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I heard good things about the TomTom Go Nav system and decided to buy and test one out from Fry's Electronics. I've been using it in the East Bay the past couple of days.

The interface is excellent and it mounts nicely to the right of the rearview mirror. The silver bezel and black backing match the Murano interior nicely. My only gripes are the screen is highly reflective and it could be a little bigger (the bezel can be removed and replaced with other colors). I've got a PDA screeen protector on it right now. Its has 5 hour battery life, but the company is coming out with kit so it can run through the car.

Does anyone else have experience with this system or their navigation software?

I'm probably gonna return it this weekend so I can get it cheaper online.
 

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Just wanna help
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Thanks for posting ...

I have been lurking in gpspassion forum for a while and saw that TOMTOM gps...
Good to see your install !
You choose a good location: next to tthe rear view mirror.

Just be careful on your choice of mounting location.
The law says that you should not have any screen in driver's line of view, except for GPS nav. Yet, I have heard cops stop vehicles and issue tickets to them because of the non oem gps screen mounting location.
Most of the time, after court, the tickets are dismissed though.

I use IPAQ PDA navigation with IGuidance from navteq software.
http://www.nissanmurano.org/photopost/showgallery.php?cat=500&si=&thumb=1&page=2&sort=1&perpage=12&ppuser=8890&stype=
See my mounting location?
 

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pumice99,

thanks for the info. I have been looking for a portable nav system for a while now. I need something that I can take with me on my frequent business trips and use in rentals as well as in my own cars. The TomTomGO is one of my options. It seems as a good value for money. So if you could write a longer review with pros and cons I would really appreciate it as I believe others on this board.

Thanks
 

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Ditto what Kris said. I want to know more. I'm currently looking at the Garmin, but am looking into other options as well.

Things I'm interested in:

1) Ease of use
2) Ease of installation/removal (like transfering between cars)
3) Features (i.e. learning new streets, avoiding streets/areas, detail of the maps)
4) Accuracy of the maps and your location (does it think you're on a different street, for example)
5) Any problems with GPS signal?
6) What's the thing that you like the BEST about this model?
7) What's the thing that you like the LEAST about this model?

I'd love to hear you answers!

(hey, why bother to do research myself when I can mooch off of others?) :4:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Questions

FYI, the TomTom is the first Nav unit I've tested.

The touchscreen interface on the TomTom is exceptional. My girlfriend,who is not a techie by any means, figured out how to use the navigation menus immediatlely. The sound quality for the unit is also excellent. You can select from three different voices and a variety of foreign languages. There are also numerous color combinations for day and night mode.

I've tested the unit since Monday, and so far the street names and directions have been accurate. Somtimes the voice notification is a litttle late. The voice announces upcoming directions in terms of yards. I would be even better
if the street names were announced. The unit quickly recalculates directions iff you take a wrong turn or choose a different route.

You can quicky change from 2-D to 3-d view. You can zoom in or out by tapping the upper corners of the screen. Tap on the lower right corner of the screen and it will give you an overall map view along with options to view a summary of the directions. You can also shift the overall map view by dragging your finger around on the screen. Tap the lower right corner and it announces which direction to turn next. At the same time, a volume bar appears and you can tap along the bar for the desired volume.

The points of interest menu could use some work. There were a quite few prominent locations that were not listed. However, the points of interest are customizable and you can download lists from various websites.

The unit comes with an adjustable windshield mount and a stationary adhesive mount. You can easily release the unit from the windshield mount by pressing the center button and pulling forward. I've read once you apply the adhesive mount it is extremely hard to remove.

You can charge the unit by plugging the cigarette adapter directly into the unit, or into the mount. Battery life is about 5 hours.

The areas that need improvement are the size of the screen, screen glare and delay in theinitial GPS satelite link. After leaving the garage, it may take a couple of minutes for the unit to link to the satellites. At times, glare washes out the screen and renders it almost useless. A PDA protector helps with the glare.

The main screen lists the street name/ highway you will need to turn from underneath the map. The font for the names need to be much bigger.

Be sure not to buy the TomTom Go+ ,which costs about $200 more. All the maps are supplied in the basic TomTom Go package and you can save money by purchasing your own high capacity SD card.

I've found myself staring at it quite a bit while driving. I had to mash on the brake other day after staring at it a little too long.

I do worry about getting pulled over, but can have the guys at work sign it off for me:D I'm very tempted to take it out on the beat!
 

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Mr. 3 K, 3/3/5. 5K,10/5/7
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Why I like VCOM. GRIP :D
 

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Re: Questions

pumice99 said:
I've found myself staring at it quite a bit while driving. I had to mash on the brake other day after staring at it a bit too long.
That was the case for me for the first couple of days. Then you don't even see it. It is like buying a new watch!!
 

