Is CarPC worth the time + effort + $$$ ?
I've been doing the CarPC thing for a little over three years now, and I'm starting to question whether the result is worth the effort. I've spent countless hours running wires, building housings, and tweaking software only to come up with a setup that does little more than my Android Phone can do at a fraction of the cost. Here's a breakdown of my costs.
--------- CarPC -----------------
Costs so far... (most of this was bought three years ago. I know some prices are less now)
PC: $425 for an Asus Pundit + CPU + RAM + HDD
PSU: Opus 150w ~ $60
Screen: Xenarc 7" ~ $250
Software: Centrafuse = $250
Misc parts: $60
------------------ Total: $1130
Android Phone: $179 + activation fee + car adapters = $250
Both can do the following....
- surf the web
- access email
- play music
- perform GPS navigation and routing
- play games
The CarPC has an advantage in these areas
- OBDII information
- navigation while not connected to the internet
- playing DVD movies
- can do satellite radio if I buy a subscription and a receiver.
The Android Phone has an advantage in these areas
- fits in my pocket
- sunlight readable screen
- can make and receive phone calls
- no fuss set up
- less things to go wrong
When I look at the pros and cons, it seems like the android phone comes out on top. So, I'm asking you, my fellow CarPCers, "What makes the CarPC worth it's price premium over modern smartphones like the iPhone or Android phone?"