Magellan RoadMate 1200; source:

Deutsche VersionDeutsche Version

The new Magellan Roadmate 1200 is an entry level PND. As Magellan says, it has „The latest amazingly easy to use interface enables you to locate virtually anywhere in seconds without reading the instructions!“ – enough reasons, to grilll the Road Mate 1200 in a short review.

The Roadmate 1200 includes map coverage for the United States, Puerto Rico and Hawaii or different european regions. The maps are on a pre-loaded, removable SD memory card.

The Roadmate is a small and handy PND of only 3,63″ x 3,30″ x 0,69″ and a weight of 4.94 oz.; this is a big advantage – since at leaving the car, you can dispose of it easily in any pocket.

Also the integrated GPS receiver shows outstandig performance. Time to the first satellite fix (TTFF) occurs very quick, a warm start takes less then 10 seconds, a cold start less then 40 seconds (testing terms: clear view to the sky).

The receiver sensitivity is superb and as you expect from a good GPS device, the satellite signals are also received indoors in your house, in close proximity to the window. The system even handles WAAS/EGNOS signals.

The 3,5″ touchscreen display convinces with bright colours, high contrast and a high resolution. Reading the device from the passengers´seat is as well, as from the drivers´position.

In my opinion, the size is a bit too small, for a fast view onto the display one might wish for some inches more. The tend of the market moves towards wide screen displays.

User interface of the Roadmate 1200

Thanks to the clearly arranged menue, the setup occurs very quick. All important functions can be selected within the unified menu system. Therefore you can skip reading the manual. Symbols and menue remind of the big brothers of the Magellan Maestro series.

You have different choices entering a destination:

  • My Addresses
  • Enter post Code
  • Enter Town
  • Previous Towns
  • Town Centre
  • Previous Destinations

Entering a destination address, Magellan’s text entry system, called QuickSpell, is a great advantage and time-saver. For example, typing a street name, the Roadmate only permits letters of a valid stret name

All together, the user interface should really be lauded.

Even the routing engine makes a good job. While testing, it produced plausible and acceptable results compared to other navigation systems. The time to calculate a route is quite good, only the time to re-calculate a route could be a bit faster.

Thanks to the high resolution of the display, the map screen is easy to read. The screen shows all informations you need. A great feature is the split screen. Before the next turn, the display is splitted and on the left side you get exact informations about the next maneuver.

The turn instructions are well structured and told in time; you are allways informed of an upcoming maneuver. Only the annnoying chime to alert the next turn to make, bothers me. Unfortunately, it can´t be deactivated.

Still, I like to mention two interesting features:

  • Via a separate icon, you can find POIs near an highway-exit you are approaching.
  • Via the symbol of a tow-car, you can find the way to the next auto repair in case of emergency.

The Magellan Road Mate 1200 can´t keep up with the variety of functions of high-class devices. But many drivers can renounce Bluetooth, MP3 player or for example „SayWhere“ announcements – particulary with regard to the price.

Delievered accessoires are reduced to a minimum. A solid windshield mount and a cigarette lighter power adapter are together in the box with the PND.


The Magellan Roadmate 1200 is a entry level PND with good navigation qualities. Even the high sensitive GPS receiver, the quick system start, its easy handling user interface and its well display make it a bargain.

If you need a good, basic PND – the Road Mate 1200 might be your’s.

In the following, I worked out all pros and cons of the RoadMate:


  • High performance GPS receiver (SiRFstarIII chipset), short TTFF
  • Quick system start
  • No sytem crashes while testing
  • High quality display
  • Easy to read map screen
  • Easy to use and improved menu
  • Exact and iust in time voice instructions
  • Routing engine with acceptable results
  • Good route calculating time
  • QuickSpell technology
  • SmartDetour for routing around slow traffic area
  • Splitt screen feature
  • Four different routing methods
  • POIs near highway exit
  • Small, pocket-sized design


  • Car icon on the map screen is iust a bit behind the actual location
  • Map freezing while recalculating a route
  • Recalculating a route should be a bit faster
  • No speed warnings
  • No autozoom
  • POI database could be more detailed (1.3 million preprogrammed POIs available)
  • In a loud car, the speaker might be to quiet


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