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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.