The X-970T (£247 inc. VAT) is a mid-range satellite navigation device, and offers an excellent specification within a portable casing.
The connection with Michelin helps to give the X-970T a useful advantage over rivals - a comprehensive Michelin-rated guide for hotels and restaurants is included, along with more usual Points Of Interest (POI), such as garages and petrol stations.
The unit we tested came with European maps on a 2GB SD card, although a UK and Ireland-only version is available for £205 (inc. VAT). The front of the device is covered by a 3.5-inch touchscreen. Even in direct sunlight it remains viewable, and offers rich colours. We found the onscreen buttons large enough for bigger fingers and a stylus is not needed.
There's only one hardware button - the power button, so the surfaces are flat and free from clutter. The menu is logically laid out and easy to understand. With all of the options clearly labelled, this is a simple device for all users, even those new to the world of satellite navigation.
The device displays the next logical letters or numbers when entering addresses - saving time as you don't have to switch between numeric and alphabetic keyboards. With the latest SiRF Star III GPS chip built-in, satellites are located quickly and reception remained good. Although the X-970T was fine on the open road, it struggled in built-up areas.
We found the map lagging behind the verbal directions, making it difficult to decide which corners to take. There are plenty of features to make your journey easier, though.
These include TMC (Traffic Message Channel), which can re-route you to avoid congestion, and Bluetooth, allowing you to use it as a hands-free kit for your phone. Excellent usability helped, but it's a shame the directions are not so easy to follow around town.