Alpine introduced a Jeep-specific CarPlay in-dash system with a 9-inch display back in 2016, and now at CES 2018 the company has unveiled a new version that fits most cars. Aftermarket CarPlay displays are typically limited to 6.1-inches or 7-inches to fit standard dashes, but Alpine’s 9-inch unit called iLX-F309, or HALO9 for short, uses a floating design to bring the bigger screen to more cars.

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The iLX-F309 is an AM/FM/audio/video receiver with a 9-inch WVGA touch screen and mech-less design (no CD/DVD slot). It uses a 1-DIN chassis for installation but the screen “hovers” in front of the vehicle’s dash, allowing the oversize screen to be added to a variety of vehicles without the need for custom installation. The iLX-F309’s “HALO9” nickname is descriptive for the screen’s unique hovering position and its 9-inch size.

The floating design allows HALO9 to be easily adjustable for optimized visibility while driving too. By default, it sits at a 90-degree angle with its bottom aligned with the base, but HALO9 can be tilted forward or back to 45 degrees, pushed back 20-millimeters, or moved up and down 30-millimeters.

While the screen size and adjustability is a highlight, its screen resolution is surprisingly lacking, especially for an $1100 system. While the capacitive screen type is a plus compared to resistive screens, its WVGA (480p) display means the larger screen simply shows content scaled up and not more, sharper content.

There’s also no wireless CarPlay version so you’ll need the cheaper Alpine’s 7-inch iLX-107 (reviewed) for what I consider the best overall CarPlay experience from an aftermarket system.

If wireless isn’t important to you or you need a larger screen with bigger visuals, HALO9 looks like a promising CarPlay system. More details below:

  • 9-inch WVGA capacitive touch screen
  • Audio, video and Bluetooth® feature set
  • Works with Apple CarPlay®
  • Android Auto™ now with the Google Assistant
  • HD Radio™ tuner built-in
  • Made for iPod® and iPhone®
  • SiriusXM-Ready™ (SXV300 Connect Vehicle Tuner Kit sold separately, SiriusXM subscription required)
  • Pandora control from iPhone® and Android™ smartphones
  • FLAC/MP3/WMA/AAC/HE-AAC music playback via USB
  • Alpine TuneIt® App integration
  • BT Plus Bluetooth® wireless technology with audio streaming
  • My Favorites feature provides custom shortcuts to favorite audio sources, places and phone numbers
  • Touch screen control of electrical accessories via KAC-001 External Accessory Control Module (sold separately)
  • 4-way swipe action graphical interface control
  • Touch screen control of multiple camera systems via KCX-C250MC Multi-Camera Selector Interface (sold separately
  • One HDMI input or expand via KCX-630HD HDMI Selector Interface (sold separately)
  • Available February, SRI: $1,100


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