Motorola Motonav TN30 review: Likeable, with limits

While there is much to like about the Motorola Motonav TN30, buggy software limits its usability.

Motonav TN30 GPS navigation device
Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Motorola takes its first step into the portable navigation device market with its Motonav TN30 GPS navigation system . The TN30 is a handsome device, with slick graphics and a cleverly organized menu structure. I really liked the Bluetooth hands-free calling and text-to-speech directions, as keeping hands on the wheel while driving is top priority.

Motonav TN30 in vehicle
The TN30 showed its true colors on a cross-country road trip. Antuan Goodwin/CBS Interactive

I had an opportunity to test the TN30 on a cross-country road trip from Atlanta to San Francisco and learned that all that glitters ain't gold, especially with first-generation gadgets. One day into the trip, I noticed that the device was noticeably less responsive than at unboxing.

By day two, the menus were rendering incorrectly and the Bluetooth ceased to function, forcing a hard reset to restore full functionality. By the end of day three, the problems were back, prompting another reset. On day four, I just quit using it and resorted to a paper map.

While there is much to like about the Motorola Motonav TN30, buggy software limits its usability. I'm sure a firmware update from Motorola would be all it takes to make this a solid competitor in the PND market, but for now it's just too frustrating to recommend.

The moral of the story: make sure your GPS device works before relying on it to get you across the country.

Read the full Motorola Motonav TN30 review.

 

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