updated 04:20 pm EST, Mon January 7, 2008
Magellan CES 2008
Magellan this afternoon updated its GPS line with multiple new GPS units. As the beginner model, the RoadMate 1400 (pictured) is still noteworthy as the first widescreen, entry-level GPS: a 4.3-inch touchscreen helps see more of the road ahead and while typing out directions. It also keeps the 3D mode and (on the top-spec 1430) adds real-time traffic warnings with an auto-routing feature to duck around congestion. A basic 1400 model stats at $299 but climbs to $399 for the 1430. Similar 1200-series models with a 3.5-inch screen but similar features start out at $229. Launch dates for these models are unavailable.
At the higher end, the Maestro 5310 is designed for older drivers who may have trouble reading the sometimes extra-dense displays of smaller GPS systems. Its touchscreen measures 5 inches but runs at the same wide QVGA resolution as a 4.3-inch system. It also includes text-to-speech conversion of street names and 6 million points of interest to provide a relatively quick drive to the nearest restaurant or hotel, Magellan says. A more firm release timeframe is given for the 5310, which will be ready in the first calendar quarter for $699.
The introductions also introduce a new line, the Maestro Elite: each of the two units in the launch adds a luxury feature that has rarely been seen before in a GPS navigator. The 5-inch Elite 5340 tops the range with Bluetooth, real-time traffic, and voice commands; a special 5340+GPRS version also adds a cellular modem and a Google Local Search feature that will show contact information and other data about points of interest. These ship early this year though do not have listed prices.
Magellan's third Elite, the 3270, is focused on aesthetics. It virtually eliminates the bezel around the edge of the display and adds a new touchscreen that only requires a gentle touch to activate. Its screen measures just 3.5 inches but belies the full 6 million points of interest and real-time traffic. It sells for $499 in the first quarter.