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Awesome. Thanks for all the info! I'll have to look into this.
 

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So I just bought a TomTom GO+ (with the maps fully loaded) to test out for the weekend. I'll take it back to the store next week for a full refund, and if I decide I want it I'll order online for about $400 cheaper... :eek:

So far I like it (just going to/from work today). VERY easy to use, perfect size. But I am seeing why people are saying that it's TOO simplistic. You can't tell it to avoid freeways. You can't set waypoints.

And this is coming from a person that has never used a GPS system before, so I have nothing to compare it to....yet. Tomorrow a co-worker is going to show off his Garmin to me. I can get the 2610 for only $100 more than the TomTom ($715 total at Newegg). The actual size of the screen (square inches) is comparable, although shorter and wider. The maps on the Garmin are supposed to be better, quite a few more options, and there's something to be said about having a solid brand name.

The things that I REALLY like about the TomTom, however, that the Garmin can't really compete with are the following (please correct me if I am wrong):
1) TomTom has built-in speaker, 2610 does not
2) TomTom has battery power for 5 hours, 2610 must be plugged in to work
3) TomTom is very easy to remove from mount (one-handed), Garmin has a quick-release but you pretty much have to use 2 hands
4) TomTom looks nicer (more like a computer screen, I guess, whereas the Garmin looks like a fishfinder that you would have on a boat, maybe it's just that I'm a computer geek)

Anyway, we'll see. I'm driving down to Portland on Saturday. I've plugged in all the places that I'll be going to, and we'll see just how much I like the TomTom. Can I live without the extra features that Garmin provides? Probably. But we'll see how many times I say "I wish it could do...."
 

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Corin said:
Ditto what Kris said. I want to know more. I'm currently looking at the Garmin, but am looking into other options as well.

Things I'm interested in:

1) Ease of use
2) Ease of installation/removal (like transfering between cars)
3) Features (i.e. learning new streets, avoiding streets/areas, detail of the maps)
4) Accuracy of the maps and your location (does it think you're on a different street, for example)
5) Any problems with GPS signal?
6) What's the thing that you like the BEST about this model?
7) What's the thing that you like the LEAST about this model?

I'd love to hear you answers!

(hey, why bother to do research myself when I can mooch off of others?) :4:
I have the Garmin Street Pilot III. It is color and gives turn by yurn voice prompting (you can upload a British voice if you prefer an international flavor)

1. It is relatively easy to use. The only thing I dislike about it in the Murano is the distance from the driver's seat to the center of the dash.

2. Garmin offers and accessory mount that gives complete portability. It is a "bean-bag" base, and it stays put. The cigarette lighter power cord that powers the unit also contains the speaker, so it takes seconds to transfer from vehicle to vehicle.

3. The Garmin contains a non-detailed Base map in it's internal memory. They supply a CD with the purchase that has highly detailed mapping of the US (other countries aqre also available).

The unit makes use of a memory stick type memory module. I believe the current models are coming with a 128 Meg stick. Mine came with a 32 Meg one (bought it in 2002). It also comes with a cable to download to the memory stick from the computer.

Because of the level of detail on the CD mapping, it is not powssible to download the detail of the entire US at one time.

I don't think this has changed. Originally, one "area" out of the 10 areas the cd mapping is divided into can be "unlocked" for free. Additional areas can be purchased for $79.00 and the entire CD can be unlocked for $225.00. Now, it is possible to purchase unit with a comletely "Unlocked" CD at point of purchase.

Keep in mind that the next release of the CD is free, but you have to neogotiate with Garmin on the usage fee. There have been 2 updates that I am aware of since getting mine in 2001. Since the mapping department are constantly trying to keep the detail up to date, this will be an on-going process..

3. The routing program built into the Garmin lets you choose between fastest time and shortest distance or off-road.

Choosing Shortest Distance will yield a route that has the largest number of street changes. Fastest time will generally result in a major road / major highway route.

It is not possible to include all new construction or repair, so the ability to route around road construction is not likely to be available, unless the project is long-term enough to be included in the last update.

The Garmin will track up to 12 satellites. After it locks onto 3, it provides 3-D tracking, which includes elevation. The Satellite screen (selectable from the menu) will show you which sats are being tracked, signal stength, accuracy and elevation and lat-lon.

Accuracy within 15 to 20 feet is quite common. It may put the pointer on the wrong street after a turn, but quickly corrects after a little forward motion. This is more likely to occur in city driving with dense street layout. It will tell you which streets or exits you are approaching.

