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TomTom 500

best sat nav available is.....? tomtom? everyone i know raves about tomtom. we bought one for work which i played with personally and was v impressed but i havnt played with any others.... however i cannot imagine anything else doing it better than the tomtom

it appears as a mass sotrage device (without installing any software/drivers) so updates are download, and unpack it straight to G:\maps etc which i love

questions: can you update via usb? are there any runnign costs? update costs? regestration costs? can you move them from car to car with no hassle and can you use it as a handheld and use it for on-foot navigation?

update via usb (as i said above) absolutely brilliant and simple updates consist of updates to the map and/or foreign maps if going abroad and are free. other optional updates are a) speed cameras b) tourist spots and these you do pay for, map updates are free. all updates are zip file downloads which you unpack straight to drive.

letter when you register with their site, you get a nice account manager which tells you which updates you are subscribed to. nice touch. no other running costs no registration cost (unless you want speed cameras etc).

the attachment mechanism is the best i have ever seen. it uses a sucker pad about the diameter of the bottom of a pint glass BUT they have a slidy plastic lever so that you can force the air out rather than relying on saliva. it was so strong i could not pull it off a computer monitor. it 'quick releases' by just shifting the plastic lever. the holder/sucker unit is all one unit so moving from car to car is very easy. the tomtom 'snaps' on to a clippy mechanism (which i thought was the worst part) but still quite strong and easy to do.

the tomtom unit has internal battery which lasts quite a while so you can take it on foot albeit it is quite a bulky unit not really suitable for pocket but briefcase or rucksack would be fine. comes with a fabric zippy case for protection. nice touch. does not come with an ac power adapter so recharges from cigareette lighter however we bought a multi adapter from argos for 12.

interface is touch screen and v v easy to use. also has bluetooth so you can pair with a mobile phone and get updates over gprs. the pairing went flawlessyly and the updates worked a treat (this is really only usefull for updating speed camera data before a journey if you cant be arsed to plug into laptop).

it was one of the best made/designed devices i have seen in a long while and other than being a bit bulky i cant imagine any other brand would work as well. when buying, i think the upper end models are much more expensive for features that really arnt worth the extra money. i cant imagine them impriving what they have done as a sat nav with the tomtom. like its one of those things that does exactly what you want from the getgo.

i really gave it a good play when we got one. it was under the class of "it works within 10 seconds so its worth playing with it for an hour or 2" :)

http://www.tomtom.com/products/category.php?ID=0&Language=1

Updated July 09 2006 21:49:55.

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