Magellan RoadMate 5175T-LM GPS represents a first bringing WiFi and a Web browser to a GPS navigation device. It is a step in the right direction for GPS navigator manufacturers to meet competition from smart phones and media tablets loaded with turn-by-turn navigation applications loaded. The inclusion of Lifetime Traffic and Map updates help build a solid case for the cost effectiveness of a dedicated GPS device.
The GPS hardware
Most tablets have a larger display size and many smart phones come close to the 5 inch RoadMate 5175T-LM display. The RoadMate does however have the advantage of a display specially designed for readability in bright light. GPS displays harness incident light to boost their brightness. They are also configured to adjust the display automatically for the best night time viewing.
The GPS software
The Magellan RoadMate 5175T-LM GPS has been named the Traveler by Magellan and that is an ideal role for it. Having planned trips using online tools then transferred destinations to the GPS device each day, one can really appreciate being able to program a whole trip on your GPS navigator before departing. The WiFi combined with a Web browser allows the planning process to be undertaken on the one device at home or at a WiFi hotspot along the way.
One area the WiFi capability shines in usefulness is enabling Free Lifetime Map Updates directly from the GPS device itself rather than requiring a PC connection. The Magellan RoadMate 5175T-LM GPS also comes with Lifetime Traffic Alerts making it an excellent ‘no further costs’ navigation solution.
Magellan’s inclusion of the AAA TourBook with Diamond ratings and descriptions is another tool to helps plan a trip as is the ability to create a personalized home page including saved searches which can even be for branded POIs if you are looking for the familiar while away.
One handicap that becomes evident when using the 5 inch display 5175T-LM (and other mobile devices through to and including 7 inch displays) is that their display size is not web page friendly. You can end up with very small text of a full web page squeezed into the resolution available or the difficulty of dealing with a cross slider. Some websites have a mobile friendly version which is automatically loaded for smaller displays however, they are not very prevalent. However, there are plenty of travel websites which will render acceptably and offer features such as the ability to download POI (point of interest) data directly to your GPS device – such as this one providing locations for free WiFi hotspots. It takes a little time to sort out the most useful sites which render acceptably.
Apart from the features discussed, the Magellan RoadMate 5175T-LM GPS is a premium featured model in the RoadMate lineup as detailed in the specification below. It can make an excellent travel companion and navigator with the proviso that one is willing to cope with some difficulties that can occur with browsing the web on a small display.
Magellan Roadmate 5175T-LM GPS User Reviews and Price Comparisons
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