Magellan gets in on the free lifetime traffic trend with its new 2010 line of GPS navigators. All eight of its new devices feature free traffic service, multidestination routing, and text-to-speech. Magellan has also included a few unique features across the line, such as its OneTouch menu shortcut, a parking lot finder that automatically finds and presents nearby parking lots when you reach the end of a trip, and a find-your-car feature that stores your vehicle's location when you disconnect the RoadMate and provides you with walking directions back to your car if you forget where you parked it.
The basic RoadMate 2035 has a 4.3-inch screen and comes packed with all of the aforementioned features and map coverage of the contiguous United States and Puerto Rico.
Users who want to explore Canada can step up to the RoadMate 2036, which adds Canadian map coverage, built-in AAA Tourbook and Roadside Assistance, and Highway Lane Assist--which displays a graphic representation of highway interchanges with information about what lanes are valid for the current route. At the top of the Roadmate 2000 Series is the 2045 which adds a microSD expansion slot--which is an odd feature to base an entire model differentiation upon.
Stepping up to the RoadMate 3000 Series nets you all of the features of the 2000 Series, but bumps the screen size to 4.7 inches. The RoadMate 3045 has preinstalled maps of the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, while the RoadMate 3045-LM is the only unit in the line that gives you free quarterly lifetime updates to those maps. The RoadMate 3055 adds Bluetooth hands-free calling and voice dialing for improved safety. For users who need a bit more screen real estate, the RoadMate 5045 has the same feature set as the 3045, but with a larger 5-inch screen.
At the top-of-the-line is the Magellan RoadMate 3065 Commuter, which--if the name didn't tip you off--features special functions designed with the daily commute in mind. It has all of the features of the rest of the 2010 line, including the free lifetime traffic, but how it uses that traffic subscription is fairly unique. The Commuter boasts a feature called Traffic Wake-up that automatically boots the GPS device before your morning and evening commutes to preload traffic data before you even reach the car. Mike Wagner, senior director of product marketing for Magellan, explains how it works:
"The traffic system that all GPS units use must prioritize which traffic condition data to send. Unfortunately, that means your standard traffic GPS may not have the full picture when it is first turned on. Magellan recognized the challenge this posed to commuters and developed the only GPS navigator with the Traffic Wake-up feature. Two times a day the Magellan RoadMate 3065 Commuter will wake itself up 30 minutes before your pre-determined commute starts and begins gathering traffic information. By the time you slide behind the wheel, your 3065 Commuter is loaded with the optimal route for the day's commute."
Another feature unique to the Commuter is periodic reporting, which doesn't really help you to get from point A to B. What it does is track and provide detailed mileage information for business use in expense reports and for tax purposes. This is a very cool feature for those who itemize their taxes or use a personal car for company business.
The new RoadMate series is now available online and at major retail stores nationwide, as well as at MagellanGPS.com. Prices range from $169.99 for the RoadMate 2035 to $299.99 for the flagship RoadMate 3065 Commuter.