Hertz vehicle rental has offered its NeverLost GPS rental service since the late 1990s. The first few generations were a bit clunky; now in its fifth generation, the NeverLost system has evolved into a much more usable device with features such as a touch-screen interface and Internet-connectivity. But as the NeverLost system has been evolving, so has the world of standalone portable navigation devices. We were tossed the keys to a Hertz rental vehicle equipped with NeverLost and given the task of seeing if the system meets our expectations for a modern GPS device.
The NeverLost Gen 5 system consists of a touch-screen navigation device that is mounted to the rental vehicle's dashboard. The unit features a 4-inch color touch screen with a resolution of 320 by 240 pixels. Just below the screen is a bank of rubber buttons for power, view, back, enter, info, and volume, along with a small directional pad. The inclusion of the directional pad and the enter button seem a bit redundant considering the screen's touch sensitivity, but we can accept that some users may prefer physical controls. Between the smallish screen size, thick rubber buttons, and chunky design (about 1.5 inches thick), the NeverLost's aesthetic feels like a holdover from an era past, more DynaTAC than Droid. Everything about the NeverLost screams, "I'm a useful tool, not a sexy gadget."
The NeverLost system didn't really make a good first impression with its chunky design, but over a few days use, it won us over with its utility and functionality.… Read more