I don’t know many people who have a worse sense of direction than I do. For all but the most regular of my destinations, I need the assistance of a GPS (global positioning system) during my travels. I took the Magellan RoadMate 9250T-LMB on a test run, and it successfully got me from point A to point B without any trouble.
Landmark inclusion in directions
I was impressed with some of the features on the Magellan RoadMate 9250T-LMB that I haven’t encountered on other GPS systems. My favorite feature is the inclusion of landmarks in its directions. Most GPS systems offer instructions like “In 800 feet, turn left on 16th Avenue.” However, if the streets are close together and poorly labeled, it is very easy to zoom right past. The Magellan RoadMate 9250T-LMB offers these directions as well, but also includes the names of landmarks to help guide you. For example, it told me to turn left in 800 feet, after the Valero gas station. Had it not been for that, I probably would have ended up about a mile down the road before being able to turn around and come back to try again.
Magellan RoadMate traffic updates
Another useful feature on the Magellan was the option in real time to avoid traffic. Other GPS systems might allow you to select the option with the least traffic before you begin your journey, but if you come across traffic while you’re driving, you’ll have to do a lot of fiddling and button pushing to change your route. I encountered some rush hour traffic the day I used the Magellan, and as I was driving it popped up with an option for an alternate route. Click “yes” to take the new route, or “no” to continue on the current route.
Magellan seven inch, high resolution touch screen
The most marketable feature on the Magellan RoadMate 9250T-LMB was also the feature I found most cumbersome. It has a 7 inch high definition touch screen display, which is helpful if your eyes aren’t as used to small screens. However, I found the size made it difficult to place in my car so I could see it, as it was too big for most of the nooks and crannies I use for my current GPS. It also didn’t fit in the center console or the glove compartment, which meant my options were to either leave this expensive technology in plain view on one of the seats, or take the GPS navigator with me.
GPS with Bluetooth technology
The Magellan RoadMate 9250T-LMB comes equipped with several features that are standard on most GPS units these days, including Bluetooth technology of hands free phone, specific instructions for which lane on the road is best, and the option to tell you where you are in case you need to tell a tow truck your location. The spoken directions were loud and easy to understand, and it gave enough warning to be able to change lanes if need be. What Magellan offers that some of its competitors don’t, is the addition of lifetime map updates. Bonus points for Magellan RoadMate 9250T-LMB providing four free map updates per year. When you shell out $200+ for a portable navigation system, the last thing you want is to be nickle and dimmed over current maps for your GPS.
I didn’t get a chance to take the Magellan RoadMate 9250T-LMB on a long journey to completely unfamiliar places, but I still used it enough to draw the conclusion that it’s a reliable system with many helpful features. The only black mark against it on my drive was the size, and depending on you and/or the car you drive, this could easily turn from a negative aspect into a positive one.
Do you travel with a GPS navigator? Have you opted for the portable GPS from a car rental agency for business or pleasure travel?
If You Go:
Magellan RoadMate 9250T-LMB
Magellan provided me with the RoadMate 9250T-LMB product for review.