Just before Christmas I drove my oldest daughter to Oshawa. The trip there was uneventful and I didn't have any problems. On the way back home however, I took the first sign that said "Ottawa" and ended up running through Smith Falls, Carleton Place and finally home. These locations for anyone not familiar with them, are small little towns nestled among miles of country back roads. We'd had a family wedding in Smith Falls a year ago and I'd gotten terribly lost there but somehow a Guardian Angel or something had been watching over me the night I took the turn off there because I somehow made it through the little town and home without any mistakes or needing to do any turn around...amazing in and of itself believe me.
So, this little trip became the fodder for my husband's "what shall we get mom for Christmas" conundrum and it was unanimous...a GPS system of course!!
He chose the Magellan Roadmate 1440, not simply for it's ease of use and large screen but because he noticed that it could provide various points of interest no matter where you were including Coffee Shops!! He tested this feature while in the store and it easily and quickly brought up a number of Tim Horton's in the vicinity where he was. For those not familiar with this name, it is a large collection of coffee franchises spread across Canada with a few locations in the New York area as well. That alone was a major selling point because he knows how I love my Timmy's, but so was the number of reviews that he had read on the GPS (yes, I have him trained!).
Ease of Use
The securing of the GPS to the car is easy. There is a small disk that can be situated in the car and there is a clamp that attaches to the disk and allows you to simply slide the GPS onto the clamp. The installation is easy and you can place the GPS on and off of its pedastal with one hand.
As for operation, this particular GPS couldn't be more easy to use. To input a location that you wish to go to you simply choose "Go To" which brings up a keypad and the female voice asks you to type in the city you wish. It has auto complete and after a few keystrokes will bring up a list of cities to choose from. After selecting the city you are asked to type in the street name and then once that is available you are asked for the street number.
The information for the trip is quickly calibrated and you are ready to go.
The Magellan Roadmate 1440 is accurate to within 300 meters and so far it has accurately notified me of turning points without any problems. Indication for street turns are quite accurate and to date I've had no issues with how efficiently it directs me to my destination. When I indicate the "fastest route" it is quite efficient at guiding me along streets/roads that have the least amount of traffic. The shortest routes are as efficiently presented and it also provides a selection to choose whether or not you take freeways during your journey.
Non-invasive voice notification
Every GPS I have used in car has had a rather annoying habit of announcing upcoming street names, followed by recalibrating announcements far more frequently than I require or appreciate. The street announcements were obviously due to the way in which the owner of the GPS had it set up but this was one of the main reasons I had no interest in them.
Our "Meg-Ellen" as we've lovingly come to know the female voiced GPS is perfect for our needs and likes. She announces turns at 3km's then at 2km's then again at 1 km. When you are coming up to your turn she will announce this information and follow it by a chiming bell to announce the arrival at the turn. This chime can be changed to a beep or to a few other choice notification sounds that can be chosen. Other than that you never hear a peep from her...just the way I like it. Of course you can easily set the GPS to name off the streets as well as naming off various points of interest (POI) but personally I like the less talkative setting.
One Touch(tm) screen operation is a breeze with the Magellan Roadmate 1440 and you can quickly and easily input destinations, points of interest, choose from a 2d or 3d map view and set your trip in a matter of seconds from the responsive touch screen which measures 4.3" wide and about the same height. The screen provides excellent color information including the provision of street names and when on freeways you can also have it indicate the off road rest stops if you wish.
While on freeways the one thing that some drivers have problems with is know what lane they should be in. With the Magellan GPS this is taken care of for you if you use this feature. It will provide you with directions as to which lane you should be in to reach your destination trouble free, access connectors, take off ramps or merge with other traffic.
It also provides the AAA guide for information related to places including lodgings that are approved by this Automobile club.It also comes with its own connection which you plug into the car's lighter socket and the GPS turns on and off automatically with the turning on or off of the car key.
The one thing I am not certain this model has is "lock while driving". Neither my husband or I have tried to readjust our destination while driving so we've not had any notification that requests we indicate whether we are driving or not. Even if it doesn't though, we know that it is not safe to drive and play with the GPS at the same time.
Updating the operating system as well as maps is as simple as attaching the USB cable that comes with it to a computer USB socket. Magellan offers customers a 30 day window to update to the latest mapping system if they should up date the maps within that period of time. There is no cost for the map upgrade if this should happen. They have just recently updated the North American mapping system so it is unlikely they will be updating again for awhile. It appears they update this map every 1-2 years with incremental updates which I believe are included in system upgrades as they become available.
Overall despite the fact I was against owning a GPS, I'm actually quite glad my husband treated me to one for Christmas. It's come in very handy and it makes me look like I'm a whiz with directions - which I definitely am not!