The 21st Century Road Trip
I've written about car audio and navigation at Crutchfield since 2006. During that time, I've driven to a lot of concerts in many different cities, so portable navigators have come in quite handy. I've also worked at several record stores and volunteered as a DJ at a community radio station, so I've applied the lessons of listening to music from several sources and in various environments to my own evaluations and writing.
More from Dominic DeVito
Heads up!Welcome to this article from the Crutchfield archives. Have fun reading it, but be aware that the information may be outdated and links may be broken.
The fun of the road trip can still include classics like singalongs and the license-plate game, but isn’t it great to know you can do stuff like surf the web and catch your favorite TV shows from the back seat? We offer some cool solutions for making this summer’s travels even more fun.
Rules of the road: easy and fun
Spending hours on the road doesn’t need to be a stressful affair, with worries about missed emails or keeping everyone from getting annoyed. On-the-go entertainment is now more accessible than ever, with smartphones, tablets, and other devices that can keep passengers occupied with a variety of options. But you want to make sure these devices are easy to use in the car, or they’ll soon lose their charms. That’s where we can help, with accessories and other ideas that’ll make the transition of your favorite gadgets from home to car a seamless one.
Today’s 3G and Wi-Fi® networks make it easy to bring the joys of the web with you so you can stay up-to-date with your social media accounts, email, news feeds, and more. Rates and coverage vary from area to area, so check with your provider before you hit the road. Now, let's get to the gadgets!
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Find your way and stay entertained
As the driver, you’re not going to be able to watch movies or play on a device, but a dedicated in-dash navigation receiver makes it easy to stay on track while your passengers are occupied. The Kenwood Excelon DNX9990HD gives you maps from industry-leader Garmin with free traffic updates to keep you aware of congestion along your route. You’ll have plenty of musical options at your disposal as well.
Surf the web anywhere with mobile Wi-Fi
The Autonet Mobile in-car router lets your passengers surf the web wirelessly in the car. It provides wireless connectivity to up to ten Wi-Fi enabled devices at once, even while your car’s in motion. The router runs over 3G and 2.5G networks to give your passengers broadband speed and extensive coverage over the entire United States. Hard-wiring of the router to your vehicle for power and a service subscription are required.
Mount your iPad® in the back seat
Turn your headrests into video screens without a permanent modification — inCarBite’s iPad car mounts are sturdy, compact holders that install without tools on most removable dual-post headrests, so your backseat passengers can check out movies and more on their iPads from the comfort of the back seat. Once you’re at your destination, you can use the holder with an inCarBite desktop dock to view your iPad on a tabletop or mounted underneath a cabinet.
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Catch your favorite shows
The Slingbox PRO-HD Model 300 connects to your home cable box, DVR, or satellite TV receiver to let you enjoy your favorite shows on your laptop or mobile device. If you have the Autonet Mobile router in your car, you can access content from miles away while you’re riding along.
With the Slingbox attached to your home system, you can catch all the television action on your computer or device from nearly anywhere.
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Listen without wires