Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
Alpine is known for their cutting-edge auto technology, and the Alpine INA-W900 will be a welcome addition to any dashboard. However, this in-dash navigation system needs some improvements in order to satisfy the needs of some drivers. It does not have built-in Bluetooth, and it doesn't feature voice-controlled navigation, environmentally conscious routing or an auxiliary input. Nonetheless, it is still one of the top ten best car GPS navigation units we reviewed.
This double DIN in-dash navigation unit features a large 7-inch touchscreen monitor. The GPS uses the NAVTEQ map database with over 6 million points of interest (POIs). POIs are pre-programmed destinations that you can find simply by typing in the name instead of having to know the address. You can navigate your way to these POIs or any location by following the overhead 2D map or switching to the three-dimensional street view map.
You will get turn-by-turn directions from the voice guidance system, or get more specific directions from the text-to-speech function. There is no voice control function for navigation, but you can use simple voice commands for voice dialing on your phone – if you have Bluetooth. Additionally, this in-dash navigation system does not feature an eco-friendly driving function, which could help save you money and reduce your carbon footprint.
One of the biggest downfalls of the Alpine INA-W900 is the lack of built-in Bluetooth. If you want to make your in-dash navigation receiver Bluetooth-enabled, you will need to get the KCE-400BT adapter. This will let you sync up your cell phone to the receiver for hands-free calling and dialing. In addition to phones, you can also sync up media players to your stereo. Hopefully future incarnations of the Alpine in-dash GPS unit will feature Bluetooth connectivity built in to the system.
We were also unable to find an auxiliary input for connecting an MP3 player on the in-dash navigation unit. However, there is a USB connection, and there is a CD/DVD player behind the motorized monitor. The media menus look just like the GPS menus, so it's easy to navigate, plus you can keep the navigational window in the corner of the screen as you play music.
In addition to the regular media options for this in-dash navigation unit, such as music and video, there is also a rear camera input port. This enables you to see the images from your rear camera right on your dashboard. Plus, the INA-W900 back-up camera function gives you a perspective guide using animated traffic cones, which you can turn on and off.
One strange thing about the Alpine website is the disclaimer they have on their contact page. It says, "At this time, we are unable to respond to product questions via e-mail so you will not receive a reply." This message has been on their site for a while now, and it is unclear if and when this problem with the form will be fixed. In the meantime, however, you can contact the company by phone or refer to the FAQs page or online manual with question about your in-dash navigation.
This in-dash navigation unit is for those people who don't necessarily need a Bluetooth connection. Other than that missing element, the Alpine INA-W900 is a well-built car GPS receiver with an intuitive interface. We look forward to more exciting in-dash systems like this one from Alpine Electronics.