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★★★★☆

“I haven't bought the TomTom One but I've borrowed my...”

Written on: 02/10/2006 by Sam Spade (2 reviews written)

Good Points
User friendly interface.
Clear understandable maps.
Clear vocal instructions.

Bad Points
Suggests you perform U-turns in dense traffic.
Doesn't realise a car park might be the nearest place to a postcode you can get.

General Comments
I haven't bought the TomTom One but I've borrowed my Dad's for a trip I'm about to take. In the meantime, I thought I'd have a play with it. The interface is so easy to use I didn't even need to look at the instructions. I didn't borrow the CD so I cannot comment on the computer related stuff, downloading maps, etc. I performed demo routes which were impressive. Then I took it out with me on familiar routes to see what would happen.



Understandably, the maps are not always current, given that roads can change so much but because I was familiar with the area, this didn't faze me. However, it would have had I been driving somewhere unfamiliar. It left me wondering whether you can download map updates?



The voice was set to the British female, Jane. There's a British male option to choose from (Tim). There were others but they were greyed out and needed either the CD or a download.



The 'live' experience was funny. What is it with things that talk to you? Does anyone else talk back to it? Jane annoyed me sometimes. I heard her clearly when she told me where to go next and I'd respond with 'Ok' but she doesn't listen and repeated herself several times. In the end, I'd snap, "Alright!"



If you use the postcode for a route, be warned if you're going to a retail park. The navigator wants to take you 'to the door' and is quite insistent. I ended up yelling at Jane that I was in a car park and it was as close as I could get.



Then she tried to take me a route I didn't like so I proceeded to go where I wanted to and ignore her instructions. She told me to perform a U-turn. She obviously couldn't see the traffic like I could! There was no way I was performing a U-turn there! She was insistent that I use the next roundabout to go back the other way but I was happy to continue in the direction I was going as I had an alternative route planned out in my head already. I thought these Sat Navs re-routed you to your destination once they picked up that you were going in a different direction to their intended route?



Other than getting snappy with Jane, which I'll put down to PMS, I think it's a great gadget. If you're anything like me and get car sickness, I sometimes have difficulty navigating my husband, if we get lost, because reading a map on my knee makes me ill. I usually preplan my route (I have a good memory), but of course, I cannot take into account diversions until I'm upon them and I feel a Sat Nav would better cope with the spontaneity of such changes.