Hey, I've got the first thread here!
I was told by RacerX
(Don) of Cheetah-USA that my first reaction would be "OMG, it's HUGE!!!" - and while I didn't think I'd be that surprised at its size, when I opened the box, I was, like, "OMG!"
It's optical clarity is honestly second to none. I've never seen a mirror so clear. And thanks to its size and wide-angle curvature, I can easily see my daughter on the car's rear bench, in her child-seat, without having to resort to an accessory "clip-on" mirror (which are all of drastically inferior optical quality, too). I can not only easily read her facial expressions, but if I looked closely enough, I can honestly even make out individual HAIRS. It's *that* clear.
- note that my daughter's image appears "blurry" not because of the mirror, but solely because of my complete lack of camera skills; additionally, the mirror's stationary time-stamp is not fully visible, due to the display's refresh rate.
Getting used to judging distances with this convex wide-angle safety mirror will take a few days - but even with just a few miles, even the first-time user will note how much SAFER it's made their drive, thanks to the superior blind-spot coverage. Tight city-traffic is where this feature will show its true merit, and as I put my mirror through its paces in a "trial-by-fire" manner, through Chicago's rush-hours, I often found myself thinking how nice it was that this mirror was rushed to me, right before that trip (both SpeedCheetahAl
as well as RacerX
gave me exceptional service, both going truly above-and-beyond the call of duty), as it made driving around in an unfamiliar surrounding (with RLC safety-threats that I have no way of preparing for) so much safer and easier.
At the same time, even within the first few minutes of using the mirror, I'd become completely reliant on the GPS-based speed-indication on the mirror. Not having to glance "down" at the speedo is just a tremendous safety advantage as well. Now, with my normal scanning routine, I can easily check my road-speed. Certainly, the GPS-speedo can take some "catching up," if you drive a more powerful/faster vehicle, but at cruising speed - even of only 25 or 35 MPH - it's very accurate, and responses are very timely.
I was able to install - including hardwiring - the GPS-Mirror in less than 20 minutes (Don, at the time of my purchase, had already pre-loaded the most current Trinity database update), in BOTH of my vehicles. Certainly, I am not a newbie to such installs, but still, the ease with which this unit plugs-in is just amazing.
The GPS-Mirror alerts to trouble location clearly (and this is very important, as my car is on the loud side, due to its modifications; this is a concern I have since, for example, with my Laser Interceptor's control-box, I cannot locate it well enough to get really clear audible voice alerts), with excellent spoken-language clarity and pleasing alarm tones. It's most recent update, with directional-enforcement differentiation (i.e. spots marked with "Accident BlackSpot" notations, when the direction-of-travel is not enforced) is absolutely wonderful, and the utility of the device far exceeds that of the "radius proximity" units, such as the Escort 9500i/ci.
My vehicle's factory mirror is an optional autodimming model, and I've loved it - but true to Al's (SpeedCheetahAl
) words, the GPS-Mirror is *EXCEPTIONAL* at night, offering, to my eyes (as this is definitely a subjective interpretation), a most excellent compromise between glare-reduction and visibility. I can definitely pick out the lane markings on the roadways much better with the GPS-Mirror, versus the auto-dimming unit on my two Subarus.
Truthfully, the ONLY
shortcoming I can find of this excellent piece of hardware is an aesthetic/subjective one.
My vehicle's interior rearview is on the large side. As a matter of fact, I had to measure and re-measure in order to make sure that I could fit the GPS-Mirror over mine.
As-such, the GPS-Mirror's integrated mounting bracket is stretched very far - and this makes it so that the bare metal "bar slider" is greatly exposed (as viewed from inside the vehicle, facing the mirror). Furthermore, my mirror is contoured so that the middle is of the largest cross-section, and this means that a bit of the underlying factory mirror surface also "peeks out" over the top of the GPS-Mirror.
I plan to remedy these visual/aesthetic shortcomings with some self-made trim material, but honestly, I don't see any "manufacturing" means through which Cheetah can hope to avoid these concerns. The execution of the mirror's mounting method is as well-conceived as I could imagine, and I think that this is just "what has to be."
Still, this aesthetic/cosmetic concern is a small trade-off in terms of both the speed/RLC protection I've gained, as well as the increased safety/utility of the mirror.
I couldn't be happier with the purchase - and a lot of this fulfillment also goes towards the excellent service that both Al and Don have given me.