TomTom Start

TomTom Start


TomTom Start – R1399, 139.99 Euro
Its cheep, it’s small and it looks pretty cool. Available in four interchangeable colours, Red, Yellow, Purple, White. The Start is lightweight, has a compact 3.5 inch screen and comes with TomTom’s integrated mount, which from prior experience is the best mount out there. No falling off your windscreen when overtaking at 120kph. It has a new simplified menu that gives easy access to the safety camera database and thousands of Points of Interest. For the money it’s a no brainer.

Still the coolest thing about any TomTom are the different navigator voices available. From Austin Powers to, my personal favorite, John Clease. You can choose from a list of famous individuals to tell you where to go.

TomTom XXL

TomTom XXL


TomTom XXL – R2499, 199 Euro
The XXL has a five-inch touch screen. 5 inches is big – for a navigation device, wink wink – and should really make the XXL a very comfortable device to use. The XXL is surprisingly rather slim and also comes the cool TomTom mounting bracket.

TomTom GO 750

TomTom GO 750


TomTom GO 750 – R2999, 249 Euro
The GO 750 is TomTom’s flagship product. It has an optomised user interface, with menu items like frequent destinations, which the XXL and the Start don’t have. The GO 750 also has a super loud speaker, which ensures you can hear Austin Powers’ directions and hands-free calling, via Bluetooth, that actually works.

Now these all look like great devices and with prices starting at R1399 for the Start, affordable ones to boot.

I just have one issue. All these devices are capable of using TomTom Live services. None of which are available in South Africa.

This is what us Suid-Afrikaaners are missing out on:
Safety Alerts: In Europe, With TomTom Safety Alerts, you get advanced warnings of fixed and mobile speed cameras in real time. In South Africa each TomTom has a database of where the Metro Police like to hide and entrap, woops, I mean trap speeding drivers. The database is not updated on the go. This makes the safety warning a bit less accurate.
HD Traffic: Diverts you around congested areas.
Advanced Lane Guidance: this that tells you what lane you need to be in.
IQ Ruites: Factors in traffic, road-blocks, construction and other nuisances to find the fastest ruite.
Local Search with Google: Taps into Google’s database when searching. This paired with TomTom’s already impressive database of points-of-interest makes for one serious device.
Fuel Prices: Gives you directions to the cheapest petrol. Smart.
Weather: Real time for your current location and your destination.

If you don’t own a navigation device, seriously, stop getting dodgy directions from your mates and get one. TomTom don’t offer their Live Services in South Africa but their competitors, like Garmin, don’t offer anything similar. So we’re pretty much left with who has the best mapping and hardware.

Personally I am a TomTom fan, thats why I own one. I find TomTom offer well rounded devices and services. They tend to re-ruite faster when you have made a mistake and their user interface offers loads of customization options. TomTom have computer software that allows you to download new navigator voices, update maps, upload map corrections and transfer pre-planned ruites to the device. This software is superbly easy to use and is available for both PC’s and Mac’s. That said I know people who are perfectly happy with their Garmins.

It’s a real pity TomTom don’t make their Live Services available in South Africa. It would give them a real leg up on Garmin. I did think that with the 2010 Soccer World Cup, which is only the largest sporting event in the word, they would implement some of these TomTom Live features in our humble African home. But they didn’t, Cool devices though.

  • TomTom IQ Ruites
  • TomTom Advanced Lane Guidance
  • Brendon Ambrose
    Editor

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