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Tom Tom Go 930 Review – Top of the TomTom Range

The TomTom Go 930 is the top of the range portable SatNav model in the TomTom arsenal. The Go 930 unit looks much the same as the Go 730 model initially, perhaps a little slimmer and slight darker coloured casings, when you power the unit up even the initial 480 x 272 resolution screen looks just the same. However the TomTom Go 930 does have some tricks up its sleeve with some high tech features that are not present in the Go 730 or TomTom One models.


One of the unique features of the Go 930 is the fact that it contains maps for virtually the whole world preloaded into the unit – Europe, USA, Russia and beyond. However many industry pundits play down this feature as how many of us travel with any regularity outside Europe or USA/Canada? However we should not underestimate the advantages this may have for individuals who do travel worldwide, for them this could be an invaluable bonus.

A Bluetooth remote control is also standard on the TomTom Go 930 (available as an optional extra on the rest of the TomTom range from Go 530 up), this allows full control of the Go 930 unit from a compact remote. This avoids having to tap instructions into unit directly and risking the unit becoming detached from windscreen.

TMC traffic information is also standard on the TomTom Go 930 (once again a cost option on the other units in the range). TMC is a technology for delivering traffic and travel information (such as up to date weather reports) to drivers. It is normally transmitted using the FM radio RDS system, but can also be transmitted on DAB/satellite radio. TMC allows the delivery of accurate, timely and relevant traffic information without interrupting radio broadcasts. When this data is integrated directly into the TomTom Go 930, alternative routes are suggested to avoid traffic jams.

This real time data from TMC systems, in conjunction with TomTom’s IQ Routes, means Go 930 users will benefit from intelligent alternative routes using real time traffic data and real world information on average speed along those routes. The result – less frustration , less time wasted and better economy.

These additions aside, the Go930 has all the same advantages as the rest of the popular Tomtom range, namely – fast satellite acquisition, rapid route calculations, clear, large screen with easy to follow graphics, loud rear speaker and of course a road safety camera database installed as standard and updated via the TomTom “Home” software on your PC or Mac.

The TomTom Go 930 unit feels reassuringly solid and well built, measuring 118 x 83x 24mm and weighing just 220g, the Go 930 is small enough to be slipped into pockets and used on foot where the internal battery will provide power for up to 5 hours.


TomTom Go 730 Review

There is a lot more to the latest TomTom Go 730 than just a method of finding a route from A to B. The Go 730 has many cool features such as “text to speech” (which means the TomTom Go 730 can actually read maps, so instead of “take next left” you get ” take next left and turn into church street”), literally millions points of interest (POI’s), built-in FM transmitter, TomTom’s Map Share technology, Enhanced Positioning Technology (for continuous navigation when satellite signals are lost when travelling through tunnels etc, IQ Routes (which according to TomTom – “Enables collection of anonymous usage statistics”) and all the usual TomTom virtues such as ease of use and the most accurate and up to date maps in the business.


The TomTom Go 730 comes in two versions, basically you can have it with or without TMC traffic information facility (if you choose the version without TMC you will save around £11). TMC is a specific application of the Radio Data System (RDS) on FM radio used for delivering real-time traffic information. Data messages are received by a TMC-equipped navigation device  and are presented to the driver in a variety of ways.

The clever IQ Routes function on the TomTom Go 730 uses information collated by TomTom from users automatically providing the average traffic speed across many routes, TomTom then uses this information to plan alternative and hopefully faster routes. This system results in more accurate route selection than the majority of satellite navigation units on the market as the data used is actual traffic speeds (with data for all times of the day including rush hour) as opposed to estimates based on road type and speed limits which is the data used by many competitors.

As with other TomTom units, satellite lock is incredibly quick and route calculation is swift too. Other features included on the TomTom Go 730 include voice recognition for destination input and reading aloud of SMS messages, onboard music player and FM transmitter allowing you to play music through car stereo system and lane assistance feature covering dual-carriageways, major A-roads and motorways.

