.42D
Operation Temperature:14°F to 140°F

See this product on the mp3Car Store HERE.

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Quote Originally Posted by obstacleman View Post
Nice review, The ten second refresh is a killer but I have found I only use the RPM setup for fun anyway. Will it sync with any other apps on the iphone other than their own app? I am not sure what else is out there but I am sure there is another...

PS I would love to see this at the next DC meet...
it works with different apps from different developers. I'd imagine that it'd be fairly easy to get it to support another type of mobile device (winMo, Android). All it really does is send the data for the iPod to read and parse.
Nice review, The ten second refresh is a killer but I have found I only use the RPM setup for fun anyway. Will it sync with any other apps on the iphone other than their own app? I am not sure what else is out there but I am sure there is another...

PS I would love to see this at the next DC meet...


What is it?

The PLX Devices Kiwi Wifi is an easy to use wireless OBD-II scanner which connects to iPhone and iPod Touch Devices.

The Verdict:


The PLX Devices Kiwi Wifi OBD-II scanner is a handy device, which makes OBD scanning and code reading simpler than it’s ever been before. However, its wireless accessibility is both a blessing and a burden. I would recommend this device based on its code-reading abilities more so than its day-to-day data reading capabilities.

See this product on the mp3Car Store HERE.


What’s in the box?


The Kiwi Wifi comes with the main OBD-II Module, a 6-foot OBD port cable, and a simple yet effective set of instructions.

Description:


The Kiwi Wifi device is a plug and play tool used to scan OBD-II data from modern automobiles using either an iPhone or iPod Touch (not included). The magic in the device is it uses an 802.11x wireless signal to send the data read from your OBD-II port to the Apple device. This means you can simply connect the OBD-II cable to your vehicles port, and tuck the Kiwi away. The device has a switch to turn the Kiwi on/off. This may come in handy if you are worried about power consumption (the device does constantly pull power from the OBD port in its ON state), but for most applications it shouldn’t be necessary. The only other notable features of the device are a red light indicating the device power state and a green “LINK” light that indicates an iPod connection is present.




To complete the setup, one need go to "settings" on your iPod or iPhone device. Turn on wifi, and a wireless signal named “PLXDevices” should display after a quick signal search. Connect to that device (no encryption needed), then click the blue arrow to enter that particular connection’s settings. Click the “Static” button then enter an IP address of 192.168.0.11 and a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0. Save, and the setup is complete.



The Kiwi device is supported by various applications from the iTunes store. The instructions indicate that both popular apps, Rev and FuzzyCar, support the Kiwi. FuzzyCar supports all PID data and is quite a bit cheaper than the paid-for version of Rev, so that was my app of choice. Once installed, FuzzyCar ran a quick scan of my vehicles supported PIDs. Once the scan was done the information was displayed in a neat and clear fashion.








The ease of use of the Kiwi Wifi when paired with an iPod is amazing. The instruction booklet reads “This Won’t Take Long” in bold print and it couldn’t be more correct. Still, there are two issues that need be mentioned. In order to use the device, you must first manually connect to the “PLXDevices” wifi connection each time you want to use it. It would seem the applications should automatically switch when they are started but this is not the case. The bigger issue is the speed at which the information is updated. A standard serial OBD-II port will update information at nearly once per second. The Kiwi Wifi appears to be hindered by the wireless connection, as the information updates at close to once per ten seconds in my testing with FuzzyCar. This obviously makes information such as RPM and engine load % worthless. Even still, the PLX Devices Kiwi Wifi handles OBD-II well and does an excellent job of adding a handy feature to an already potent Apple device.

The Positive:


• Super-fast installation routine
• Supreme portability
• Seamless integration with iPhone/iPod Touch
• Wireless means less wiring and easier to stow away
• Power switch to conserve energy
• Bus (OBD-II) powered

The Negative:


• Requires an external device (iPod or iPhone)
• Slow data updates
• Requires manual connection of the wireless device
• No free application. Adds to the cost of the device.

The Verdict:


The PLX Devices Kiwi Wifi OBD-II scanner is a handy device which makes OBD scanning and code reading simpler than it’s ever been before. However, its wireless accessibility is both a blessing and a burden. I would recommend this device based on its code-reading abilities more so than its day-to-day data reading capabilities.

Specifications:


SSID: PLXDevices
IP: 192.168.0.10
Subnet: 255.255.255.0
Port: 35000
Range: 50 ft (line of sight)
Antenna: Internal
Power Consumption: 0.7 Watts
Wifi Standard: 802.11a/b/g
Operating Temp: -15 to 100° C
Dimensions: 2.75x1.25x0.6 Inches

See this product on the mp3Car Store HERE.