Got a big ol' truck with a big ol' dashboard? Alpine Electronics of America has just announced a big ol' audio/video/navigation receiver to fill it. At a whopping 9 inches measured diagonally, the Alpine X009 that was unveiled today at CES 2014 is the largest of its kind in the North American aftermarket.
The X009 is so big that it's outside of the established DIN and double-DIN standards that have been used by the industry for decades, so it's not exactly universal. At launch, it will only be compatible with 2007-2013 GM trucks and 2007-2014 GM SUVs as part of Alpine's Perfect F.I.T. dash kit program under the model number X009-GM. Compatibility with 2009-2012 Ford F-150 (X009-FD1) and 2013-2014 Ford F-150 (X009-FD2) trucks will be released later in 2014 with a universal installation application (X009U) to follow.
The X009-GM's Perfect F.I.T. kit features external, physical controls that have been custom-designed to match the lighting color, shape, and style of the GM truck and SUV models in which the unit will be installed. The Ford applications that follow will feature their own external controls to match the F-150's dashboard. Both units will communicate with the vehicle's factory steering-wheel controls, diagnostic systems, gauges, and other factory systems via the iDatalink Maestro Module. The idea is to make the 9-inch screen look and act like OEM equipment.
The universal X009U will not ship with these controls or specific dashboard kits, so a custom installation will be required. You can bet that we'll try to cram one of these into CNET's little yellow hatchback for testing as soon as it comes available.
Aside from being absolutely massive, the X009 receiver is a fully featured A/V and navigation receiver.
Audio sources include built-in HD Radio tuning, full Pandora Internet Radio control from USB-connected iPhone and Bluetooth-paired Android devices, and iPod and iPhone media controls when connected via USB and Siri Eyes-Free controls for iPhones when connected via Bluetooth. That same Bluetooth connection also allows for hands-free calling and Bluetooth audio streaming.
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The X009 units are also compatible with Alpine's second-generation TuneIt smartphone-based sound tuning app. You can use TuneIt 2.0 to tweak the sound settings of your audio system (like Time Correction, Parametric EQ, and Crossover), download vehicle-specific presets, and share those settings with friends on Facebook via a free app on an Android or iPhone device.
With such a big screen, it seems a shame that Alpine has only seen fit to bless the X009 with WVGA resolution. That it has an MHL-compatible HDMI input, allowing connectivity to a wide variety of mobile devices, makes the lack of a high-definition screen that much more disappointing on paper, but we'll reserve judgement until we can get hands-on with the device.
The unit comes with Alpine's navigation software preloaded with maps of the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii) and Canada with a lifetime of Navteq RDS traffic data.
The 9-inch Alpine X009-GM hits the market with GM truck and SUV compatibility in June of this year. The manufacturer's suggested retail price has not yet been determined.