If you want to add navigational and mapping capabilities to your vehicle, you have the choice to get a GPS-enabled smartphone, tablet or a GPS device. You might not even have to get anything if you already have a smartphone or tablet with promising capabilities and navigational software. But getting a GPS device is the right thing to do if you want more GPS features for the price that you pay. Paying about less than $200 should already be enough for a nice and accurate GPS device. If you are willing to spend a little bit more, your options are even broader as there are some smarter GPS devices available with better hardware. This is the kind of competition that big GPS companies like Magellan face right now. One of Magellan’s ways of competing is to make some larger GPS devices so RV owners can mount them and still see the screens properly. The Magellan RoadMate 9250T-LMB is one of the few 7-inch devices in Magellan’s catalog but it isn’t specifically targeted for RV and truck owners. Car owners that simply want a large screen for comfortable map viewing may want to consider the RoadMate 9250T-LMB because of its attractive price. It also has some new features that aren’t present in older RoadMate models.
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The Magellan RoadMate 9250T-LMB uses the same materials that Magellan uses to make other RoadMate devices. But compared to the usual 4-inch and 5-inch Magellan RoadMate units, the screen of the 9250T-LMB is massive. This also makes the RoadMate 9250T-LMB feel heavier but it is still possible to hold the device with one hand. One small concern is the fact that it uses the same windshield mount as other RoadMate models. Because of the weight, it is possible for the mount to fall off so just make sure it is securely installed. Fortunately, installation is simple and there is an adhesive disc included too in case you prefer dash mounting.
The large screen size serves as the main difference between the Magellan RoadMate 9250T-LMB and most other RoadMate models. It does not contain any special features that are exclusively present in the RoadMate RV series. This means that any RoadMate user should immediately be familiar with the simple but aging user interface.
Navigating through the interface basically involves tapping the icon you like. It may not look as exciting as a tablet interface but it should be easy enough for anybody to learn. The icons are very large on the 7-inch display making it simple to do things such as entering an address as your destination or changing a setting or two.
Innovation isn’t exactly the best word to describe this interface, but certain elements of the RoadMate 9250T-LMB are unique and can convince people to stick with the Magellan brand. The onscreen keyboard used as input has a special function called QuickSpell. This technology works by actively scanning the device’s database of places while as you type. The information is used to gray out any letters that are most likely won’t be used for spelling the name of a street or city. This not only reduces spelling errors but it also allows you to type faster on the display. The keyboard takes up most of the screen so the letters look very big on the 7-inch display as a result.
Another unique feature is the special OneTouch button that is always found on the upper right of the screen. It compares with the Start button featured in older versions of Windows operating systems where you can easily access any searches you previously made or favorite destinations. Each destination can be assigned an icon so you can easily locate it whenever you bring up the OneTouch menu.
Although the interface doesn’t offer anything groundbreaking, Magellan managed to put some interesting navigation features in the Magellan RoadMate 9250T-LMB. The new Landmarks Guidance feature makes navigation a bit easier by using landmarks as references. For instance, you might be told to make a turn at the next gasoline station up ahead. The Junction View makes a return in the RoadMate 9250T-LMB and it works better than ever by not only showing arrows that guide you to the right lane in the highway but also show photorealistic images of freeway signs.
The PhantomALERT GPS-based alert system is also integrated with the Traffic Camera Alerts feature so the Magellan RoadMate 9250T-LMB can receive warnings on any upcoming speed cameras and fixed red lights. This is a great way to avoid traffic tickets and drive safer in accident prone areas. You can optionally upgrade this feature by paying a small premium if you want the system to also alert you if there are dangerous intersections and school zones.
The Best Parking feature is another new feature that makes it easier for drivers to find parking garage locations. The exact locations are provided along with the hours of operation so the RoadMate 9250T-LMB can properly lead you to the nearest operational entrance.
Free lifetime maps and traffic updates are included in the Magellan RoadMate 9250T-LMB thanks to the “LM” and “T” letters at the end. But this RoadMate device also has a “B” which symbolizes its Bluetooth functionality. Like other GPS devices with Bluetooth, you can use the RoadMate 9250T-LMB as a hands-free speakerphone when you pair it with your mobile device so you can engage in conversations while driving safely. But Magellan goes the extra mile by adding another clever Bluetooth feature. Magellan calls this Bluetooth SafeTexting and it works by automatically sending a pre-written text message to an incoming call. You can also customize the return text by adding your ETA and current location. This feature works well with feature phones and Magellan is working on better compatibility with today’s smartphones.
Magellan decided to price this model under $250, which is a great deal as you are getting a large 7-inch display with some great features. The interface does need some facelift work but the lifetime features and extra Bluetooth functionality add significant value to this large car GPS device.