TomTom GO 500

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TomTom GO 500

The all TomTom GO has been completely re-designed to put you in control of your drive. Make the smartest driving decisions by knowing precisely what i...

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91% positive

13 reviews from the community

Review of "TomTom GO 500"

published 21/09/2005 | holdfast
Member since : 02/04/2004
Reviews : 7
Members who trust : 1
About me :
Excellent
Pro Its GPS Navigation with Traffic Info and much more
Cons Tom Tom need to keep the list of compatible mobile phones up to date
very helpful
Reliability
Ease of Use
Look & Feel
Durability & Robustness
Battery life

"The GPS Device with all the bells and whistles"

Tom Tom 500

How can a mere mortal such as I write a review on a product such as this, well I shall try. I feel it incumbent upon me to advise you dear reader that I may from time to time appear to wonder off into the realms of fantasy. Fear not, it does what it says on the box and it's not fantasy.

Having been the proud owner of what is now called and referred to as the Tom Tom Classic, the first of this type of device that Tom Tom produced. I eagerly awaited the introduction of the new Tom Tom range. The 300, 500 and 700.

Having read the advance descriptions of the range I settled on the Tom Tom 500 for reasons I will give later. I purchased the Tom Tom 500 from Amazon, I placed an advance order for the product and had to wait 2 months for delivery. The problems with delivery not only affected Amazon but all other suppliers, it appeared that demand outstripped supply. I paid £476, from what I can see, if you shop around you should be able to pick one up for just under £450.

I don't want to get into listing the specifications, as this information can be read at your leisure on the Tom Tom web site. I would however like to give you my own view of this device and an explanation of its functions and use. I am by trade a Chauffeur, and have been for the past 6 years following my retirement from the Police.

What do you get for your money, well the box contains the following:-

The Tom Tom Go 500 unit, it has a touch sensitive screen, an on/off button, a button to release it from the docking cradle and a memory card slot.
An SD card with pre installed maps of the UK region together with the main roads of the rest of Europe
A suction mount cradle so you fix the device to the windscreen
A DC power lead, so you can power the unit from the cigarette lighter socket in your vehicle.
A carry case
USB Cable to connect to your computer.
An AC adapter so you can charge the unit when not in your vehicle.
A quick start guide and an installation poster.

You will find that when you take it out of the box there should be enough of a charge in the unit to switch it on power it up, insert the SD card, run outside and shout "By eck it knows where I am" . I know like most men the last thing we do is read the instructions. What you should do is connect the AC power cable and leave it on charge for hours on end.

Personally I suggest putting the mount together, get in your vehicle and find a suitable place to site the unit, I have my TT500 in the centre of the windscreen just above the dashboard, it's not restricting my vision and it can be adjusted easily. You will find that it will take a few hours of driving for you to become accustomed to it.

The first time you use it may take some time to work out where it is, lets face it, its been stuck in a box, how would you feel if it was you. After that it only takes a few seconds to power up. The TT500 starts by displaying the navigation view, this is a map view and it will appear grey, that is until it gets a fix on the satellites then the map is in full colour. The view is what is referred to as 3D, you are looking at the road ahead as if you where flying 20' above the road, your position is indicated by a blue arrow-head. Now comes the hard bit, driving, try not to stare at the screen as you will find that bends in the road and other traffic may impede your progress, this is normally referred to as "Being involved in a road traffic accident". OK we have now driven round the block, let's go somewhere. Touch the screen and up comes main menu 1 of 3, select Navigate to.., Now you have the option to type in the name of the town or city, select the town or city you are going to, you will then be given the street, again type to the street name, select the street and up comes House no type in house number, select "Done" You should now have a route summary, select done again and the map appears if by magic with the route highlighted now you are off and running.

You can also navigate to Points of Interest, the unit has locations of Bank Cash machines, Post Offices, Hotels, Car Parks and loads more, so if your in a town running low on fuel just go to points of interest and it will show you the nearest Garage. Better still you can create your own together with Favorite Locations.

