Reviews Parrot Asteroid Tablet

Published on September 20th, 2013 | by James Simpson

17

Parrot Asteroid Tablet Review – Hands On

With Android and iOS car integration becoming the new big thing, Parrot have beaten most to it with their release of the Parrot Asteroid range, especially the Parrot Asteroid Tablet. Now you can drive, make hands free calls, listen to streaming music, radio, MP3’s and even now check your Facebook status on the move, all without having to buy a new car.

The Parrot Asteroid Tablet seems to be an all in one, out the box Satellite Navigation unit, Bluetooth Hands Free kit, and also a multimedia device (Nav-Media system). What more could you want inside your car, even better still, this is an aftermarket installation kit, which will fit any vehicle.

Parrot Asteroid Tablet out The Box

Parrot Asteroid Tablet Box

The first thing I noticed when receiving the package from Parrot, was how heavy the kit felt (compared to the Parrot MKi rage I was used to handling back in my Halfords days). Upon opening the box, and removing the manuals, I was surprised to see an upgraded amplifier system, which replaces the cheaper “blue box” from the old Parrot MKi models.

The top of the box holds the nicely minimal 5inch touch screen and the touch sensitive remote control, which can be mounted on your steering wheel, and after a little reading and looking at the parts, can also be mounted on your dashboard (thank god).

Under the packaging holding the screen, is another box which holds all the wires and connectors, which includes a Apple iPod connector (not the slim iPod/iPhone connector unfortunately), as well as a USB extension cable and a 3.5mm jack lead – which all three allow different choices of streaming music via the Parrot Asteroid Tablet.



Parrot Asteroid Tablet Features

In addition to the main feature of this unit – Running Google’s mobile Android operating system, this opens the Parrot Asteroid Tablet up into bigger features such as scalability for applications to be designed and created to help with driving. This could also save you money, as you wouldn’t need to buy that new satellite navigation unit, or even buy that new stereo with a screen to watch DVD’s while sat in the car park.

The Parrot is controlled by using either its touch screen to navigate through its menus, or even using the wireless remote control unit, placed suitably on your dashboard or steering wheel.

The great thing about the Parrot Asteroid Tablet over its little brother – The Parrot Asteroid Mini, is the 5inch screen, which in my eyes looks good when it’s in your hand, but finding a place to mount this in the vehicle may be tricky.

Another great feature to the Asteroid Tablet is its internet connectivity, in use with either wireless (Wi-Fi), via a USB dongle, or even tethering via your Android or iOS phone.

Features Overview:

  • Bluetooth
  • Dual mobile connectivity (Connect two phones at once)
  • Voice Recognition
  • Wifi Connectivity
  • Internet tethering via phone or using a USB dongle
  • 5 inch screen
  • Android Operating System
  • Downloadable applications
  • Compatible with iPhone and iPod devices


Design

The design of the Parrot Asteroid Tablet is much like any Satellite Navigation unit that is currently out, combined with a flat screen TV. The Satellite Navigation style does not just stop there, as Parrot provide you with a suction cup mount to mount the screen onto the windscreen of your car, which if I was to be using this long term, wouldn’t be my preferred choice to mount this device.

The outside of the screen is minimal, there are no buttons to press on the bezel of the unit, and has a nice gloss black case, with a minimal Parrot logo on the front.

As the rest of the kit is not really seen, there isn’t much else to discuss here, but the build quality of the whole kit really stands out, especially as each of the main two components is rather heavy and not too bulky.

Parrot-Asteroid-Tablet-Main-Menu

Connectivity

There certainly isn’t a lack of connectivity functionality with the Asteroid Tablet, with 3 USB slots on the main brain of the unit, which allows you to connect the provided iPod/iPhone cable, a USB extension cable, and one spare USB slot to have either a USB drive connected directly to the box, or just a USB internet dongle. There is also a 3.5mm jack plug, which allows you to connect another provided cable (3.5mm to 3.5mm male jack lead), which will allow you to route all these cables into your preferred choice location (glove box?) and insert your devices to play music into the Parrot Asteroid Tablet.

Parrot Asteroid Tablet Audio Streaming

Connectivity doesn’t just stop there, as there is also a SD card slot on the side of the 5 inch screen, which is mainly to install applications on, but can also be used to store music. And finally there is Bluetooth, which allows you to connect your phone, not just for making hands free calls, but for also streaming music directly from your Android or iOS device.

Finally there is also the option for Wi-Fi connectivity directly from the device, now at this moment in time, wouldn’t be too much of a useful function when driving around the UK roads, as how many service stations or car parks have Wi-Fi access?

Parrot Asteroid Tablet Wifi

Applications

The main selling point of this device is the ability to install applications from the Parrot Asteroid Market – Be this a new satellite navigation software, or audio streaming software, to Facebook, and other upcoming applications and video streaming.

With the chance for anyone to develop Android applications, the possibilities are going to be endless with the amount of programs you could be running in your vehicle – maybe one day someone will design a ECU diagnostic program for the Parrot Asteroid, which will give you an all in one component including diagnostics directly from one product.

Other applications such as internet and email, allow you to keep in touch with the outside world while on the move, and the use of the browser could also be handy to find local places of interest, or general web browsing (although the screen is a little small for this).

