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It might have been making GPS devices since before the owners of TomTom were in their technological nappies, but that doesn't seem to have had bearing on the success of Magellan's in-car sat-navs. The firm has a history in GPS as long as anyone's, but it just hasn't cracked the lucrative in-car market in the UK.
Not that it hasn't been trying, and recently it has launched a raft of new products aimed at cracking that very tough nut. The RoadMate 1215 was the first we looked at a few weeks back, and we were grudgingly impressed with how much it managed to squeeze in for under £100…but perfect guidance system it was not. It's now the turn of the more expensive Maestro 4245, but with competition at the top end much tougher - it has the excellent new TomTom XL Traffic 22 to contend with - can it do as well?
On paper, there's much to like; in fact there's no major feature checkbox left unticked here. The 4245 has full European maps, safety camera alerts pre-installed, Bluetooth hands-free phone capability and an integrated TMC traffic information antenna. Impressively, you don't need unsightly dangling wires routed around the edges of the windscreen for it to pick up a signal; it'll just tune in as you drive.
That traffic information system works pretty well too. During testing I was driving down the M6 and was successfully routed around a lengthy tailback - probably the only time I have ever been saved time by a TMC-based device.
It has a nice big 4.3in screen, and a very bright one at that, while the articulated arm windscreen mount is solid enough. Importantly, this sticks to the windscreen unlike the dreadful mount that comes packaged with its cheaper 1215 sibling. It also has text-to-speech and will - à la TomTom 530, 730 and 930 - speak most street names to you as you approach, and it also has a voice control system.
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