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on 22 September 2005
After shopping around for a GPS system for my car, I saw this on Amazon and couldn't believe the price! So I ordered and nervously awaited its arrival.

I received it last week and was really surprised. This is a quality bit of kit! The main units feels solid and well built, and it comes with a host of accessories:
- Windscreen suction mount
- In car charger
- 240v charger
- carry case (with screen cleaning cloth)
- USB cable
- And external antenna (the TomTom one sells separately on Amazon for £49.99!!)

The first time I plugged it in it took around 10 mins to find a GPS signal, (but speaking to some friends apparently this happens with most GPS the first time you use it). I got off to a good start: on my first morning to work along the south circular in London it took me an alternative route via Richmond park and saved me around 10 mins of sitting in traffic!! The mapping is clear and very accurate (although you cannot zoom out while driving, which is a bit frustrating), voice instructions are good, postcode searches are superb, and its has some fantastic features. At any one time driving you are only a couple of clicks away from finding the nearest petrol station, train station, sports venue, hotel, restaurant, etc. It will also guide you to your nearest casino....should you have the urge!

It also has an AA guide which will gives locations and reviews on hotels, restaurants, camp sites etc. If you do a lot of travelling this is a great feature, and means you'll never have to eat at a bad restaurant again!

All in all I am thrilled with this purchase. After taking a chance, I think I have found one of the best genuine bargains on the internet. It may not have a the brand or price tag, but this is a quality GPS! Definitely it now!
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on 20 November 2005
I've got to admit that I bought the C&W GPS because of its price and it seemed to do what I needed. The others didn't stand out e.g. Tom Tom as the feedback was quite mixed. Below are my experiences of the C&W GPS:
* You need to learn what the limitations are - one such one is when the GPS signal isn't strong enough the system freezes - if you press the standby(sleep) button off and on this helps the system to try and find a signal - works most times
* Another limitation is the actual route - I've relied on it to take me the whole way and found that it doesn't always find the quickest/best/avoiding traffic route. From now on I'm going to look at a map for the initial part of the journey and rely upon the GPS half way into my journey.
* As I've got to use the standby(sleep) button to unfreeze the GPS I have occassionally pressed the button to the left which turns the whole machine off. This is frustrating as it takes about 3-5 mins for it to boot and then start navigating.
* More positively, once the GPS gets a signal it tends to keep it (with the help of the sleep button in weak reception areas) and get you to your destination. This is what I guess most people buy this for.
* The map showing you where you are doesn't allow you to zoom out to see the whole recommended jourey, hence the reason to still look at a map mentioned above.
* I don't know if other GPS systems allow you to lower the brightness but with this one I find that at night it tends to illuminate the car. I would prefer to tone it down a bit.
* I've installed the external antennae in the front window and yes, you do need to have it. Saying that though, at least you don't need to pay for it like you do with the Tom Tom.
* I feel that on the whole, the system is fairly good - certainly better than looking at bits of paper nearer to my destination. I still don't feel that the Tom Tom or others are dramatically better. When the technology moves on, I'll look to upgrade in a few years time.
Hope this helps.
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on 14 June 2006
my wife bought the sat nav unit for me for Christmas.Having read the reviews i thought i would give it Six month before passing judgement.

With the external aerial and a solid cigar lighter connection there is no problem.To the complainers i say, you have to remember it is a pda if you suddenly turn the power off and on you will spike it and it will freeze so put it into sleep mode before starting the engine or inserting and removing the power cable.

We have two cars in one it works fine without the aerial in the other it is essential.

Locating the aerial:it does not have to be outside the car.It has to be horizontal,i tuck it into a flap just underneath the sunroof and never recieve less than five signals.

As regards to the directions it will follow main roads.Depending on how you set it up.

I admit when used locally where i have lived for over forty years i know better.But the other week i had a call to go to Walsall to pick up a car.I got the garage to give me the Number of their unit and postcode.The sat nav took me straight to the door saying "you have reached your destination" At the front door.I do not know if it was the shortest/quickest/least congested route because i had never been there before.What mattered was i got there in a reasonable time and never once needed a map.

I would appreciate some feedback from the manufacturer though on what i am supposed to do with the Data cable.
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on 8 November 2005
Here's my honest opinion of this product after a week of use.
Bad points
1. Map coverage is less than advertised, Ireland and parts of UK not covered.
2. Points of interest do not tally with map coverage, also displayed on unmapped areas.
3. Post code entry does not include some postcodes, such as N1 8EX. This got me lost.
4. External aerial needed at all times.
5. User interface is inconsistent, buttons that do the same thing move from screen to screen.
6. CF card can only be ejected with peice of metal (supplied!).
7. No USB connectivity, no way to get data on or off the unit.
8. Customer service/help line is very bad in my experience (£25 of phone calls).
9. No upgrade path for software or maps.
Good points
1. Software features generally quite good.
2. Touch screen works well and has good visibility.
3. Speaker/voice quality, clarity and volume good.
For this amount of money I expect a product with good customer support and a future in terms of software and map updates.
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on 24 October 2005
I purchased one of the Cable & Wireless CWSNS-1000 systems and quite frankly after reading the previous review I am now most disapointed, I was suspect of the fact that the other review was the only one I could find on the Web!
After using it, I took it back, I simply couldn't get a signal on it in my car without the external aerial, which is no wonder they supply the device with it. It worked OK with the external aerial on, but who wants to install it on their car? to try it out I opened the window and put the aerial on the bonnet, so with the outside noise it was just silly!
It does warn you that if you have a heat reflective windscreen or a heated front windscreen then you must install the external aerial, but I haven't got either of those and I drove around with the satnav on for over an hour.
I'm sure there must be models out there that get a signal without all this hassle, as I may want to swap it from car to car.
In summing up, features OK (nothing special), not the greatest mapping, but most importantly non existent reception without external aerial, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
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on 26 November 2005
I bought this recognising that it was at the cheap end of the market. The first model would not even boot up but thanks to Amazon's excellent returns system I had a new one within days.
This booted up properly and can get you from A to B. Unfortunately the external aerial has failed within 7 days of use due to a broken connector. The night mode is too bright and I would like to be able to zoom out and see the whole journey before committing to follow its lead. As an aftermarket product the security issue means that you have to dismantle and assemble everytime you leave your car so I will have to change my car!!!
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on 13 April 2006
My son gave my wife and I the C&W Satnav for Christmas - yes, the internal aerial does not work and one does need to use the external aerial. Having said that, we have not experienced any problems and I use it every week on my travels to and from Client sites and weekends when the wife and I go travelling. it has opened up a new vista for us - we are travelling and seeing areas we never knew existed - one just has to be daring and adventurous.

