Magellan RoadMate 1700 7-Inch Portable GPS Navigator Review

With personal navigation devices becoming more and more affordable, it seems that just about everybody wants to haveGPS. If screen size matters a lot to you, the Magellan RoadMate 1700 GPS Navigator could be the very thing you are looking for. This portable navigation device weighs about 10.7 ounces and comes with a 7-inch color touchscreen. Onl0.6 inches thick, it is one of the slimmest navigation devices around.

With its gigantic screen the Magellan GPS is ideal for larger vehicles such as SUVs, RVs or trucks. It may take up too much dashboard space in an automobile, and would create blind spots if mounted on the windshield.

Pre-loaded Maps and POI’s
The Magellan RoadMate 1700 comes with maps of the United States (all 50 states), Canada and Puerto Rico. It also includes 6 million points of interest (POI) and an AAA database (American Automobile Association) of approved auto repair shops, TourBook Destinations, and AAA branch offices.

OneTouch Menu
Unique to the Magellan RoadMate series, the OneTouch Menu is one of the most useful features of this GPS. You can customize a shortcut menu that allows you to store up to six links to commonly accessed locations and searches. For instance, you can create a OneTouch shortcut for “Nearest Rest Areas”, ATMs, gasoline stations, or your favorite fast food restaurant. The OneTouch menu also provides permanent links to Home, GPS status, Previous Destinations, Local Info, and Emergency Services.

Selecting a Destination
You can select your destination by entering an address or searching for a point of interest. The Magellan RoadMate 1700 GPS features a QuickSpell system which attempts to predict what you are typing. The onscreen keypad is laid out in the QWERTY layout, although it can be switched to the ABC layout.
After specifying your destination, you can hit GO or compare a selection of different routes including fastest time, shortest distance, least use of highways and mostly highways. You can compare all four routes and get an estimated time for each of these routes.

On the Road
While navigating, the Magellan’s text-to-speech feature provides turn-by-turn direction. The GPS gives clear directions and reads off street names and exits aloud so you can follow the designated route without taking your eyes off the road. The RoadMate 1700 provides a graphic lane guidance that helps you navigate freeway interchanges and lets you know what lanes are valid for the current route.

If you miss a turn or exit the Magellan GPS will recalculate and get you back on track as quickly as possible.
The RoadMate 1700 gives you the option to see what lies ahead. The zoomed-in view shows the next 5 or 6 streets, including street names. A zoomed-out view shows a roadmap of the next few miles. Graphic road signs are overlaid on the 3D map display when you’re nearing an exit or turn-off.

Extras
While the Magellan portable GPS does not include traffic monitoring, it can be upgraded with an add-on FM receiver. A mini-jack AV input at the bottom of the unit allows you to connect external video sources such as a portable DVD player or an iPod to the GPS. The AV cable is purchased separately.

What’s in the Box
• RoadMate 1700 unit
• Mini-USB cable for synchronizing the device
• 12-volt charger to provide power when using the device in a car
• Suction cup windshield cradle
• Adhesive disk for dashboard mounting
• Soft slipcover
• Full-color, multi-language guide

Pros
• Large screen size and sharp map graphics
• Points of interest are easy to access
• Ease of use – Large onscreen keys, sensitive to light touch, QuickSpell, OneTouch Menu
• Good screen visibility even under bright sunlight.
• Auto Day/Night Mode – Display settings automatically change depending on the time of day
• Quick satellite acquisition – It only takes a few seconds to locate the position

Cons
• No real-time traffic reports
• Display could be more informative (e.g. distance traveled, time left, etc.)
• May not fit on some dashboards or windshields
• Short battery life – Battery lasts for about 15 to 30 minutes
• No AC charger – With the unit’s short battery life, an AC charger is necessary especially when you have to connect to a computer to get updates
• Units are new but maps are outdated – Brand new units come with old maps. You have to call within 30 days from date of purchase to get free downloads of the updated maps.

What Customers Are Saying….
The Magellan RoadMate 1700 Portable GPs may not be for everyone but for the right consumer it is perfect in every way. Customers love the Magellan GPS for its large screen size. The GPS is easy to use and the menus are easy to navigate. It has a lot of convenient features like the OneTouch menu, QuickSpell and SmartCity search.

Although a large screen is something people might want, the RoadMate 1700 is not for everyone. Unless you own an SUV, truck, or RV, you may find it difficult to mount the Magellan navigation device.

One quirk noted by customers is that the Magellan GPS shows you yards behind where you actually are. This can be a problem when roads are close together and you are not sure if you are turning down the right one. However, the turn chime or audio signal is correct. If you pay attention to the chime rather than the screen display, there won’t be any problem.

In general, customers are happy with the Magellan Roadmate 1700. They love the big screen with its easy-to-read information. The device works well and locks on to the GPS signal very quickly. Because of its size, it’s recommended for people who drive bigger vehicles.

The retail price of the RoadMate 1700 ranges from about $150 to $250. Many customers recommend getting this navigation device from Amazon.com. They offer one of the lowest prices and shipping is free.

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