There really is little negative to say about the TomTom Go 730, it does lack some of the features found on the range topping Go 930 model, such as Bluetooth remote control and worldwide maps, however the Go 930 is considerably more expensive. The Go 730 is more expensive than the TomTom One range, but it does have many extra features. In the £200-£250 price range the TomTom Go 730 is probably the class leader. A fantastic SatNav unit with all the features and applications you will ever need, the Go730 may be the best compromise between price and features in the TomTom range!


TomTom GO 530 Review

The new TomTom GO 530 (replacing the current TomTom GO 520) has a new upmarket and premium look, expanded maps coverage and includes some cool new features such as the IQ Routes technology ( calculates your routes based on real world measurements of speeds on actual routes) and Advanced Lane Guidance to help you navigate complicated junctions. The Go 530 (along with the TomTom Go 730 + TomTom Go 930) offers more in the way of advanced technology and features over the TomTom One or even TomTom One XL.


One of the coolest features of the TomTom range has to be the TomTom MapShare technology. Allowing users to create data to correct maps and then uploading this data for integration in next update is a genius plan. Essentially TomTom has thousands of users travelling up and down the Country inputting data for them, free! As a result the TomTom maps are always more up to date than any of their competitors.

Another feature offered on the TomTom GO 530 is the new TomTom High Definition Traffic Receiver which allows users to recieve the latest HD traffic information covering motorways and secondary roads.

The large 4.3 inch touch screen uses the latest generation of Tomtom icons with updated user interface which makes getting to your destination even easier, and if typing address or postcode seems like too much trouble, the TomTom GO 530 will accept voice address input – simply announce the address of your destination!

Safety is a priority with the TomTom GO 530, with enhanced hands free calling allowing drivers to keep there eyes on the road when making calls, clear voice instructions for route guidance and even SMS messages can be read aloud using text to speech software. Finally the “Help me” function on the TomTom GO 530 allows users to get direct access to local emergency services and roadside assistance.

The TomTom GO 530 has its own built-in speaker, however most users will take advantage of the integrated FM transmitter which can broadcast navigation instructions through your car stereo system. Although the TomTom GO 530 comes wih door to door maps of the UK preloaded, it is always a good idea to update the unit immediately after purchase to ensure everything is up to date – particularly the safety camera database which provides drivers with visual and audible warnings when approaching cameras on your route.

Initially the feedback from users on the usefulness of the IQ Routes technology was less than enthusiastic, however the database continues to grow at the rate of over half a billion measurements per day, so is becoming exponentially more accurate.

The GO 530 series features another first from TomTom, the “Advanced Lane Guidance” system. This system gives drivers a more realistic view and enhanced representation of the surroundings, which means navigating difficult junctions becomes easier than ever before.


TomTom One XL V2 Review

The TomTom One XL V2 has a large 4.3 inch full TFT colour LCD touch sensitive (480 x 272 pixels, 64.000 colours) wide screen, this helps you to see more without taking you eyes of the road and the sensitive touch screen is a pleasure to use. With a new EasyPort mount which folds up neatly so the TomTom One XL V2 navigation package can easily fit into your pocket, purse or bag. Being Plug & Go, the XL V2 couldn’t be simpler to use, simply plugin and tap the screen to start using the intuitive touchscreen interface.


Featuring the innovative “MapShare” technology from TomTom, the One XL V2 allows you to make corrections to your own map and benefit from corrections made by thousands of TomTom users every day – free! This ensures all maps are being continually updated to reflect new roads, roadworks, congestion charges, tolls and road safety camera information. Using TMC technology, your routing can be optimised for the traffic conditions ahead. TomTom One XL V2 users also
benefit from pre-installed safety camera alert system helping you to drive safely, more responsibility and to avoid traffic fines and points on your license!

TomTom GPS systems use QuickGPSfix to speed up the time it takes to fix your GPS position, thereby helping you to save time and drive off more quickly. Additionally You can find local emergency service information in the “Helpme” menu which will display everything from hospitals to vehicle roadside assistance companies. A “Locate Me” button is also provided which will allow emergency services to locate you quickly.

