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When we first had a Sat Nav a few years ago I was distraught! I loved navigating with the map and felt redundant! lol! That was in the past, since I've used it a lot I love it and really it is a map and I can still navigate, this is our latest one bought a couple of years ago for travelling to France, these are the reasons I love it; 1. I love the touch screen, it has a simple menu and you can navigate around using this, there is volume controls, brightness controls and much more, it has a setting for nightime driving and daytime setting. Once on there click navigate to, put in the address or postcode or town, if you choose town it will always take you to the centre of the town. It will then tell you how many miles and the arrival time! 2. There are a number of views to choose, we find it easiest to set it to direction of travel north, this means it's always going the way you're going. I like the fact that this one zooms in when you get close to a junction so that you can easily see which lane you're to be in and what the junction looks like, also this one has the road gantry sign names which you should be following which is extremely helpful on motorway junctions. 3. It tells you the speed of the road you are travelling on and what your speed is, it also has a little bleeping noise when you are approaching a camera which is handy to keep you speed in check. We especially found this useful in France when we weren't exactly sure of speed, you can also change the setting to Kilometers for this so it's easy to follow if you wish. 4. If you are travelling along happily and then suddenly hit a road block or some other obsticle then you can just click on the screen and say 'avoid road block' or 'navigate via' and it will re-calculate a route for you. You can also plan a route without using motorway or toll roads if you wish the other option in the route planning is shortest or fastest, we find generally the fastest is by far the best although in London I have used shortest as everyone goes fastest and this way avoids some of the blocks! 5. It has European maps on it! I was so amazed that when driving on the other side of the road it actually knows that! sad I know but it even goes round the roundabouts the wrong way so you know! I guess it has to because it'll say 2nd exit so if it went the wrong way round it would be completely wrong! lol! It was so handy going to France, we've been in the past and got off in Calais or St Malo and had no idea where we're going, trying to remember to drive on the right side of the road and having to read French let alone trying to Navigate the route you want, this takes all the hassle out of that, you can pre-plan your route while on the ferry if you wish and as soon as you come off click go, it takes a few minutes to connect to the gps when you come off the ferry sometimes we've been spotted parked up while we wait for it to adjust this doesn't take long and off we go. The roads are sometimes hard to hear as the sat nav tries to say them in French! 6. It is extremely compact and lightweight, it comes with a stick on the window thing which is quite good although I've just noticed you can buy one that clips into a fan grill which would be easier for us as this is in the middle and when hubby is driving I like to have a fiddle with it and see where we're going which I can't do if he's got it on the drivers side! It also can connect to traffic stations so that there is an extra little bit down the side which tells you of any accidents/holdups on your route and how long the delay is likely to be unfortunately I broke ours by squashing it! oops! 7. This Tomtom can be updated with the computer, it also has references to POI's (Places of interest) which are good, including picnic areas, petrol stations, shopping, museums and much more. We especially find the petrol one useful as we use LPG (Liquid Petrolium Gas) and it lists these seperately you can also have it come on and say 'LPG forecourt in 2miles next one 10miles' which is handy. 8. Browse map function is useful, by using this you can click a little symbol which then places the cursor where you are, you can zoom in and out of the area and have a look where you'd like to go with the places of interest marked on there, you can choose one and they click 'navigate there' which is useful. Sometimes we've been on some great little adventrues using this on holiday! I've just looked to see how much these are now, I see a re-conditioned one is £129.99 or a new one is about £150.00 (Aug 2010) The size of the screen is 9.5x5.5cm or 11cm corner to corner. All in all it's a great little gadget and I wouldn't be without it now.
As satellite navigation systems go this one is quite expensive it cost me over £200 but as I needed one that covers Europe well I decided to give it a go. The TomTom 730 has a touch screen that is just over 4" wide so not that big and fits on your window screen quite nicely and is easy enough to use. As with most TomTom systems it is easy to use and update, this can be do regularly and it has access to maps of over 30 Europe countries as well as the UK so where ever you go in your car, you should be ok. There is plenty of useful functions my favourite is the estimate time of arrival which to fair is pretty accurate unless you get stuck somewhere. The directions are shown both on screen and can be given verbally and are clear and accurate, as of yet it has not told me to go the wrong way or got me lost A good system that is quite expensive though, if you want a decent one which has Europe on it then this is a good buy, just for UK is probably a bit expensive.
