Today’s cars are built for the mobile world. Just about every manufacturer has at least one model that is equipped with some fancy touchscreen display filled with some sophisticated software and mapping functionality. Providing that the software is actually good, consumers shouldn’t really see the need to buy a separate GPS device. But companies like Magellan aren’t giving up especially since there are lots of car owners that simply refuse to buy these new models and there are plenty of truck and RV owners that could use some navigation features. Then there are those that just aren’t satisfied with the performance of the built-in navigation features. The Magellan RoadMate 9412T-LM aims to address all those concerns.
About the Magellan RoadMate 9412T-LM
The Magellan RoadMate 9412T-LM is the latest iteration of Magellan’s 7-inch GPS navigator brigade. Introduced back in October 2014, this RoadMate device doesn’t look too different from the past models. Just picture a modern inexpensive tablet with fairly large bezels. Of course this isn’t a tablet that you’ll watch movies with so the large screen matters a lot more than the low resolution. The screen is vibrant and maintains its visibility even under direct sunlight. These are things that you need to take into account whether you are checking out 2-D or 3-D maps. It is also the midrange model so you won’t find any high-end functions including Bluetooth and traffic alerts. Fortunately, the Magellan RoadMate 9412T-LM has a lot to share with its pricier sibling.
The 9412T-LM shares a lot of features that competing GPS devices have like multi-destination routing and turn-based navigation and that’s to be expected since drivers constantly rely on these functions. But this device and other Magellan devices have a set of features that make them a bit more compelling. The QuickSpell with SmartCity Search tops the list as it is a handy way to look for destinations to navigate to. Users of older Magellan devices will recognize this feature and it looks better on the large 7-inch display. When you reach the part where you have to enter a destination, you only have to key in a few of the letters. The device will not only try to suggest potential destinations but it will also highlight certain letters that will help you complete a destination.
Another great interface feature exclusive to Magellan devices is the OneTouch Favorites Menu which can be accessed via button on the upper right corner of the main navigation view. As the name suggests, a single tap on this button brings you to a menu filled with icons pointing to your favorite locations. The icon grid is completely customizable. Taking the time to customize these icons means that you don’t have to use the QuickSpell feature at all to go to a favorite destination.
Popular service PhantomALERT also gave Magellan devices like the RoadMate 9412T-LM the ability to receive visual and audible warnings of speed cameras and red lights. Combined with the 7 million points of interest, it is possible to explore all sorts of destinations without worrying about these hazards.
The Magellan RoadMate 9412T-LM comes with a couple of neat tricks as well including landmark guidance which makes turn-by-turn navigation a bit more convenient. It relies on a database of landmarks categorized in 10 different groups to use as reference when the device issues you a direction. You can also use the Best Parking feature to get directions to popular parking garage locations.
The RoadMate 9412T-LM comes preloaded with maps covering the US, Canada and Puerto Rico areas. Lifetime map updates is enabled with this device so you don’t need a separate paid subscription to keep the map data fresh. When you hit the highway, the device switches to junction view so you can use the highway lane assist feature to make sure you don’t miss an exit. When you finally make the exit, you can spot various POIs surrounding it in case you need to make a stop.
• 7-inch display is great for trucks, RVs and even cars.
• $189 price is cheap for a 7-inch display.
• QuickSpell and OneTouch Favorites Menu remain as key selling points for Magellan devices.
• Nothing groundbreaking compared to the competition.
Magellan isn’t reinventing the wheel with the Magellan RoadMate 9412T-LM but it is a sign that large GPS devices are affordable to the point that any vehicle owner can take the plunge enjoy extra benefits even if the car already has one built in.