LG has entered the ultra-competitive GPS market this month with a splash, releasing the Portable Navigator LN730, LN735, and LN740. The LN740 is the most expensive of the three, sporting a larger 4-inch screen, more POIs, more storage, and real-time traffic.
LG's new GPS line looked more promising than most, as the deep-pocketed company spent big bucks developing their own hardware & software rather than outsourcing both to the lowest bidders. Can LG compete with Garmin, Magellan, and TomTom in the already-crowded GPS market? Read on and find out.
Figure 1: LN740 Retail Box
Figure 2: LN740 Retail Box, Opened
LG's LN740 ships with the following items included in the box:
Figure 3: LN740 - What's included in the Box
Figure 4: LG's Included Cigarette Lighter Power Adapter
The included 12v cigarette lighter adapter is small an fit easily into my 12v socket.
Figure 5: Included AC Power Adapter
All too frequently GPS manufacturers don't include the AC power adapter and charge up to $30 to purchase one separately, so it's nice to see LG including one in the box with the LN740.
Figure 6: LG's Suction-Cup Windshield Mount
Even the most capable GPS system can be rendered worthless if the mounting hardware is inadequate. Mounting hardware might seem like a minor issue, but with so many companies failing in the area, it deserves special attention in this review.
LG's socket-and-ball style windshield mount is well designed and functioned well during my testing. In may ways, LG's mount is quite similar to Garmin's nuvi mount, which is a good thing since Garmin generally makes outstanding mounts.
Figure 7: LG's Suction-Cup Windshield Mount, Rear
Like Garmin's mounting hardware, LG's mounting bracket forms a socket and ball type joint at the cradle, allowing you to articulate the GPS into almost any viewing angle. Unlike Garmin's mount, however, LG's socketed mount cannot be detached from the ball-joint on the mount's arm. Also, unlike Garmin's mount, LG's mount doesn't provide power to the GPS. Instead, you must connect the power cable directly to the GPS unit itself.
I would have preferred to see a powered mount, as it makes connecting/disconnecting the GPS from the car a much quicker procedure.
Figure 8: Locking the Mount into Place
A lever at the base of the mount tightens/loosens the suction cup. Swing the lever to the "Close" position to secure the mount to the glass.
Figure 9: Adhesive Mounting Disc
If you happen to live in a State or country where it is illegal to mount anything in the windshield of a motor vehicle, you can use the included adhesive mounting disc to mount the LN740 on your dashboard instead.
I'm personally not a huge fan of this method, as it is a much more permanent commitment than a simple suction cup on the windshield glass. Nevertheless, local laws may dictate that you use this method, and LG includes it in case you need it.
Figure 10: Adhesive Mounting Disc
LG includes a standard USB data cable for connecting the LN740 to a Windows PC (for firmware updates or to restore the maps from the included backup CD's if ever needed. Sorry Mac lovers - this is a PC-only affaire.
Figure 11: Included RDS/TMC Traffic Receiver Antenna
The LN740 ships with the TMC Traffic receiver included in the box. Personally, I prefer to see the traffic receiver integrated into the 12v adapter or the windshield mount. LG's antenna must be suction-cupped to the glass and is another unsightly wire in the car.