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Dash Express

Portable navigation system with Internet connectivity

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  • Dash Express

    Front

  • Dash Express

    3 routes displayed

  • Dash Express

    Keyboard

  • Dash Express

    Left

  • Dash Express

    Menu

  • Dash Express

    Navigation

  • Dash Express

    Navigation

  • Dash Express

    Right

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    Search for services

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    Stored favorites

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    TruTraffic

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    WiFi connections

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    Yahoo search

Item #: 081EXPRESS
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Dash Express

by Dominic Devito

Who needs a portable navigator?

Portable GPS puts you in touch with the world when you're on the road. Tap the restaurant icon, and it asks you what kind of food you're looking for. Type in "Mexican," and you're eating a burrito before you know it. A portable navigator not only gets you to your destination, it can also find museums, theaters, and other spots along the way. Many navigators receive traffic reports, so you can avoid jams. Other cool features range from hands-free calling to 3D graphics and lane guidance. Best of all, you can move a portable easily from car to car, a big plus for multi-car families.

Dash comes up with a brand new take on portable navigation. The Dash Express portable navigation system combines two-way Internet connectivity with GPS functionality, offering unparalleled performance in finding destinations and receiving accurate traffic updates in real time. Your subscription to the Dash Service gives you revolutionary features that make the Dash Express an exceptionally useful everyday driving travel companion.

The Dash Express features a bright 4.3" color display and an extremely simple interface — just a menu button and a volume control. With Internet connectivity, you'll have access to unlimited points of interest for locating services, and you can view detailed maps of the entire United States in 2-D or 3-D mode. The Dash Express features text-to-speech voice prompts that announce the street name for your next turn.

The Dash Express wirelessly connects to the Dash Service through Wi-Fi and GPRS. The wide coverage area means you'll rarely be out of range, though download speeds may vary from place to place. The Dash Service offers access to a wealth of features, including:

  • TruTraffic™: Dash shares live traffic information gathered anonymously from other Dash devices on the road through the Dash Driver Network™. The Dash Express combines this data with historical and sensor-based input to show you traffic flow on up to three different routes so you can choose the best one.
  • Yahoo!® Local Search: You'll never have to worry about an antiquated points-of-interest database as you find services, restaurants, user ratings, gas prices, movie times, and more in your area using the latest information from Yahoo! and other sites you know and trust. You can customize your searches for the most accurate results in your area, and save the search results for future reference.
  • Send2Car™: Adding points of interest or finding specialty services has never been so easy. Look up any location online, then send it wirelessly to the Dash Express without typing, scribbling, or synching. Send addresses wirelessly to the Dash Express from the MyDash website or find and create new search lists and categories. You can also create custom Saved Searches at home and send them to your car.
  • AutoUpdate: Dash updates your device with the latest software, features, and historical traffic information automatically — and at no additional cost to you.

A free 3-month trial subscription to the Dash Service is included with your Dash Express purchase. The following subscription rates apply for the activated service:

  • Purchase a 2-year prepaid plan for $9.99 a month
  • Purchase a 1-year prepaid plan for $10.99 a month
  • Purchase a month-to-month plan for $12.99 a month

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • GPS satellite navigation unit with built-in antennas for GPS, Wi-Fi, and GPRS
  • suction-cup windshield mount and dashboard disk
  • car/home power adapters, USB cable, and built-in rechargeable battery with up to 2 hours of life
Navigation features:
  • 4.3" color (480 x 272 pixels) touchscreen control
  • preloaded with maps of the entire United States and 1 million points of interest
  • unlimited points of interest with Yahoo! Local Search, including gas prices and movie times
  • TruTraffic live traffic updates
  • text-to-speech technology lets voice prompts announce road names over the built-in speaker
  • Send2Car allows you to send addresses to the device from your computer
  • AutoUpdate delivers the latest maps and software wirelessly
  • security feature allows Dash to disable most functions wirelessly
  • multi-destination routing: none
  • navigation modes: automobile
Expandability:
  • subscribe to the Dash Service for access to Yahoo! Local Search, TruTraffic, Send2Car, AutoUpdate, and other Internet-based applications — subscription rates apply (3-month free trial subscription included with Dash Express purchase)
  • ready for future web-based applications including RSS feeds and other user customizations
Other features and specs:

