Product Review (August 2007) - Magellan
Maestro 3140 Portable GPS with Bluetooth

The latest GPS designs are smaller faster and have incredible signal sensitivity compared to some of the earlier models. Magellan's new Maestro 3140 is a powerful GPS that features full navigation capabilities and includes Bluetooth, SayWhere™ text-to-speech voice commands for turn-by-turn instructions. The 3140 is a compact unit measuring a mere 4.29" x 1.14" x 3.48" (LxWxH) and weighing only 6.5 ounces. It can easily fit into a shirt pocket and the 1200mAH rechargeable lithium-ion battery gives it true portability. The 3140 features the SiRFstarIII chipset and an integrated multidirectional patch antenna for exceptional reception, even indoors in many cases. Signal sensitivity is exceptionally good on this unit even without an external antenna connection. The touch sensitive screen measures 3.5" diagonally and is easy to read.

The Maestro 3140 also includes a windshield mount and a 12V car adapter. The unit itself has two small openings that slide over the mount flanges. Installation and removal is quick and easy with this design. The 3-inch diameter suction cup attaches firmly to any flat and smooth surface using the locking paddle lever. The two axis design allows the unit to be moved into in a variety positions for optimal screen access. Two knobs are used to loosen or tighten the horizontal and vertical joints. The vertical axis snaps into discrete positions. The design is rigid with the short arms and unlike gooseneck designs, the unit does not move around while driving in cars with stiffer suspension.

Interfaces
The main power button on the Maestro is located on the top right side. Pressing it and holding it down turns the unit on or off. Just below it is the USB interface, used to update the maps and firmware. Our laptop immediately recognized the GPS unit when we connected it and all folders and file were visible with the PC. There is also a headphone jack and the input power jack located next to each other in slightly recessed receptacles.

The left side of the unit has a hard reset button that requires a pen or other sharp object to press the recessed switch. This comes in handy if the unit ever has an operational problem and needs to be rebooted. We had one occasion where we needed to hard boot the unit. There is also an SD/MMC memory slot located on the side. We didn't use it, but it is available to expand the memory of the Maestro.

Main Menu
The main menu consists of six icons that includes Show Map, Enter Address, Points of Interest (POI), Trip Planner, Exit POI's and User Options. The lower icons are for navigating Home, AAA Roadside Assistance, and Cell Phone options. As part of the POI's, the Maestro 3140 includes AAA's integrated travel information from their TourBook. There are 4.5 million points of interest (POI) making it easy to find gas stations, restaurants, ATMs, airports, parks and a whole lot more. Users can take advantage of the smart location search by name, category and region. Pressing the Show Map icon on the screen will display the current position regardless of whether a route has been mapped.

Map
The map can be displayed even if a route has not been determined. If a route is defined, the road that needs to be followed will appear in green with a dark blue arrow indicating the direction. The map screen has several buttons that give the user quick access to commonly used features. The upper left displays the current heading and the right side displays the signal strength. The "-" and "+" buttons are used to zoom in and out of the street map. The speaker button allows the user to set or mute the audio level. The map options allow the user to set either the heading or North up. Either 3D or 2D maps can be displayed. The lower tabs next to the menu button displays the current time and vehicle speed. When in route mode, the right information tab displays Remaining Time, Distance to go or the Estimated Arrival Time. Points of Interests will also appear on the screen such as gas stations and places to eat. The Maestro database includes detailed information (store hours and phone numbers). Using the Bluetooth connection, users can call the restaurant with a touch of a button while linked to their cell phone.

QuickSpell™
Magellan's QuickSpell™ is a powerful database driven entry system that automatically sorts, searches, and checks the spelling of street names, thereby minimizing the number of keystrokes the user has to enter. Only valid name options will appear on the screen based on the region selected. Once the unit has determined the matching names for a given area, only the appropriate keys on the screen will be enabled. The fewer the letters entered, the more possible names to choose from. For example, finding Los Angeles only requires the first three letters "LOS", a space and the "AN" for the built-in database to determine what city you are entering. The unit automatically displays "LOS ANGELES, CA" once it has determined this is the only city starting with these letters in the region selected. Users can also select OK at any time and the Maestro will display all cities that match the letters entered. The process is very simple and time efficient when operating the unit.

