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Hardware Review: Intelmatic XF700 Industrial Sunlight Readable Touch Screen Monitor

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by , 12-26-2009 at 07:52 AM (6681 Views)
What is it?

The Inelmatic XF700 is a 7” 16:9 high-brightness touch-screen monitor. This monitor has multiple output options, transflective technologies, and a unique and optimized form-factor.

The Verdict:


The Inelmatic XF700 is a well thought-out piece of automotive computing hardware. From the screen to the shell you can tell Inelmatic designed it for Car PC use. If it can survive the name-recognition of competing devices, I truly believe there is a new “best of class” in the 7” touch-screen market.

See this product on the mp3Car Store here.

What’s in the box?


The XF700 comes with an instruction manual, VESA mount, an attachable stylus pointer, and a unique single-loom wire which includes connectors for power, USB, VGA input, composite input, S-Video input, rear camera input, and a current-sensing auto-switch wire.

Description:


The XF700 is the latest of the high-brightness touch-friendly monitors to hit the mobile computer scene. Upon opening the box and getting the monitor in my hands, I immediately noticed how solid the monitor feels. This indicates to me that the build quality should be stellar and that the XF700 could potentially be built to withstand the harsh automotive environments. Another improvement that immediately stood out is the single-wire design. There is only a single wire protruding from the back of the XF700. The wire is flexible, and sticks out of the rear of the unit, allowing for greater installation flexibility than most competitors offer. This wire then latches securely to its counterpart, which allows an array of connection methods. The XF700 offers VGA inputs, 2 sets of composite video inputs, 1 set of audio inputs, a separate rear camera input, and for even greater flexibility the manufacturer has included a single wire current-sensing switch wire. In fact, the only connection method that seems to be missing is DVI. Powering the device is more flexible than its competition as well, as the XF700 allows any power source from 9-30VDC. This removes the requirement of a stable 12v source.



Of course, the most important feature of any touch-screen monitor is what’s on the screen, and XF700 shines through in this regard. The touch-screen is transflective and appears to shy away dust and fingerprints better than competing units. Installation of the touch-screen is plug-and-play, and the software which controls the touch-screen is the same as the Lilliput and Xenarc units. The high-brightness of the LCD provides a crisp and beautiful display even in direct sunlight. The 629 Lilliput in my car couldn’t come close to matching the brightness and image quality of the XF700.


Even my “sunlight readable” Acer laptop doesn’t match the quality of the XF700 in the brightest conditions.


The native resolution of the XF700 is 800x480, however it seems to handle 800x600 and even 1024x768 without much hassle. The display quality is the best I’ve seen to date within the 7” monitor market.


The XF700 has several buttons on the front, which at first detract from the beauty of its design. However, I find the buttons work better in the car than those of the Lilliput and Xernarc devices. They sit flush on the frame of the monitor, and provide a very tactile “click” each time a button is pressed. The buttons do things like power the display, toggle the built-in 3-step gamma, and open up the on-screen menu. This menu allows far more customization than competing units.

The Positive:


• High-quality beautiful display even in direct sunlight
• Installation-friendly wiring
• Built-in rear camera support, with multiple auto-switch options
• Easy to use 3 stage gamma
• 500:1 contrast ratio
• Native resolution of 800x480 • Auto-power on when VGA signal is detected
• Flexible wiring options
• Shock and vibration resistant for reliable car installations

The Negative:


• No DVI input
• Still has the bright blue “No VGA” screen at upon powering the device
• No remote control?

The Verdict:


The Inelmatic XF700 is a well thought-out piece of automotive computing hardware. From the screen to the shell you can tell Inelmatic designed it for Car PC use. If it can survive the name-recognition of competing devices, I truly believe there is a new “best of class” in the 7” touch-screen market.

Specifications:

Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Colors: 256k Native Resolution: 800x480px VGA Modes: 640x480 to 1024x768 Contrast: 500:1 Inputs: VGA, 2 x Composite Video Optional Audio: 2 x 1W (stereo) Touch Panel: Resistive 4 wires. Endurance >2M Touch. Optional 5 wires Power Supply: 9-30VDC automotive car/truck suitable Power Consumption: 6W Dimensions: 183x125x31mm Dimensions (screen): 152x94mm Enclosure: Aluminum chassis/rear. PVC-ABS front Operation Temperature: -20°C to 70°C Max (-10°C to 60°C continuous) Vibrations: 1G 2-500Hz Shock: 20G 11ms Drop: 10cm Max

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.