Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Magellan's New Lineup, iPhone Inspired?

Magellan Elite 2370
Magellan, seemingly taking a play from the iPhone play book, has announced that a borderless 3.5” touch-panel display will adorn one of their latest PND, the Elite 3270 (not pictured). By removing the traditional beveled plastic case, Magellan hopes that the resulting form will be considered more “elegant and high-tech” by users, thus setting them apart in a crowded PND market.

Along with its new edge to edge flat screen, touch sensitivity is also enhanced. If brought to market today the Elite 3270 would be the industry’s most compact PND standing 3.24” tall and 0.7” thick. The model will ship with all the necessary accessories for easy installation into your vehicle. Alas it’s not out yet. The list price is $499.

Maestro™ Elite 5340+GPRS

Maestro™ Elite 5340 (pictured above)
Improved processor speed and a dedicated graphics accelerator are good reasons to choose the Maestro™. But, if display size is a driving factor in your GPS purchase decisions, than you might be interested in the 5” screen that beautifies this newest flagship model of Magellan GPS.

For the majority of us this alone is not enough to make the sale. So what other goodies does Magellan have up their sleeves?

Besides giving you 35% more viewable area, Maestro™ is a highly customizable device. With the “One touch” interface you can identify and store your favorite destinations, like which chain restaurant you like to eat at or what superstore you like to buy underwear from. Then, with one touch the Maestro™ instantly accesses directions to the nearest store in that chain from your present location. This would be great for traveling through unfamiliar territory. One touch is also touted as a safety feature minimizing driver distraction by streamlining access to destinations and POIs.

Further contributing to driver safety is the SayWhere™ voice command. Simply speak the destination address and Maestro™ calculates the appropriate route in seconds or search POIs with voice commands like, “Nearest Indian Restaurant”. The Maestro is equipped with a dual microphone to decipher your voice, and for Bluetooth® enabled phone calls. After you tire of your selected voice telling you where to go, switch over to the media player with built in FM transmitter to broadcast your MP3s through the car stereo.

Traffic data isn’t over looked either. This subscription based traffic update also makes alternate route calculation based on historical traffic data taking into account the time of day. The smartness of this traffic data system might make it worth continuing the subscription after the three month trial period expires.

General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
Is too much information every really *too* much information? We don’t think so. Magellan is betting most of their information age demographic feels similarly. To that end, Magellan has partnered with Google to provide their Maestro Elite 5340+GPRS with the uncanny ability to provide overly comprehensive location specific information through Google local search, "simply type in what it is you're looking for and Google displays relevant results around the your current location or a specified location". List price 1,299.

These are said to be scheduled for release sometime in the first quarter of 2008.