Posted May 13, 2009
With a few road trips planned this year, I wanted to get a GPS device. I knew I wasn’t going to use it on an everyday basis, I wanted to find the cheapest one possible. I was shopping at Costco and I passed by the GPS units. I basically wanted to find the cheapest one on sale. The Magellan RoadMate 1412 was staring at me at the price of $129.00 before tax. The only GPS unit I have owned before was the Tomtom GPS system for my old Treo 650. It required a separate bluetooth GPS receiver. The software was awesome and it worked very well, with the exception of that time in Hawaii (don’t ask).
The first time we used this unit was on our trip to Maine and then back into Boston. I would say that the unit worked flawlessly on that trip. The directions were very clear and it alerted me just at the right time before an upcoming turn. I am testing it out on my local streets here in California just to see how it performs. I would say there is a flaw in the system. With the TomTom, I was able to give priority on the type of route it gave me. I was able to do the fastest route, avoid highways if possible, shortest route, and even avoid toll roads. With this unit, when I go from my house to work, it seems to want to avoid the freeways if possible, even though taking the freeway is probably both the shortest and fastest way. Another thing that is kind of weird is the interface. I mean, come on, it uses Windows CE as it’s operating system. Everytime I hit a button, it says what I’m pressing. I mean, it says everything. Every letter I enter, every command I press, it tells me. There is no option to turn that off only. It’s all or nothing with the volume control.
Overall, it was a good buy. I’m still debating weather or not I should return it and get a refurbished TomTom or not. The refurbished part kind of makes me nervous and the cheaper TomTom units don’t do text-to-speech (basically, they don’t read out the names of the streets). For the price, I would say that the Magellan RoadMate 1412 is a good value. If you trust refurbished units, I would go with a refurbished TomTom, but you just don’t know what you’re going to get.