Originally Posted by TLud
It would probably be difficult to do it with aftermarket HDs. As the OEM HDs increase in size over time, it may be possible to do a direct swap.
I have a bad feeling that the "cutting edge" iDrive system, despite its updates, will still be worlds behind my 2 year old AVIC Z1 in terms of features and functionality.
One interesting point in the pdf is how BMW came to the determination that controls were safer and less distracting than a touch screen system.
Agreed. I've been spoiled by my AVIC for the last 2 years, and I haven't seen an OEM system that comes close. (Closest is the Lexus system from an LS 460) Hopefully this new BMW system will come closer without losing too much functionality/user friendliness.
However, I hope that some industrious owner will find the location of the oem HD. From there it would simply be a matter of finding a compatible drive with a similar RPM and a larger size, and cloning the old to the new.
As far as the touchscreen vs controls debate, I think the touchscreen offers the most seamless control, but it is very distracting.