Alpine gives portable satnav the 'bird

Alpine looks set to ruffle some feathers with the arrival of the Blackbird PMD-B100P, the first portable satnav system from the in-car AV specialist.

Designed to offer Alpine fans an alternative to rivals like TomTom , the Blackbird combines a 4GB hard disk drive, SD/MMC slot and Navteq route-mapping, built on a Windows CE platform. The Blackbird contains driving details for 22 European countries, 7-digit postcode searching and London Congestion charging zone support.

Other key features include the ability to check for - and potentially avoid - upcoming jams using its built-in Traffic Message Channel (TMC) facility. It's built-in audio player that enables you to quickly find and listen to tracks stores on up to 4GB of SD or MMC flash memory.

Team the £399 Blackbird with its optional dock (the PMD-DOK1, £150) and the black satnav device takes on a whole new lease of life - thanks to its ability to integrate with an existing Alpine in-car AV system. This potentially gives you the ability to view the Blackbird's route-mapping on a bigger screen, and even use your car's hi-fi remote control to access the Blackbird's various functions. Full specs are given below:

Tech specs

  • Unit size: 145 mm x 74 mm x 29 mm
  • Unit weight: 227g
  • CPU: Centrality Atlas II ARM9 CPU
  • GPS: embedded 16-channel GPS (built-in main unit, with optional external antenna connection)
  • Hard disk drive: 4GB drive with pre-installed map data
  • Card slot: SD-Card or Multimedia Card (MMC) (up to 4GB)
  • Audio: integrated speaker in main unit, amplified large speaker in cradle, stereo headphone jack, optional audio output from docking station
  • RDS-TMC tuner: Built-in main unit, antenna on the power line of cigar lighter charger USB interface: USB 2.0
  • Handheld mode: 5V @ 1A (via Lithium-ion battery)
  • Cradle mode: 12VDC @ 2A (via cigar lighter charger)
  • Fuse: AGC / 3AG -2 amp
  • Operating temperature: 0° - 45°
  • Storage temperature: -25° - 70°
  • Display size: diagonal
  • Display resolution: QCVA 320 x 240 pixel
  • Display type: Digital TFT display with antiglare touch-screen
  • Display brightness: 200nits (200cd/m2)