Parrot has taken the plunge. This leader in mobile phone technology and wireless solutions has brought us the first of a new wave of car radios.
While naysayers have expounded at length on the imminent demise of radio, I have always seen the CD player as being in far more danger of becoming extinct.
Parrot’s new in-dash radio supports my view by being one of the first “mechless” car radios. (“Mechless” describes a radio without a CD player mechanism.) In lieu of the CD player, the unit has iPod/iPhone docking and ways to access a number of species of modern media.
Amy Gilroy at Twice.com notes some of its features in her recent review:
The Parrot RKi8400 also has built-in stereo Bluetooth, a USB port and an SD card reader. It uses a 2.4-inch color LCD TFT screen and a large dial for scrolling through album art and playlists. When the cellphone rings, the system automatically switches to hands-free mode.
The single-DIN RKi8400 also offers Bluetooth calling features, such as voice recognition and automatic synchronization of names in a phonebook, without the need for voice training.
This seems to be a pretty well thought out device. I particularly like the little things such as the hidden compartment behind the faceplate for storing your iPod, SD, etc. Not only does it make it less tempting to burglars but it also keeps the portable units and their cords out of the way while driving. The hands free Bluetooth integration for cell phones also makes it much safer for drivers, particularly as more states are instituting fines for talking on mobiles or texting while driving.
Image: Parrot Online Press Room