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I am notorious amongst the people that know me at being one of the worst navigators around. Quite frankly, navigating my way out of a paper bag can be a bit of a struggle. Stories of my inability to read a map or even hold it the right way around have spread far and wide and so to stop reinforcing that particular girl stereotype I acquired the TomTom ONE 3rd Edition back in 2008 in an attempt to make getting lost down country roads a thing of the past.
What's in the box?
For your money you get your TomTom ONE device, a mains charger, a car charger, a windscreen holder, a USB cable to connect your TomTom to your computer and a documentation pack which includes a Quick Star Guide, an installation poster depicting how to fit your TomTom into your car (oddly enough with pictures of a left-hand drive car), a voucher with a code for free services and a services and accessories guide.
How does the TomTom work?
The TomTom is a small device of with a width of 9.6cm and a height of 8.2cm and a touch screen which takes up most of the space. It does seem quite small, but the illustrations when driving are perfectly adequate and large enough to see, and the voice instructing you in tandem with the images make it very difficult to actually go wrong. There is a TomTom XL which is 11.8cm by 8.2cm so a little bit wider if you need a bigger picture.
The touch screen isn't the most sensitive of screens I've come across - I find it work better if I tap it with a fingernail rather than my full finger. Also, if your fingers become like butter and you accidentally drop the TomTom it does tend to randomly change to a different menu which can be very distracting if you're driving. Once your TomTom is charged / charging you can switch it on and begin programming your first journey. The first time you turn it on you will have to answer a few questions to correctly configure it such as time/date and language settings.
There are many ways to install SatNav devices into your car, but this particular model comes with a windscreen holder. The first time I used this it worked really well, but as soon as I tried to move it to another car, the suction just went, and there were several incidents where this fell off the windscreen mid-journey which as you can imagine caused a bit of a hoo-ha. I would recommend either never removing it, or finding an alternative way to house your TomTom.
Using the TomTom
The TomTom is very easy to use and even though instructions are provided, you probably wouldn't need them since the menus are very intuitive. The major menus are:
Under this menu you can select where you want to go and how you want your TomTom to locate this place. You have the choice of finding your destination by selecting by a street name and number, a postcode or a city centre and if you fancy being a little more complex you can also select a point on a map in the vicinity of where you want to go or by entering the longitude and latitude.
You can assign a set location as your Home so you are just a few clicks away from being directed home and likewise you can set a list of favourite places which will be permanently stored on the TomTom to save you having to keep entering the details again.
Once you have selected your destination and the route has been planned you can review your journey by browsing as text, images, as a map, via a route demo or just looking at the summary page.
Once you've planned your journey, if you are unhappy with it for some reason you can click on this menu option and plan a different route. You can simply get the TomTom to plan the next best route or actually force it to avoid roadblocks, travel via a specific location or even avoid part of a route, if, say, you know you will be attacked by perturbed villagers with pitchforks if you ever return.
This is a very useful menu which will give you help and advice in an emergency situation by offering you phone numbers and planning a driving or even walking route to certain locations such as the nearest hospital, doctors, pharmacy, car repair service, public transport service, police station, etc. There is also a useful Where Am I page which will tell you what street you are on and your longitude and latitude which should make you easy to find.
Also there are some useful guides which contain first aid information for road accidents involving cars and cyclists as well as all the information you would need for travelling in different countries such as money, accommodation, public holidays, traffic regulations.
The only downside to this is the fact that for a lot of these emergency services such as the doctors, police stations or pharmacies, the nearest ones seem to be in a foreign country such as France or Germany and I cannot find a way to change this, so it wouldn't be wise to rely on this TomTom to meet your emergency needs.
The remaining menus are mostly there for admin purposes such as where to add your Home and Favourite destinations, changing your preferences, planning your own customised journey, making actual map corrections (such as incorrect street names, no entry to streets, wrong one-way directions, new POIs to be added) which can be shared with the TomTom community. There is also a TomTom traffic option - if you connect a TomTom RDS-TMC Traffic Receiver you can receive up-to-ate traffic information (which at full price is about £50 so is expensive as an add-on).
Installing TomTom HOME
All you need to do is plug your TomTom into your computer with your USB cable, touch Yes on the touch screen that you do want to connect to 'Computer' and it will bring up the TomTom HOME installation exe file which will then quickly install the software in just a couple of minutes. You then need to set up an account with an email address and password and then link your device to this account.
From here you can update your TomTom with the latest software and services which will automatically pop up or by clicking the Update my device box. You can manage your maps and send any corrections you might have as well as managing your safety camera updates, voices, or traffic settings. There is also an online TomTom Route Planner which works in the same way as other online ones like the AA so you can plan your journey via your computer and no the TomTom if you prefer. Other facilities include an online manual and the chance to backup or restore your TomTom using your computer or a memory card.