5. No problems with signal using the supplied antena. It is removable, and an external one can be purchased for outside mounting. I have never had any problems using the supplied antenna.

The menu also allows you to select inside use. That, combined with internal batteries, allows you to take inside to plan future routing.

This is getting longish, so I will be glad to address question in another reply.
 

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TOMTOM and others

I have an IPAQ that I use for GPS NAV with a Belkin GPS receiver and an SD memory card. Is the memory stick for the Garmin proprietary or is just your basic "Sony" memory stick. I know I can now get a 1GB SD card that will pretty much fit the whole US on it. This may also be possible for the Garmin if you can get memory sticks in that size.
 

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Re: TOMTOM and others

pcs15394 said:
I know I can now get a 1GB SD card that will pretty much fit the whole US on it. This may also be possible for the Garmin if you can get memory sticks in that size.
You may want to check to see if your HW/SW will support a memory size that big.
I have a Garmin 2620 that has a harddrive with all of the US maps in it. It was only a bit more expensive than 2610 (I paid $850 at Costco after rebate).

Things I like about it:
1- Very accurate
2- Nice maps
3- Quick responses
4- Bean bag mount is perfect for MO or any car so there is no installation. Just put it on the dash and go!
5- Easy to transport from car to car
6- No need to load any maps

Things I do not like about it:
1- Speaker on the charger and no option for external one
2- A bit of learning curve to operate and use all functions
3- Shape is not suitable for permanent mount
 

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Driving around today in the sunny weather (yes, Seattle does have the occasional break in the clouds) I noticed another thing that I don't like about the TomTom. The LCD screen is NOT friendly to polarized sunglasses.

Sunglasses on, screen disappears. Sunglasses off, screen reappears. Sunglasses on with head tilted to the side, screen looks fine. So, either I need to turn the TomTom on it's side to see it all the time, or I nod my head back and forth like a valley girl in order to see the screen... :rolleyes:

On the Garmin site their products say that the LCD screen is "Compatible with Polarized Sunglasses." Strangely, this might be the final issue that makes up my mind to go Garmin.
 

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Yes i agree...

On the Garmin site their products say that the LCD screen is "Compatible with Polarized Sunglasses." Strangely, this might be the final issue that makes up my mind to go Garmin.
One of the criteria for my gps solution is polarized sunglasses friendly. I have to wear perscription glasses when driving, so polarized perscribed sun glasses is the way to go for daylight.
 

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Well, after my drive down to Portland and back, and having the TomTom route me in very unefficient ways (following a road that ran parallel to the freeway, bypassing 5 separate onramps and telling me to get onto the 6th one is one example) I have decided that this is certainly not the system for me. If anything, I think I'll be getting the Garmin 2610. It's only $100 more (TomTom is $640 online).
 

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Mr. 3 K, 3/3/5. 5K,10/5/7
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Sound like it needs an update, it didn't know the freeway was finished, yet and put you back on where it knew it was complete. Maybe it's still a winner if that was the only negative.
 

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GripperDon said:
Sound like it needs an update, it didn't know the freeway was finished, yet and put you back on where it knew it was complete. Maybe it's still a winner if that was the only negative.
Actually, that wasn't the only thing. And these roads (freeway and connecting roads) have been there for at least 10 years (ever since I can remember, anyway).

I also found myself wishing for additional features. And I've never owned a navigation system before, so it's not like I'm used to anything in particular.

The polarized screen really bothered me.

The refresh rate of the screen was slow (when dragging map around to view other areas, zooming in/out, etc).

It was hard to view street names (it automatically displayed some street names, but it never seemed to show the ones that I wanted)

Didn't tell you what street you were currently on.

The street name to turn onto is in VERY small writing at the bottom of the screen and is very hard to read by simply glancing at it while driving.

I WAS impressed, though, with the following:
Easy to use
Good interface to search addresses/POI/Favorites
Battery life (lasted several hours without being plugged in)
Fast re-routing when you don't follow the instructions
Very clear speaker built in
Very sturdy suction cup mount


All in all, though, I figure that if I'm going to spend several hundred dollars on a navigation system, it had better do what I want. My next step is to try out the Garmin and see if that does more of what I want. If not, then I guess I'll just stick with RandMcNally.com... :)
 

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Might be worth your while to try the VCOm It was great for me. :)
 

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GripperDon said:
Might be worth your while to try the VCOm It was great for me. :)
I don't think that would fit for me. I like the ability to view the maps. And lord help us if my wife needs to use it. She NEEDS something visual... :) (don't tell her I just said that...)
 

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Mum is the word.
 
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