I’ve been playing with a Magellan RoadMate 2000 for the past week or so, and have had a chance to put it through its paces. When Magellan announced the RoadMate 2000, 2200T, and 2500T, they highlighted the “crossover” nature of this product line — the fact that they were designed for auto use or outdoor navigation. Unless you read the fine print, it was easy to assume that the “crossover” features extend to the RoadMate 2000. For the most part, they don’t. More on that shortly.
Auto navigation GPS
The Magellan RoadMate 2000 is a basic car navigation GPS, but it has a few features that make it quite attractive at a retail price of $399:
- First and foremost is the SiRFstar III chipset, for great reception in urban canyons and under canopy.
- It also has the SmartDetour™ feature, that senses when traffic has slowed significantly under the speed limits, and offers to send you on an alternate route.
- An “Exit POI” button provides access to a list of the most common points of interest (POI) categories available at the next several upcoming exits.
- The Roadmate 2000 has a nice, slim form factor.
- Magellan’s QuickSpell feature greys out characters that can no longer be used as you input a name. This makes for faster and more accurate entry.
- Speaker quality is good.
- The touch screen is bright.
- Chief among the unit’s deficiencies is the rather anemic number of POI’s. 1.3 million may sound like a lot, but I could not find major retailers that had been in their current location for 20 years! Many other units offer 6 million POIs.
- There is no option to show your estimated time of arrival, a feature that I find quite handy. Instead, the 2000 shows time remaining to destination.
- There is no text to speech functionality, so you get “turn right” instead of “turn right onto Main Street.”
- Planning a route ahead of time is a pain, partially because of the low number of POIs. You can’t pan the map and search for a POI near the map. You can search by City Center, but that’s as close as it gets. And every time I wanted to add a new POI to the trip list, I had to spell out the city name again.
I found panning the map to be counterintuitive at first; it seemed that you needed to drag your finger in the opposite direction from the way you want the map to go. But another way to look at it is that you drag the area you want to look at towards the center of the screen. Once you get used to this, it’s very easy.
Not made for backcountry use
If you’re expecting this unit to do double duty in the backcountry, you’re in for a disappointment. The Magellan Roadmate 2200T and Magellan CrossoverGPS (formerly known as the 2500T) may do this well, but not the RoadMate 2000. The only way I see you being able to use it in the backcountry is to navigate back to an address or intersection, entirely on roads. You can’t load topo maps, see your coordinates or transfer tracks. I suppose you could use POIs in place of waypoints and for route creation, but you’re going to be limited to addresses and intersections when you try to create them.
My conclusion? Basic, but flawed auto navigation at good price.
Here’s what others are saying about the Magellan RoadMate 2000:
- Over at CNet, owners of the receiver are starting to post their own Magellan RoadMate 2000 reviews.
- GPS Magazine has published an in-depth Magellan RoadMate 2000 review, calling it the best GPS priced under $400 yet.
- PC Magazine gives a 3 out of 5 star rating in their Magellan RoadMate 2000 review.
- JusTech’n gives it a 7.8 (out of 10) rating in their Magellan RoadMate 2000 review.
- GPSInformation.net posts a thorough Magellan Roadmate 2000 review.
- GPSLodge has posted their own review of the Magellan RoadMate 2000.
- A video review of the RoadMate 2000.
I’ll be posting more hands on GPS reviews as they appear, but in the meantime, here are some other helpful resources:
- Here’s a PDF of the Magellan RoadMate 2000 owners manual.
- A Magellan RoadMate 2000 demo.
- And a Magellan RoadMate 2000 FAQ.
- Want to see how the 2000 stacks up against other units? Use this handy Magellan GPS comparison tool.
- There is a Magellan RoadMate message forum at GpsPasSion.
- There is also a Magellan GPS message forum at Yahoo, and an alt.satellite.gps.magellan UseNet group.
- The official Magellan RoadMate 2000 web page.
- Check the current Magellan RoadMate 2000 price at Amazon.com.
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- Find the Magellan RoadMate 2000 for an amazing price on eBay.