SatNavs in general have certainly revolutionised the way that I get myself from A to B, and I've found this particular TomTom to be very easy to use and mostly reliable, emphasis on the mostly. Planning a journey is quick and easy and having the chance to review the journey is also extremely useful so I cannot fault this particular TomTom for that.
There are only two English voices to choose from Tim and Jane depending on if you prefer a male or female voice and I have tried to update these voices from a huge selection of free voices on the TomTom community which can be accessed by TomTom HOME, but I didn't really like the quality of them and didn't fancy forking out £7.95 to pay for a celebrity voice as fun as that would have been so I've stuck with interchanging Tim and Jane so far. To be honest they are a little monotone, but a level above robot so they are bearable.
As I mentioned before, the windscreen holder, once unstuck, seemed to lose all suction and this unfortunate lost battle against gravity occurred whilst I was sailing down the motorway which meant I was stuck with just the instructions that I could barely hear as the TomTom lay face down on the floor and I couldn't in good conscience bend down and endanger lives so I had to go by my instincts until I could stop, which sadly are usually invariably wrong. The motto of the story is don't rely entirely on your SatNav as things can go wrong! Still if you do go wrong, the TomTom will quickly rewrite instructions for your journey and will soon get you back on track.
Speaking of sailing down the motorway, your default settings do cause your TomTom to beep hysterically at you if you do end up speeding, so your options are to maintain your speed at a legal limit or switch off this particular setting. Guess which option I took. One good thing is it will also beep hysterically at you if there are permanent speed cameras lurking near you which if you weren't aware of will allow you to safely and calmly reduce your speed to prevent penalty points, a fine and a persecution complex.
Most of my journeys have been issue free, but on the odd occasion I have somehow misunderstood the instructions and ended up in random car parks, or if I entered just a postcode stupidly followed the directions to the letter which has caused me to end up having to reverse down a mud track to avoid driving into someone's front garden. Just entering a postcode will direct you to the centre of that postcode which unless you are really lucky probably won't be where you want to be, so just use it as a guide in this situation.
A couple of other issues I've had are with loss of reception at untimely moments which can be extremely frustrating especially if you have just arrived at a crossroads and this seems to happen if you go under a thick tree cover or such the like. I've also had a few times where it seems to go suspiciously quiet and somehow it just turned the sound off all by itself, either that or I'm being haunted by a poltergeist. It also occasionally just crashes and need to be turned off and back on again or reset.
One other issue I've had is if you have the unfortunately all too common misfortune of being stuck in a traffic jam and crawling along and two exits are really close together it can be difficult to understand the pictures and instructions. "Take the exit". Okay. "Turn around where possible". What!?!? You told me to take the exit. Curse you! But this is thankfully infrequent.
Also I've found a few times recently that road layouts had changed, such as it would tell me to turn right at a roundabout which was actually a traffic light controlled junction or would tell me to bear in a direction that was actually a turning, so I felt it might be time to update my map, only to discover you actually have to pay for this (even at a discounted price) which could cost £27.80 for the latest map and a further £31.80 for 18 months which will give you an updated map for every 3 months of those 18, but you only have to pay for 4 of those maps. How generous making me pay £59.60 for the privilege. I declined and decided to struggle on with what I had.
I've also found that as my TomTom has aged the battery life has reduced considerably and needs to be charged up a lot more than it used to be. Still, I also find this doesn't matter too much as I only use it in the car and just plug it in with the car charger so it should never die on me.
So, in conclusion, the TomTom ONE 3rd Edition is very easy to use and for the most part reliable, with a few little bugs here and there but I would always recommend having a backup plan and not relying solely on the TomTom just in case something goes wrong. With the TomTom HOME software you can manage this device efficiently, but to be honest I do not use this service all that much as most of the stuff I want you have to pay for, and I'm just too miserly for that, especially considering the price you pay for it in the first place. Overall, it is good, but there may be better ones out there.
The TomTom One is one of the more basic Sat Nav systems available. That's not to say it isn't good, because it really is, it just doesn't do all the extra's that some of the others do.
If you're looking for a Sat Nav that doubles as a bluetooth handsfree kit, or that stores all your music and films, or that has a massive widescreen then this is not for you. However, if you want an easy to use, affordable Sat Nav that will get you from A to B with the minimum amount of hassle then I really would recommend it.
The only real drawbacks to the One that I have experienced are that it occassionally takes a while to lock on to a satellite signal, and that the battery life is less than stellar - its not going to run out during an average journey, but will need regular recharching.
These minor drawbacks are more than offset by the benefits. For a relatively inexpensive system, the mapping software, voice selection and peripherals in the box are outstanding - it comes with everything you'll likely need. Features such as speed camera locations are also extremely welcome.
There is a Great Britain only version of this TomTom available, if you wish to save a few pounds, but having recently driven in France and Spain I would have to say that this unit seems to represent better value for money - it was absolutely flawless.
