CES 2019: Alpine Previews New CarPlay Receivers, One Features Oversized 9-Inch Hovering Screen

Alpine Electronics at CES 2019 this week debuted two new in-car multimedia receivers with wired CarPlay and Android Auto support.

The new iLX-W650 receiver features a seven-inch anti-glare capacitive touchscreen with a shallow chassis that measures 2.4-inches deep, allowing for the system to fit into vehicles that do not have a lot of depth behind the dashboard. The receiver has a so-called mech-less design with no CD/DVD slot.

iLX-W650

The iLX-W650 also features an amp-stacking capability that enables Alpine's new KTA-450 amplifier to fit in the open space behind the receiver using an included bracket. The combined depth of the iLX-W650, KTA-450, and mounting bracket equals less than the depth of a standard double-DIN chassis.

The iLX-W650 in tandem with the KTA-450 amplifier won a CES 2019 Innovation Award in the In-Vehicle Audio/Video category.

Other features include standard Bluetooth music playback, SiriusXM readiness, and three 4V pre-outs that allow aftermarket speakers, subwoofers, additional amplifiers, and sound processors to be added. Two camera inputs sold separately allow for the addition of multiple cameras, including a rear-view camera.

Alpine also added a second model to its Halo9 product lineup. Like last year's iLX-F309, the new iLX-F259 receiver features a nine-inch capacitive touchscreen that "hovers" over the dashboard, allowing the oversize screen to be added to a variety of vehicles without the need for custom installation.


The screen is attached to an adjustable mount that is connected to a traditional single-DIN chassis. It can be tilted at four pre-set angle points to better match the tilt and height of the dashboard and can be positioned up to 20mm deeper and up to 30mm lower than the default position during installation.

Other features of the iLX-F259 include a mech-less design with no CD/DVD slot, standard Bluetooth music playback, SiriusXM readiness, and one rear-view camera input with the option to add additional camera inputs sold separately.


Both receivers have a USB port for connecting an iPhone with a Lightning to USB cable, but Alpine does have a wireless CarPlay receiver available. Kenwood and JVC also unveiled several wireless CarPlay receivers this week.

The iLX-W650 and iLX-F259 will be available in March for suggested prices of $500 and $800 USD respectively at authorized Alpine retailers.

Related Roundup: CarPlay


Top Rated Comments

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2 weeks ago

It's not the screen that's oversized. There's so much functionality around the screen that should be moved into it.

It's like staring at the early Android phones that had a dozen physical buttons. Crazy to think that Android manufacturers figured it out 10 years ago but everyone in the auto industry that isn't Tesla can't figure that out.

Considering automobile electronics have a less than sterling reputation for reliability, physical back ups are still good to have. They are especially nice for the OCD no fingerprint crowd.
Rating: 3 Votes
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2 weeks ago
I just wish more aftermarket manufacturers would have a physical volume knob instead of the buttons. I have a Pioneer with CarPlay unit in one of my cars and the buttons are small enough you have to take your eyes off the road to find them. A knob solves that problem. Didn’t realize how big of a deal it was (to me) until after I got it installed and started using it.
Rating: 3 Votes
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2 weeks ago
Wish the prices on these things would start coming down, I would like to upgrade the head unit in my car but I would have to buy the head unit and a $160 adapter to keep my steering wheel controls and factory amp and subwoofer.
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
2 weeks ago

It's not the screen that's oversized. There's so much functionality around the screen that should be moved into it.

It's like staring at the early Android phones that had a dozen physical buttons. Crazy to think that Android manufacturers figured it out 10 years ago but everyone in the auto industry that isn't Tesla can't figure that out.


Removing physical buttons is a negative to me. The tactile feedback of physical knobs and buttons allows one to keep their eyes on the road when adjusting the volume, changing a station, or any other number of things.
Rating: 2 Votes
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2 weeks ago

Relatively speaking, in dash AV units have come down in price quite a bit over the years. They’re also much more feature packed now. People spend $1000 a year on a new phone yet $500-$800 for an in dash receiver that you’ll buy once is too much?
Factor in the fact that more and more Americans are in their cars for longer periods of time than ever before and it makes this even more appealing.


