* Which system is most user-friendly? * We test six of the best-sellers * Find the results, here...
Here are Lola's conclusions on the six best-selling systems. Just click below to visit each version.
Each system is reviewed and given awards for areas where it excels - if applicable of course.
Browse the list below to see exactly what usability expert Lola Oyelayo thought of each system tested.
5th Jaguar Virtual Instruments
'Immediately the omens aren't good. The old-fashioned screen display looks like Windows 3.0, and these poor graphics stand out as they are housed in such an elegant, futuristic cabin.
'The controls are entirely touch-screen. In my view, that makes it extremely hard to use while driving. Some people may say this is a good thing that people shouldn't be trying to delve into computer functions while driving, but clearly that is what many of the other systems I tested are designed to do.
'Unfortunately, the voice control system was hard to get comfortable with quickly and didn't respond to my voice as well as some of the others on test. The steering wheel controls are good, which gets round some of the problem, but they don't allow you to access all of the system's functionality. For instance, changing the sat-nav view is something you might want to do while driving to a location, but it was not clear to me if this was possible.
'There was one highlight: the single screen actually splits if you select the TV function on the move, so the passenger can watch it but the driver can't. It is
a flawless application probably the best dual-display integration I've ever seen.'
Touch-screen and voice control are hard to use; old-school looks, too
Most innovative feature (for TV with multi-view)
6th Lexus Remote Touch
'The system takes a completely different approach to the others, but unfortunately that is its undoing. The control is a take on the 'point and click' computer mouse technology that's more than 25 years old, but the Lexus system requires a level of precision that is hard to achieve when you're stationary, let alone driving.
'Even at its least-sensitive setting the joystick is too sensitive and the mouse moves too freely to be accurate. You would get used to it, but it would never be a pleasure to use.
'It also adds a level of complexity. On most of the systems, accessing the initial level of information involves finding the button you need and clicking it. Here you need to locate your mouse pointer visually, move it to the right place and then click. The extra fraction of a second this takes is a frustrating distraction. Having to press a button to confirm your voice commands is another nuisance.
'The display is also set too deeply into the dashboard. You don't need to feel an intimacy with the display, but setting it so far back into the dash, and not angling it towards the driver sufficiently, makes it feel remote. The screen's look didn't convey the system's cutting-edge technology, either. The colour rendering was poor and some of the fonts basic. As with the Jaguar, it didn't sit comfortably within an executive car.'
'Mouse' is far too sensitive and display looks dated; fiddly voice control
No awards won.