I just got the Tom Tom 730 Europe at Christmas and have been having great fun seeing what it can do. The hands free phone facility is great for making or taking calls legally whilst driving. But that isn't the real reason for having this great gadget. I have to do quite a lot of deliveries for my wife's business, so I never know where I am likely to go from one day to the next. Just enter the postcode, though and it will find its way for you almost without any hitches. (It has stopped talking to us for no apparent reason and taken a bit of fiddling to persuade it speak again.) There have been a couple of little glitches, like telling me the wrong exit from a roundabout even though the screen showed the correct exit, and sometimes it does not quite describe the junctions as they appear on the road when priority lines have been changed, but, llike any other device, it has to be used with a modicum of common sense. So far, the Tom Tom has been great, getting us to every destination - even an obscure village hall with a very badly concealed entrance on a dark, rainy night. Ease of use and clarity of instructions make it a great buy, and the extra information you can display on the screen - like estimated time of arrival, distance to destination etc are a big help. We have yet to use it in Europe, but are due to go to the South of France at Easter, where I am expecting the device to get us straight from the airport hire car pick-up to the rented cottage in the hills by Marseille with never a cross word or wrong turning. I'll post another review when we have given it a more rigorous testing!
This unit comes packed with features as you would expect for the prices quoted. Around christmas this unit was about £250 in most shops but ha gone up to £300 now, I have seen that Amazon have it for £220 which is very cheap considering everything you get on the unit. I bought this for my dad at christmas as I had used the 930 before and knew that it would be excatly what he wanted, it was and so far has been perfect for him. The unit has mapping of both the UK, Ireland and also Europe, so will suit most people needs, but if you ever wanted to add more mapping you could do as there is an SD card slot at the bottom of the unit. This is something that you dont get on the entry level units in Tom tom. The mapping screen is displayed as shown in the small picture above, and is very easy to see and read. It also had vocal instructions which are very loud(this was important as he can be hard of hearing at times) you can also turn the down, or off though as for me they can get quite annoying. The operation of the unit is smple, and is literally a case of putting in the postcode and you are ready to go. We have found that sometimes it doesnt recognise a postcode, so using the address works instead. This was mostly apparant when using it abroad, where postcodes arent really used, so we had to know the address of our destination for it to work. Using it abroad though worked just the same as in the UK, and despite never driving through France before, we managed the journey with no problems whatsoever. There is also bluetooth on here which allows your phone to be connected to the device and then you can either make or recieve a phnecall through the unit. This again was somethng that he really wanted as a bluetooth solution would have been relatively expensive and he wanted it encorporated nto the sat nav. I have to say that this works very well, and even transfers your phonebook over to the device for you to simply click to call whever you want rather than typing in the whole number. The sound clarity on here is great too, with some bluetooth devices people on the other end can hardly make out what you are saying,this really isnt the casewith this despite only having a small microphone built into the unit. You also have lane guidance on the unit which I think is a good added feature. I have an older unit which tells me to 'bear right or left' whereas this will zoom in a show excatly whch lane you should be taking when on difficult junctions. It just makes it easier to read and is far less ambigious. There is speech recognition too for inputting an address, whch for me never ever works! for my dad it will work some of the time. It is advertised as being used when you drive along so you dont have to touch the screen, but you end up getting frustrated as it wont pick up on what you are saying so you end up pulling over and just inputtng the destination as usual anyway. Some people like this feature, but I woujld say that you should definatly cheack it out against your voice first as you may have one of the unlucky voices which just wont be recognised! There are also speed camera warning too, which alert you of fixed cameras as you drive along. I have found these not to be completely accurate but keeps you alert and is betterthan nothng. Overall I think that this unit is fantastic, espicially at the amazon price of £220. You have a huge array of features, but if you are not looking for all of these then maybe look elsewhere for a cheaper alternative. If you do want all of these features, plus more, then this unit is very good and you will wonder how you managed without it!
This product, is well worth its money. The unit I have has the version 3 traffic aeriel and with it laying on the car dashboard it picked up a strong signal in minutes both out in the countryside and in town! The traffic updates are excellent keeping in constant contact with the RDS channel. The Traffic is well worth its extra money and the advanced GPS tracking even when you loose a signal is very good. The signal pickup of satellites is excellent and you are connected in seconds and reading the directions out to you is much better and easier to use. The menu structure is the same but the voice recognition helps navigating easier. The remote control helps make this work well - at times you might want to change your end location, so it helps to have a sort of hand free item. The only downside I can see about this is the traffic aerial is the same socket as the IPOD connector and it could do with including the case with the unit to protect it. Apart form that this unit is well recommended. Also the bluetooth pairing was a bit difficult with this and my phone although I did eventually get it paired and the hands free worked well but I cant get text messages reading out of the unit. A very useful gadget that I just can't do without as I travel a lot.
