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Car entertainment for the whole family.

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Long distance trips can be quite a bore, especially for passengers. There are, however, quite a few things you can do to make the trip pass quicker, like read a book or play a travel game. But this is the 21st century and why would you want to do something old- fashioned like that? Why not use technology to entertain you while on the move?

Long distance trips can be quite a bore, especially for passengers. There are, however, quite a few things you can do to make the trip pass quicker, like read a book or play a travel game. But this is the 21st century and why would you want to do something old- fashioned like that? Why not use technology to entertain you while on the move?

Having a car entertainment unit is every car fanatic’s dream. Companies like Kenwood and Pioneer have developed such units, but there are a couple of problems with them. Firstly, only people with triple-figure salaries can afford them: secondly, they are permanently installed and only esteemed car radio thieves can remove them. However, a company called Mobile Entertainment may have the solution. They have developed a removable car mobile entertainment unit that is very cost-effective and useful. The FunStation retails for under R6000 and can be installed and removed from your car as often as you want.

It comprises a LCD colour display, a converter, headphones and various leads for connecting your PlayStation, VCR or even DVD player. The 14.5cm LCD panel fits in a special Velcro pouch and attaches to the back of the front headrest. You then plug the converter into the cigarette lighter and attach the video and sound cables to the display and input device. Once all is connected, tuck everything into the included laptop-like bag and stow it under the seat. When you have completed your trip, unplug everything, remove the display from the Velcro pouch and take it out of your car. You then have the option of connecting another converter to the mains, converting the mobile car entertainment system into a portable TV.

Lets see how the FunStation measures up to the Gadget Four Question User Test:

1. Is it ready to use?

Yes, if you don’t mind having cables all over your car. Just plug the converter into your car’s lighter socket: connect your DVD player or Playstation to the converter box and strap on the screen. If you are a neat-freak and want everything nice and tidy, then be prepared to crawl around your car for a couple of minutes while you hide all the cables.

2. Is it easy to use?

Admittedly we did have a couple of problems working out what plug goes where. We consulted the instruction manual a few times but, unfortunately, it didn’t help us much at all. Most of the time we just guessed what went where. However, once you have set it up you will have fewer subsequent problems with the setup.

3. Does it operate as advertised?

Yes it does. We connected all sorts of equipment to it and all of the equipment worked. We did have a problem with the LCD display – it could have been a bit brighter as we couldn’t always make out the picture on the LCD panel.

4. Is it value for money?

If you travel a lot and have nagging children, then definitely. It will keep them entertained for hours, leaving you to have a quiet, relaxing journey. And, considering that other similar devices cost far more and are non-removable, we really do think it is worth every penny. Just a shame that the driver can’t enjoy it too!

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