Magellan GPS designs have been a favorite of mine for years. The latest Maestro and Roadmate series have excellent performance with fast acquisition times and quick routing with intuitive user interfaces. This time around we are reviewing the new Roadmate 5045-LM, which features a 5-inch screen and measures 3.5" x 5.6" x 0.6". The unit includes an impressive 6 million points of interest with Navteq maps for the USA, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The Roadmate 5045-LM also features an AAA TourBook with basic information on AAA-approved locations. If you happen to have an AAA membership, you can access AAA Member Roadside Assistance with the AAA phone number as well as identify your GPS position. The "LM" in the product names refers to Lifetime Maps, which allows users to update to the latest mapping info up to four time a year. The 5045-LM also has free Lifetime Traffic alerts designed to help you avoid traffic and detours. The Roadmate 5045-LM retails for $249.99 , which makes it very attractive. The GPS includes some nice features that we found practical when using the unit in a real-world environment.
Selecting frequented destinations are made easy with Magellan's OneTouch™ screen. Instead of navigating through a list of saved addresses (which is still an option), users can define destinations on the OneTouch™ screen and select it from the main screen with only two simple button presses. Simply press the OneTouch™ button in the upper right corner and then the OneTouch™ screen will appear giving the user a selection of OneTouch™ destinations. Upon selecting the destination, and then the "Go" button, the user will be prompted with three options.
Replace Destination: This cancels the previous route and replaces it with a new route to the selected
Go There Now: This inserts the destination in the route as the next destination and the receiver will begin
routing there. Once that destination has been completed, the receiver will begin routing to the next
destination in the list
Add To Trip: Places the destination at the end of the trip. When the final destination of the current
trip has been arrived at, the receiver will begin routing to the selected destination.
Highway Lane Assist is something new that shows realistic highway signs to guide you and ensure that you'll choose the correct lane when approaching an upcoming interchange or exit. This can be very helpful in situations where there are many sign options that can get confusing.
This feature is designed to help users to quickly narrow down on the address and city being entered into the virtual keyboard. As you type in a street or city name, the 5045-LM fills in the most likely destination based on the information in the database, making it easier to find cities and streets without worrying about misspelling them. Only valid names will appear
on the screen based on the function selected. Once the unit has determined the matching
names for a given area, only the appropriate keys on the screen will be enabled.
The more letters entered, the closer that match will be. For example,
finding Los Angeles only requires the first three letters "LOS",
a space and the "A" for the built-in database to determine what city
you are entering. The unit automatically displays the rest of the string.
The bottom of the 5045-LM has a mini-USB interface that is used to power the unit as well as provide an interface to a PC when connected. The GPS also uses this cable as an antenna for the realtime traffic information. Earlier Magellan GPS units relied on a dedicated connection for the antenna, so it is nice to see this fully integrated into a single cable. There is even a microSD interface that can be used to back up and restore data. However, this task can also be accomplished with the free Content Manager software.
The Roadmate 5045-LM has a speaker on the back that projects clear instructions when driving even with some background noise. This is something that has improved over the years from the earlier generation of vehicle GPS units. A single slot is used to hold the 5045-LM on the mount. The earlier Maestro design has a dual slot configuration, which is actually preferred for balanced stability; however, the single slot is much easier to line up for installation and removal.
The 5045-LM includes an adjustable windshield mount, power adapter, and USB cable. The connector on the power adapter connector (mini-USB) fits onto the windshield mount so that when the GPS is seated, the power plug lines up and mates. The ball-joint used to pivot the mount can be tightened or loosened by hand. Windshields mounts are not my favorite for mounting the GPS units, so I use an aftermarket adapter that allows me to mount the 5045-LM on an A/C vent. Having it closer makes it much easier to read and allows me to enter data. In addition, it does not interfere with my field of view since it is not on the windshield. Magellan should offer this as a mounting option as it works very well and I used it on two different models (Maestro and Roadmate) with great success. The traffic information uses the power cable as an antenna to receive updated realtime traffic data.
The main menu consists of six icons at a time. Selections include Address (Used to enter an address as a destination), Points of
Interest (Select a Point of Interest (POI) from the list of preloaded
Previous (List of the most recent destinations that you have gone to
before, allowing you to quickly select one to route to again),
Address Book (Access the Address Book where you can save addresses and
destinations to have available when needed), Intersection (Used to create a route to the intersection of two streets),
City Center (When selected, provides a way to select a city and route to its geographical center), Settings (Displays the Settings menu), and
(Displays information about your position
including the street name, names of streets in front of and
behind you as well as the Lat/Long information about your position).
The Magellan Roadmate 5045-LM performed well during our review period. The large screen is easy on the eyes and the user interface is intuitive with logical menus. The screen is less sensitive than some of the earlier GPS units we have reviewed. In many cases I needed to press a key more than once to activate it. This can sometimes get annoying, but the operational quality of the 5045-LM more than made up for this. In fact, this design is one of the best we have seen from Magellan.
Magellan® Content Manager
Content Manager is a PC application that connects to your Magellan GPS and synchronizes using your Magellangps.com account to deliver new updates, maps and other features. The interface also allows users to backup and restore their data. Since the 5045-LM has lifetime map updates, there is no charge for uploading map updates.
The Magellan Roadmate 5045-LM is an easy to use GPS loaded with features that will help you get to your destination whether it is 10 miles or 1000 miles away. The manual offers a full understanding of the unit and follows a logical format. However, if you are like me, reading manuals is not something I enjoy. Luckily, operating the Roadmate 5045-LM is simple and intuitive with the well designed user interface. We have been using it for months and it has never let us down.