Uniden MapTrax GPS - Navigation meets radar detection

Consumer Reports News: January 10, 2008 12:55 PM

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Uniden is making a big GPS push with six new units and one new wrinkle: Radar detection. The company, arguably best known for telephones, was once in the radar detector business. Now their top-of-the line portable GPS unit, the MapTrax 438, marks their return to the technology.

Like some other portable navigation devices, the MapTrax 438 displays vehicle speed on its screen. When known, if it senses that the posted speed limit is exceeded, the Uniden's speed display turns red. If it detects any of thirteen bands of radar ahead, it alerts the driver, and enables marking of the location for further reference.

The radar detector is a separate unit that mounts to the windshield below the navigation device, connected using a plug-in cable. Uniden says the reason for this is so the radar detection unit can be disconnected in states where its use is illegal.

Other features include text-to-speech capability, available traffic alerts, Bluetooth technology for hands-free calling, and a point-of-interest menu with some six million items on it. Priced at $499, the MapTrax 438 is due in stores in April. Other Uniden models begin at $179.

Jim Travers

For more information on portable GPS navigation systems, see our Ratings and buying advice and watch our video guide. Discuss GPS devices in the forums. 

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