Customer Reviews: Magellan RoadMate 3000T 3.5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator
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VINE VOICEon August 16, 2006
See update at end of this posting.

I purchased this unit, the Magellan RoadMate 3050T, which is the 3000T, but with the receiver for Traffic-enabled info. For what I paid for this unit and the features it has, I believe it to be a very good deal.

The windshield suction cup mount works ok, but I wish it was a little stiffer. On bumpy roads the GPS can bounce up and down a little. With the unit mounted, the first time I tried to power it up I thought I got a bum unit. You have to hold the power on button for up to 15 seconds the first time, about 3 seconds after the first to have it spring to life. I think Magellan should state this right on the plastic protection sheet they have on the face of the unit. It would have saved me some startup anxiety.

Once I got it working it zeroed in on the satellites very quickly. In the windshield mount, the gps maintains an excellent signal. In fact, much better then my Garmin Maps 76S. Even with heavy over cast and in tree cover I have full signal bars on the upper right of the display.

Speaking display, this unit is very bright, even in full sun. In fact, at night, with the brightness turned all the way down, it is a little brighter then I really like.

The display makes use of a lot of icons. I had to breakout the manual to figure what some of them meant.

I am a stickler for wanting to know what direction I'm traveling. I planned to purchase the Garmin Streetpilot C550. I changed my mind after finding the Garmin does not display the normal compass heading on the main map display. The Magellan 3000T displays the heading full time in the map mode in the lower left corner. It uses the N, NE, E, SE, SW, W, NW headings.

A very good sounding lady gives voice directions. It is very clear, and volume level is also very good. This unit does not have the "text to speech". However, after using the Magellan 3000T, I really don't care that it doesn't speak the road name. What it will do is tell you when a turn is coming up and which direction you will need to turn and on the display it gives you the name of the street. The directions are clear and understandable leaving no doubt what you need to do. The maps are from Navteq. I feel Navteq is the best out there.

Update speed of this unit is very good. The display refreshes quickly and I never feel it is lagging behind. The route calculator waste no time as well. Most route calculations take less then 5 seconds to complete.

With the TrafficKit, this gps can find you a way around most traffic flow issues like slowdowns, accidents, construction, and other reasons. Around the metro Detroit area it seems to work pretty well. However, on a trip up north, it didn't work as well. I believe this to be more of an issue with the service provider then a problem with the gps. I'm sure with time this will improve. One detour it took me on saved us over an hour in stop and go traffic with just a few miles added to the distance. For one year of service it cost about $60. I don't like how the TrafficKit attaches to the gps. The cables end up going all over the place and the antenna for the receiver is long. Seems they could have come up with a better design. I ended up leave the antenna lying on the dash. It just looks messy.

The software that comes with the unit seems a little lame to me. You really can't do much with it. I wanted to be able to download the trip computer to my laptop. I have not found a way to do this. I'll be calling tech support to see if I'm missing something.

I have not tried the mp3 player or picture functions as I really don't care to have pictures on the unit. I'll try the mp3 in the near future.

For me, this unit is a keeper.

Pros: Easy to see, easy to use once I learned the system, pleasant command voice, easy to remove and install into its mount,you have a choice of using the touch screen or navigation buttons.

Cons: Power-on confusing the first time I used it, trafic receiver attachment messy, I had to upgrade the firmware to bring it up to date, it corrects early version lockups reported in some of the early reviews.(no big deal to update)

Update as of 12-20-06

Cons and Pro addition to date: Can't use the MP3 player at the same time as navigating. POI database is wrong for southern Florida areas. Items in the database not where the gps shows they are in the state of Florida. POI very good for Michigan. All in all I still like this unit and find it as good or better then other brands in the same price range on the market.
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on October 27, 2006
Main reason that I purchased this GPS is that it comes with the Sirf III chip. This is the newest GPS chip on the market and it makes it alot easier to get reception, even in a crowded city. The hype is true, because I am even able to get reception inside my home. This is one of the cheepest units out there from the major GPS companies (Garmin, Magellan, tomtom) that has this chip.

I just got this unit today but felt I had to comment given that some of the negative reviews on this unit seem to be for stupid reasons. The interface is easy to understand, the screen was the brightest of all the others that I saw in the store, and while bulkier that the Garmin Nuvi, it still fits in my purse and costs significantly less. I also considered the Roadmate 2000, but it has less points of interests loaded on it. If that isn't important to you though, it is worth considering as it is cheaper and smaller than the 3000. Neither of them have text to speech (aka "say where") which enables the device to say the name of the street instead of just where to turn. I think that would be a nice feature, but you definitely pay extra for a model that has it, and I've heard that the naming can be pretty unintelligble at times on devices that have this feature. I updated the firmware on the magellan website and it was very easy to do.

