CES – Day One
Over the past several weeks I was given the opportunity to test drive the new Escort 9500I radar detector from Escort. Part of the agreement I had with Escort, along with several other items that I am often given to try out, was not to disclose any information about their new unit until 10:00 AM PST today (the opening at CES).
So as the doors opened at 10:00 am, I was uploading my review of the 9500i and the upload finished at 10:01.
After the upload, I made a beeline to the Bel and Escort booth. There I met with Escort and we discussed my test drive of the 9500i. Overall I was very impressed with the 9500i and again, it will be my top pick for the 2007 detector line.
As to answer many of the user questions on radardetector net regarding many of their questions:
Laser Sensitivity: In preliminary tests with laser, the 9500i was in par with the Bel RX65 and Escort 8500 in laser detection. So I would rate the laser performance as good.
Stealth Capabilities: No, the Escort 9500i was not designed to have the stealth capabilities as the STi in defeating the Spectre. However the 9500i is VG-2 proof.
TrueLock Feature: My experience with the TrueLock feature in locking out false alarm locations is that the radius of the area that is marked as a false alert location is very small. Even if an officer was running radar on the same exact radar frequency as the device that was marked as a false alert location, I would suspect that the strength of the officers gun would give ample warning outside the radius of the marked location.
USB Port: Initially the USB port will allow the user to store and update marked locations of speed traps into their computer and will also allow users to share their information. Escort says that they also plan on offering “marked locations” to users so they can download a larger database. This USB port can also be used to do diagnostic testing and updating the firmware, however they will not commit to a time frame when this feature will be activated.
Sensitivity and Range: I didn’t have the time and resources to do a full scale range and sensitivity report on the 9500i, however I was able to compare it to the SR7 and the STi in real driving situations. The 9500i alerted further away then my SR7 and approximately the same range as my STi in Ka alerts. On K alerts all three were about equal. We will be doing the new tests in March with the 9500i and other detectors.
Availability: Initially I was given a target date around March, but my experience is to add another month after the first announced target date so that the manufacture can address last minute issues. Also another tester of the 9500i that I spent time with today, also suggested some other features that Escort could add to refine the final production model. So my best gut tells me that I would expect that the first production units will be coming out late April or early May, but again, that is my estimate, not theirs.
Next stop was Cobra to see their new remote mounted XRS R7 and XRS R9G.
The first thing that struck me was two of the letters and the number they used in the naming one of these new remote detectors, SR 7, sounds familiar?
Also I was taken back by the ooohs and aahs that a couple of 12 volt installers were making about the units ease of install.
First off my opinion of their remote is that it really isn’t a remote mounted piece at all. The combo radar/laser antenna is designed to be mounted in the passenger compartment, on the top of the windshield, in the area between the rear view mirror and the passenger sun visor, or behind the mirror if room allows.
The display unit is wireless, and can be mounted to the dash area. The user would charge the display unit using either a remote charger or the USB port when it is connected to a computer.
The remote mounted radar/laser antenna can detect radar/laser forward and rear
Cobra told me that the user could also program false alert locations into their unit and would also allow the user to mark their own enforcement areas into the GPS as the 9500i.
I was also told that at this time no testing by any outside reviewers have been done with their new unit (including Car and Driver)
Stop three was the Whistler group to see their new line up that includes their new dash mounted high performance XTR690 and the Pro 78.
Whistler told us that the XTR690 and Pro 78 are equal in performance, but that the XTR690 would include a compass. They also said that both units would be similar in performance as the higher priced Bel and Escort products.
Both units were very sleek in design, however when I pulled out my camera, I was told that no photos were allowed at this time of their showcased products.
Rocky Mountain Radar
What would a CES show be without visiting the hucksters at RMR and saying hello.
However as I did my preliminary intel on their booth several times prior to making my grand entry, I noticed that both Mike and Raul were both M.I.A.
A few minutes prior to making my rounds at RMR, RacerX (a member of the radardetector.net forum) was perusing their wares. On the east side of their display I began checking out their display and I didn’t notice any new items from their radar/laser jammer arsenal that they were planning on marketing.
As I circled around to the northend, Debbie Petty saw me and stepped next to a new RMR employee “That’s the guy that is offering that $50,000 reward on our products” and as I turned her stepping back to warn the other RMR employees working the booth that were standing next to RacerX. Debbie then pointed to me and said “That’s Radar Roy, that asshole”.
Speed Measurement Laboratories
Carl Fors and I then met up for dinner after the show. Carl was also one of the select few that tested the 9500i prior to CES and we both compared our notes and overall we both agreed that the new Escort unit was a revolutionary new unit and that its performance was excellent.
Carl did say that he was planning on making some major changes to the date and testing procedures at this years test and that he would be sending out a notice soon.
Carl also told me of some new police equipment that he knows is being tested.
During the Boston National Chief of Police Association show, MPH had a protype of a Ku gun they were “tossing around” and he also heard rumors of a new laser gun that is under final development from another manufacture that he could not give any details on, but felt that it was a winner for the police side of the industry.