The nightlight is a bit bright and the sound is sometimes a bit weak, but all in all a good buy for its price. Being able to zoom out and see the entire route or at least be able to navigate the route beforehand would be good.

My only real gripe is that there appears to be little in the way of information available on the web - not even C&W's website mentions the unit. Where can we get upgrades etc from?

For those who complain about the unit - you get what you pay for - compare prices - at this price do you seriously think that it can be better than those units at twice the price?

Get a life and go travelling - use the unit - you can't get lost!
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on 24 November 2005
The Cable & Wireless CWSNS-1000 looked fairly ok for the cash, HOWEVER - After only reading the one or mixed reviews online i decided i will get one.
I plugged my new toy in and it took about 15 mins to get a signal, (I thought fair enough, its the first time i switched it on) the signal then was lost every minute or two,(it was a clear perfect day).
I then decided i was better off connecting the external Aerial, I fitted this to the rear window in my car and the signal did not improve at all, After looking closer the aerial was a magnet which stuck on the outside of the car! (so you had to trap the wire in the window and stick the aerial to the roof! ) not the best idea)- After ringing the Cable & Wireless customer services they said the aerial is designed to go on the outside of the car but... that was only a guess from a chap who worked there as he advised there was no real support for the GPS unit..!!!! (but its not 100% water proof, so not advisable to use in the rain)
With the aerial on the roof, I set off upto the motorway to go to Manchester, The GPS did not direct me onto the motorway, it didnt evern see the motorway, (M62 - not like its new!) it wanted to head off over the moors which is not the quickest or shortest, all the setting were correct)
On the return journey it was pouring with rain so i sacked the External aerial and just tried it on the internal aerial, It did not get any signal for the full journey, (80 Miles!!)
One other thing is that the maps and software arepoor, directions poor, it does not say things like "Take the next motorway junction, " it just says "Turn Left" and things like "Continue on motorway for a while" How longs a while?? It does not have Junction numbers on it, no option for upgrades for speed cameras and points of interest etc..
3 days later i returned the item as it also kept freezing and i had to use the reset button at least 10 time in 4 days.
I now have a TOM TOM 300 which has perfect full signal with no external aerial, Really good Maps and Directions, It was another £100 more but worth every penny.
Just dont make the same mistake. - Cheers
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on 6 November 2005
Looks good, easy to install, the problem arises when you want to navigate some place, the Post code seach is a nightmare it can't find them, you need to select from the map, and to be quite honest, if you know were your going on a map why would you need a navigator. when you select from the map it gets you there but not by the quickest or shortest route. I phoned the Only Point of contact that came with the Instalation Instructions this puts you through to a Alba Helpline, I waited 20mins in a phone Q, and when I spoke to them I asked for a support webpage for updates & help, this is what they said, there isnt one!. I dug deeper for info explaining the postcode search won't find postcodes and he said they new little about this and the Information in them needs updateing and that there will be a webpage coming and that it wasn't public yet, it was a case of they thought they would rush them out for christmas to get some sales, and if I could hang on for a bit it would all get sorted and there would probably be a press release stating this, but he couldn't give me any idea when as he did not know.
I'm sure with the updates and the support this will be a well priced peice of Kit, but for me it just doesn't work, I decided to give it a go and have had it over 8 days and tried it over several known routes, it just didn't do it's intended job.
so I've decided its going back tomorrow and i'll be purchasing the same Navigator as my Daughter she has a TT 500, she had it up and running within 10 minutes and it does what it says, it cost's quite a bit more, buy hey it works, and it works well.
Hope this helps someone. Regards All
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on 8 November 2005
Having read the other reviews, I was a bit sceptical about buying this - however, I have had no problems at all. I have used it for over a week now, in 3 different cars, in locations from Amersham to Birmingham.
It has found me everytime, including in my parents close- which i was very impressed about.
It is clear and easy to use. Whilst en-route you can change from fastest to shortest - and it re-calcs straight away. If you decide that you know best in terms of the route, or you are day dreaming and ignore what it says, it re-calulates your new route almost instantly.
I like the fact you can put in postcode, or just town, and it takes you there
Having used Navman and Garmin before, I'm glad I chose this.
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