New GPS devices come out every year. It seems to be a race to see who can add the most features and have the biggest screens. However, Magellan has taken a different approach with the RoadMate 1430.
- LIVE traffic capability
- 4.3″ wide color touch screen
- 6 million Points of Interest!
LIVE traffic is the ability for the GPS to download and display current traffic conditions for the roads you are driving.
The RoadMate 1430 has a 4.3″ wide-touch-screen. This is not the largest screen on the market, but it is also not the smallest.
This RoadMate has maps of the entire U.S. and Canada with about 6 million Points of Interest.
SayWhere text-to-speech reads all the names of the points of interest, streets, addresses and everything else.
The RoadMate 1430 is very similar in design to the RoadMate 2000, which is the last RoadMate I reviewed. The 1430 does not have any buttons on the front, which leaves a lot more room for the screen. The 1430 has a larger 4.3″ WQVGA – wide-format color touch screen. The dimensions of the 1430 are 4.57″ x 3.27″ x 0.73″ and it weighs 7.1 oz.
The top of the RoadMate 1430 is where you will find the only button on the whole device. This button is used for turning the RoadMate on and off. However, you will not need to use it very much because it turns on automatically when it gets power and off when power is lost.
The right side has the only connectors, they are a mini USB plug for power, and software updates, and a 3.5mm FM plug for the LIVE traffic antenna.
On the back of the RoadMate is a speaker.
The bottom of the RoadMate 1430 initially looks very basic, but I read on their website that the 1430 comes with an SD card. I could not find an SD card slot so I had to look closer. The bottom has a small sticker that covers the SD card slot. By the looks of it the card that comes with the RoadMate has a capacity of 2GB, but if you open it up in Windows explorer you will see that the majority of the space is already used.
The software also got a makeover. The layout is generally the same, but the icons and other graphics have been upgraded to make things look better.
Testing the performance of a GPS may not seem very difficult. All you need to do is set a destination and see if it gets you there, right? Well, every GPS I have tested has done a great job of my keeping track of my location and getting me to my destination. So we need to dive a little deeper into the RoadMate 1430 and see how this GPS is different than others.
Ease of use is one of the ways that this GPS excels. To get directions to somewhere all you need to do is enter the address. The RoadMate 1430 provides several ways to enter destinations. The easiest is to choose a previously saved address from your address book or favorites, favorites is just a subset of your address book. However, before you can get an address into your address book it must be entered manually or saved by visiting the destination.
Entering an address is really easy. There is a button on the main menu named “Enter Address” which lets you select a destination. As a side note, I personally think a better name for this button would be “Enter Destination”. When you click on that button you have several options for starting. You can choose a city, zip code, previous city, address from your address book, an intersection, or a previous destination.
If you choose city or zip code you will be given a keyboard so that you can enter the number or letters. The keyboard is laid out from A-Z, but because I am used to a QUERTY keyboard I have a hard time typing on this keyboard. It would be really nice if there was an option to switch the keyboard layout to QUERTY.
Choosing a Point of interest is really easy. You can search for your point of interest by name or by category. I like to search by name because it gets me results faster, and I don’t have to decide which category the point of interest might be in.
Planning a trip with multiple destinations is also easy. The only difference is that you can choose as many destinations as you want. Then, as you are on your trip, you can choose to route to any of the destinations in your list. I was expecting the RoadMate 1430 to automatically route to each destination; instead, you are required to click each destination when you are ready for the route.
One interesting quirk I found was that when leaving my neighborhood the RoadMate 1430 did not initially choose the best route. As you can see from the image below, the first route took me through a lot of residential streets and around a lot of corners, which are both slow. As I moved along the route I normally take it recalculated and gave me a new route. The new route wanted me to go a way that would cause me back track quite a bit. As I moved a little further, I got a third route, and again it tried taking me through a lot of residential streets that have slow speed limits and lots of turns. Finally, when I didn’t give it any other choice it picked the street that I know is the best. In addition to all that, when I came home it gave me a completely different route from the rest.
