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Review TomTom XL
Mobile Devices
Written by Rondog   
Wednesday, 15 October 2008 05:44
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Review TomTom XL
Opening the Box
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I have recently had to purchase a GPS due to work demands. After wading through countless models, I made my decision.

There are thousands or GPS units on the market today with equally as many futures available on different models. Features of a GPS today include everything from photo viewer, spoken street names, music player, Bluetooth and even an FM transmitter.


Tomtom XL


Just a few short years ago, a basic GPS that would give you directions was upwards of $1,000! Today, $399 (or less if you are prepared to haggle) will get you spoken street names and Bluetooth which two of the most sort after features.


Bluetooth for connectivity and spoken street names for ease of use.


TomTom XL Packaging


The GPS we are looking at today is the Tomtom XL, currently priced at $399 and while it lacks Bluetooth it features spoken street names. My main motivation for purchase was I had to travel to Melbourne to go and visit the museum with my fiancée as well as purchase her a HTC Touch Diamond and a Sony VAIO VGN-CR353P (both of which are reviewed elsewhere on AOA) and I had no idea where to go!



Upon opening the box we are greeted with a simplistic view of the GPS and the user guide. Basic accessories that were included: USB cable, car charger, windscreen mount, user guide and a service guide.


TomTom XL


The new design on the windscreen mount is really quite cool. Simply press to the window and turn the dial to lock, and clip the GPS onto the circular bracket.


TomTom XLTomTom XL


The car charger also worked really well. This may sound strange, but in my car because of the design of the 12V cigarette lighter, not all charging devices work in my car. And in my fiancée’s car, things that don’t work in my car, work in hers and vice versa. I’m happy to report, the Tomtom charger, works in both of our cars.


Next up we’ll look at some of features and how to use.



Talk to text is setup straight out of the box, but only on certain languages. Some city names are pronounced strangely, but you can still understand what it refers too. Volume is speed dependent, the quicker you go, the louder it yells.


To use the device, it is just a matter of touching the screen and tapping what you need to do. IE: Navigate to. You can then type in either a town centre, a street location, cross-roads or even a very comprehensive list of points of interest, including pretty much anything you want. You can also program in your home address, and navigate straight to that at the touch of a button.


Part of the software present on all the Tomtom’s is the ability to correct maps and submit it to the internet for other users. Which means everyone can benefit from everyone elses discoveries.


It also tracks speed via satellite. Which if you look closely in the image below, my speedometer is out by about 2-3km/h.


Another cool feature is itinerary planning; you can program in multiple destinations and it will give you estimated times of arrival based on your departure time.


TomTom XL




While it is not a fully featured unit; it is more the basic variety of GPS currently available on the market. However, for a cheap GPS to give me directions around Melbourne when I’m busy stressing about other cars that are going to hit me. The lack of Bluetooth is not a big issue because Bluetooth headsets can be purchased for about $59 which is not a huge investment, considering you need to pay an extra $100 to get a GPS with built in Bluetooth. If you are in the market for a basic GPS to simply get you from A to B, then the TomTom XL is definitely worth a look, it is by far one of the best investments I ever made.


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