Product Type: Tomtom in GPS Navigation
Newest Review: ... 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 fi... more
TomTom - the end to arguments over maps!
TomTom Go 300
Member Name: ccamgu
TomTom Go 300
Date: 31/08/06, updated on 31/08/06 (518 review reads)
Advantages: Dont get lost!
Disadvantages: Can take a while to get a signal
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 donít 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 isnít 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 stationsÖ.. 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 doesnít recognize, it doesnít 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 havenít 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.
Summary: Very easy to use product
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