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This Tom Tom is almost antique. We must have had it for a good nine years but it is still going strong and beats built in systems hands down.
About 9 years ago, Mr P and I had a formal dinner to go to in Essex. We got VERY lost and ended up driving around in circles before eventually find the country club where the event was being held. It was clearly time to enter the 21st century and invest in one of these new fangled satellite navigation devices.
More technologically advanced friends recommended Tom Tom. So off to Halfords were we invested in a GO 300. It seemed expensive at the time at just under £300 but given that I’m still using it I reckon we’ve had our money’s worth.
In many ways this old model is very similar to newer TomTom versions – it has a similar interface with easy to follow menus allowing you to set your preferences (eg no motorways, quickest or shortest route etc) and of course set up your route. The menus are intuitive and easy to follow with touch-screen operation and clear directions.
As with later models, it has points of interest such as train stations, speed camera locations, tourist attractions and petrol stations – the latter having been very useful on occasion when we’ve run perilously low on fuel. You can associate various features with different sounds – for example giving you a warning claxon as you approach a speed camera location.
With this older model, the map comes preloaded on an SD card that slots into the front of the device. We’ve never bothered to update the UK map and as a result it does occasionally get confused on newer roads.
Compared to the newer models, this one is bulky but still portable enough to switch from car to car. It came with a suction mount that was quite tricky to remove from the windscreen. We’ve actually been through two of these and I now just balance it on my cup holder just behind the gear stick. I now have to had the sat nav plugged into the car charger; the battery doesn’t hold much charge but all in all the GO 300 has proved to be very reliable.
Sadly, I am sure it’s days are numbered. I will miss this trusted friend when it does eventually give up the ghost. I will certainly be replacing it with another portable device. Since owning the GO 300, Mr P has had two cars with inbuilt sat nav systems and they are not a patch on Tom Tom in terms of easy of use. As with other systems, you need to use your common sense. Sometimes these devices get things wrong but I would definitely be with than without my Tom.
Ive now owned and used this sat nav for almosot 4 years, I purchased it not long after it came out and paid £300. Its now an old version and you can pick the basic models up a lot cheaper.
Its the old version so a little bulky compared with the newer flat ones. Mine has had a lot of use almost daily due to my work and its still going strong.
It has a docking unit which you attach to the windscreen and you can either connect the in car adapter to the sat nav or the holder. It does however have a good battery life and I manage to do 3 hr trips without it being connected to the adapter.
It has a memory card slot at the front which is compact flash size, and you can update maps, voices etc via the internet. The touch screen works very well and very responsive.
The big benefit I find is the easy menu system, Ive tried other sat navs and I find they take longer to input your destination, the tom tom is very easy to program you can either enter areas and road names or postcode and the keypad that comes on the screen can be enlarged so its letters only rather than letters and numbers. You can store locations and GPS positions, and automatically stores the last destinations. You can pre-program how it works out your route either fastest, shortest, avoiding motorways etc.
Numerous options during travel such as avoiding road blocks, avoiding road blocks. Details about your trip are shown on the bottom of the screen and you can change what details are shown and include a compass as well if wanted. Details such as Time to destination, miles remaining, what speed your doing, time to next turning.
You can alter many of the settings, even the colours of the map, it does have a night function which changes all the colours to a darker blue so you dont get dazzled. You can of course change the voice, it comes with a few but you can download additional ones free or paid for for those that want Mr T giving them instructions.
Whilst driving a simple tap at the bottom repeats any last read out instruction incase you missed it and you can alter the volume of the unit. and access the main menu so you can change your route. It comes with a number of pre-programmed points of interest such as petrol stations, train stations, airports, hotels, tourist places of interest etc.
I find the Tom tom very good and keeping a signal, occasionally it can drop off which is more common in built up cities with lots of tall buildings but it doesnt tend to take long to find you again and put you back on track. I find it very responsive when you take the wong turning or exit to recalculate a new route and it keeps up well with the car on roundabouts for example.
You can change the map view from 3D to 2D and zoom in and out to get you desired view. Whilst this is the more rounded version the sound quality is both loud and clear.
Be warned though its worth poping to Halfords or similar store or asking a friend to test the sta nav in your car as certain windscreens seem to block the satelite signals which means you have to attach it to the side window to pick up a signal.
