March 7, 2007

Magellan Maestro 4000, 4040, 4050 Officially Launched

It's official, after a leak last week, Magellan announced the Magellan Maestro GPS line today, the first line of GPS systems that were developed post-Shah Capital take-over.

Magellan announced today the introduction of the Maestro series of three new portable vehicle navigation devices offering drivers the best design and navigation experience available. As a result of a partnership with AAA, (American Automobile Association), the new Magellan Maestro 4000, Maestro 4040 and Maestro 4050 are the only car navigation solutions to offer the North American public access to integrated AAA TourBook travel information and member roadside assistance details. In addition, the Maestro 4050 is the first portable vehicle navigation device to offer drivers the convenience of voice command capabilities. The new Maestro series offers enhanced functions and features - from a newly designed user interface and a 4.3” WQVGA touch screen for better ease of use and visibility, to Bluetooth hands-free calling capabilities to minimize driver distractions and real-time traffic services to help drivers reach their destination faster - so every driver will find a solution that best meets their navigation needs.

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February 28, 2007

Magellan Maestro 4000, 4040, 4050


Magellan has officially announced three new GPS models, the new Magellan Maestro 4000, Maestro 4040 and Maestro 4050, with the high end of the line featuring voice activated controls. Yea, it will tell you where to go, and you can tell it what to do. This is reportedly the first line of units to be designed after the Shah Capital purchase of Magellan last year from the French Company Thales that had let the Magellan brand slide in recent years. I take it as a very positive sign that Magellan is:

  • Bringing innovation to the market with voice activated controls on the Magellan Maestro 4050 unit, and not just bringing "me-too" products to market, and
  • Magellan is competitively pricing these units, including the low end for a $399 list, which, I would expect, will compete in the "Just over $300" market online in the not-to-distant future.
  • All three are widescreened, flat form factors taking cues from the high end Nuvi 660. Smart.

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  • February 23, 2007

    Can I use my Car GPS for Hiking and Geocaching?

    A lot of readers have been writing in asking "Can I use my Mio C310X, Nuvi 350 or 660, StreetPilot 330, etc, for Geocaching? Or Hiking?" Well, the answer is not very well. There are some features that make hiking and geocaching with a handheld GPS great, and trying it with an average automotive GPS not so great. Generally when I use a handheld GPS for hiking and geocaching, I program in coordinates and use the map page with a pointer and a "Distance to Destination" readout to tell me: 1) Which direction I need to go to get to the destination, and 2) How far away I am. With these two pieces of information, I can get to a geocache pretty quickly. Even with an automotive GPS that accepts latitude and longitude coordinates, navigating to a geocache is tough without this specific help. When I go for longer trips I like to use Topo maps and established sets of waypoints and trails that are marked if possible.

    So, there are a couple of options for automobile navigators that can do on road navigation and off road hiking and geocaching. Below are a couple of examples:

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    February 16, 2007

    Magellan and SnowRanger - Detailed Skiing Maps & More

    Magellan announced the introduction of Magellan-certified SnowRanger software from Mountain Dynamics for compatible Magellan eXplorist handheld GPS receivers and the Magellan CrossoverGPS. SnowRanger enhances outdoor navigation for customers who explore the nation’s top winter destinations by delivering digital recreational maps for more than 53 ski resorts across the nation with detailed information about resort facilities, including chairlifts, trails, lodges, roads, parking, ticketing and more. Whether skiing, snowboarding or finding five-star winter wonderlands, SnowRanger helps Magellan users plan and navigate the best routes for their winter activities and safely find their way back.

    SnowRanger has mapped out the Wetern US ski areas, and has made them available for both Garmin and Magellan in a downloadable fashion. They also have a site section called SnowDays, where you can brag talk about your skiing day and upload your skiing tracks to back up the stories. If you like this, you might check out SlopeTracker; which gives you a way to rent the GPS and get some interesting information out of the deal.

    More on the Magellan Press Release after the jump...

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    November 28, 2006

    Magellan RoadMate 360 - Was $199 Now $249

    Magellan RM 360
    Update: Well, just got burned on this; 5 hours later it's $249. Just goes to show you that you need to know what you want, know what's a good price and jump on it when you see it. If not, they raise the prices on you pretty quickly.

