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Starters Advise

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  • Starters Advise

    Hello all,

    Firstly I just want to; a: point out that I have spent many hours researching this and b: thank for any advice given. I have just bought a new (second hand) Seat Altea which comes with a somewhat basic stereo so I started to investigate what stereo I should replace it with.

    After many forums I have come to a rough conclusion.
    My budget is very limited: £300 (the lower the better). So here are the options and I would appreciate any thoughts that you, the more experienced people have to offer.

    The way I see it is I either build a full blown carputer (mini ITX and 7" touch screen) or a prebuilt 2Din Touch screen stereo. Now I know that the carputer offers more flexibility but it is costly and time consuming. Whereas the car stereo is the opposite. Now I would love to build a carputer but I just dont think I have the time, money and skill to do so. I am also not too impressed with the software (centrafuse). So here comes my questions.

    1)Can anyone recommend a good pre-built 2din touchscreen stereo?

    2)Does anyone know if there is the above with a vga port as that would be the ultimate?

    3)anything I haven't thought of?

    Sorry for the lengthy post, and thanks again for any help

  • #2
    being that you are shooting for a limited budget of about $300, and am not too keen on maintaining a carputer, i would say to go for a head unit.

    just a 7" vga screen, and installation accessories will put you near $200-$300.
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    • #3
      I would agree with soundman-you should probably consider..... even dirt cheap $150 for a atom board and ram, $150 for a touch screen (ebay), $50 for a hard drive and installing it in a case you have laying around thats $350 or ~£250. Really doesn't allow for anything like an amp or accessories.
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      • #4
        Thanks for the response guys, that was exactly my thoughts, it seems that car spacific hardware is rather expensive. I even thought of using an asus eee 701 and somehow detaching the screen but research on that line came up short as it needed a degree in laptop butchery but would only cost $150 (im uk but I think prices are comparable).

        So does anyone know what is the better of the cheap head units, there is loads coming up on


        • #5
          As for better with cheap head units, unless you can find individuals that have them, good luck. Even searching Google tirelessly by each model's number that you are considering to find reviews of them will leave you in the dark. Odds are any reviews you do find will be biased because they will be based on not whether or not they are great but rather why they must inherently be great. "Why, just look at all these features we crammed into it!" They probably will not tell you how reliable it is or if it is really good enough for the harsh car environment and even things like whether it has a cooling fan that sounds like a jet engine. Most "reviews" do not involve actually using the product on this cheaper stuff and when it does it is more like a bench test for twenty minutes or so. Even if you do find an individual that has had (and really used) one, since we are discussing the low end of the market their results may or may not be typical. These cheap units bought via mail order have a nasty habit of being pig in a poke where it may or may not deliver according to claims and longevity is a total crapshoot.
          I am sorry, but I used to sell electronics (specifically automotive and home stereo), and while I would not entirely shy away from this sort of thing, caveat emptor prevails in this situation. In the end it is up to you to use your best judgment.
          Electronics work on magic smoke - don't let it out.