My former employer supplied (too few) TomTom's for scurrying about the country. When he, his family or the one stop delivery boys hadn't taken them (or lost them), TomTom dramatically reduced the stress of driving to my appointments, especially in areas unfamiliar to me - I have been guilty of attempting to navigate myself through the centre of London (Enfield to Blackheath) with the aide of an AtoZ in my lap. Very stressful and not very clever. Clever is what TomTom is. Very effective and simple to use (postcode to postcode). I found that having an approximation of the duration of your journey key to arriving on time for appointments. Use the features, like find a filling station, change route they're invaluable. The website is excellent. Well presented, easy to navigate, full of add-on's, info. offers etc. They are currently launching their GO 940 Live (with up to £50 off fuel). Advice you can take or leave: Try to pay attention to where you are at all times and keep the TomTom plugged in - the boss lost power from his TomTom and found himself in the middle of nowhere, at night, not knowing where he was and hysterical (Very funny). Keep the TomTom updated. Roads can change. I've had some interesting moments near Wimbledon on the A3 and ours used to get confused around Camden! If you don't have TomTom or any other Sat.Nav. but have a bluetooth headset and a friend in front of a computer, ask them for directions (Google Maps). It's better than trying to read a map. Never leave it in the car. If you leave the holder stuck to the window (I always did - you can still see the suction ring anyway) open the glove box to show that it's not in there. Taking the TomTom with you will also help if you get lost whilst walking (great for central London) TomTom is a great navigation aide. We should all use them or be standard issue in all new cars. Perhaps we'll all be micro chipped with it one day and all will be solved. I wrote this on helphound.com aswell.
SatNav systems can be picked up very cheaply nowadays, sometimes under £50. My first was a TomTom, many years ago, with a little screen, but it worked like a charm. Then I got tempted by a Garmin Nuvi 250W because of the £100 price tag (at the time on offer) and the nice large widescreen. It was very good, but never a TomTom. Then I picked up this TomTom Go 730 Europe. I paid £229 from Littlewoods Direct. There is a traffic version, but this was £50 more and I had seen the simple add-on for £20, so there was a saving to be made. I decided to see how good the 730 Europe was first and then buy the traffic cable later if needed. So, this device, it is gorgeous, in a black finish, with a nice large screen. The colours on the display are awesome and they have made some great improvements. Before I tell you what has improved, for those not in the know... the TomTom 730 allows you to search for an address by postcode. Just type the full code in and it searches and has never failed to find the addresses I have needed. You can add your search to a favourites menu or simple go there straight away. It is very quick at planning routes and if there are toll charges it warns you. As you are driving you get turn-by-turn visual and voice instructions. Plus you get nice detailed display with countdowns to your next turn, and estimated arrival time. The first improvement is visually. When driving you get more detailed view of difficult lane decisions. It's display changes and if for example you are on a motorway, it'll show you which lane you should be getting into, this is very cool. Second improvement, is that you can tune your car radio into a frequency that matches what you have set on the TomTom. You can then direct the voice from the TomTom through your car speakers, cool. Third improvement is computer connection (yes you could do it before). The software is now very nicely set out and is very very easy to update maps, speed camera details and even add new voices to the device. Homer Simpson or the Queen anyone? The final big improvement is the mount. Before you had a sucker to the windscreen and a large base to snap your TomTom into, the snapping into the base was awkward and sometimes pulled the attachment off your windscreen. Now it is still a sucker, but you get a nice slide on protrusion that slips into the back of the device. Very easy and neat. The connection to the power socket of your car is a standard 12-volt connection one end and mini-USB at the TomTom end. My biggest like about the 730 apart from its accuracy is the bluetooth connection. I connected my mobile phone, transferred the phone contact book and job done. Now all my calls are controllable via the TomTom 730. I can make and receive calls hands-free and even read text messages on the screen (when stationary, ahem)! This is a great device and worth every penny.
IQ Routes technology
Advanced lane guidance
TomTom Map Share technology
Voice address input
Built-in FM transmitter