The TomTom One XL V2 is available in regional (UK) version or European version. The regional version is the cheaper of the two by around £30. Both versions come with a 12/24 volt car charger, software CD, the car mount and a USB cable. This V2 version of the TomTom One XL will charge while updating via your PC while connected with provided USB cable, however in practice this takes forever and a home charging adaptor would be a useful addition to the retail pack. The only other real criticism is due to the increased size of the screen, the unit is less compact than the cheaper TomTom One and for some will not seem as good value. For others that fantastic widescreen will be more than worth it.

The update software is compatible with Windows and Mac OS X 10.3 and above. Automatic day/night modes ensure screen is always clear and readable, and car speed linked volume and large speaker allows you to listen to your favourite tunes while still being able to hear route guidance.

There are no picture viewers, MP3 or video players integrated into the TomTom One XL V2, this unit is all about navigation, not multimedia. In this respect the TomTom One unit stands head and shoulders above the competitors.


TomTom One XL V1 Satellite Navigation Review

The TomTom One XL V1 has now been superseded by the V2 version, however the main difference between the V1 and V2 versions is that the V2 will charge from USB cable whereas the V1 will not ( the new version is also slimmer and lighter but functions are the same). This makes the Xl V1 something of a bargain if you can still find one in stock at a retailer or on-line outlet, they can be picked up for way less than £150 and you can simply download latest maps and updates and you are good to go! For instance the V1 navigation software works with address OR postcode, unlike some of the older models from TomTom, so you might not have the absolute latest model but you will have a very capable and cheap SatNav unit with lots of features.


The TomTom One XL V1 unit is completely Plug & Go, it works straight out of the box with no complicated set up procedures. With large 4.3″ high quality touch screen the maps are clear and using the menu is easy with well spaced menu and icons. The TomTom One XL V1 is light and easy to handle, weighing just 209 grams. Should you encounter traffic jams the TomTom One XL V1 will recalculate routes quickly and choose from the following routes: quickest, shortest,
and avoiding tolls and congestion charging areas.

The TomTom One XL V1 has day and night modes and displays crystal clear graphics in 2D or 3D modes. Choose from 36 user languages and millions of points of interest (POI) such as petrol stations, restaurants, hotels, museums, zoos etc. With maps covering Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Ireland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican and of course the
United Kingdom.

The “XL” part of the name comes from the fact that this is essentially the same as the popular TomTom One model but with larger screen. The ONE XL also has a pre-installed database of safety camera (speed camera) locations throughout the UK. This database, in conjunction with the TomTom software will alert you when there is a fixed safety camera on your route.

A minor criticism is that the length of the charging cable (which plugs into cigarette lighter socket) is too short for some cars. For instance on many vehicles there is not enough slack to route cable under carpets or behind trims, you simply have to have the cable trailing across dashboard/steering wheel which looks clumsy. The windscreen attachment is secure, display great, maps always up to date and directions seem to be accurate around 99% of the time – a bargain (if you can still find one!)

Unfortunately there are very few online retailers that stock the V1 and so please find the prices for the V2 XL TomTom below:


TomTom One V4 Satellite Navigation Review

The TomTom One V4 is a budget SatNav unit with high end features, however, satellite navigation technology has become so readily available in recent years and it’s hard to see how some of the premium brands can compete at the lower end of the market. Many mobile phones now come complete with GPS and maps, navigation software can be purchased for mobiles and PDA’s for less than £100 and even dedicated SatNav units can be purchased for around £100. So where does this leave lowish-end products like the TomTom One V4?


Well, the TomTom V4 really isn’t that cheap. It comes in two versions, the UK only version and the Europe wide version . Both of which retail in the £100-£200 range. This is expensive for a SatNav unit with just a 3.5in screen. So why should we buy the TomTom unit?