I tried activating the LIVE Traffic feature because I wanted to test it. The RoadMate 1430 comes with a coupon for a free 30-day trial and I wanted to use it to test the feature. The process of activating the LIVE Traffic feature is fairly simple. You need to setup an account on the Magellan website and then register your GPS by entering the serial number. After the GPS is registered you need to type in the coupon code. When I looked for the code that was suppose to come with the RoadMate 1430, I was surprised to see that the box for the coupon code was empty. I have contacted support for a new coupon code, but so far I have not heard back.
The map screen actually has more screens hidden within it. For example, if you touch the compass, top left, it will take you to a page that has a lot more information about your current location. If you touch the signal indicator, top right, you will see a screen that shows all the GPS satellites that you are currently receiving a signal from. If you touch the arrow, bottom left, it will show you a maneuver list. This list shows all the turns you need to make to get to your destination. A feature I would like to see is a customizable map screen. I would like to be able to add things like a speedometer or scale indicator to the map screen and have it always be there. Someone else might want to always see their altitude or something else. Being able to customize what is on the screen is a great way to add value.
The arrival time is another feature of the map screen. The arrival time can be found to the right of the menu button on the bottom of the map screen. You can click it to switch between remaining time, distance, and then back to arrival time. I found that the arrival time is quite accurate, but it is based on the posted speed of the road, so if you go faster then you will arrive earlier than it originally stated. Fortunately, the arrival time will adjust as you travel along your route. I did find one problem with the arrival time. If I was really close, like a block from my destination and I stopped the arrival time did not adjust, instead it stayed the same. One time I stopped to talk to a neighbor and when I got going again the stated arrival time was 5 minutes earlier than the current time, I would have to travel back in time to make that accurate. If you are not currently following a route, then this space is occupied by a speedometer.
I mentioned above that there is a scale indicator, but it may be difficult to find. You will only see the scale indicator, as shown in the picture below, if you have the GPS set to only show 2D maps and you either zoom in or out. Even then it only shows for a couple of seconds and then hides again. This is more frustrating than anything, because while I am driving I don’t always have the ability to look at the screen right away, and by the time I do look at the screen the scale indicator is gone. I would like to be able to turn this on permanently for both the 2D and 3D maps. It is small enough that it would not obstruct my view of the map. This could easily be a customizable option along with adding a speedometer and the other things I talked about above.
I also lucked out by noticing that there was an update to the firmware for the RoadMate 1430. I wanted to see what enhancements Magellan had made so I promptly installed it and tested it out. They mention several things on the website that are added in this upgrade. The most visible change is making the directional arrows on the map bigger. Unfortunately, the update did not fix the routing problem I have getting out of my neighborhood.
The maps seem to be up-to-date for the most part. In the past, with other GPS devices, I have had trouble with the maps because they lacked key locations, like my house. I could not recommend them because of the terrible maps; however, ever since I got my first Magellan GPS I have been quite pleased with the completeness of the maps. The RoadMate 1430 is no different. I was happy to see that several new roads in my area were in the maps, but I also found that some were not. There is one road in my area that used to be completely straight, but about 2 years ago it was given a curve to better match up with the highway it connects to. The picture below show me in the middle of a road, this is where the new road meats up with the highway. Unfortunately, this curve is not reflected in the maps. I also found other roads that were not in the maps, but none that kept me from my destinations.
Below is a short video of a simulated route. I turned on all the points of interest and audio prompts so you could get a feel for what it is like to be directed by the RoadMate 1430.
Warranty and Support
Support for all Magellan products comes in the form of a 1 year warranty and access to help from the website. It is important for you to keep your receipt, because if you lose it, you may not get support from Magellan. As always, I push for longer warranties, and with a device like this with no moving parts I could see a lifetime warranty with an exception on the screen. Because you are constantly pushing on it I could see a 5 year warranty on that.
I can definitely recommend this GPS to anyone looking for a device like this. The maps are the best of any GPS I have reviewed. The only problem I have is the price. When I think of a GPS I imagine something that will cost between $200 and $300; unfortunately, the RoadMate 1430 has a list price of $399. As always compare prices before purchasing.
|JusTech'n editors' rating|