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Prior to owning this TomTom 600 (I have the Europe model which comes with maps for 45 countries, rrp£229) I was using a TomTom Via 130 4.3", and to cut to the chase, and go against the grain of many of the somewhat critical reviews I've read on Amazon, I much prefer the experience of using this device. TomTom have, it's true, pared down the options you have and the degree to which you can configure the satnav but I find the result to be a device which is much simpler and more intuitive to use; the features they have removed (compared to my older satnav) such as voice recognition and hands free calling were either superfluous to me or frustrating to use.
Get Set :
Out of the box set up for this satnav (I own the 600 which has a 6" screen but which is, I believe, otherwise identical to the 400 and 500 but with a higher resolution screen at 800x480 ) is child's play. You must make sure you link your computer to the satnav via the supplied USB to the main body of the satnav and NOT via the input on the cradle, which is for charging only - I learned this the hard way. Once the accompanying software, MyTomTom, is downloaded you are good to go. The maps can be updated to the latest version via the TomTom site, the map updates are lifetime and included with the satnav. There is an integrated feature onscreen of the satnav itself which guides you through basic use of the satnav, like the actual satnav features itself this is short and sweet. It's easily switched on via the button at its top - there is no LED to indicate whether it's on or charging however, which is a little bit of a shame, though it does make a distinctive tomtom sound on start up.
Go! (Using the Satnav):
The capacitive touch screen is a total pleasure to use - you can swipe and zoom into the map in 2D with ease and it's a simple matter to hold your finger down on something you can see on the map and get the route calculated, it really is "click and go" as billed . You can also enter postcodes, town names and addresses via the search menu in traditional manner, the onscreen keyboard is simple to use and the search function does its business as you type. Simplicity itself. It's really easy too, to switch from 2D to 3D view and when driving with this satnav the lanes are clear to see. I've seen reviews criticising the fact that you are not able to change the colour scheme - I've got to be honest and say this really isn't an issue to me and neither do I miss voice recognition as featured in my older model TomTom which was very hit and miss in my experience. I really like the pared down menu and think the display for driving is actually an improvement, it's clear and not distracting and it took me very little time to get used to it. I like the muted, fairly contemporary colours, and find it overall much less "busy". The info you need is there on the screen in what seems to me a logical place. You can switch off the map to the main menu to see the time and search for nearby parking and petrol stations and there is still the option of finding nearby restaurants and the like via the search should you wish to do so.
I've found the search and satellite pick up on the TomTom both blissfully fast, and it was not difficult to tether this to my smartphone to make use of the lifetime traffic updates, following the onscreen instructions - admittedly using this feature does rely on the data package of my phone, should this be an issue for you then it's probably best to look at the TomTom GO 6000 Europe which is "always connected", personally I don't need this feature nor do I particularly need a bluetooth hands free call option (again not available on this satnav).
For me, an occasional user who mainly needs a satnav for the purposes of getting from A to B on family days out and the like and for some business use, this TomTom is an improvement on the one I had before and I really like it. I've found the directions spot on thus far - in the Summer break I've been out and about a fair amount - and I like the way the street names are displayed, there are options enough for voice and the integrated back speaker is clear and plenty loud enough too. You do have to take some care mounting and taking off the device from the screen - it's a job best done with both hands and somewhat carefully, mine took a tumble a couple of times when trying to release it from the magnetic holder so I'd advise proceeding with caution. It would be nice if it came with a case but otherwise I can't fault this TomTom, it does what it is supposed to do, the display is fantastic, the battery life seems to be about 2 hours as billed and it looks and feels good. It's not one of the cheaper satnavs that you can buy, however I do think, having used cheaper satnavs, that it's probably worth the investment if only for the fact that you get a good quality touch screen and the benefits of lifetime maps.
I'm personally a fan of the new, simpler TomTom - life for me is too short to be getting to grips with endless menus and features, not the case here and as far as I am concerned a breath of fresh air - highly recommended.
I was sent this satnav to try and keep as part of the Amazon Vine program.
TomTom GO 600 with UK and ROI MapsThe all new TomTom GO has been completely re-designed to put you in control of your drive / Make thesmartest driving decisions by knowing precisely what is going on around you and what lies ahead / Experiencea new world of navigation.Interactive Maps - Put the world at your fingertips / Simply zoom in and out tofind and explore places on the map with your fingertips / Tapon the map to get an instant route to your destination.Lifetime Tom Tom Traffic - Drive with world-class traffic information / Get to yourdestination faster with precise and accurate real-timeinformation / Lifetime TomTom Traffic pinpoints exactly wheredelays start and end so you always know your fastest route.3D Maps - See buildings and landmarks in stunning 3D / With 3D Maps you'll always know exactly where you are.