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
Features
Maps Built-in
Map Coverage USA
Points of Interest 1,000,000+
Multiple Destination Routing No
Screen Size 4.3"
Widescreen Yes
Bluetooth Capable No
Photo Viewer ---
Digital Audio Playback ---
Text To Speech Yes
Voice Control No
Dynamic Content Services ---
Removable Memory Type N/A
Battery Life 2 Hours
Warranty
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Portable GPS navigation receiver
  • Cigarette lighter power adapter with attached 6' straight cord
  • 39" USB cable (with Type A USB connector on one end and a Mini-USB 2.0 connector on the other end)
  • AC adapter with attached 59" cord
  • Adjustable suction cup mount
  • Self-adhesive plastic dash mounting disc
  • Mounting arm extension
  • Soft padded carry case
  • Allen wrench
  • 2 Alcohol prep pads
  • Installation Guide
  • Getting Started Guide
  • Customer Service card
  • Letter from Dash CEO

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Overview: The Dash Express is the first two-way, Internet-connected GPS navigation system. The Dash Service (subscription required after 3-month free trial) provides TruTraffic--accurate and current traffic data, up-to-date content through the Internet via Yahoo! Local search, and updates of map, traffic, and software via cellular and Wi-Fi networks. You can even get up-to-the-minute gas prices and movie times.

Connectivity: The Dash Express uses two types of wireless technologies, Wi-Fi and cellular (GPRS), to connect to the Dash Service. The unit automatically switches to the best wireless connection.

Dash Service: At the heart of the Dash Express is the Dash Service and all of its benefits. After the free 3-month trial period, you can purchase a subscription to the Dash Service on a one-year or two-year prepaid plan, or a month-to-month plan. A subscription to the Dash Service provides the following:

  • TruTraffic: Utilizing the Dash Driver Network, the Dash Express anonymously collects and sends position and speed data from other Dash Express users to servers at the Dash Network Operations Center. The Dash servers then update all other Dash devices in the area with current road speeds. In addition, Dash devices receive traffic data from road sensors, commercial fleets, and other sources. Based on where the data originates, the unit displays solid lines (live traffic data from the Dash Driver Network) or dashed lines (historical or sensor data from other sources) in color codes to indicate the traffic conditions: Green: Normal, free flowing; Yellow: slightly congested; Orange: moderately congested; Red: heavily congested. The Dash Express also offers up to three routes to your destination, using the TruTraffic information to calculate an ETA (estimated time of arrival) for each route.
  • Yahoo! Local Search: Instead of a static database of information, Dash subscribers have two-way Internet connectivity with Yahoo! Local Search to help you find unlimited current and relevant data about businesses, products, and services available along your route. You can get reviews from the Yahoo! community to help you choose where to eat, sleep, or visit along the way. Not only can you find gas stations or movie theaters along the route, you can search for the cheapest gas prices and movie start times. These searches can be saved, and used again and again.
  • Map and Software Updates: Dash Express is the first and only navigation device that uses both cellular radio and Wi-Fi networks to automatically and wirelessly update its maps, traffic, and software. The exclusive AutoUpdate feature improves your unit without requiring you to to connect it to your computer or send it back to the dealer. Updates are performed in the background, and do not affect the functionality of the GPS. Note: Some extremely large map updates may require a USB connection.
  • My Dash/Send2Car: With a Dash Service subscription, you can log into your MyDash account from any Internet-connected computer to easily manage and send information wirelessly to your device. If you'd like to send an address to your Dash Express, you can log in to MyDash, type an address, click Send, and the selected destination appears on your Dash device within seconds. If the unit isn't on at the time, the information is cached and re-sent the moment it is powered on. Furthermore, a software plug-in is available for most web browsers and Microsoft Outlook (one is also available for Macs) that allows you to highlight the address, right-click, and click "Send2Car" right from the menu. This allows other persons to send addresses to you if you're already on the road. Other MyDash applications allow you to instantly access real estate listings and property details, access your electronic calendar, find titles of songs you just heard on the radio, find speed traps and photo enforcement camera locations, and receive up-to-the-minute information about current and future weather conditions.

Note: The Dash Service is not required. If you choose not to subscribe after the trial period, the unit continues to function as a GPS device without the above-mentioned services.

GPS Receiver: The Dash Express is equipped with the high-sensitivity, 20-channel SiRFstarIII GPS receiver for quick acquisition of the GPS signals from the overhead satellites.

LCD Screen: The Dash Express has a bright, 4.3" LCD touchscreen with a glare-resistant coating, and a resolution of 480 x 272 pixels.

Touch-sensitive Buttons: Along the top of the unit, there are two large touch-sensitive buttons. One button activates the on-screen volume setting, where you can quickly adjust the volume of the navigation voice commands from 1 to 11 or mute. The large Menu button activates the on-screen menu.

