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TomTom XXL IQ Routes Europe

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      18.08.2010 20:00
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      A great GPS, recommended.

      Well I bought my lovely satnav in early april, I should start by saying I'm one of those people who before passing my driving test thought sat navs were a waste of time, it was easy to learn roads and plan routes... and then I passed my test and my sense of direction DIDN'T improve.

      So a year after passing I'd saved up some money and started looking at the hundreds of options available. Well I didn't want to pay for a subscription service, which narrowed it down a little. As a market leader, TomTom just became an easy choice, my other thought was Garmin but I preferred the meni system of the TomTom when looking at them in Halfords.

      The reason I settled on this was mainly the larger screen - I wanted one with IQ routes and this just ended up being my favourite. I bought it in halfords where they had an offer on and I got this and the XXL case for £190 (case worth £20), the GPS was £179.99 and any accessories were half price. It was, at that point, the cheapest I could get it anyway, so I bought it there and then.


      When I got home I was pleased to find it had some charge already, and I had a look again at working it, I also plugged it into my PC and got up to date maps and any updates that were available, and tried it out later that day.

      Using it is very easy, the menu screen is very intuitive to use. You set your home address and that is under "Home" to navigate you to. Adding addresses can be done by postcode, street and house number or by city. There are options for day or night lighting and such as well.

      There's also a selection of voices you can use. Directions are clear and volume is adjustable, and it's quite accurate.

      My 1st long journey:
      This was 200 miles to my grandparents about a month after buying it. It was very accurate with the times and useful. The lane guidance feature was a godsend on the M5, made life a lot easier to see where I needed to be.



      Accuracy:
      Like most, probably all GPS systems it isn't perfect. Ocassionally it marks bridleways as roads, sometimes thinks a bend is a turning or a turning is a bend and such. But it's not yet tried to drown me, and considering you should have your eyes on the road and signs anyway, it's not majorly inconveniencing.

      If you don't take the correct turn (either it's closed, you miss it or whatever) it will ask you to turn around but soon reroutes you, and very quickly

      Signal:
      I've lost signal maybe twice in the time I've had it, both long long after my mobile was a no show! And only for a very short time, perhaps a minute tops. Quite impressive really!


      To attach it to your windscreen you have a sucker thing, you press it on then turn a ring which secures it, your GPS then sits on it. It has come unscrewed once but that was due to me, other than that it's been perfect. You can also get mounts for elsewhere in the car.It connects to your car via the cigar lighter socket. The battery life is fantastic even when not plugged in, I left mine on overnight by accident and it still had charge in the morning!


      Specifications from halfords website:
      * 5" - 16:9 wide touchscreen display
      * UK & Ireland street level mapping
      * Full European street level mapping
      * Pre-loaded safety camera data**
      * Advanced Lane guidance - makes difficult junctions easy to navigate
      * IQ Routes - calculates your route based on real average speeds
      * TomTom map share guarantee - update and improve your maps for free*
      * Black finish


      I think that about sums it up - I can't find any particular bad points, it's a very easy piece of equipment to use, and incredibly useful! I suppose to some the price would be the downpoint, but for me I've found it well worth the cost.

      5 stars for this wonderful piece of kit.

      (On ciao under the same name)

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