Surprisingly the TomTom One V4 feels every bit the quality product that its bigger, more expensive competitors do ( not to mention other TomTom products such as the Go 530, 730 and 930). This is due to the fact that the TomTom One V4 shares the same basic design as the TomTom One XL range, with a larger speaker at the rear of the unit, a better windscreen mount and a slimmer design.

The new windscreen mount is a major improvement, one of the few weaknesses of the previous TomTom One was the push-on windscreen mount, which infuriated drivers by falling off the windscreen into their laps or onto the floor with monotonous regularity! The screen on the TomTom One V4 is clear and address/data entry is really easy (even if you have sausage fingers like mine!). In addition to the touch screen keyboard you can also use it in QWERTY mode.

A POI (places of interest) database is standard on the TomTom One V4 which includes petrol stations, supermarkets, pharmacies, hospitals, doctors, vets etc – invaluable information if you have difficulties in an area you are unfamiliar with.

With TomTom’s excellent home software updating the unit is easy, simply attach to PC with USB cable and run software provided. maps are continually updated by TomTom and their users. Like other models in the TomTom range users can make corrections to any mistakes they may find while driving and upload these corrections to the TomTom database (where they are vetted and double checked before being amended for next update).

Route calculation satellite lock on are achieved quickly and the sound from the enlarged rear speaker is loud and clear. The only real criticism is that there is a small time lag between real-life position and position on the screen, this only becomes a problem in inner cities with many turnings close by. In these situations you have to listen to the spoken instructions or you may miss your turn.

A good satellite navigation unit with big pretensions, perhaps not the best choice in the TomTom range but far from a bad unit.


TomTom One V3 Satellite Navigation Review

Units like the TomTom ONE v3 are the new kids on the block, until very recently there were only really two choices when it came to having satellite navigation in your car. Either you had satellite navigation unit fitted professionally into your car’s dashboard or you cobbled together a DIY job with a PDA connected to a separate GPS receiver and had cables trailing all over the car. Nowadays there are many compact and portable GPS devices which are self contained and the TomTom ONE v3 is definitely worth considering.


With prices falling to well under £200, portable SatNav units are now generally cheaper than PDA’s and are much more suitable for in-car use (it’s not very safe steering with your knees while inputting commands to PDA with stylus!). The rechargeable lithium-ion battery in the TomTom ONE v3 will run for two hours without external power, however when plugged into the vehicle cigarette lighter socket using provided cable, unit will run indefinitely. There is also a USB cable provided for plugging into your PC for map and software updates (unit also gets charged when using USB cable).

The screen on the TomTom ONE v3 is clear and bright – even in direct sunlight. Volume from built-in speakers on the unit is good which means you can still listen to your ICE whilst getting route guidance. The TomTom ONE v3 kit allows the unit to be securely fixed to windscreen, dashboard, air vents and other interior fittings.

The touch display screen is 2.75 inches wide (3.5 inch diagonal)  which is large enough to be user friendly. All icons are easy to select with your fingers and entering data such as addresses or postcodes is also simple. The directions given are for the most part, spot on. However the unit can occassionally be confused between bends in the road and junctions, and sometimes gets confused between mini-roundabouts and crossroads. The maps are up to date and route planning is accurate. Unit seems to pick up GPS signals quickly especially if you update via your PC once a week or so.

One of the best features of the TomTom ONE v3 is the ability to download map corrections made by other users – and also to input your own corrections should you find any errors. This keeps information up to date for all users. The TomTom ONE v3 has another ace up it’s sleeve, it can warn you about nearby speed cameras (safety cameras to be precise!) Other notable features are simple rerouting to avoid traffic jams or other obstacles, 2D and 3D map views, facility to plan routes for walkers and cyclists as well as motorists, “travel via” option and volume control that is linked to the car’s speed.

A top performing SatNav unit at bargain basement price, the TomTom ONE v3 would suit motorists, walkers and cyclists, giving accurate directions, up to date mapping in 3D and even warnings about sped cameras! An excellent bit of kit highly recommended.