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TomToms and GPS Navigation

On my recent trip to North Carolina, a playing partner had a little portable TomTom. He'd snagged it off of woot one day for $180 - a pretty good deal.

I see at the TomTom site there are several models available for use in cars.

The TomTom site is a little dense. The $249 has "spoken directions," but the One XL S has "text to speech technology," which seems to be lacking on the S-less One XL. Am I just to assume that they will speak directions, too? I want to avoid paying subscription fees, and if possible, I'd like to avoid having a wire hanging down to power the unit, too - I'll bring it inside and charge it if that's an option.

The purpose of this post is to ask anyone out there a few questions:

Do you have a TomTom? Which model? Do you like it? What don't you like about it? Is there another company making a better product?

I don't go on that many excursions, but the times when I do go it'd be nice to have something like this.

11 Responses to "TomToms and GPS Navigation"

  1. From my understanding, text to speech means that it will attempt to pronounce street names and what not.

    I have a Tom Tom 510 (don't remember the exact model number). It's about a year old or so. I don't use it very often, but when I go out of town, it's useful. It doesn't have TTS. But, I've adjusted to glancing at the unit to get the name of the next street. Having it pronounced might be okay, but I imagine that it will have a horrid time with some of the more interesting street names.

  2. I have a TomTom One, 3rd Edition. It is not the widescreen XL version.

    I bought mine from Amazon.com for $199 and like the unit a lot. It has very nice speech on it, very clear and accurate. I compared TomTom to Garmin and feature-for-feature the TomTom was the best value. You can always spend more money and get better but I don't think for the price you will get so much better features that will justify the increased price.

    Amazon's reviews are nice to read about and you will have varying opinion between Garmin, TomTom and the others.

  3. You might want to check out the Nüvi line from Garmin. They are battery powered 4-8 hours so you can ditch the cord if you want.

    Garmin (and Google if you're wondering) uses NAVTEQ maps and the TomTom uses Tele Atlas. NAVTEQ has better coverage of the US. If you're in Europe, Tele Atlas is better. In addition, Garmin's routing engine appears to be superior to TomTom's.

    Garmin makes it pretty easy to compare features. Let me know if you get a ZÅ«mo. 🙂

  4. I have a TomTom One and I'm very happy with it. It's customizable and you can add new points of interests, color profiles, voices and more. It syncs with Mac just fine, and my One has a battery so you can run it without a power cord.

    For me, speaking the actual street names isn't a big deal. It's accurate enough with telling you "After 800 yards, turn right." If you need to know the exact street, a quick glance at the unit will tell you which street name, or a passenger can look.

  5. I have the bluetooth Tom Tom for my Palm. I love the software except for a couple of minor flaws.

    You can't plan a trip across multiple maps. So you need to know where you'll be exiting one map, so you can plan your route to it's edge and then plan your next leg.

    There are less detailed maps that give major highways for say, the United States and Canada, so you can at least make it to the right State or Province.

    I find it is actually most useful, when getting to newer places in and around where I already live.

  6. I bought my wife a Tom Tom GO300 when she was transfered to Baltimore, MD. in the Fall of 2005. I was so impressed with it, I purchased one for myself the very next day for my trip back to Orlando. Even though I paid through the nose for these two Tom Toms, they have proven to be worth every penny spent. Since that time, the prices have continued to come down, which makes owning one an even better value. Owning a GPS navigation system in a large city is a must and I can't imagine not having one. When we travel by air, we always take one with us which makes navigation in a rental car a simple task in a strange city. If and when the time comes, I will definitely purchase another Tom Tom. I might add...I did have problems with one of the units and sent it back to customer service and had it repaired and returned in record time.

  7. I love my TomTom. I have a TT One. I like the fact that it is portable and there is no issues with Mac compatibility (not sure if Garmin has finally addressed this; I know they were going to start). I also have an old Go 700 that is in my wife's car (it has BT handsfree capability which keeps her eyes on the road!). As far as I am concerned, they are indispensible on long trips.

    Personally, I don't think TTS is really necessary. It will tell you which way to turn, and how far off that turn is well before you get to it.

    We took the TT One with us to Italy, where I drove about in a country where I didn't speak the language, with only the One to guide us (after I downloaded the map of Italy). It was fantastic, guiding us to restaurants, gas, and getting us to our destinations on Italy's somewhat chaotic road network! I would never take a major holiday that would involve driving without one. On another trip it even found a one-track dirt road in the Finger Lakes region of NY!

    The one area where I think that both our models are lacking is battery life. I think that I only get 2-3 hours without the charger cable, so if a dangling cable is an issue, it might not be the best choice (depending on how long you usually drive; we're always driving between Ontario and Upstate NY). As for charging, the 700 came with both a car and wall charger. The One came with a USB cable (I will use my Mac to keep it charged when inside) and a car charger. There are no subscription fees for basic navigation, though if you want to use the datalink for traffic, weather, etc, those would cost you.

    Of course, I paid too much for them, but that's what I get for being Canadian...

  8. At $299, I'm considering the Garmin 200W.

  9. Last time I checked, Garmin didn't give a shit about the Mac (for one thing they discovered USB, like, a year ago?) The TomTom mounts on the Desktop as a mass storage device (or you can put the SD card into a media reader) and you can manage your maps by moving files around. You might need Windows the first time to extract them from the DVD archive but I'm not even sure it's still the case.

  10. Olivier said on November 14, 2007:

    Last time I checked, Garmin didn't give a shit about the Mac (for one thing they discovered USB, like, a year ago?) The TomTom mounts on the Desktop as a mass storage device (or you can put the SD card into a media reader) and you can manage your maps by moving files around. You might need Windows the first time to extract them from the DVD archive but I'm not even sure it's still the case.

    Pretty much the same for the Garmin stuff, too, and now I speak from personal experience.

  11. [...] had a gift card for Circuit City, so ever since a few days ago I've been playing around with a Garmin Nüvi 200W GPS. Three of the first four locations I [...]


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