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Not Really a Beanbag Mount
on January 13, 2010
I purchased the Magellan Beanbag Mount to securely hold my new Magellan 1475T to the dash of my car. First off, as mentioned in other reviews, this mount is not effective in cars with a curved dashboard since the base is rigid and won't conform to the dash. In reality, the name of the product is misleading since it is not a beanbag in any way shape or form. Amazon should quickly remove the term beanbag from the name of the product and from the product description. It is a rigid friction-based dashboard mount that requires the dash to be relatively flat. There is an attachment provided with the kit that can be adhesively attached to your dashboard and actually hooks to the back of the mount to prevent it from sliding around or falling off the front of the dashboard, but I would still be hesitant to purchase this if your car has an overly curved dashboard. I also don't like the thought of attaching anything to the dash which is why I considered the beanbag mount to begin with. While this mount works in my new Subaru Outback (which has a flat surface at the center of the dash), it doesn't work so well in my older Acura TL which has a curved dashboard.
Using the beanbag mount in the Outback, I am able to position the GPS on the dash at a good viewing level (doesn't interfere with my view out the front window at all) and within comfortable arms reach (I know, I know - you're not supposed to be using it while driving so it shouldn't make a difference). Basically, you just suction the window mount that came with the GPS to the smooth plastic surface of the mount and place it on your dash. The mount is heavy enough to stay in place while driving and convenient enough to store in the center console when not in use.
Unfortunately, I did have one problem. The first unit shipped to me had a slight discoloration in several places on the mounting surface (that I initially didn't notice) which I am assuming was glue that dried to the plastic mounting surface during the manufacturing process. This defect prevented the GPS Unit from securely suctioning to the mount which resulted in the GPS unit coming loose after a few minutes and flying from the dash. Fortunately, no one was in the passenger seat at the time and, more importantly, there was no damage to my GPS. Thankfully, Amazon came through and immediately sent out a replacement (it's good to know that at least one company still provides a solid level of customer service).
If you have a car with a relatively flat dashboard and want the convenience of mounting your GPS to the dashboard, this could be a good alternative. However, I'm sure the other "real" beanbag mounts would work just as well (if not better) and provide much more flexibility when placing them on the dashboard of any car.
As an aside, this mount looks very similar to the Arkon CM012 sold by Amazon for less than half the price of the Magellan. Sure, if you look at the pictures of the Magellan and the Arkon on-line, you would clearly see that although both mounts look somewhat similar the mounting surfaces are clearly different. However, when I received the Magellan Beanbag Mount, the mounting surface looked exactly like the one pictured for the Arkon and not the one pictured for the Magellan. This initially made me think that Amazon sent me the wrong one by accident because the Magellan name wasn't anywhere on the product. However, I did finally see the Magellan name on a small piece of literature that came in the box with the mount. If I had to guess, it is manufactured by the same company and then sold under the Magellan name. So if you are interested in this mount, you may want to check out the Arkon CM012 first.