Rand McNally IntelliRoute TND 700 Review
by, 07.02.2010 at 07.55 AM (1613 Views)
I did a lot of research on the truck-specific GPS units out there. What I found before I purchased was that the TND 700 had so many more features than the other units and got excellent marks at Diesel Boss. Being one of the most expensive, if not THE most expensive, unit available, I had high hopes and expectations. I bit the bullet and paid a total of $550 after taxes for it.
Out of the box, it's a simple assembly process for the mount. The mount itself is the best I've seen. It has two pivot points with turn-screw knobs to lock it in place. The TND 700 with its 7" screen is a bit of a monster and depending on your truck, you may have to rotate the suction-cup end of the mount 180 degrees to get it to mount correctly. The good news is that the mount allows for this, thus you can mount the unit easily to both vertical and angled windshields.
Inital impression of the unit once it powered on was good, but very slow to load. User interface is well planned. No real surprises or complaints.
The routes it gave seemed to all pass the logic test, but usually didn't match up with the route the company gives. Not a big deal though because sometimes company routes don't pass the logic test!
Here's the kicker though: I ended up returning it and getting my money back!
It is a decen enough GPS and the features are great but there were some anomalies that I had read about in the 5" version that were showing up in this one. Weigh station alerts were sometimes late or even non-existant. Same with toll plazas and state borders. It is incredibly slow to calculate and recalculate routes of all sizes, slow to notice that you have gone off route, and slow to start up. Also, the refresh rate is a bit slower and drawing of maps takes a bit longer than I'm used to (all comparisons are versus a Garmin car nuvi unit).
The kicker was how annoying the voice prompted directions were. It would repeat them 3 times as you got within a mile or so. Not a big deal if it is just telling you, "In 1500ft, turn left on Virginia Parkway." But it's really annoying to hear "In <distance here>, keep left on I-81 South I-94 East Virginia 522/Virgina Veterans Memorial Parkway." THREE times in less than a miles! Why can't it just say the name of the actual highway you want and leave it up to you to know what sign to follow? Oiy!
Another minor gripe: the HOS tiimer feature should also prompt you when the unit detects motion over X mph or no movement over Y seconds. Currently, it relies on you to tell it when to change status.
In summary, I was split down the middle on this one. Some really neat features but they weren't as fluid as they ought to be for such an expensive unit. For the price, it ought to work out of the box and not really have any issues to speak of.
I'll be getting the Garmin 465T as it was my second choice during the research phase. It's cheaper by $100 at most places (even cheaper in some other places) and Garmin has been in the electronic navigation industry longer than any other maker of truck specific GPS units available today.
I'll let you know how the Garmin does.