updated 05:05 pm EST, Fri January 9, 2009
Alpine intros receivers
Alpine took the opportunity at the CES show to introduce three new head units that will soon be available on the market, with the iXA-W404 and nearly identical iDA-X305 and iDA-X303. Neither has a traditional optical disk drive, relying instead on digital media as their soruce files. The W404 has a double DIN form factor in order to better fit into the dashboards of modern cars, while the latter uses a more traditional single-DIN layout. The Digital Media Station iXA-W404 has an iPhone-like interface, where users can glide their fingers over the 4.3-inch touchscreen to navigate their music libraries.
Alpine made sure the W404 can charge and control all generations of dockable iPods and iPhones, incorportating a chip into the head unit that detects whether the charging system requires the old 12V or the 5V feed of the newer products.
The new Digital Media Receivers that are the iDA-X305, which replaces the iDA-X100, and the iDA-X303 feature 2.2-inch screens, with the X305’s a TFT display capable of displaying album art stored on attached iPods or iPhones.
All three new products are Bluetooth, HD radio and satellite radio ready with the addition of Alpine’s add-on modules, and have iTunes tagging capabilities, allowing users to save a song name playing on HD radio for a later purchase through iTunes.
The iXA-W404 will launch in North America sometime in April, with prices set at $550. The iDA-X305 will be available at the end of January with a retail price of $350. The X303, with the same specs and features but a less advanced three-color LCD display with two lines of text will launch at the same time, priced at $250.