Thinkware X300 Dash Cam with LCD Touchscreen review
Tags :product review Thinkware dash cam X300
As we show in the video, the Thinkware X300 Dashboard Camera with LCD Touchscreen is simple to configure and use providing exactly what they state in the product description. However, there were a couple areas keeping us form giving it a perfect 5 stars. See the video or read the detailed explanation below.
Packaging: Compact with all the necessary accessories outside of one item. A way to provide power to the camera when not in the car if you wanted to set menus or anything else while sitting in your home using the built in touchscreen. We appreciated both the SD card reader case and the USB microSD card device that was included. The camera itself is about 4 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches in size so it is not obtrusive.
Software: With downloads for both PC and Ma, the Thinkware X300 allows you to easily work with the saved files. We found it faster to just insert the microSD card in the provided USB adapter and view that way. The viewer software only work with OS X 10.8 and higher so keep that in mind for Mac users. You can use the software to view the files and configure the device itself as it reads the card and configurations on startup (including firmware updates)
Installation: This was one of our points for not giving it 5 stars. An alternate way to mount the Thinkware X300 is needed. We would prefer something that hangs onto the review mirror putting it right where you normally look. Or even a suction cup. But the provided permanent sticker for the windshield was not welcome in the car. This also means you need multiple mounts to move this between cars. If you decide to run the power cable using the provided brackets to help hide it then you will need another power cable too. Make sure that if you have a constantly powered DC power port in your car, like we did, that you turn the camera off. While it has auto shutoff ability for temperature too, save your car battery as this camera has no internal battery nor is one needed.
Usage: We found the default setting for the power on and off sounds way too loud and unexpected the first couple times. The screen also seemed to take a few taps to get some menu items to activate. A setting to adjust sensitivity would be helpful. Outside of that the menu is very easy to understand. Taking pictures, taking running video and normal usage were simple for everyone that tested it. Adjusting the initial settings would be nice it it went straight into that for time and date at least. WE had to dig into the menu on the first launch to make sure all of that was set. The impact sensitivity seems very touchy at times and not to work at others. We gave it some slaps and it would jump into incident mode. A drop once inside the car (like an impact knocked it loose from the mount) gave us nothing. We will test the new firmware updates and see if those help with that and update the review. Seeing license plates at night form the video was next to impossible even with them stating you should be able to. I tried with zooming in and still failed. We also like the wide angle viewing that is built in capturing tons of information around you.
The files: The folders could be better named on the microSd card for those that are not too tech savvy. But all of the files were dated and time stamped. Each minute of recording in the default is about 95MB. We also liked the saved off events that are triggered so you do not need to hunt through all the files to find a possible impact or accident. Keep in mind the number and amount of files saved depends both on the SD card size and the recording specs you configure.
Extras: This device has the ability to connect a rear camera and also a GPS unit for location marking. This is exceptional to add expansion capabilities to your initial investment. Not many other cameras do this. The ability to take those extra pictures and video while driving is cool. Capturing the car audio during an incident may prove crucial but keep in mind it is recording everything. From your phone calls to you bad singing. There is a parking mode that if the unit is hardwired could capture impact to your car while you are away.
Overall this is a great dashboard camera with tons of features built in. Even without the extras we can see this being the type of standard all cards will have some day by default. A great choice for anyone and even teenagers starting out driving.. See the video for even more!
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