Not really the same thing in my my opinion. In my case, my car has Bluetooth in the stock receiver and the CD player and radio and XM all still work fine so I really don’t need a new head unit. I want a new head unit, that’s a little different from a phone that I finance through my mobile carrier.
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
2 weeks ago

I just wish more aftermarket manufacturers would have a physical volume knob instead of the buttons. I have a Pioneer with CarPlay unit in one of my cars and the buttons are small enough you have to take your eyes off the road to find them. A knob solves that problem. Didn’t realize how big of a deal it was (to me) until after I got it installed and started using it.


totally agree. and you are in luck... the Sony XAV-AX1000 has a knob, is $330 and works flawlessly. I even got Best Buy install it in my car (for free) and price match Amazon where it (or its predecessor) can be found for sub-$300
Rating: 2 Votes
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2 weeks ago
I am all over that W650 model if it means I don't have to hack up the subdash in my JK.
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
2 weeks ago

I just wish more aftermarket manufacturers would have a physical volume knob instead of the buttons. I have a Pioneer with CarPlay unit in one of my cars and the buttons are small enough you have to take your eyes off the road to find them. A knob solves that problem. Didn’t realize how big of a deal it was (to me) until after I got it installed and started using it.


There are different ways to (perhaps) solve this problem, depending on how you use your system.

One is to get the head unit hooked up to volume controls in your steering wheel. MAYBE your car doesn't have these, but if it does, pretty much any head unit can be hooked up to volume (though fancier functionality) is not available. If you're paying someone to install such a hookup, you might as well pay them a few dollars more and get them to, at the same time install a backward facing camera in the rear license plate. These hook up to any head unit and kick in automatically when the car reverses. They're not quite as attractive and powerful as built-in reverse cams, but they're cheap and do the job --- IMHO well worth paying for.

A second alternative, if the way you use your system is to play BT audio from your iPhone, is to get an Apple watch. The crown on the Apple watch makes it very easy to quickly dial volume louder or softer without having to look at the watch or anywhere else.
[doublepost=1547079702][/doublepost]To al the people looking at this thread and considering upgrading their head units, I'd say
(a) you can find a good (continually update) review of features here:
http://www.carstereochick.com/category/car-stereo-reviews/

(b) is it worth doing? IMHO yes. Of course I don't know your budget, but if your head unit is more than, say, 8 or 10 yrs old, you can hardly go wrong.

(c) BUT --- AND THIS IS MOST IMPORTANT !!!!
whatever unit you plan to get, before you buy it, insist on seeing it in place installed in a car, and on a sunny day.
IMHO the biggest different between these devices now is not that this one has three USB ports, and that one supports BT 5.0, and some other one can play two DVDs at once. Even the issue of resistive vs capacitive touchscreen is not a deal killer.
THE difference that matters most is that some screens are MUCH crappier than others. And this REALLY matters. A lousy screen that is reflective and shows low contrast in sunlight is basically useless. Sure, it's adequate for music playback, but it's useless for maps. And I assume maps is at least part of what you will care about, whether through CarPlay or anything else. We are so spoiled by the quality of iPhone screens, and how good they look when mounted in a car, that we just assume that anything else must be at least sorta OK. Wrong wrong wrong!!!

You MUST check out the screen before you buy --- don't trust specs, don't trust salesmen. If they can't show you an installed screen under real world sunny conditions go elsewhere.
Rating: 1 Votes
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2 weeks ago
I know I’m pipe dreaming but it would be the bees knees if someone made a unit that used an iPad for the display. The head unit would keep it charged and in CarPlay mode while connected and when the iPad was removed it returned to iOS.
I’ll probably kick down for a CarPlay unit in the near future but it will be a wireless one because my trips are usually less than 1/2 an hour and no longer than 1 hour. I don’t want to have to plug/unplug my iPhone numerous times when running errands. Road trips, sure, plug it in.
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
2 weeks ago

Wish the prices on these things would start coming down, I would like to upgrade the head unit in my car but I would have to buy the head unit and a $160 adapter to keep my steering wheel controls and factory amp and subwoofer.

Relatively speaking, in dash AV units have come down in price quite a bit over the years. They’re also much more feature packed now. People spend $1000 a year on a new phone yet $500-$800 for an in dash receiver that you’ll buy once is too much?
Factor in the fact that more and more Americans are in their cars for longer periods of time than ever before and it makes this even more appealing.
Rating: 1 Votes
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