I did have one routing error today, but that is due to mapping software, not the unit. I think that the same thing would have happened on any GPS unit. It would be nice if an AC adaptor came with the unit in addition to the vehicle adaptor. The windshield mount that came with the unit is different from the one pictured in the manual/quick start guide. If this happens to you, you should know that the middle of the mount bends. I didn't realise this at first and the darn unit was pointing downward instead of perpendicular to the dash.
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on February 1, 2007
I purchased this to be used primarily by someone who is very non-tech oriented and has a lousy sense of direction. She warmed up to it immediately and has been able to use it quite successfully. The screen is a nice size, with very good brightness and settings which will adjust as needed. The female voice that provides directions is very pleasing, easily understandable, well thought out in the timing and specificity of its comments and plenty loud enough (also adjustable). Directions are on the money and at times great routes are chosen that neither of us knew about even though we've lived in the area for many years. The unit functions quite rapidly, whether finding the nearest gas station (a life saver late one night when very low on gas in an unfamiliar area), or calculating a route. Battery life is surprisingly good, and the gps unit needs very little "window" to get its bearings. The TrafficKit add-on is very helpful in its rapid and reasonable alternate route offerings when congestion is detected. I popped a memory card with photos on it into the card slot and found that the photo feature provides a nice display for which I can imagine a number of uses, both business and pleasure. A few quibbles: the plus and minus buttons on the top and the mute button on the side are too easily activated if you are handling the unit; the shutting down routine is a bit clunky - it would be better to just have a screen option for sleep and shutdown instead of having to slowly count to 10 while holding down the power button; snapping the unit in and out of the mounting bracket could be a lot easier with guides or reference marks of some kind; the photo feature menu is not exactly intuitive, but once you get the idea it all works well. These are all minor points which are not enough to dampen our pleasant experience with the RoadMate 3000T.
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on May 6, 2007
Aside from the bundled accessories, the 3050T and 3000T are the same unit. This GPS works as advertised, but it's disappointing for the number of ways Magellan could so easily have made it better but chose not to.

For example, you can enter your own points of interest but only by connecting it to a computer. It would cost them next to nothing to provide a way to enter them directly. Also, you can record your current position, but it insists on assigning it an address, which you cannot edit. Some locations (like your favorite fishing spot in the woods) simply don't have a meaningful address, but it will assign one. Even places that have an address end up a few counts off: 321 Main St may be saved as 335 Main St, and you can't correct it. What would it have cost them to let you edit? It is so intimately tied to streets that the unit hangs and has to be turned completely off and restarted if you enter a destination it can't get to by streets (e.g., a route from San Diego to Honolulu). It could simply say it can't do that and go on, but no. This is not the unit you want if you're into geocaching for the same reason--everything's tied to addresses. There's no way to say that you want to go to 40 deg north, 105 deg west without resorting to the computer interface. Like my Garmin GPS, the 3000T is not particularly reliable in locating businesses. In a quick sampling I found several errors in a few minutes of testing. Similarly, the internal map is old enough that you can't count on it for streets that have been paved or re-routed in the past couple of years, and although Magellan claims that updated maps will be available about yearly, I've seen no assurances about how long they'll continue to provide compatible map upgrades or how much they'll charge for them.

On the plus side, though, the receiver sensitivity is excellent. My Garmin unit struggled to find one satellite when I was indoors, even close to a window; the Magellan unit locks in to five or more when I'm in the basement. The voice instructions are generally accurate, to the point of warning you which lane you need to be in for an up-coming exit, and it recovers nicely if you decide not to take the route it selects for you: when it notices that you've deviated from that route, it simply says "calculating route" and plots a new course for you. You can choose to have it give you the shortest route, the quickest route or the routes using the most or fewest freeways, but you can't do much customization. For example, you can't tell it that you want to avoid a particular street or to plot a route that goes past your favorite Starbuck's. (You can say you don't want to make one particular turn, but that's all.)

The bottom line is that it the unit seems to do what it was designed to do quite well. It's just frustrating that Magellan chose to limit what it can do for no apparent reason.
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on September 2, 2006

I have used GPS products for years and depression readily sets in when you compare the 3000T to, as an example, a comparable Garmin or Tom-Tom product. The Magellan Units feel 'tinny' in comparasion. They also lack certain rudimentary features native to the Garmin and other Units at the same price point.


