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December 17, 2006

Magellan RoadMate 2200T Review

GPSmagazine Rating: 3 of 5

Verdict: Good

Magellan RoadMate 2200T

REVIEW UPDATE: This GPS model has been discontinued

What a year it's been for Magellan! Several months ago they released the RoadMate 3000T, 3050T, and 6000T, only to discontinue the 3000T a few months later, and replace it with the RoadMate 2000 and 2200T. Oh, and along the way Magellan was acquired by Shah Capital Partners (SCP).

The 2200T improves slightly on the RoadMate 2000, offering text-to-speech, optional real-time traffic data, a longer battery life, more rugged (and water resistant) case, a photo viewer, and a music player.

Magellan was once my undisputed favorite GPS manufacturer, and was responsible for some of the best navigation systems ever developed, including the legendary Hertz NeverLost system and the 750NAV. Over the years, however, Magellan had let their product line become stagnant, and the company was dying a slow, under-funded death. Around 9 months ago I was starting to worry that Magellan may have lost the secret sauce altogether and might cease to exist.

Now it looks like Magellan's new parent company, SCP, is injecting new life (and money) into their product line, and the good news is Magellan is finally releasing some good products again. Fresh on the heals of the RoadMate 2000, Magellan has released the 2200T. With a suggested retail price of $499, the 2200T is aimed squarely at competing with the TomTom ONE and Garmin's nuvi 350 and the Garmin StreetPilot c530.

Table of Contents

  1. Features
  2. Specifications
  3. RoadMate 2000 vs. 2200T: What's the Difference?
  4. Unboxing
  5. GPS Signal Strength - The Mighty SiRF
  6. Mounting the RoadMate 2200T in the Car
  7. Powering on the 2200T for the First Time
  8. Locate Screen
  9. Navigating with the MRM 2000T
  10. Navigating To A Street Address
  11. The Address Book
  12. Setting the Home Address
  13. Trip Planner - Multi Destination Routing
  14. Routing Engine Performance
  15. What About Real-Time Traffic?
  16. Creating Custom POIs
  17. Music Player
  18. Photo Viewer
  19. System Settings
  20. Configuring Navigation Options
  21. Screen Brightness
  22. Reduced POI Database - Does it Matter?
  23. Pros
  24. Cons
  25. Conclusion

1. Features

  • Traffic upgradeable - Get LIVE traffic incident reports when you add the Magellan TrafficKit ($99, available later this month from Magellan. Requires service subscription after introductory 3-month period for $59/year)
  • Turn-by-turn voice and visual guidance
  • Waterproof to IPX-4
  • Rechargeable battery - (battery lasts about 8 hours between charges)
  • SirfstarIII 20-channel high performance GPS receiver
  • Text-to-speech - Hear the street name of your next turn
  • Multi-destination Routing - Select up to 20 destinations
  • SmartDetour - Automatically routes you around sudden slow freeway traffic using your own custom settings
  • Built-in maps - United States, Canada and Puerto Rico
  • Bird's-eye 3D view
  • SD card compatible - Insert outdoor maps, music and pictures
  • Digital Music Player - Play music through the integrated speaker or your own headphones
  • Photo Viewer
  • Auto re-route - (automatically re-calculates the route if you miss a turn)
  • Auto night view - Adjusts color and contrast for night viewing
  • QuickSpell - Easily enter addresses with Magellan's efficient auto-complete feature
  • 1.5 million points of interest (POI) - find gas stations, restaurants, ATMs, airports, parks and more
  • Interactive POI icons - Touch an onscreen icon for a nearby destination; see phone number and get an instant route
  • 4 routing methods available - Shortest time, shortest distance, least use or most use of freeways, avoid toll roads
  • Address Book and Favorites List - Create and store personal points of interest to route to places you go to often
  • Instant locate - One touch shows your location; quickly advise roadside assistance or emergency services

2. Specifications

PHYSICAL

Case: High-impact plastic
Base Map: Pre-loaded - 50 United States, Canada and Puerto Rico
Size: 4.28" W x 3.15" H x 1.12" D (W 108.8 mm x H 88 mm x D 28.5 mm)
Weight: 7.8 oz / 221 g
Display: 3.5" color touch screen display, 2.11" x 2.81" (53.6mm x 71.5mm)
Data Storage: Secure Digital (SD) Card compatible
Antenna: Built-in multidirectional patch
Operating Range: 14 to 140°F (-10 to 60°C)

PERFORMANCE

Receiver: 20 channels, SirfstarIII
Acquisition Time: Hot: 1 second, Cold: 40 seconds, Initial: 5 minutes
Accuracy: 3 to 5 meters (10 - 16 feet) - WAAS/EGNOS, < 7 meters (15 feet) - GPS only
Languages: English

POWER

Source: Li-Ion rechargeable 1900mA, 12 V AC or 12 VDC vehicle adapter (sold separately)
Battery Life: Over 8 hours continuous use

3. RoadMate 2000 vs. 2200T: What's the Difference?

With so much in common with the less expensive RoadMate 2000, you might be asking yourself what the extra $100 for the 2200T gets you. Here are the differences between the RoadMate 2000 and the RoadMate 2200T:

 
RoadMate 2000
RoadMate 2200T
Maps
Pre-loaded with 48 states
Pre-loaded with North America
Text-to-Speech
No
Yes
MP3 Player
No
Yes
Photo Viewer
No
Yes
Outdoor Use
No
Yes * (With upgrade purchase)
Traffic Data
No
Yes * (With $99 upgrade purchase & $59 annual subscription fee)
Battery Life
3 Hours
8 Hours
est. Street Price
$299
$399