Tom Tom One
By Ian Urie
I finally decided to get a Sat Nav for the car.
I had a read online from various sites comparing different units and settled on the TomTom One Regional.
Why use a Sat Nav , you may ask?
Well, for a kick off, they now show speed cameras on your route.
You just never know (in Labour's car hating government) when this will come in handy.
So what do you get for your money?
The Regional version is the V2 model of the TomTom One.
The V2 is distinguished by being smaller and slimmer without all the rounded edges.
See below for a picture of the older version.
The unit comes with a mount which is basically a holder for the TomTom with a sucker on the end to attach to the windscreen (for instance).
It also comes with a 12v charger which plugs into your car via an accessory socket or cigarette lighter socket.
Of course, all this hardware is useless without the SD memory card that is also inside the box.
The memory card fits into the TomTom and contains the maps, voices, POIs etc.
Software for TomTom Home utility and manual is also provided on a CD.
Finishing off there's documentation on how to install the little devil and a USB lead to connect the unit to your computer.
How long does it take to set up the TomTom?
I could ask "How long does it take to empty the box", because it's roughly the same amount of time.
Empty the box, plug in the memory card and hit the ON button on the top of the unit.
That's it, job done.
Of course, you could extend the time by fitting the mount, plugging in the charger lead, but why wait.
TomTom has become the market leader by providing a unit that is virtually idiot proof.
Switch on the unit and it shows the splashscreen, then a general map while it locates your position. This can take up to 30 seconds.
Tap the screen once and select "Go To", enter a postcode, or an address and it computes the route.
It can't get any simpler than this.
TomTom also provide their HOME software which connects to the internet and checks for any updates to your software, maps, POIs, voices.
Luckily HOME works under Wine on Linux as well as Windows. Saves me rebooting.
Their HOME software will effortlessly install new software for you and make backups , in case you do manage to destroy the setup.
To try and make it more interesting, they've even added a variety of "voices", just in case you don't like the default.
Various websites will allow you to either buy or download other voices.
I should mention PocketGPSWorld This is where you can download the safety camera database files for a small fee.
Either subscribe for a year or a month.
TomTom provides their own safety camera database but PocketGPSWorld is the definitive one.
Searching the Net will give loads of sites that provide POIs as well. These are points of interest.
The speed camera files are used as POIs but you will also find ones that locate ATMs for you, petrol stations, libraries, in fact, much of anything.
As for using the TomTom, it's brilliant.
The display shows the distance to your next manoever, shows what the next manoever is,
tells you how long to your destination, the current time, your speed, a 3d representation of your route,
any POIs you've got checked to show you, what speed you are doing, the distance to your destination,
audible alerts to speed cameras, automatically adjusts the time before a manoever that it warns you by the speed you are doing,
just to mention the things that I can think of straightaway.
How about driving somewhere scenic?
TomTom (and other sites) will give you those routes to download.
This little unit is a veritable treasure trove.
You will soon wonder how you whiled away the time on a journey before you had it.
The TomTom has a crystal clear picture on its touchscreen, although I'd recommend buying a screen protector
and a carry case if you intend to constantly disconnect and reconnect it.
Connecting the unit to your computer with the usb lead will also charge the unit.
I haven't even mentioned the fact that it has bluetooth built in.
Most modern mobiles have bluetooth nowadays and TomTom provides a subscription service
with traffic alerts which come to your phone and are taken in to the TomTom.
Setup, again, is extremely simple.
A traffic alert can allow you to find an alternative route avoiding the holdup.
Finding an alternative is a simple matter of clicking the "find alternative route" button.
See what I mean about idiot proof?
Drive along any motorway at night and you will find out how popular Sat Nav units have become.
All those displays on the windscreens.
Get one, if you don't already have one, and see what you're missing.
I already love this little unit, and now find it indispensible.
I would stress, though, that it isn't infallible.
It is only as good as the latest update to the map.
Speed limits are now altered and this can lead you to a false sense of security.
Similarly, changes in a road layout could catch you out if the map hasn't been updated to show the change.
But, it does help make paper maps a thing of the past.
Check out the TomTom in your local store and see how easy they are.
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