Main Menu: The main menu offers the following options:

  • Favorites: All of your favorite destinations and saved searches are stored under the "Favorites" tab. You can add to your Favorites by touching "Favorite" from any address card, search, or saved search.
  • POI Search: You can search by category from the pre-loaded database of one million Points of Interest (Airports, Banks, Food, Gas, Golf Courses, Grocery Stores, etc.) or enter your search using the intuitive "QWERTY" keyboard to search the Internet through Yahoo! Local Search. Searches can be limited to "nearby" destinations within a 20-mile radius of your position, or to locations in another city or state.
  • Choose a Destination: You can choose a destination using any of the following methods: type an address, recent destinations, address book, browse places to go (same as search categories), or addresses sent to car.
  • Settings: The Dash Express can be configured any way you desire. Parameters that can be set include:
    • 2D Map View: You can set the map to North Up or Car Up.
    • Traffic View: The traffic view can be live traffic only, traffic along route only, or all traffic.
    • Brightness: The screen brightness can be set to one of 12 settings, or set to automatically adjust to ambient brightness.
    • Day/Night Mode: You can select day mode, night mode, or automatically adjusted by time.
    • Turn Off/Power Down: You can turn off the unit through the menu if desired. To totally turn off, the unit must be removed from all power sources.
    • Manage Wi-Fi: The unit connects automatically to any open Wi-Fi network. You can set the unit to connect to a secure Wi-Fi network by entering the wireless settings directly into the unit.
    • System Information: This page gives you the unit's serial number and model number, the current software version and operating system, map data, traffic data, GPRS, Wi-Fi status, Dash Server, size of Address book, Available disk and RAM space, MAC address, and IMSI.
 
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Dash Express Reviews

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5 out of 5

Makes Los Angeles Almost Bearable. Could Be Better But by Far the Best

Written By backwardghost, Los Angeles, CA on Wednesday, August 06, 2008
 
It's already saved me a ton of time and gas. There's a monthly fee of $10 for the internet service (which you totally need to make the Dash do it's thing) but I figure that I've already made that $ back when time and gas are considered. The Dash showed me a few new ways to work and each of them cut my normal commute from about 45min to about 35min. To me that's a huge deal. Especially considering that those 10 mins are mins that I would be stuck in traffic. Not just 10 mins of a nice drive in the countryside.

I bought the Dash for the traffic stuff. And it's by far the best traffic I've seen on any GPS device. That being said a few of the features are really great. The movie search feature works flawlessly and comes in handy. It shows you all the movies and times and it's really easy to navigate.

Yes, the Dash can be a little slow. Also the Dash figures out the routes first and THEN computes the traffic for each route. This can be slightly annoying and requires you to make some of your own decisions along your route. But still...what are we comparing it to? There's nothing else like the Dash on the market. And besides some of the problems Dash will probably fix. They've recently sent out some fixes that address a lot of the problems I read about in other reviews. Cool. There's no comparison because it's the only one of its kind!

Highly Recommended!
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

I really wanted to keep this product but...

Written By Chuck, Southern California on Friday, August 01, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I love the idea behind the Dash. It's radical, constantly being updated, Yahoo search, et. al. But, alas I sent it back. Why? Read on....

Size. I just couldn't get past the size. I like to take my GPS with me and put it in my pocket. I've done this for years with my Garmin iQue. When traveling it makes it easy to pull it out to decide where to eat or see a movie.

Traffic. I had the Dash and a Nuvi 780 side by side in my car for a week. More often than not the Nuvi was more accurate with traffic. I guess the Dash has potential to improve in this area.

Bluetooth. None in Dash. The Nuvi is now my hands free device in my car. I hate the "in ear" BT devices so this works perfectly. Dash can't do bluetooth.

Sorry, Dash. I do like the company and think the Dash II will be a killer product when it comes out.
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1 out of 5

Dash Express

Written By GPSdude650, Burlingame, CA on Friday, July 18, 2008
 
First, for any of you potential buyers out there...I heard the hype about the latest and greatest, next best thing, blah blah blah. This product does not have the most up to date traffic, or search capabilities, in fact it does not even work. Also, the fact that you have to pay a monthly fee is absolutely ridiculous! I wasted my money on this, please do not do the same.
1 out of 6 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

Nice device, poor customer service

Written By Bob, Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 15, 2008
 
Having read many good reviews on the DASH, I particularly liked the fact that the traffic data provided is the result of information provided by additional fleet users, contributing to the accuracy and timeliness of traffic flow info, which is especially useful and relevant here in the LA metro area.