Cell Phone Setup
The Maestro features Bluetooth built-in and allows users to use the GPS unit to make and receive calls through compatible cell phones. We linked our Motorola RAZR V3m to the unit without any issues. The Maestro has a huge database of phone numbers associated with the POI's (Points of Interests) and making use of these numbers is easy. Searching for a restaurant or other establishment and calling it only requires clicking the number on the screen. It is not totally hands-free, but it is a whole lot easier to make a call while on the road. Users should always keep their attention on the road and have a passenger make phone calls. Emergency AAA roadside assistance is even easier with dedicated buttons for quick access to phone numbers. No longer do you need to find the number on the back of the AAA card since this information can be stored in the unit in case of an emergency.

Locating position
The Maestro 3140 can locate your current position with a simple press of the compass button in the upper left hand corner of the map. The current street, city, state and zip code are displayed. Distance between the two nearest cross streets are also shown on the screen along with latitude, longitude and altitude. Speed in MPH (miles per hour) are shown at the bottom right corner. The user has the option to save the current position for future reference. The current time and date are also displayed.

GPS Status
Pressing the signal icon on the screen will take the user to the GPS status screen. Each satellite the unit is tracking will be displayed on the screen with the signal level. The total number of satellite being tracked along with the GPS fix (2D or 3D) is displayed in the lower left of the screen. This information is useful when trying to determine the signals being received by the unit. GPS positional data is updated approximately once every second. Up to 12 satellites can be tracked at any given time.

TrafficKit
The Maestro 3140 also has the option to add the TrafficKit interface that provides real-time traffic information. This came in handy while driving the busy streets of Los Angeles. The LIVE traffic incident reports are used with the interactive touch screen (Subscription fees apply) The TrafficKit mates to the USB and power jack on the GPS unit. The car adapter then plugs into the power receptacle on the TrafficKit. All this fits inline with the GPS unit and the power cable. A detachable antenna (required for reception) is included and receives the data on the FM band. By using the Traffic Options selected in the User Options menu, the user can check various traffic issues.

Traffic Info
When using the TrafficKit interface, the traffic icon is displayed in the lower right corner of the screen when traffic information is available. Pressing the icon will display the information received over the radio signals. Based on the settings defined in the Incident Options (Danger, Stationary Traffic, Slow Traffic, Lane Reduction, Road Work, Accident, Road Narrowed, Severe Weather, Special Equipment Required, or Vehicle Related Restriction), several traffic related issues will be available to the user.

Traffic Notification
Selecting the traffic icon on the screen as indicated above will reveal all the nearby traffic issues selected in the traffic menu options. Since we are located near three major freeways, it is not uncommon to have many problems reported. This display shows an example of a real-time traffic accident reported on the I-405 freeway just 11 miles away from our location. The report gives us enough time to take alternate routes before traffic begins to back up. This was just one of several issues reported in the traffic screen.

On the Road
We have been using the Maestro 3140 in and around the Los Angeles area for several months now. Let me say that first and foremost that this GPS is one of the easiest units to operate with an intuitive user interface. Even though the screen is only 3.5-inches (diameter), it makes good use of the area and is fairly easy to read even with my old eyes. The reception was amazing even in locations where previous units would not receive a signal. It can be frustrating when a GPS loses its positional information, yet we never had that problem with this unit. The SmartDetour™ feature built into the Maestro was smart enough to know when we encountered heavy stop-and-go freeway traffic on major roadways. This feature helped determine if an alternate route was available and gave us alternate options to get to our destination.

The Maestro is small, yet the voice commands are very intelligible through the small speaker located on the back of the unit. It actually reflects off the surface that it is mounted on and projects sound well in the vehicle. The battery life is limited depending on how the unit is used (screen brightness), so it is important to keep the car power adapter connected at all times.

Destination
Entering an address into the Maestro can be done by entering the city, zip code or previous city entered. Users can also quickly route themselves to an intersection by entering the city and street names. Once the unit is up and running, the user simply selects a new address or chooses from the existing address database previously saved into the unit. The Select Destination screen lets the user choose from Select Address, Address Book, Points of Interest, or an Intersection. If the Select Address is chosen, the user can enter the city, state or previous city, then enter the address of the destination. The user is then prompted with the Route Method which includes Shortest Time, Shortest Distance, Least Use of Freeways or Most Use of Freeways. There is also an option to Avoid Toll Roads. We almost always picked Shortest Time and received quick and accurate information. Selecting the Map icon displays a map with your current position. The Home icon determines the route to the defined home location, such as your place of residence or other common destinations.

