With its glossy piano-black bezel and silver plastic back, the new EZY range looks much like the MY-series that debuted last year but for one critical difference: screen size. Whereas the MY50T and MY55T featured 4.7-inch screens, the EZY40 makes do with a 4.3-inch resistive touchscreen with a class standard resolution of 480x272.
Those desirous of a smaller unit or more hip-pocket friendly price tag can opt for the EZY30 that, apart from its 3.5-inch touchscreen and the resultant reduction in mass and dimensions, is identical to the EZY40.
Both units are a little fiddly to set-up initially, with the windscreen mount requiring the mini-USB charging plug to be threaded through it. Otherwise, the EZY40 is easy enough to attach to a car windscreen and it gamely adheres itself despite the best (or worst) efforts of Sydney's roads to dislodge it.
The only physical control for the EZY40 is the on/off/reset slider that's located along the top edge; gone is the MY-series' physical menu button. Another item given the old heave-ho is the slide-to-scroll interface from the S-Series Platinum and MY ranges; a wise choice given the limitations of resistive touchscreens.
In its place is a pared down menu screen consisting of two large buttons (Find and Map) and three smaller buttons (My Places, Settings and Near Me). Dive deep into the menus and there's a handy button in the top-right corner to jump straight back to the main menu.
Destination entry is supremely easy via keyword search, although we'd steer well clear of it for common street names, like George Street. A few quirks remain; for instance, the QWERTY keyboard layout isn't switched on by default and recalling recent destinations requires the user to click My Places and then a rather too small tab denoted by a clock.
The clean, minimalist map screen is retained from previous Navmans, although again here the interface has been revised with the confusing slide-away windows thrown in the bin. Tap the map and a six-icon (Main Menu, Volume, Zoom, Traffic, Route Overview and Cancel Route) menu springs forth.
Thanks to its position near the bottom of the Navman food chain, the EZY40's processor struggles to handle some of the neat fade in/fade out animations. More critically, responsiveness is sometimes an issue; for example, we were able to make a nice croquembouche in the time it took for the volume overlay button on map to register our furious tapping.
The EZY40 checks all the boxes we'd expect from a mid-2010 entry-level model: lane guidance, junction view, text-to-speech, speed limit display, automatic day/night mode, and red light and speed camera warnings.
Also included are alerts for school zones, that — praise be to all the gods past, present and future — only come up during relevant days of the week and times of day. So, finally, its adios to 40km/h warnings during the witching hour!
Loaded with Navteq's latest set of Australia maps, the EZY40 cedes a bit of ground to competitors' models that come with Whereis maps. Chiefly, turn restrictions aren't anywhere near as comprehensive, and the lane guidance is restricted to highways and freeways.
Only two voice choices are available — one male, one female — and both come with a text-to-speech engine that does a reasonable job with Aboriginal street names and Australian pronunciation. In a neat touch, the voice guidance system also announces lane instructions, as well as traffic lights if they're part of the next suggested turn.
Routing is on par with most other GPS units: passable and suitable for guiding you from A to B. Keep in mind, though, that the routes might not be the most efficient and that there's a strong preference for main roads, which can be comforting in unfamiliar locales.
GPS reception is like most portable nav devices: perfect in the suburbs, but marred by the occasional drop out in the CBD where the tall buildings play havoc with satellite reception.
Navman's new EZY GPS range keeps up with the entry-level Joneses thanks to its reworked easier-to-use interface and, joy of joys, time-dependent school zone warnings.