The product is designed for use in trucks, motor homes and generally larger vehicles. We mounted it in a minivan, and while it doesn't block out the sun, it does take up a bit of real estate. This is not a bad thing. In fact, it has many advantages.
The GPS for the Whole Family or....Are We There Yet?
Picture this, it's the weekend and the family is about to go on a short road trip or vacation. Everyone is loaded into the minivan, your spouse is riding shotgun next to you, the kids safely buckled into the rear seats. You enter your destination into the GPS and hit the road. Now the real fun starts.
You're 30 minutes out when the 'side seat driver' next to you starts to inquire what route you will be taking. Rather than start a long discussion about possible routes and what you see on the GPS screen, you just tell them to take a look. It's a big screen.45 minutes into the trip, you begin to hear the chorus of "are we there yet?" This is followed closely by the "where are we?" And the ever popular "are we going to stop soon?" Rather than starting a discourse which you are sure will be never ending, you quietly say "look for yourself". Yes, the screen is that big!
The screen on the Magellan RoadMate 9055 can not only be easily seen by the driver, but by the passenger in the front seat, the passengers in the back seat, the passenger in the car next to you, and the whole family in the minivan behind you. It's that big. But this is all good. Think how much easier it is to travel down the highway with only having to make a simple gesture of your finger (no, not THAT finger) to point to the screen to answer the never ending barrage of questions like the ones above.
OK, it's big...But does it work?
The Magellan RoadMate 9055 has a long list of features packed into its 7" screen enclosure. Let's start with the basics. Punching in your destination is a breeze. Besides defaulting to addresses in your local area, the QuickSpell® feature quickly narrows the possibilities as you type. You really appreciate this at red lights if plans change! The 9055 also allows for multiple stops along the way with its multi-destination routing capability. This means that the family can take 5 minutes in the driveway to offer all their suggestions and the 9055 will help you optimize your route. It can also help prove once and for all that Disney World is not 'on the way' from Philadelphia to the Jersey shore.
Speaking of points of interest (POIs), the Magellan RoadMate 9055 comes loaded with literally millions of them, including gas stations, restaurants and that vacation essential, ATMs. You get a screen that you can populate with OneTouch™ favorites. These can be a destination, a favorite restaurant or coffee shop, for instance. If you travel to another city and want to locate the nearest similar location, just touch that saved favorite and it will display their locations near you.
Magellan has also included lifetime traffic information. This provides reasonably 'real-time' traffic updates that let you know at a glance if there are tie ups in your area or on your route. Very helpful when dealing with the aforementioned "Are we there yet?"
The 9055 also has an A/V input. Now while the screen is only capable of WVGA (800x480) resolution, which is plenty for GPS information, it may not be your first choice for movie content, but certainly adequate for mid trip entertainment. More importantly, it can act as an input for a rear back-up camera which we hope to test soon.
The 9055 incorporates Magellan's auto night view which adjusts the screen's color output to mimic the time of day conditions making viewing much easier. Bluetooth is also incorporated to allow you to use the 9055 as a hands free speakerphone. Because of its large size, Magellan was able to use a larger, much clearer speaker. This allows you to keep at least one hand on the wheel while using the other to subdue rambunctious passengers. You can set up an address book for numbers and destinations and it comes with a preconfigured icon for 'Home' and redial for simple one touch calling.
Lest we forget, because of its size and expected uses (trucks, motorhomes, minivans), the 9055 comes with a highly adjustable 'foot long' extension mount that allows it to attach to these deeply set windshields.
The Magellan RoadMate 9055 can be a bit persistent when it comes to reminders, but all and all it's very polite. It speaks road names and turning directions clearly and even uses a very nice 2-tone chime paradigm that allows the driver to discern right and left turns audibly at the intersection if something has distracted him from the spoken or visual directions.
With its preloaded maps of the US, Canada and Puerto Rico along with its AAA TourBook® feature, the Magellan RoadMate 9055 is an excellent choice for the over the road trucker or minivan soccer mom. Just make sure you have plenty of room....it's big.
The Magellan RoadMate 9055 lists for $299.95. We found it online between $230-250.