Conclusion
The Magellan Maestro 3140 is a terrific value and one of the best GPS units I have used to date. The peace of mind it provides when traveling to new areas is great and the Bluetooth feature will enable users with compatible cell phones to operate virtually hands free. The 3140 has a great balance of features, ease of use, and affordability ($399 retail) making it possible for everyone to enjoy the power of state-of-the-art vehicle navigation.

- Kevin Nakano






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Review - At a Glance


Magellan - Maestro 3140 Portable GPS with Bluetooth

Features

  • Sophisticated and simple - Bold, streamlined touch-screen buttons minimize steps to locate a destination for stress-free navigation
  • Turn-by-turn voice and visual guidance - Enter virtually any address or point of interest and get there quickly and safely
  • AAA TourBook® guide travel information - Integrated travel information from AAA TourBook makes it easy to locate AAA approved and rated lodgings and restaurants, recommended attractions, and places to save money.
  • AAA member Roadside Assistance details - Touch the tow truck icon to quickly connect to AAA Roadside Assistance using your compatible Bluetooth® phone. The screen tells you where you are to quickly direct reliable AAA help to your location.
  • Precision navigation - SiRFstarIII chipset and integrated multidirectional antennae offer superior GPS accuracy using the Wide Area Augmentation System
  • Graphical interactive maps - Maps and destinations for the entire U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico are built-in so you can travel the country and always know where you are and where you're going
  • SayWhere™ text-to-speech - Hear when to make each turn including the street name
  • Hands-free phone calls - Bluetooth® wireless technology and built-in microphone let you make hands-free phone calls using your Bluetooth-enabled phone
  • Traffic-enabled - Maestro 3140's optional traffic receiver accessory sends LIVE traffic incident reports to the interactive touch screen (Subscription fees apply click here for details)
  • Birds eye 3D view - Clearly see your surroundings in 3D or 2D
  • Rechargeable battery - Navigate in your vehicle without plugging the cigarette lighter adapter in
  • Multi-destination Route Optimization - Select up to 20 destinations and optimize the most direct route between them
  • SmartDetour - Customize the settings to automatically route you around sudden slow freeway traffi
  • Auto Re-route - Never miss a turn and quickly get back on track whenever you take a detour
  • Auto night view - Adjusts color and contrast for easy night viewing
  • QuickSpell™ - Easily enter addresses with unique auto-complete feature that even corrects spelling
  • Complete mobility - Transfer to any vehicle with no installation
  • 4.5 million points of interest (POI) - Easily find gas stations, restaurants, ATMs, airports, parks and more with smart location search by name, category and region
  • Interactive POI icons - Touch an onscreen icon for a nearby destination; see phone number and get an instant route
  • Multiple route methods - Shortest time, shortest distance, least use or most use of freeways, avoid toll roads
  • Route exclusion - Select streets and freeways to avoid so you can get there your preferred way
  • 4 helpful views - Map View, 3D map, TrueView™ 3D split screen and Maneuver List
  • Address Book - Create and store personal points of interest for easy reoccurring trips
  • Instant locate - One touch shows your location; quickly advise roadside assistance or emergency services
  • Optional AC adaptor - Available for purchase at select dealers and at magellanGPS.com

Physical

  • Case High-impact plastic
  • Base Map Pre-loaded - 50 United States, Canada and Puerto Rico
  • Size: 4.29" (L) x 1.14" (W) x 3.48" (H)
  • Weight: 6.5 ounces
  • Display: 3.5" diagonal QVGA full-color, anti-glare, touch-screen display
  • Antenna: Integrated multidirectional patch

Performance

  • Receiver: 20 channels, WAAS/EGNOS enabled - SiRFstarIII
  • Accuracy: 3 to 5 meters (10 - 16 feet) - WAAS/EGNOS, < 7 meters (15 feet) - GPS only

Power

  • Source: Li-ion rechargeable 1200 MA, 12-24 V vehicle adapter
  • Battery Life Up to 3 hours (assuming lowest screen brightness)

Technical support available Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PST
Phone: 800-707-9971 or 909-394-5000 (Outside North America)
You may also reach technical support by fax: 909-394-7073

Source: Manufacturer Supplied
MSRP: $399

Magellan Maestro 3140 User's Manual

URL: www.magellangps.com/

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