Overall, I would strongly recommend this as a basic Sat Nav system. However, if you're also going to want to have a handsfree unit in your car, there are better combined options.
I am very pleased with my version 1 tom tom which I have had for some 4 years. On this basis I decided to buy the version 3 for my wife. She works as a communuty nurse and so she has found the tom tom to be invaluable. The version 3 is a sleeker and slimmer version of the version 1 model . My wife hates gagets but I have to say really loves using the tom tom. She has no patients to read long winded manuals and so she was immediately attracted to its easy to use intuative interface. Its quick and easy to follow and tells you clealy how to get from A to B. It also has a lot of additional features which are also useful like storing places of interest, if you wish. It's like having a friendly knowledgeable guide sitting next to you in the car, but it does not argue or cuss.
When you think of Sat Nav, Tom Tom must be one of the most famous names. I was after a budget Sat Nav of Europe and this model seemed to be the most compact, easiest to use and the best value.
It's supplied with a windscreen mount, which works well, however the suction release tag is on the bottom edge, which can be quite a reach on some cars, I end up scrabbling across the dashboard to do this. A cigar lighter charger is also supplied for the car, again the socket on the Tom Tom is on the bottom, so its hard to plug in once its stuck to the windscreen.
The touch screen is easy to use, its easy to find and plan a route. The navigation is excellent, well timed clearly spoken instructions, and only a few times have the maps been wrong. You can report map errors to Tom Tom for future updates which is useful.
There is a USB cable for connection to your home PC, and you use the Tom Tom Home software to manage your Sat Nav and download software updates when necessary. Make sure you have a broadband internet connecion, or else your updates will take forever to download.
One important issue is to make sure you perform regular backups of the data on the SD memory card. If your card is lost or the data becomes corrupted, if you dont have a backup, you will have to buy your maps again!
I experienced this, and asked Tom Tom for help, they referred me to several website help articles explaining how to recover the data, but none worked and they refused to send me a CD of the map data. Fortunately after a lot of attempts I managed to reformat my memory card, manually copy the map data back on to the card and get it to work again.
Also be aware that to switch the unit on, you need to hold the power button down for 5 seconds. If the battery charge is low it can take several attempts to switch on. My unit now has to be charged for 5 minutes before it will switch on at all...
The new TomTom ONE 3RD EDITION is the answer for drivers who want a portable navigation device that is easy to use, has the latest maps and technologies and is affordable.
The new TomTom ONE 3RD EDITION combines ease of use, portability, TomTom's patented touch screen technology and award winning software. It also features a sleek lightweight design and is ultra compact so that users can easily carry it to and from their cars.
The improved user interface provides options for customizing the navigation screen, provides easier access to overall functionality and quicker search tools.
Unique TomTom Map Share technology and most accurate maps Just as users of the recently launched new TomTom GO range, users of the new TomTom ONE 3rd EDITION can easily and instantly improve their own maps with TomTom Map Share. TomTom Map Share is a proprietary map improvement technology unique to TomTom, which enables users to respond in real time to changes in the road network and correct the maps on their TomTom devices accordingly. Thanks to the smart user interface, it is easy to make improvements, such as to mark blocked or unblocked streets, reverse one-way traffic or insert new street names, which will instantly take effect.
Roads are continually changing. This feature gives TomTom users the option to capture these changes on their devices in-between map releases and keep their data as current as they wish. These changes allow the community of TomTom Map Share users to always have the most up-to-date maps and inside local knowledge at their fingertips.
TomTom has the world's largest satellite navigation community with more than 10 million users. TomTom Map Share users can share their improvements with each other easily through TomTom HOME, TomTom's free software application that enables users to manage, download, store and transfer content from their computer (PC/MAC) onto their TomTom device. When it comes to sharing improvements, users can choose between downloading all reported map improvements or only accepting map improvements verified by a TomTom team of experts to guarantee timeliness and validity.
The new TomTom ONE 3RD EDITION quickly recalculates the route of the driver, in case he wants to deviate from it or a roadblock occurs. The 'Find Alternative' option adds maximum flexibility for the driver in planning his route. Also, current street names can be displayed while traveling.
The recently launched new TomTom GO range and the new TomTom ONE 3RD EDITION come with uniquely designed safety features so drivers always have direct access to extensive safety and roadside assistance information wherever they go. The extensive "Help Me!" menu includes information such as the way to the nearest hospital, car maintenance information and first aid instructions. The safety option screen is fully customizable allowing users to set warnings for speed, traffic, restricted zones, schools, and more.
With the new TomTom ONE 3RD EDITION, drivers can choose from a host of smart extras, making sure the destination is reached in a relaxed and enjoyable way. Drivers now can have easy access to traffic information with the optional RDS-TMC traffic antenna accessory. Also, a number of personalization options, such as warnings, special navigation voices, POIs and more can be downloaded via TomTom HOME.