Parrot Asteroid Tablet Applications

Hands Free & Voice Control

This is one of the most used features on my current Parrot MKi9200, when making calls, speaking the person’s name out with a push of a button, but the part which I missed the most was searching for that one song I wanted to listen to at the time. This issue has now been resolved with the Parrot Asteroid Tablet, as you can now use voice functions to find that song, find a particular artist, or even that one album you really need to listen to.

Parrot Asteroid Tablet Voice Commands

The Good

  • Android Operating System
  • Installable Applications
  • Decent sound quality

The Bad

  • A little too big to be a permanent fixture?
  • Steering wheel mount (although dashboard mount is provided)

The Verdict

Overall, the unit is a great bit of kit, which would easily replace the current hands free kit, and satellite navigation combo you probably already own. This is also excellent for those with older cars which do not come with satellite navigation and hands free kits built in.

Finally, the Parrot Asteroid Tablet costs around £300 (at time of review), and is available from many stores.

Parrot Asteroid Tablet Review – Hands On James Simpson

Parrot Asteroid Tablet Score

Design
Usability
Functionality
Cost

Summary: Expensive, but worth the buy to have this many functions accessible within one unit directly in your car.

4.3

Multi Functional


User Rating: 4.4 (1 votes)

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About the Author

University Graduate from Teesside, currently residing in the big city of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Interests in the automotive industry and technology, and blogging about things which I feel would interest the readers of the world wide web.



17 Responses to Parrot Asteroid Tablet Review – Hands On

  1. devrim says:

    Hi,
    great review. Thanks. I have a question; if I have my sound system running with an after market amp and subwoofers etc, why should I need an amp for that this parrot device has? I am a little bit confused. Which of these ampS are feeding the speakers when? Thanks

  2. Jeff Wren says:

    Hi james

    Looking to purchase one of these or an Asteroid Mini not sure which would be the better, I have a volvo c70 year 2000 with the original stereo, 10 speakers dolby system

    I have been told I can attach the parrot with the relevant leads,

    Which one is the easier option mini or tablet

    Many Thanks
    Jeff

  3. Jordan Clement says:

    Hi James,

    Thanks for the great review!

    Just have a question on the internet connectivity on the device.

    Obviously uses your mobile phone data but slightly confused about how this works. Do you have to enable tethering on your device via USB and plug in to the box? Or do you have to create wifi hotspot on your device and connect that way?

  4. Hi James
    You mentioned able to play videos is that from you tube or downloaded movies .and does the screen tell you if you have a text or e-mail
    Kind regards
    Owen

    • Hi Owen,

      Just think of this device like an android, you can download apps onto the device – i.e. YouTube app, which you can then play video’s from. If you have a movie file on an SD card, you’ll be able to play movies from that.

      Yes it will alert you that you have a text (i think this depends on phones though). It did with my iPhone.

  5. Gemma says:

    Hi James
    Great review. Could you tell me if the tablet can play spotify via my iphone rather than having to stream via the spotify app on the tablet. I’m asking this because my phone contract doesn’t allow me to teather to other devices and ideally I just want to use the playlists already set for offline play on my phone.
    Thanks
    Gemma

  6. Neil says:

    Hi James.

    Do you know if you can audio stream with an iPhone 5s via bluetooth?

    Great review

    Neil

  7. jamie says:

    Hi James, sorry I may have misunderstood an earlier question. Just in relation to the charging. Can you just elaborate on how the tablet is powered. The dash bored mount appears to have no wires connecting it? Im interested in getting one for my VW up but not if it has to have wires running to the cigarette lighter

    thanks

  8. Tyler Unser says:

    Hi James,

    I got a question that I can’t find anywhere. I see you can download navigation apps but to me it only sounds like you can use them if you use 3g by tethering your phone or if you get a 3g stick for it. My question is if you know if you are able to a use a GPS antenna on it or not?

    Thanks

    • Hi Tyler,

      Unfortunately there is no gps antenna that can be plugged into the Parrot Asteroid Tablet, as you say, it uses tethering to your phone. Now I’m not sure if it uses 3/4g or the internal built in gps on the phone to pinpoint where you are.

  9. Ulrich Heiselberg says:

    Hi James,

    I guess the tablet itself runs on battery (I do not see any wires going into it). How long is does a charge last on average? And how long to charge it?

    • Hi Ulrich,

      This wires directly into the harness that plugs into the stereo. It runs on 12v (the same as the car). The only battery on this product is for the remote control.

      Thanks

      James

  10. Rich says:

    Hi James,
    I’ve just bought an 09 Focus Titanium and the only thing it is lacking is bluetooth/handsfree . So I was very interested to watch your MKi9200 videos as well as this one. Have you installed it yet? And if so how do you rate the the new amp over old blue box, would you still want to wire this through the OEM amp or is the parrot one acceptable now?
    Cheers
    Rich

    • Hi Rich,

      Yes I have this installed in my car, and I have to say the new amp in this unit is much better than the old blue box, but I still feel it lacks a little compared to the standard stereo (well Sony stereo in my car).

      Unfortunately you cannot use the Musiconnect lead that I had in my old install, and I had to create my own lead (as the new parrot box has a jack aux output), which I wired into the aux input into the back of the stereo.

      Thanks

      James

  11. Hi James
    Great review and videos. Is there a model number with this one? There appears a few different devices out there at the moment.
    Regards
    Phil

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