Magellan Maestro 4040 Review

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$499

Pros: Uncluttered exterior; Simple menu; Bluetooth for hands-free calling; AAA travel information

Cons: Screen shows a lot of glare; Rerouting is slow; Map removed from screen during rerouting; No MP3 or photo features

Verdict: With a new design, simple user interface, and AAA support, Magellan's new GPS navigator makes for a good copilot.

Part of Magellan's new line of GPS devices, the Maestro 4040 has a lot to offer. The unit is sleek and uncluttered, the menus perfectly simple, and the maps as attractive as those of any competitor. And the biggest differentiator: AAA's TourBook and roadside assistance travel information are built in.
The 4040 is a huge improvement over previous Magellan navigators. You'll find only a power button on the 4040, which is a fantastic change from the button-cluttered RoadMate models. We would have preferred an external volume dial and the ability to adjust the unit with only one hand, but we'll take the improvement.

The Maestro line includes AAA travel information and seems as though it was created for vacationers: One of the six buttons on the main menu is for AAA roadside assistance (available for members only). And the POI database can guide AAA members to shops and campgrounds where they can score discounts.

The generous 4.3-inch display offers large icons that make getting directions, finding a point-of-interest (more than 4.5 million are included), or planning a trip easy. The 4040 has Bluetooth connectivity, and we easily paired it with a Palm Treo 750. Once we got the two devices synched, we could call up POIs or address book entries with just a tap on the screen.

We tested the 4040 in a business section of New Jersey and on the highway, and the basic navigation worked without any glitches. The unit features an anti-glare screen, but we found the display difficult to see while driving in full sunlight. We also found the device slow to reroute after a missed turn and were irritated that the 4040 removes the map from the screen while recalculating.

The price is a little steep for a GPS unit without MP3 or photo features. But for AAA members-or those thinking about joining-this is an attractive and easy-to-use product that's certainly worth considering.
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