Accuracy is dead-on, and that is what it's all about. With this I am truly impressed.

Rerouting time is lightning fast.

End of Pro's....


[I] Magellan should have one's speed on the main screen and not buried six hundred levels deep where you are ultimately greeted by a very poor 'fifth grader level' sketch of a speedometer. That needs to be on the main screen.

[II] While routing, you can easily get caught in an endless loop if you switch between the Map view and the Maneuver view. This would appear to be a software bug.

[III] Since the O/S has a tendency to 'lock up' or 'freeze' (to be expected since the O/S is Windows-based) Magellan should provide something along the lines of a paperclip for those reboots. I have had mine freeze ~6X since I have owned the Unit (two months). As a Network Administrator in an environment that is predominantly Windows, I am used to it <grin>.

[IV] 'Stereo' Sound. Hardly. There is one speaker on the rear. 'One' as in 'Mono'. If you want Stereo Sound you're going to have to use a headset of sorts - earbuds perhaps.

Note: Magellan does not go to great lengths to explain that you can not use the Music feature while navigating.

[V] The boot sequence is patently and uneiquivocally absurd. From a cold boot, you have to hold the power switch in for ten seconds. This is ridiculous. Tom-Tom, Garmin, et al, simply press 'On' and you're done. Conversely, to power the 3000T off you have to hold it five to ten seconds beyond the 'Sleep' Mode, which it goes into automatically when you press the 'On/Off' button. So, tens seconds to bring it up cold, and at least ten seconds to power it down. IMHO, very poor engineering.

[VI] The proximity warning is a nice feature, but unfortunately it fires off, IHMO, far too close to that turn you're approaching. And it appears to do so at the same distance regardless if you're going 10MPH or 65MPH. At the latter speed, that is just not enough time.

[VII] Volume. What? Say again? Is it me, or is that sound just not loud enough? I can barely - and I mean barely - hear this Unit even with the volume at it's maximum, ambient noise such as radios and the Wife turned off, and the windows rolled up. I have to strain to hear it.

[VIII] The text to speech is very, very poor and sounds like 'Mrs. Roboto' on a bad day with a hangover. Trust me - compare this with the Garmin (which sounds like a passenger next to you) and you'll see what I mean.

Also, the Magellan will say "Right turn in point three miles, followed by a left turn".

Other Units will be more specific with "Right turn onto Main Street followed by a left turn onto Roger Street".

Nit-picking? No, I don't think so. Not for five hundred bucks. But again, the bottom line is accuracy and this Unit is, in my opinion, dead-nuts-on.
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on September 1, 2007
This RoadMate 3000T is my third Magellan product I've owned and by far THE most disappointing. I've come to expect good, high-quality products like my original GPS 315 from Magellan that still perform excellently many years since I first purchased it.

In this particular case, not only did the 3000T come with old maps, but it frequently "locks up" making the product unusable. Its an obvious defect that I expected Magellan would handle professionally, courteously, and without hassle. Unfortunately, my experience thus far has been nothing but a hassle just to get a simple warranty repair authorized.

My first phone tech support experience (to inquire about the outdated maps) was abysmal - the person on the other end seemingly did not understand or care about my problem and when escalated it was handled by a very rude 'supervisor'. Perhaps it was merely a language difficulty, but it matters not -- I was left angry and felt "ripped off" by purchsing this product. Its quite obvious that Magellan does not handle its own customer support, and its outsourcing partner cares little to solve problems properly or maintain customer goodwill. Fortunately I did not give up and was able to track down an individual at Magellan's San Diego office who was very professional, caring, and eager to "make things right". My map issue was solved to my satisfaction because this person took the time to hear me out and respond with a customer-centric resolution. Still, it should not have taken such persistence and digging to find someone who was empowered and cared to handle the situation.

My second contact with customer support (1-2 weeks after the first interaction)was via email to address the persistent lockups with anticipation this interaction would somehow be less challenging. Again, that turned out to be a misplaced hope. Other than some requests apparently being "lost" and needing to be resubmitted, I was offered ineffective "solutions" to my problem unit locking up. It seemed to take great effort to convince support to open up a warranty return authorization. My unit was shipped back for repair at my expense and took ~4 weeks for its return. The repaired unit came back repaired and so far seems okay, but getting repair status was nearly impossible. The whole customer service process seems intentionally designed to frustrate! So much for confidence in a brand that I long-held in great esteem...

