Magellan RoadMate 700

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Magellan RoadMate 700

The Magellan RoadMate 700 may be the perfect navigator. This portable GPS receiver, lets you pick the type of route you prefer, never gets you lost, knows all the local restaurants, and the nearest ATM to pay for the meal. Plus it only talks when you want it too.

In a case weighing only 13 ounces, the Magellan RoadMate 700 packs a 12-channel GPS receiver with Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) capability. WAAS decreases the position error of GPS navigation to less than three meters. And you can use this enhanced accuracy on the built-in maps covering the continental U.S. and parts of Canada. The maps are stored on an internal 10 GB hard drive, so there's no need to download new maps as you travel around. Since the RoadMate is easy to remove from its mount, it's simple to use in several vehicles, including rentals.

All of the navigation power of the RoadMate 700 is displayed on a high-resolution color LCD screen. The receiver contains a light sensor to automatically adjust the contrast and brightness of the display. Or you can adjust them manually. Additionally, the keypad is backlit, so even in the dark, the unit is easy to use.

One of many options the Magellan RoadMate 700 gives you, is how you enter data. You can use the conveniently laid out keypad or the touch screen. And to avoid spelling errors or to find incomplete addresses, there's interactive data entry. To enter your destination, a keyboard is displayed. As you enter each letter, the receiver matches the partial entry against all relevant addresses in its database. It then grays out all but the possible next letter(s) to be entered. Or you can enter a partial address and let the receiver show you a list of possible matches to choose from.

Once you've selected your destination, you're given four options in the type of route you'd like to take. You can get there by the shortest distance, the fastest time, the least use of freeways, or the most use of freeways. The RoadMate 700 is then ready to display a map showing your route and give you turn-by-turn guidance all the way. And whether you want to see the whole route or close up details, there are zoom keys to alter the map scale. Also selectable are the nine different map color combinations.

In addition to the map screen, there are two other ways to view your route with the Magellan RoadMate 700. The "True View" screen has a 3-D image of what the road looks like ahead and shows your turn or other intersection information. The third screen is a list of the details for when and where to expect turns along your route.

Even with several options for looking at your route, the RoadMate 700 doesn't require you to have your eyes glued to the screen. There are voice prompts to guide you at every turn. And if you miss a prompt, there's a repeat key to replay the information. The volume control lets you adjust the sound from the receiver's speaker.

Sometimes you can let the Magellan RoadMate 700 choose your destination for you. The point-of-interest database has over 2 million listings divided into over 40 categories. Listings include airports, schools, police, historical monuments, parks, restaurants, banks, and ATMs. If you wanted the nearest gas station you'd choose the category and the RoadMate would show how to get there. Or if you had the name of a restaurant, but not its location, the receiver would find it for you.

Since trips don't always go exactly as planned, the RoadMate 700 lets you make changes along the way. Maybe you're approaching a highway and see that the traffic is backed up. Enter the road you want excluded and the RoadMate will recalculate a new route around it. Or maybe you leave your planned route, either by accident or on purpose. When you're ready to get back on track, press a key and the receiver will guide you back to your original path. And for your favorite trips, there's an address book with space for 100 listings each for three drivers.

The RoadMate 700 is also handy as an aid to travel record keeping on business trips. The receiver has a trip computer to record and store the distance and time spent traveling. The average speed and total time of the trip is also recorded. And the information is saved for later retrieval.

The operation of the Magellan RoadMate 700 is simple and intuitive, but if you ever get stuck there's a built-in tutorial. It gives you a tour of the various displays and shows how to enter or retrieve the information you want. So all that's left is to plug in its power cord to the cigarette lighter and go.