Originally Posted by 808MGuy
I recall a setting to black out the idrive screen if no input is received from the driver. That would solve your issue about seeing the iDrive. As far as it being easier, I went from an Alpine touchscreen to iDrive and feel that the iDrive interface is much more intuitive once you get through the learning curve. I still have never encountered an aftermarket unit that can search through a USB flash drive as well as the OEM does.
even if you blackout the iDrive screen it doesn't actually shut off. It's still a lit screen which is in the corner of your eye.
I'm not sure how the Alpine interface is, but the Eclipse one is extremely easy to use.