    Thought I would bring this out as a lot of people have mentioned this deal to me in emails. The Magellan RoadMate 360, which was launched late last year, is on sale at Amazon for a deep discount of $199. Not a bad price overall. I will say that magellan has NAVTEQ maps which are currently better than TeleAtlas maps, but from the comments on the Amazon site, the reviews from the masses are mixed. Some thing that the navigation is solid, the screen is big and the interface is intuitive. The unit seems to suffer from not holding onto the GPS satellite signal and a few other issues. I can't guide you here, but thought I would mention it as it's a pretty popular deal right now.

    More at Amazon

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    November 22, 2006

    Free Traffic Kit for Magellan RoadMate 3000T

    So, Magellan is offering a special bonus this holiday season, a free traffic kit for Magellan 3000T buyers. The offer goes from now until the end of January. It's valued at $149, so it's a pretty good deal on a little bit of technology that could save you some time. so the unsaid message here is NOT to buy the Magellan 3050T, which is the 3000T with the traffic kit. Why pay for the 3050T when you can get the upgrade for free?

    The traffic kit receives TMC signals that will alert you to traffic issues ahead. There is an introductory period of free service and then you will need to pay about $60 per year after that.

    ReadMore at Magellan

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 10, 2006

    Magellan RoadMate 300 vs. 360 vs. 700 vs. 760 vs. 800 vs. 860T

    So with the launch of several new Magellan GPS devices lately, there seems to be a fire sale on their older RoadMate units. The familiar units are going for some unbelievable prices online. Since they aren’t featuring these on their website anymore, one has to think that they are going away. Here’s a run-down of the models to know what you are looking at:

    Magellan RoadMate 300 – 3.5 inch touchscreen interface, you load the maps onto 128MB of internal, but ideally onto your own big SD card from your PC so that you can navigate the country without re-loading another region, voice prompted turn directions, comes with map software, and the ability to hook up to your PC via USB cable. (Not a total great buy as Amazon is dropping prices faster than the other sellers.)

    Magellan RoadMate 360 – moving up from the RM300, this model adds pre-loaded maps and Points of Interest on an SD card. You still get touchscreen and voice prompted navigation.

    Magellan RoadMate 700 – Better screen and Quickspell input minimizes typing while finding a POI or town.

    Magellan RoadMate 760 – Builds on the RM700 and has automatic light and volume adjustments, so the RM760 changes brightness based on ambient light, and ups the volume as you go faster to counter the road noise.

    Magellan RoadMate 800 - Has up to 6 million POI’s, and has the SmartDetour feature that allows you to recalculate a new route around slow situations. Also adds an MP3 player and a photo viewer.

    Magellan RoadMate 860T - adds on TMC traffic feed capability; comes with 15 months of traffic feeds for free.

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 1, 2006

    Magellan CrossoverGPS (The GPS Formerly Known as the RoadMate2500T)

    Magellan introduced their new Magellan CrossoverGPS, previously called the RoadMate 2500T, paving the way for multi-talented GPS units to strut their stuff both on the road and in the wilderness. The unit is pre-loaded with streetmaps and TOPO maps, and is waterproof to get you from your front door to the cabin door in comfort. This should be an interesting implementation and one that might do well as an auto gps, but suffer the consequences of trying to do too much when taken off-road. My key concern would be size, but I’ll delay judgment until I see the unit and use it.

    More information from the press release follows:

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    Magellan RoadMate AAA RS2.0

    Magellan, announced partnerships with four of the largest regional AAA clubs to make a customized version of the award-winning Magellan RoadMate portable auto navigation products available to AAA members. We recently saw Rand McNally launch a branded GPS of their own dropping helpful travel content into a GPS in the form of ready-made road trips. The AAA club is famous for their travel information, and the fact that they have access to millions of car-centric people in their clubs. Looks like they may just access those wallets with this one.

    Press Release Follows:

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    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    September 12, 2006

    New GPS: Magellan RoadMate 2000, 2200 and 2500T


    Magellan announced a new lower priced line of GPS units today – the RoadMate 2000 series. The New Magellan RoadMate 2000, 2200 and 2500T, are built to cross over from Automobile applications to outdoor applications. The three small, powerful and affordable portable vehicle navigation devices. The series includes the Magellan RoadMate 2000, and the traffic-ready 2200T and 2500T, the world’s first rugged, IPX-4-waterproof, CrossoverGPS designed to provide navigation for both driving and outdoor adventures off road, on foot and on water. The Magellan RoadMate 2000 lists for $399.

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