The Magellan Maestro 4000 is basically the simplest and cheapest device that the new Maestro series from Magellan has. It is has completely redesigned the user interface.
The Maestro 4000 is not a compact GPS system; it is 5 inches wide, 8 inches thick, and weighs about 8.5 ounces. The display screen is 4.3 inches, which is larger than the standard size screen that most GPS devices have. Despite its size, the viewing angle and the quality of the screen is not the best. This means, if you look at the screen from an angle the colors get washed out.
The power button is located on the left side of the screen, along with the MMC/SD card slot (where the maps are stored), reset switch, and the USB connector. On the right side you will find the power connector, and the headphone jack. The Battery life of the Maestro 4000 is about three hours.
The mount of the Maestro is not easy to adjust. You have to loosen a knob to get the mount to tilt the GPS up or down, and then you have to retighten the knob for it to stay in place. The mount is the longest mount I have seen, about 6 inches from the windshield. Which is nice because you have the screen closer to you, but it is not sturdy; so the GPS bounces a bit on bumpy roads.
The main display screen basically shows then same thing as most GPS show. On the display screen you see the street you are on (highlighted on the map), the direction you are going, an arrow showing the next turn, the distance to the next turn, the zoom buttons, the satellite signal strength, and the distance to your destination. When you touch the screen on the distance to the destination, the Maestro will show you the estimated time you will arrive at the destination. You can also control the volume from the navigation screen.
What I like about the Maestro is when you get about 1/2 mile from where you need to turn, the screen will split. On the right of the screen you see the normal navigation moving toward the turn, and on the left of the screen a picture of the upcoming turn and an arrow pointing in the direction you need to turn.
The voice quality on the Maestro 4000 is known to be really loud. That is great for those of you who like to hear your music really loud, and still want to be able to hear the GPS. Unfortunately, it does not come with the text-to-speech feature, or Bluetooth. Text-to-speech is when the GPS reads the street name of the street or intersection when it is telling you when to turn.
Like all the best GPS the Maestro 4000 comes with the SiRFstar III chipset. The SiRFstar III is well known for its fast signal acquisition, and its ability to keep the signal.
The processor is faster than most GPS devices. The response from the touch screen display, routing, and searches are fast.
To navigate to an address, you touch the screen on “Menu”. Then you click on “Enter Address”, the Maestro will then ask you if you want to enter the city name, zip code, or an intersection. You can also select a previous city, or navigate to an address in you address book.
The Maestro comes with Quickspell, which is a feature that based on what you type it will remove letters from the onscreen keyboard, and shows you what possible options are left. For example, if you enter “M”, based on towns that start with the letter “M”, the screen will display only the other letters that could be in the town name. Once you have narrowed down the list by entering a few more letters, you can select from the list of possible cities. This is a big help in preventing spelling errors.
Once you have entered the city, you are asked to enter the street, also using the Quickspell feature. Then you are asked to enter the street number. The Maestro will help you by giving you a list of possible street numbers based on what you are entering. Once you enter the street, you then have the option to select any special routing options, such as the shortest distance, fastest time, shortest distance, or least/most use of freeways. You can also add f you want to avoid tolls on your route. The Maestro is really quick, based on your options, in calculating the route.
The POI is easy to use and gives you a lot of options to choose from. First you click on the "Menu" screen and then select”Point of Interest". Then you are given the options of choosing your POI by category, name, on the AAA TourBook (we talk about this later in the article), or a POI that you saved yourself.
If you choose to search your POI by category, you have a list of 25 categories to choose from. When you choose your POI the Maestro 4000 will give you a list of matching POIs, the direction the POI you chose is in, the distance it is from where you are located, the street address, and the phone number. When you click on the POI the routing options are displayed, once you have chosen your routing options you click on the orange arrow. Your route is then calculated for you.
The Maestro 4000 also comes with Exit POI option. That is a great feature to use if you are on the highway and want a list of POIs that are close to the Exit you want to take. For example, if you want to take a road trip and you decide that you want McDonalds along your way, but you do not want to wander to far from your exit. You simply click on the Exit POI option and find and exit that has a McDonald close to it.
Like we said before the AAA TourBook is a POI option. This is a benefit for AAA members. If you choose the AAA TourBook option you can navigate to a AAA approved auto repair station, AAA approved campground, or AAA branch office.
The nice thing about Maestro’s partnership with AAA is that you have the AAA roadside assistance button just a click away on the main menu. When you click on the roadside assistance the AAA toll free assistance number appears. Along with the phone number to enroll in AAA, and if you saved your AAA number it will also be displayed. The best thing about this AAA roadside assistance is that you wont have to look everywhere for the street address. The screen also will display your current street, city, longitude and latitude, the intersection you passed, and the intersection ahead. This is a great feature to have in case of an emergency.
Even though the Maestro 4000 may not have the Text-to-speech feature and a few other ones, it can still be a good buy. It will save you money if you think you really are not going to use those features.
This is a great GPS for the AAA members, and for drivers who are always on the road. This is a GPS that is easy to use and the preferences and settings are easy to find. The Maestro is a great way to go if you want a GPS with plenty of features, and is user friendly.
The Maestro 4000 comes in the price range of about $319-$410. You can compare different prices and online stores for the Maestro online at Price Grabber