"RoadMate 1470"on by iLinux
Pros Large & very visible 4.3" screen, great short cuts in main menu, speaker volume is very good, includes latest map version, satellite signal acquired in less than a minute, lots of warnings before turning (bell sound a warning right before turning)
Cons Hard to plug power cable to the unit, location is too close to the holder and it is hard to feel your way around. My suggestion, place the unit on the holder first, plug the power cable and then fix the entire assembly to the windshield, it works...
Summary If you want bluetooth connection, MP3 capabilities, and a talking unit that does not understand your spoken commands, then spend more money and buy a Magellan 4700 series or the Nuvi 800 series. However, if you are looking for a reliable (well, as reliable as these things get anyways as every manufacturer has their issues) that will take you from point A to B with ease of use and a 4.3 inch screen, then the RoadMate 1470, or the 1475, is a very good choice for the money. Currently, for approximately $170 in Amazon, you can get one of these units. For that price, you won't be able to get a Garmin Nuvi or a TomTom unit with a 4.3 inch screen. I've been using this unit for over a month in the Los Angeles area. So far it has performed beyond my expectations. The unit has a very good & friendly menu system with quick shortcuts to addresses, points of interests, local stuff like ATMs, restaurants, entertainment, and AAA suggestions that come in very handy when traveling to unfamiliar places. My favorite function is the "bell sound" it makes right before making a turn; a very handy tool in case you can not read the road sign. The lane assist signs are not as fancy as the Garmin products, but they have been very accurate for the Los Angeles metro. In case you pass you exit, the unit is quick to re-calculate and re-route you to your destination. This unit accepts an optional traffic receiver to get free traffic reports in major metro areas. The traffic receiver I purchased did not work out of the box, I order a replacement and will update on it... but the GPS unit works just fine without it so it's not a big deal for me. The unit has a software update available for download from Magellan, I did not see any major difference with the update, but it is supposed to improve the overall performance of the unit, so can't hurt. Acquiring the satellite signal averaged under a minute for me, other people have reported 3+ minutes in the Amazon comments, I guess it depends on your location and if you have clear & open access to the sky. The screen brightness was very good, even in sun light. Overall, this is a great value for the money. I also considered the Garmin Nuvi 265WT, which is also a very good unit, but decided on the RoadMate 1470 because the screen is bigger and it has the AAA traveling book included in the software. The Garmin will give you a bit more bells & whistles with its software, but the screen is smaller and you'll pay a bit more also. As far as map accuracy, don't expect any GPS unit to be 100% accurate all the time as they rely on the accuracy of the maps and it is close to impossible for the map company to keep up with every single road & neighborhood change/updates. Therefore, keeping this map issue in mind, the RoadMate 1470 does perform extremely well in comparison to previous generation and the current competing GPS units from Magellan, Garming & TomTom (stay away from the Navigon brand as they are no longer servicing the US market, too bad those units were OK also). In conclusion, if you are cheap like me and demand getting the most for your hard earned dollar, and bluetooth and MP3 connectivity is not a priority, then the RoadMate 1470, or 1475, unit is a great choice. I would certainly recommend it. [Review by an engineer, very picky about electronics..] Hope this review helped you !Please note the screen size is 4.7" not 4.3" (sorry about that). I had a chance to test the traffic receiver for a second time, and it still does not work in the Los Angeles area which is one of the metro areas serviced by traffic reports. However, the unit it self continues to work very well ... so I do recommend the Roadmate 1470, but I would advice against the option traffic receiver.
Updated on Aug 14, 2009
Pros Large display, easy to enter addresses, can add AAA ratings and information
Cons Magellan releases untested Firmware Updates which corrupt units
Summary Was a great GPS and I was very satisified. Unfortunetly, Magellan released an untested Firmware Update which corrupts the 1470, turning it into a paper weight. Customers must pay for shipping to send corrupted units back to Magellan. In return, Magellan sends the customer a refurbished replacement, which in some cases does not work upon receipt. The Customer Service policies are enough to NOT recommend anything from Magellan.
Pros Happy with all aspects that I use. (I don't use long multi-point routing.) Quick lock-up with sats. Like customizable buttons. Cheap. Easy to change routing option on the move.
Cons Lifetime traffic updates come with an ad bar that randomly pops up on the screen for 3-5 secs. Annoying. Can't be turned off. Loads destinations you key-in as HOME. I've learned to put Home in a custom button. Also, lousy sound quality.
Summary If you can ignore the ads that randomly pop up for a few seconds at a time, it's a nice unit. I haven't had any real issue with the power cord plug, even though I understand what the cnet reviewer is talking about.
Pros Great clarity, simple zooming option allow view of exits, great clear voice, easy idiot proof touch screen, easy mounting options, best map graphics, quick re-routing during detours, perfect size for viewing and ending dash clutter. Has trucker chip!
Cons The entire problem can be pin-pointed to one or two places. The battery and the cables that attach it to the power. I've called so many times trying to find out why the device just stops running it's ridiculous. Refuses to charge or charges too slow!
Summary This product would be getting my highest rating if it were not for the power problems. The problem started with the downloading process. First, if you have the latest windows 7 then too bad! Can't download. You have to locate some old windows XP version. Second, it's too complicated to update. Just too many steps and the end result un-noticed. Well, not entirely un-noticed, the first download shut down the device entirely and I had to return it for a refurbished piece of junk. Next the second device was sent with the old version so I had to re-download the newer version. Then the problems began again. Power was slowly being sapped from the battery while plugged into the 12 volt power source. I went through 3 different power cables for this unit. Even the traffic link power cord. After calling the tech support more than I call my own parents, (hope you can understand bizarre accents) I decided to call human resources and complain. Never got a return call or e-mail. But hey, that's the way it is with all these kinds of companies so I wasn't too upset. I finally sent the dead second unit back and went out and bought a competitors brand (Cobra 7700) and this should freak you out but I miss the "working" Magellan Roadmate! Really! If you can just get a working model of the roadmate you won't be sorry! As a trucker the co-pilot chip for the 1470 came in handy but it is like buying a completely different unit. The Roadmates superior screen and clear voice and easy use just out classes all competitors. But, the poor craftsmanship of the product will always send reviews spiraling to a low rating. It's usually the other way around, great quality, poor programming, but, not on this unit, or at least the one's I was sent. If they could replace the power plug-in and separate it from the computer plug-in the problem may have been removed. To summarize.... The programming is the best, the mechanics is the worst, and the size is just right! (Cobra unit is 7 inch screen and too big with poor picture quality)
Pros I have 2 garmins Nuvi's and decided to try the RoadMate. It's a very nice unit. Good features and display. I very easy to enter addresses and find POI. I like the turn now bell.
Cons Unit is useless on long routes because it reset's whenever you try to enter one. Not talking 1500 miles either. Sometimes just 35 miles resets the unit. Mfg is aware and was supposed to have a S/W fix by May. I updated my S/W mid Aug, still resets.
Summary If they can fix the glitch it will be a decent unit. It does some things (not all) better than the garmin. I'd stay away from this unit until they get it working though. Check their website. http://www.magellangps.com/support/faqdetail.asp?faqid=654&prodid=2177