I bought this tomtom when they first came out, so it may not me the latest one or have the latest features built in but it does not job, and I don't get left in fields so I can't complain. You can adjust the volume on the voice instruction and it is very easy to use, as you just plug it in and off you go. It is not flat screen, but it is very small and compact. The screen is quite big and fully accessible and also very easy to use. You can change the units of distance and time to your own requirements. You can put in the postcode or the address and it is very easy to input, but maybe not while you are driving. Sometimes you lose signal which is inconvenient, but this is not often so I would still recommend it to anyone wanting a gps navigation system.
I've already reviewed this item on Ciao but I've amended my review for this site.
TOM TOM GO 710
We decided to buy a GPS system when we bought our new car. My husband had already asked for advice from Speed of Sound, a local 'car gadget' store. My husband also has a pathological fear of asking directions- he once spent two hours driving around looking for Teeside aerodrome because he refused to ask for help.
So, the TomTom GO 710 is the middle product of the GO range, slightly better than the 510 but not as good (or expensive) as the 910.
Handsfree Bluetooth car kit comes as standard, meaning you can use handsfree calling immediately, sending and receiving calls by touching the screen. (I still don't trust myself even though handsfree calling is legal while driving- i usually just switch my phone off when as I don't want to risk being distracted while I've got two little ones in the car)
The 4" wide screen is absolutely crystal clear and is anti-glare: it always gives a great view, even in direct sunlight . The touchscreen is easy to operate with no awkward buttons and you can customise the menu and toolbar to suit your preferences so you don't have to scroll through a load of rubbish every time you want to use the system.
Another great feature is the car speed linked volume. (A Built-in microphone notes the noise level in the car and adjusts the volume of voice instructions accordingly.)
The Tomtom is 'plug & go' it works straight out of the box, Its portable and really easy to take from car to car.
It comes supplied with a docking station which you use as a base in your house, that allows you to easily charge your Tom Tom and manage the contents. You can store points of interest as well as Speed Cameras locations (not that any of us EVER break the speed limit) on the system and refer back to them at any time. The Tomtom database already has details of all listed 'safety' cameras.
Another point worth mentioning is the high quality Li/Ion battery, it has a long lasting 4 hour battery life.
The speaker gives clear spoken, turn by turn directions whilst you drive across Europe. It also goes 'door to door' from one country to another, meaning you can cross borders without having to reload the system. Maps of Western Europe were supplied with our box and loaded via the integrated SD slot.
Also supplied were
1GB SD Card
Quick Start Guide
The Link sells this device for £355.00- we bought ours from link.co.uk although you may now be able to get it cheaper on ebay.
We did have a slight problem with the unit disconnecting itself on bumpy ground- we have a Merecedes ML320 (4x4) and it is a bit rocky on uneven ground. The unit screen would flicker and then disconnect and it was very annoying. However that problem was quickly solved having scoured the internet and found a software update. We installed the update and haven't had any problems since.
The device itself is great, and will truly impress you with its capabilities. It proved it's worth recently when my husband had to go to Great Yarmouth to assess a new electrical contract for the company he works for- he said he'd have never got there without Tomtom. You can also choose from a range of different voices- Our sounds like Felicity Kendall! You can download various voices from an array of websites. For any driver who travels a lot to new places or for the less confident driver in getting around, this truly is a great investment as getting lost with this device is impossible.
When I bought by TomTom 12 months ago, I paid £300, and although this was expensive, I feel has been worth every penny, as driving is no longer half as stressful as it was. To be honest, I am a good driver, with a bad sense of direction, which caused arguments in cars or caused me to be late as I circled the ring road of a town for the third time! This product is a revelation to me now, and the TomTom has allowed SatNav to go to the mass market, and not just those with posh expensive cars! God bless America and their military technology!!!
Anyway, what better way to start than the beginning!! Thinking backto initial installation is hard, mainly because it was so easy. I simply took it out of the box, turned it on and it works straight away, no messing around. I am the type who always dives head first into things without reading the instructions, and found the whole navigation very easy and intuitive. There are only a few settings you can fiddle about with such as the time and date, and you can set your house as a home address so you dont have to type it in all the time.
Day to day use is very straightforward. You enter the postcode or town you wish to go to (and the street name and number if you wish) and it shows you the route. You can browse the route in pictures of even see a video of the roads you are going to go on before you commence. It is accurate to within a few metres, so if you enter 546 High Street, you are going to be within metres of their front door, which is vital for long streets or where there are lots of little roads near each other.
