Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer born c. 1480, and along with his crew were the first Europeans to enter the Pacific Ocean. They were also the first to successfully circumnavigate the globe. It is because of his reputation in history, that his name is put on the modern day version of compasses and astrolabes that he might have used.
Magellan has long since been the patriarch of the GPS industry. Is it because of its technology? The mapping software within? Is it because of the usability? Well YES to all and more.
First of all, let me introduce you to the two words that will make this the last GPS you will ever need to buy; “Lifetime maps”. Now, you will also be introduced to two words, never before seen from a navigational device; “DashCam Navigator”. Why have two devices, when you only need one.
That’s right, Magellan took the best of both worlds, a HD video dash cam and paired it with their top notch navigation technology to develop and release the Magellan Roadmate 6230-LM.
Testing incorporated several realms including
- Dash Cam properties and use
- Short (10-75 miles) and long (100+miles) distance drives
- Not getting Lost
- Ease of use
Let’s forget about the navigational part of the equation for a little bit. They are going to excel there anyhow.
As far as DashCams go, you have seen them on many reality shows; Cops, Military shows and even on youtube. How many times have you seen someone committing an ID-10-T (Take the dashes out of the error and what’s it spell?) maneuver on the roads and wanted to report him? How many times have you wanted to report that school bus driver for speeding or operating erratically, with or without pupils in the bus? How about the seconds before and after an accident? The list of uses can go on. How many times have you seen that gorgeous view coming over a major bridge and wished you could record it? Well now you can do that, yes to all.
The DashCam is set to start the second you turn the unit on and will record continuously until you shut it off. It includes a 4gig microSD card for dvr purposes. To the right of the power button, is the “video lock” button. That means that if you see something and want to report or otherwise save the recording, you can press it and it locks that portion of the video and protects it from being over written. The dvr records in 5 minute intervals which will be overwritten as the 4gig limit is reached. There is one safety feature though which is bordering on genius. There is a “G-shock” sensor that will sense any sharp or otherwise hard movements, such as an accident, hard swerve, short stop, etc., and automatically lock that portion of the video.
The video itself, is HD, so it is crisp and clear. The included microSD card also has a utility on it that allows you to play and save the videos and even take captures from your Windows PC. This utility is required to view the output on a PC.
As for the navigation part, it’s a no brainer. On any given day, my day can consist of driving anywhere from 50 to as much as 500 miles. This can include major metro areas as well as rural back roads and the highways needed to reach them. I cannot take a chance on a cut rate gps to show me the way. Not once did I get lost. I actually turned off the GPS for about 10-15 minutes, took several wrong back road turns, etc. I put the device back on, and my location was found w/i 30 seconds. I came to find out that while I thought I was 15 minutes out of the way, the DashCam navigator got me back on track in about 7 minutes.
The one touch feature is for the most part across the board on most Magellan products. It allows you to save addresses and wit “one touch” access them and route yourself there. It also has help buttons that will get you to the closest hospital, police station, etc as well as other emergency services. The gas finder feature and POI feature will easily give you information about what is available on and off the highway.
So how about ease of use? The answer is YES. Seriously though, this is one GPS that, unless you are looking for some obscure or obtuse feature (which it probably has) you will not find a need for the well written manual.