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December 17, 2006

Magellan RoadMate 2200T Review

GPSmagazine Rating: 3 of 5

4. Unboxing

Magellan RoadMate 2200T Retail Box, Front
Figure 1: Magellan RoadMate 2200T Box, Front

The MRM 2200T box looks almost identical to the RoadMate 2000's box, with a slightly angled front and relatively small footprint.

Magellan RoadMate 2200T Retail Box, Rear
Figure 2: Magellan RoadMate 2200T Box, Rear

Happily, the RoadMate 2200T uses NAVTEQ mapping data (as do all other Magellan GPS units). NAVTEQ is the largest mapping data provider, and generally considered superior in North America to that of competitor Tele Atlas. This is the subject of much heated debate, but my own testing validates that NAVTEQ's maps are more complete and more accurate (in North America -- I haven't tested NAVTEQ vs. Tele Atlas in Canada or Europe). Magellan and Garmin use NAVTEQ's maps. Dutch PND manufacturer TomTom uses Tele Atlas (which is the main drawback to TomTom's popular GPS product line).

Magellan RoadMate 2200T Retail Box, Side
Figure 3: Magellan RoadMate 2200T Box, Side

What's in the box
Figure 4: What's Included in the Box?

The RoadMate ships with the following items included in the box:

  • Magellan RoadMate 2200T
  • Cradle
  • Adjustable Mount
  • Adhesive Mounting Disc
  • USB Cable
  • Cigarette Lighter Cable
  • User Manual CD-ROM
  • PC Toolkit CD-ROM
  • Quickstart Guide
  • Warranty Card

Magellan RoadMate 2200T, Front
Figure 5: Magellan RoadMate 2200T, Front

The RoadMate 2200T looks almost identical to the RoadMate 2000. The only discernable difference is the 2200T has a metallic-grey color case while the 2000's case is black. The 3.5" color touch-screen is the main interface to the 2200T; apart from the power button, all operations are performed via the touch-screen interface. Although the touchscreen is easy to see, the display is not as bright as some other GPS units, such as the more expensive Garmin nuvi 660 (to be fair, the nuvi 660 costs almost twice what the 2200T costs).

The 2200T design is simple and pleasing. Just slightly over 4.25" wide, the MRM 2200T fits nicely in the hand and the screen is large enough so you don't have to struggle to see the map. The 2200T feels very solid and rugged; it feels considerable more durable than, say, Garmin's nuvi line of PNDs.

Magellan RoadMate 2200T, Rear
Figure 6: Magellan RoadMate 2200T, Rear

Similar to the less expensive 2000, the RoadMate 2200T has a single speaker located at the back of the unit. In my testing, I found the speaker loud and crisp. Noticeably absent is the background static that has plagued the RoadMate series for years. I'm very happy to report that Magellan has finally addressed this issue on the 2000 and 2200T, and the voice prompts are now "hiss-free".

Magellan RoadMate 2200T, Left Side View
Figure 7: Magellan RoadMate 2200T, Left Side View

All connections to the RoadMate 2200T are protected by rubber caps on the left and right sides of the unit to keep moisture out. Although this is handy for cross-over GPS uses, such as Geocaching or ATV off-roading, I found it slightly annoying for in-car only use, as you have to peal back the rubber cap to access any of the connectors. Still, the 2200T is water resistant, so I suppose that has its own advantages as well.

Magellan RoadMate 2200T, Left Side View
Figure 8: Magellan RoadMate 2200T, Left Side View

A protective rubber flap conceals an SD Card Slot, Reset Switch, and Hold Button. The SD Card Slot is used to insert SD memory cards, which can be used to store music, photos, or additional maps. The Reset switch is used to perform a reset if the 2200T freezes and becomes unresponsive. The Hold Button is used to put the 2200T into a power-saving mode and turn off the touchscreen (this is mostly used in outdoor GPS applications where you would likely have the unit in a backpack and want to conserver battery life).

Magellan RoadMate 2200T Reset Switch
Figure 9: Magellan RoadMate 2200T, Reset & Hold

Here we see a close-up of the Reset Switch and the Hold Button. It's worth mentioning that the unit ships with the Reset slider switch in the off position, meaning you have to flip up the rubber flap and slide the reset switch into the on position before you can successfully power on the MRM 2200T.