The touch screen of the TomTom is well laid out and also has just the right level of sensitivity. When driving at night, there is also a night mode which darkens the colours on the screen to prevent you having a distracting light emanating from your car which is a clever little preference and the press of a button
Fitting your TomTom to your car is very straight forward with a suction bracket attaching to any point on the windscreen which you find most comfortable. This is very secure and your TomTom should never fall off the windscreen. TomToms operate on the rechargeable battery meaning you can be truly portable with them. This lasts for a good few hours, but in most cases I have mine charged up with the cigarette lighter cable. I find I get a stronger signal when it is plugged in this way, but that is unscientific and might just be coincidental!
Once moving, the voice and visual instructions are very clear (I have actually turned the voice off now, but for a computer voice actually isnt too irritating!). You have a 2D or 3D display (3D far better) of where you are and the surrounding area, with your route highlighted in red. Where you need to make turnings, your TomTom tells you in plenty of notice and clearly on the display.
Were you to disobey your master and go in a way not indicated by TomTom, rather than getting in a mood and sulking for the rest of the journey, it quickly recalculates your route in a matter of seconds. This is especially useful if you miss a turning, or it is blocked for some reason.
One of the most useful features is the destination time which is live, meaning that the faster you go the earlier it gets (it assumes you do 70mph on the motorway and reacts accordingly if you were one of those people who happen to speed :P). Another good feature is the local destinations pre programmed, so you can always search for where you nearest Zoo, Marina or sports stadium is. However, more useful and practical is the ability to search for the nearest petrol stations .. and golf courses!!
You read in the press from time to time of coaches ending hanging of cliffs or cars driving through rivers which I always find ridiculous. Whilst I use my TomTom to navigate, I realise it is a machine. I have found a couple of glitches in the matrix and had to disobey it a few times, but by applying some simple common sense, you should not have any problems.
When you buy your TomTom, you get a PC CD allowing you to download updates of new roads etc which I do periodically. When I do approach a new piece of road which TomTom doesnt recognize, it doesnt take much common sense to work out what to do.
I only have two main drawbacks with the TomTom. Firstly, the bracket to attach it to the windscreen leaves a dirty ring on your windscreen. Due to the publicity of people having their cars broken into to get their sat navs I always take mine down, but it does get a pain trying to rub a smear off your windscreen.
My second gripe, is that sometimes it can take a few minutes to get a signal when you first switch the TomTom on. To this day I havent worked out any logic as to when it happens, but is frustrating when you want to start your journey. Normally when you turn it on, you get a GPS signal straight away, but sometimes it can take up to 5 minutes before you hook up with the satellite.
Whilst I purchased the 300 version (which at the time was the basic model), I believe that the additional money for the better versions is not worth it. You can link your TomTom into your mobile and use it as a hand free kit or get maps of Europe as standard (you can buy these as additional memory cards). You can also subscribe to TomTom Plus which gives you live weather and traffic information. However, I still prefer the more old fashion method of looking out of the window to see the weather and local radio for traffic jams!!
Overall, I highly recommend a TomTom to anyone. Although there are other SatNavs on the market, none look as good and I am yet to see one which is as easy to use as the TomTom.
TomTom GO 300 is the smartest portable car navigator.
Just plug in, switch on & GO;
Simple touch-screen operation;
Clear, accurate turn-by-turn voice instructions;
Compact, portable design; easy to take from car to car;
Crystal-clear 3D graphics;
View route: review and test the calculated route before you actually start driving;
Dynamic status bar: improve readability by customizing status bar;
Tip feature: discover everything GO has to offer through useful onscreen tips;
Extensive guided tour: pick up the features even quicker and get the maximum out of your TomTom GO;
Integrated GPS antenna;
Speaks more than 30 languages in over 50 voices;
User interface: now including 18 languages;
Postcode navigation for simple and accurate selection of your destination (UK & NL only);
A choice of routes: quickest, shortest or avoiding toll roads and congestion charge areas;
Itinerary planning: plan your trip by defining multiple waypoints and destinations;
The latest and most complete maps of the United States and Canada;
Thousands of points of interest available;
Compass mode available: displays compass on screen to have even more orientation while driving;
Car speed linked volume: volume of voice instructions will increase/decrease depending on speed of car;
Anti-glare screen; always an optimal view, even in direct sunlight;
Improved on/off button: prevents the device to turn off by accident;
Built-in Bluetooth connection;
Ready for TomTom PLUS services (real time information on traffic congestions, weather conditions and extra downloads such as detailed city maps, additional voices, points of interest and much more);
USB 2.0 for faster data transfers.