The product would be relatively easy-to-use if it did not have all the problems I've had so far. I regret buying this Magellan product despite Consumer Report's high ranking and wish I would have opted for a Garmin or TomTom unit. If the company I bought this from would have accepted returns after a 14-day window, it would already be gone.
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on November 4, 2007
This item is okay I guess. There are some things that I certainly don't like about it, but I was trying to keep the cost down when I decided to purchase a GPS. So, I can't really complain since I purposely went with the Magellan 3000T because it was less expensive than other brands.

I hate the fact that I can't touch this item ANYWHERE without hitting a button. I don't like mounting the unit to my windshield, so there is no good way to hold the unit in my hand or lap without a button being hit that changes the screen in some way.

It also takes the unit a long time to find me when I first turn it on - even when I'm right out in the open with nothing blocking the signal. Many times I have had to drive around for 10-15 minutes before the satellite ever finds me. That's very annoying & has caused me to make wrong turns many times.

And, if I'm on a very long trip, I've noticed that the unit will 'freeze up' after it is on for about 30 minutes or more. Sometimes I'll be driving down the interstate & realize that it has 'frozen up'. I have to stick a pin in the side of the unit to reset it & enter my directions all over again. This really gets on my nerves.

If I had it to do over again.....I would have probably paid a little extra for a nicer unit.
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on January 25, 2008
My father got me this unit at J&R in Oct. 2006. It was used correctly and crashed after 3 hours of use. I mailed it to Magellan for repair and it came back working, but only lasted another 3 hours before crashing again. Company promised new unit which was never received. Now, 1 year and 2 months after purchase, Magellan WILL NOT REPAIR THEIR 3000T UNIT and offers a trade-in that involves returning unit and buying a new model for more (LOTS more - $60 to $120) than a new one of same model from Amazon would cost.

The customer service department seems to be set up to fulfill the legal obligation of having a service department, and not much more. Magellan is too cheap to even provide a good phone signal for their dumpy boiler room. Their deeply foreign-accented techs and clerks do not understand my English and I have to ask them to repeat about every fourth word they speak. This service is a real insult.

The machine worked fine for the 6 hours it worked.

I'll try a Garmin next.
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on March 6, 2007
Alot of the reviews I read here are misleading. Most of these complaints are related to not knowing how to use the GPS correctly. However certain problems do exist with the RoadMate 3000T / 3050T units. Here are some pros and cons I have observed.

First, the Pros...

1) Better than reading a map (LOL).

2) Easy to Read Screen and Large enough to handle big fingers with few mistakes.

3) Built-in MP3 player.

Now, the Cons...

1) Unit often freezes up. More so after having updated the Firmware!

2) You can have EITHER music OR directions (not both at same time).

3) Photo Viewer is TERRIBLE! (Don't care much about that feature though).

4) Cannot use an FM transmitter to play music/directions over the radio due to severe interferrence.

5) Maps are NOT as accurate as they would have you believe!

6) NOT GOOD for commercial drivers, as excluding certain roads is a PAIN!

Apples for apples, I think the TomTom would be a much better buy. I have been quite disappointed with the Magellan RoadMate 3000T. The price has dropped significantly since I purchased mine, so if you want to resell the unit later, you will lose alot in the investment.

You ONLY get the car charger for it, so you might want to buy the AC adapter (especially if you want to transfer music onto the SD card). The GPS unit uses a different format on the SD card (memory card). Once you put it into your GPS, it can't be used with your computer, digital camera, etc. You have to use the Magellan software included with the unit to transfer MP3 files onto the SD card.

You will most likely also need the external antenna for it to avoid freeze ups. Finally, the map software is out of date and Magellan has yet to update their maps.

Save yourself the headache and look elsewhere.
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on November 21, 2007
Unit work beautifully for the first 6 months (hence the ONE star). The unit started to freeze up occasionally and unexpectedly and would have difficulties locating the GPS satellites. Updated the software online to see if that would solve this problem. Unit deteriorated rapidly after the update and within a month not only would it freeze up on every session, fail to locate ANY satellite but it also would lose all recently and previously stored addresses and locations.
After obtaining an RA number, sent unit to Magellan for repairs. Called 4 weeks later and they gave me a repair number and assurance it was being repaired. Called 4 weeks later and they said it was fixed and in test and would be sent back soon. After 2 weeks I called back and they now claim that they never have received the unit and want proof of me sending it! Total time without unit to date: 10 weeks and counting.
I strongly recommend to avoid buying ANY Magellan product because of the risk of getting it repaired. Garmin sure looks good now.
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