The manual says this is done to conserve battery life, but I'm guessing this causes a lot of confusion among consumers and is very likely the #1 support call to Magellan support. Initially I was unable to get the 2200T to power on, and I had to check the manual to find out about the reset switch. Conserving battery power during shipping sounds like a legitimate enough reason, although I've not seen any other GPS manufacturers doing this, so my vote would be to nix this and just ship the unit with the reset switch in the on position.

Magellan RoadMate 2200T, Right Side View
Figure 10: Magellan RoadMate 2200T, Right Side View

The right side of the 2200T is home to the Power Button. A protective rubber flap covers a USB Connection, Headphone Jack , and External Power Input.

Magellan RoadMate 2200T, Right Side View
Figure 11: Magellan RoadMate 2200T, Right Side View

With the protective rubber cap pealed back, we can see the USB connection, Headphone Jack, and Power Input.

Magellan RoadMate 2200T, Bottom View
Figure 12: Magellan RoadMate 2200T, Bottom View

The MRM 2200T is just over an inch thick (1.12"). Although not the thinnest GPS on the market, I found the 2200T a nice overall size -- thin enough and small enough to fit in a pocket, and yet large enough that the screen is easy to read. The bottom of the unit has a single, 20-pin connector.

Magellan RoadMate 2200T, Bottom View
Figure 13: Magellan RoadMate 2200T, Bottom View

Like the other connections on the MRM 2200T, the bottom connector is protected by a rubber flap. Interestingly, this connection is not mentioned in the Magellan user manual, and is not used by the dock that ships with the unit. My guess would be that Magellan plans to sell an upgraded dock that provides power through this connector, although it's impossible to say for sure if/when this connector will ever be used.

12v Cigarette Lighter Adapter, RoHS Compliant!
Figure 14: 12V Cigarette Lighter Adapter

The 2200T ships with a RoHS compliant 12v cigarette lighter power adapter. Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) basically just means the product is lead free -- I'm not entirely sure why it's worth advertising so proudly, but hey -- I'm all in favor of lead-free manufacturing!

Magellan RoadMate Cradle
Figure 15: Magellan RoadMate 2200T Cradle, Front

To connect the RoadMate to the dock you first need to attach the cradle. The cradle has two alignment tabs that fit in the bottom of the RoadMate.


Magellan RoadMate Cradle, Rear
Figure 16: Magellan RoadMate 2200T Cradle, Rear

The rear of the included mount has 4 screw holes in case you want to use an alternate mount from a third party, or Magellan's Flex-arm style mount (such as in a large SUV or truck, where you need a longer, flexible mount).

Magellan RoadMate Cradle, Side View
Figure 17: Magellan RoadMate 2200T Cradle, Side View

The release tab, located on the top of the cradle, is used to release the RoadMate from the cradle.

Magellan RoadMate Windshield Mount
Figure 18: Magellan RoadMate 2200T Windshield Mount

The MRM 2200T shares the same mounting hardware as the RoadMate 2000. The mount consists of a large suction disc that attaches to your car's windshield (you can use the adhesive mounting disc if windshield mounts are illegal in your State).

Magellan RoadMate Windshield Mount
Figure 19: Magellan RoadMate 2200T Windshield Mount, Extended

Two dials on the X and Y axis allow you to articulate the mount into the desired position.

Magellan RoadMate 2200T, Connected to the Windshield Mount
Figure 20: Magellan RoadMate 2200T, Docked

The cradle snaps onto the windshield mount. The RoadMate can then be docked or undocked by depressing the release tab on the cradle.

Adhesive mounting disc
Figure 21: Adhesive Mounting Disc

If you happen to live in a State or country where it is illegal to mount anything in the windshield of a motor vehicle, you can use the included adhesive mounting disc to mount the RoadMate on your dashboard instead. I'm personally not a huge fan of this method, as it is a much more permanent solution than a simple suction cup on the windshield glass, although local laws may dictate that you use this method.