If you’ve driven with a good on-board GPS product, you quickly find that it becomes indispensable.  This new Magellan RoadMate 300, at a suggested retail price of only $599, is just what cost-conscious consumers have needed.  And when I tell you about the spectacular price I found, you’ll find it even easier to give it to your dad or grad, and maybe one for yourself!  But remember, it’s portable, so several drivers may be able to use just one unit.GPS, for Global Positioning System, refers to devices that make use of a constellation of US satellites in orbit around our planet.  These satellites send out the atomic time signal and distance data, ultra-accurate information that is received by these GPS receivers.  The GPS receivers take this precise information from at least three satellites at the same time using complicated mathematical equations. That information helps the device to determine, among other information, a relative position anywhere on globe, either on land, the sea or even in the air.When the GPS receiver has mapping capabilities inside, the position is plotted on that moving map and changes as the relative position of the device changes.  When the device also has technology to verbalize position and directions to a point or address in its database, the user can be directed to that location, even with re-routing as may be required due to missing a turn, traffic re-routing or for any other reason.  However, not all GPS devices are alike.  Oh, no, they are quite different.  Some are better than others, and some are not worth spit!

It’s ease-of-use and the elegant, transparent way they do what they do that sets one apart for the next.  How well is the driver prompted for each direction?  How easy is the mapping to understand? How accurate and comprehensive is the points-of-interest database? How easy is it to enter information about where the user wants to go?  How easy is it to follow just by listening and not having to look at the display?  When glancing at the display, is it easy to see useful information without becoming confused?  These are all characteristics I look for, and Magellan is the most enjoyable product line I have found, so far.

In my experience, I have become a dedicated fan of the Magellan RoadMate 300’s big brother, the RoadMate 700, which contains near complete mapping and millions of points of interest throughout the US, Canada and, in the newest versions, Europe (the Euro mapping can be “unlocked” for an additional fee).  That unit has saved my butt so many times I cannot count them.  Most recently, I hopped a plane to northern California to scout apartments for two of our Gadget Kids who need places to live near their college.

I rented a car, attached the RoadMate 700 to the windshield using its improved mount, entered numerous addresses of apartments I was interested in seeing, and also the address of their college, and set out on my search.  I was never lost, found each destination without any difficulty, was able to look up (through the built-in database) the location of their college and then determine how far and about how long it would take to drive to school from each prospective apartment.  Then, I looked up places to eat.  It was fun AND easy. I was, once again amazed. My trip and the mission I was on simply could not have been done without Magellan.  It’s just that simple.

Now, this new Magellan RoadMate 300 is a bit smaller and lighter weight and just as easy to use.  It also has a touch-screen and offers turn-by-turn text and voice prompted street navigation in any car, any time.

Maps of major roads and highways are built in.  For door-to-door navigation to street addresses consumers have several options, including a pre-loaded SD card containing street-level maps of the consumer’s region, which is included with each Magellan RoadMate 300. Or, drivers can handpick and download detailed maps from a PC to the unit.  The internal memory stores up to 110MB of map data including the major roads and highways of North America. The system’s expandable memory allows drivers to access even more detailed map areas by using additional optional SD memory cards (sold separately).

So, instead of it being totally packed for coast to coast, and beyond, this lower-priced unit allows consumers to determine the areas needed and store only that which is needed.   Download an area, one used at a time of all nine covering the US and Canada. If the user already has an approved brand of SD card, the same type used by many digital cameras, the info can be transferred to the SD card and the card can be inserted in the model 300.  OR, now through September 30, owners can get a pre-configured SD card for one area for free!

The product really is packed with greatness and needs to be experienced.  Since I’m already sensing as I write that it’s impossible to fully follow much more without your own hands-on, here’s what I suggest.  First, the Magellan RoadMate 300 gets my Just Get It stamp of approval. I know it will be a hit with whoever is fortunate enough to receive one.  Since I have tried so many other GPS products, I can also safely say this one represents a comprehensive ease-of-use, value and robust performance benchmark others have not achieved.  Please take the time to visit the company links and explore all the features and benefits.  You will be amazed at what you learn this handy “gadget” can do to make life better for the user!

In summary, the RoadMate 300 will be one of dad’s or your grad’s favorite gadgets, and one that will be used constantly, perhaps daily.  Every time the user travels to a new address for a job interview, a new apartment, anywhere on vacation, finding a new restaurant, on vacation or visiting a new area, sightseeing and many other scenarios, the RoadMate 300 will be right there, making the journey as stress-free as possible. For an easy-to-use GPS portable offering turn-by-turn, voice-guided navigation, I believe these Magellan RoadMate models are without peer.  Since most of us need only one multi-state area loaded at one time, the RoadMate 300 is all one would really need.

And since I teased about a great price, check this out – I found it online for as little as $384 through www.nextag.com, making it an even better value!  For those interested in the step-up Magellan RoadMate 700, I found it online, also through www.nextag.com, for as little as $760!

The Magellan RoadMate 300 is packaged with a windshield mount, a cigarette lighter adapter, an AC adapter and a USB cable for Windows PC connectivity (sorry, nothing for us Mac users). Other Magellan RoadMate accessories are available at www.magellangps.com.

More information is at www.magellangps.com or call 1-800-668-4477.  Retailers include Best Buy and Circuit City.

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