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Screen Magnifiers


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I have been wondering about screen magnifiers ever since I got my GPSr. There is very little written about them in the forums. In my experence, two things make it difficult to read the screen of my GPSr quickly (you can't keep your eyes off the road forever). These are glare/reflections and too small of a screen to see congested areas of a map. I used to have the face of my GPSr set perpendicular to my eyes, I found that by tilting the top back you could eliminate most of the glare and reflections. But there are many times when it is hard too quickly see what is on the screen because everything is such a small size. Thats when you realize why car systems have such large screens. Bigger is definitely better!

Anyways I bit the bullet and decided to buy the Ram Screen Magnifier. It was $27.95 ($36.99 with tax & shipping) at GPScity Canada. The quality of it is OK, not a 10 out of 10, but just OK. There is distortion in the lens but you don't notice it much in use. A straight line will curve slightly but print is very easy to read. Your GPSr screen brightness and clarity is not quite as good when viewing through the magnifier but the increase in size makes up for that disadvantage. My GPSr screen is about 1.4375" X 2.125" = 3.05cu". When my GPSr is 2 5/8" from the magnifier, it increases the size to about 1.75" X 2.625" = 4.59cu". That is about a 150% increase in size. Although that does not seem like much it really does make a difference. It did make it easier to distinguish detail in congested areas of City Navigator and all print was way easier to read. One problem that crops up with the magnifier is that you now get glare and reflections on its screen, although as a plus it does seem to block some of the glare on the GPSr screen. I found that you can eliminate most of the reflections on the magnifier by tilting the top of it away from the GPSr instead of having the two perpendicular to each other. This is easy to do because the magnifier is hinged on the bottom. The hinge is great because if there is case were you are better off without the magnifier you can easily tilt it forward and have an unblocked view of your GPSr. The GPSr is still just as easy to put in or take out of my Ram mount when the magnifier is installed. Although I have preformed "aquafuzz's" mods on my mount (the ears on the bottom of the mount are cut off). Without those mods the magnifier would diffenately make removing the GPSr harder. One bonus of the magnifier is that I used to have to put a block under my GPSr mount to stop vibrations when driving, now the flex rod of the magnifier does the same thing so I can eliminate the block. It takes a little time to get the magnifier set up right in relation to your GPSr but once done you should never have to reset it. The magnifier comes shipped disassembled with no instructions. If you can't figure out how to put it together there are assembly instructions for it on Rams website.

The big question is whether the magnifier is worth buying? I'd say that if you have no trouble reading the fine map print and you can quickly figure out congested areas of your map don't buy it. But if you have to stare at the GPSr screen for much longer than a quick glance to read and understand it, it might be worth buying. Personally I found that it was a help in some instances but I might have been better off without it in others. I have only had it for 1 day and have only used it while autorouting for about 1 hour. I diffenately need more time with it but I suspect I am better off with it.

The quality of my attached pictures is not too good but it will give you an idea of what the magnifier is like when set up. The picture of the screen through the magnifier is worst than when viewing in real life, plus it is slightly out of focus as compared to the other picture.




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I've wondered about this product for quite a while, too. Thanks for taking the time to share your observations, and please let us know your long-term impressions.


(and yeah, breaking long blocks of text into paragraphs with blank lines between them does make it easier to read...)

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Man give me a break, I have 3 paragraphs. How many do you want? I originally wrote this in open office and actually had my 3 paragraphs indented. It seems I lost my indents when I copied and pasted it to the forum.


Before anyone nails me on this one, I made a mistake in naming my calculations and called sq", cu".


I hope I have enough paragraphs in this reply. I didn't think you had to have a degree in writing to post a topic.

Edited by jackrr
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To make posts, especially long posts easier to read, it is good to have "white space" between the paragraphs.


Thank you for the review of the magnifier. It looks like an interesting product. :(



EDIT: Ahhh! I see you edited your post. That's much better. Thank you!

Edited by Miragee
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Sorry, we're not trying to give you a hard time--and if the indents you intended to include had held, that would have helped. It was just that about halfway through the longer middle paragraph, I had a hard time moving from the end of one line to the beginning of the next line...it took me several tries to find the right sequence.


It was well worth the effort, though; please don't let these minor format requests overshadow our appreciation of the benefit of your experience.

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