I was surprised when I powered the unit up and began using it to find that a major freeway artery -- the I-5 or Golden State Freeway, one of the busiest in America -- is mislabeled along a 20 mile stretch through the heart of downtown LA (It is shown as the "I-10"). While this seemed an easily understandable and fixable map error, the DASH customer service I was able to reach by email was poor.

The map error is still not corrected. I am not confident in the map integrity, and not impressed with the customer support.
4 out of 6 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Dash Express

Written By donna, nyc on Saturday, July 12, 2008
 

I owned a TomTom and a Garmin and now I have just purchased The Dash. I have to say this is by far the best GPS I have ever owned. You can search Yahoo right in your car for almost anything, (gas prices, stores, movie times, etc.) The traffic part of the GPS works great and comes in very handy to find an alternate route when there is alot of traffic. The Dash is very easy to use.
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Great Potential

Written By Stuart, Alameda, CA on Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is a product that will only get better as the Dash team is hard at work fine tuning and adding features. While a Garmin GPS still does a better job of navigation it is the additional benefits that the Dash brings to the table that make it a great product. Everyone should at least try a Dash to see for themselves the forward thinking features it brings as a 'connected' device.
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Outstanding GPS

Written By Jennifer, Greensboro, NC on Sunday, June 22, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I bought my Dash
from Crutchfield in
early June and LOVE
it! I just made my
first long trip with
it, and it has
guided me every step
along the way. From
searching for nearby
organic markets,
gyms, starbucks...
you name it. The
internet
connectivity is one
of the best features
of this device.
Also, the online
community
is great. There are
a plethora of 3rd
party apps listed
that you can send to
your device. Also,
the forums are a
huge help for the
learning about the
coolest 3rd party
apps. This gps is a
must have for any
tech enthusiast.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

THE GPS for internet geeks

Written By Matthew, Phoenix, AZ on Friday, June 20, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The problem with
most GPS units is
that their main
purpose is to get
you to someplace in
which you're not
familiar with, and
that's about it.

Well, the Dash
Express goes one big
step forward by
being
internet-connected
via cellular service
(or Wi-Fi). The
biggest advantage
this gives you is
real-time traffic
updates, and the
Dash Express will
even offer you a
quicker route if the
one you're on
suddenly becomes
congested. But it
doesn't stop there.
It has Yahoo Local
built into the unit.
Most GPS units have
pre-programmed POI's
built into them, but
they are limited. By
connecting with
Yahoo Local, the
POI's are constantly
being updated, and
you get additional
up-to-date
information about
them as well.

For example, on
other GPS's, you can
find the nearest gas
stations, but with
the Dash Express, I
can find not only
the nearest gas
stations, but also
how much they are
charging for gas.

Additionally, the
device is regularly
updated by Dash,
since it's connected
to the internet, so
you always have
up-to-date maps that
you don't have to
buy separately. And
you can even send
data to and from
your Dash Express
and your PC using
freely available
Dash Apps. In fact,
there is a Twitter
application for the
Dash Express that
will post updates to
your Twitter account
to let your friends
know exactly where
you're at.

So, if you're in the
market for a GPS
unit, be sure to
check out the Dash
Express. If you're
as much of an
internet geek as I
am, this is THE GPS
unit to have.
8 out of 8 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Cool Features

Written By David, Chicago, IL on Wednesday, May 14, 2008
 
I've had the Dash for about a month now and have really enjoyed it. The internet connectivity allows for some great features. I can search for gas stations and sort them by current prices, get the latest show times for movie theaters,send addresses to my device directly from my computer, and search locations by name or key words. It is great if you are frequently in towns your not familiar with. The ETA's are pretty accurate and the live traffic info has also been helpful. Dash owners can log on to the Dash website to communicate with one another and the company to offer ideas and suggestions for improvements to the Dash. The fact that those improvements can eventually be sent to the dash in the form of software updates over the internet is also very cool. I would definitely recommend the Dash. Its a nice device that can only get better. I would rate my satisfaction with this product as 5 stars.
15 out of 16 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

the future of navigation is here

Written By bellon, Delaware on Wednesday, May 07, 2008
 
I have the Dash Express and absolutly love it. the online yahoo search capability has saved me loads of money while out on the road and looking for business phone numbers , the closest hardware store etc. I am a busy person so knowing that the Dash network will send me those software and map updates automaticaly is a super feature. knowing that my Dash Express will always be up to date makes this GPS in my opinion an excellent purchase for years to come.
39 out of 47 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Dash Express, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_081EXPRESS/Dash-Express.html ).