With the Medion GoPal 4425, Medion has put together another natty satnav, combining slim lines with a generous 4.3in widescreen display and improve navigation software.

The Medion GoPal 4425's unique selling point is the fingerprint-recognition feature designed to deter thieves, but we're not at all convinced of the need for it.

Let's kick off with the basics. The Medion GoPal 4425 is a £249 personal navigation device that sports GoPal Navigator 4.0 mapping software and includes TMC (traffic management console) free for the lifetime of the device.

This means that you can expect updates of any nasty snarl-ups you're about to encounter and, where possible, will be given alternative route details to follow. Many satnav devices come with six or 12-month subscriptions to TMC services, so it's a feather in Medion's cap that the Medion GoPal 4425 offers the service as a limitless feature.

We also found the TMC service effective. The prim-sounding woman who oversaw our route from Yorkshire to south London provided an in-depth explanation of the roadworks happening on the M1 and which junctions were affected.

Inching along the affected portion of the motorway was deemed a better bet than a circuituous diversion on to the A5 or A38, so we were advised to plough on. Alternative routes had evidently been considered, though.

The Medion GoPal 4425's navigation software itself has had an overhaul since last year's Medion models too.

The Medion GoPal 4425's onscreen display still lacks the subtlety we admire in Navman's S Series, but colour-coding is used to good effect in the GoPal 4425 to denote which of three or four possible lanes ahead we should be in, in order to progress through complex junctions and intersections. This does much to offset the confusion when lanes on the road ahead change with no warning, and roads merge and split off in an unexpected fashion.

Satellite navigation devices should be about assisting the driver through such situations smoothly and without having to make short-notice lane changes that interrupt traffic flow or endanger other users. By dint of clear route-marking, Medion's updated GoPal maps achieve precisely this.

Not everything about the Medion GoPal 4425 is quite so intuitive, however. Having enjoyed the sensible approach of the Navman S Series models which ping to announce imminent speed cameras – but only if you're likely to fall foul of them and they're actually on your side of the road – the ceaseless pinging of any satnav units in any built-up area becomes unnerving.

The draconian speed limits found on some bypass roads and thoroughways is frustrating enough, without the constant reminder that speed cameras are marshalling your adherence to their 30mph rule.

Trite rebukes to "please observe the speed limit" every time you go near the accelerator are another grievance, though thankfully they can be deactivated on the Medion.

NEXT PAGE: the fingerprint reader, and our expert verdict > >

With the Medion GoPal 4425, Medion has put together another natty satnav, combining slim lines with a generous 4.3in widescreen display and improve navigation software.

The one thing that can't be switched off once you've set it up is the biometric access control. If Medion's reports are to be believed, incidences of thieves taking PNDs (personal navigation devices) from cars, looking up an entry for Home or a Favourite address and then driving round to break in and clear out the satnav owner's home possessions are more than just urban myth.

Therefore Medion lets you register up to five users' fingers on the Medion GoPal 4425 to lock the device and prevent this happening.

Invite a new, non-digitally-registered friend to hitch a ride and tap in their address, though, and they won't be able to use this device. You may also prefer not to advertise the presence of a valuable gadget on-board with one of the included window warning sickers.

The Medion GoPal 4425's fingerprint-recognition feature will appeal to some users more than others.

Many users will also appreciate the voice-recognition functions on this clever unit which limit the amount of physical interaction you need have with it. While you're not supposed to fiddle with settings while driving, if something's not quite right you may still be tempted to tweak - and the voice controls offer a safer alternative for this.

Should you be in any doubt of your vehicle's speedometer accuracy, the split screen feature on this satnav will provide a visual display. In keeping with the unit's multipurpose design, there are pedestrian, cycle and motorcycle modes and the option to navigate by map coordinates

Bluetooth and a music player that is fed via an SD Card are also included with the Medion 4425; so you can use it hands-free or be entertained as you sail along the highways and byways.

Medion GoPal 4425: Specs

  • 4.3in widescreen personal navigation device
  • 396MHz processor
  • Centrality Atlas III GPS receiver
  • 512MB internal memory
  • Navteq GoPal 4.0 mapping software
  • lifetime TMC real-time traffic management
  • fingerprint-recognition security
  • Bluetooth
  • 2GB SD Card memory with UK, Ireland and central European maps
  • FM transmitter
  • MP3 player
  • text-to-speech
  • voice-activated control option
  • 4.3in widescreen personal navigation device
  • 396MHz processor
  • Centrality Atlas III GPS receiver
  • 512MB internal memory
  • Navteq GoPal 4.0 mapping software
  • lifetime TMC real-time traffic management
  • fingerprint-recognition security
  • Bluetooth
  • 2GB SD Card memory with UK, Ireland and central European maps
  • FM transmitter
  • MP3 player
  • text-to-speech
  • voice-activated control option

OUR VERDICT

A sleek device with a usefully large and clear 4.3in touchscreen, there's plenty to admire about the Medion GoPal 4425. It's a good value satnav that can be used in a number of scenarios; whether or not the fingerprint recognition is of value only you can decide. The lifetime TMC feature will be a boon to many. Either way, it comes Recommended.

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