When we bought our SLK 280 we ended up buying a "bridge" vehicle at a killer deal but it didn't have the command unit nor nav. After a bit of searching around we found the Kenwood DNX8120 to be the perfect solution. We had it installed yesterday and were extremely pleased with the result. Here are some pictures:
This is what the unit looks like with no power applied:
This is the the command menu looks like once power is applied. You have three different skins to choose from. This one seemed the least annoying to us. (Sorry about the blurred picture. I was shooting without flash to prevent glare back from the screen for this picture):
This is a picture of the iPod readout when connected and playing a song. What really impressed me was that the album art shows up on the screen. All those hours of grooming the song tags were not in vain. (Also note the glare from the flash... this is why the remaining pictures will be blurry as I wanted to avoid the glare). The iPod integration is perfect, even allowing for playlists and such to be selected.
This is a picture of the blue-tooth interface with the phone. Since the touch screen controlls the phone nicely (answering or calling) I had the phone buttons on the steering wheel programmed to change songs on the iPod or stations when on the radio tuner. You can add up to five phones to the interface. If both my wife and I are in the car with both of our phones, the first one that was programmed in (hers, of course) will be the one that integrates.
I'm super impressed with how intuitively the blue tooth phone interface works. This unit supports SMS and even DTMF tones for all those tech support hotlines out there. Time to add photos to the contacts!
This is the GPS portion of the unit. (no, it doesn't show my garage as a street
This is the unit after pushing the eject button so that we can toss in a DVD, CD, or SD flash card:
And not sure why we would use this (perhaps while riding a ferry to Victoria BC?), but here is what the DVD video looks like:
Plusses about the unit:
1. Touchscreen - very, very nice and easy to use
2. Full integration - steering wheel controls and speakers work great. Watching the movie while testing it caused me to lose track of time.
3. iPod and Phone integration is best I've seen.
4. Fit and finish are as good as factory (thanks to the installer, more on that later).
5. Ease of use - I only had to consult the owners manual to figure out how to turn up the NAV volume. Everything else was estremely intuitive.
Minuses about the unit:
1. Unfortunately there is no way to integrate the phone controls on the steering wheel unless you hire a digital signal engineer.
2. The mount kit for the SLK is not correct. Luckily the professional installer I worked with basically re-manufactured/machined the mount so that it fit seemlessly.
I can't give enough kudos to the installer.
He quoted me $45.00 for the install, and stood by it even when he figured out that he had to modify the mount kit. The job is as professional as it gets. We will be going back to him to have the Smart Top unit installed in a couple of weeks.
Sorry about the lengthy post, but I know other folks are interested in aftermarket NAV units and I wanted to document this alternative.