Well that's the basics, really you should be reading the instructions and not relying on me to talk you through it, there are voice instructions, this is particularly good if you are driving through a town or city you have never been to before, lets face it you don't want to be looking at the screen to work out when you should turn left or right, there are a number of options regarding voice instructions Male of Female, I prefer the female, she never gets upset if you make a wrong turning, the unit just re-calculates the route to put you back on track.

Now for the bit that puts the Tom Tom 500 ahead of the competition. The TT500 is Bluetooth enabled, so you can pair the unit with your mobile phone provided it also has Bluetooth. This will make the TT500 a hands free unit as well as a navigation device. The TT500 does hold the settings for most Bluetooth enabled phones, but if yours is not on the list it is still possible to manually connect non listed phones, I know as my phone is not listed. It does not end there, there is another function its called "Traffic" using Bluetooth and GPRS the Traffic function when enabled, will periodically download traffic information and warn you of any accidents, road works etc on your route. This is a subscription service, there is a 30 day free trial, try it you will love it. The first time I used it I was about to set off on a short journey from my home to the local airport, some 7 miles away, yes I know the way but I thought I would try it. The unit displayed the route as normal, then I noticed it flash the word re-routing, the unit re-calculated the route and sent me a different way, some 3 miles longer than the usual route. At the same time my local radio broadcast a traffic report saying that there was a road traffic accident on my original route with 3 miles of slow moving traffic, so you could say I was a happy chappy, I was able to avoid the accident.

Is that it then you may ask, No. You can download weather reports of your destination, additional applications such as extra voices so you can have a wider choice, you can even get John Cleese to give you instructions.

I get the impression that Tom Tom has tried to Future Proof this range as best as possible it is very simple to upgrade the software via your home PC. I did not get all the functions going on the first day, take your time and get used to the unit first, you will not be disappointed.

As I have said you will have to register with the Tom Tom web site in order to have access to all of the functions some you may need some you may not. They do have Speed Camera points of interest available, this is also a subscription service, I am currently trying this out however there is a Tom Tom user web site that is independent of Tom Tom called "mytomtomgo" I would suggest you try this out as they give tips and info on using all Tom Tom devices and will also point you to sites giving FREE Speed Camera Points of interest.

I chose the Tom Tom 500 as I had additional maps for the USA that I used on the Tom Tom Classic so I should be able to use them on the TT500, and also the price was in the area I could afford.

With the popularity of GPS navigation devices in motor vehicles, there has been an increase in thefts, if you have such a device don't just unhook the unit from the cradle when you park up take the cradle off the window also, as by leaving the cradle in position this indicates to a thief that the unit will most likely be hidden in the glove box or under the seat

No doubt some people will find faults on things such as mapping errors (they appear in paper based maps also) but Tom Tom do appear to be trying to constantly improve the service they offer.

I hope that this account will be of some use to anyone considering the purchase of the Tom Tom 500, I am certainly impressed with the device.

If you find this review helpfull please please let me know, I would be interested in any comments

Happy Trails Folks

Mike


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This review was read 11459 times and was rated at
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Comments on this review

  • thuha published 01/04/2006
    Excellent review! =)
  • trumo published 17/03/2006
    ...Jon Cleese's voice is hilarious! Good review.
  • mr-zeeman published 06/11/2005
    Well personally I thought that was an excellent review ... well organised, covered all the salient points, and was easy enough for even a non-gadgeteer to understand. Unfortunately I don't have a car ... but if I did, this would be a definite *must have* accessory. (I'd like mine to speak with a Jeremy Irons voice though). Cheers, Paula.
  • Did you find this review interesting? Do you have any questions? Sign into your Ciao account to leave the author a comment. Log in

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Product Information : TomTom GO 500

Manufacturer's product description

The all TomTom GO has been completely re-designed to put you in control of your drive. Make the smartest driving decisions by knowing precisely what is going on around you and what lies ahead.

Product Details

Manufacturer: TomTom

USB: Yes, No

Monitor Type: Fixed Monitor

Monitor Size in Inches: 4

Monitor Format: 4:3 Monitor, 16:9 Monitor

Traffic Message Channel (TMC): without Traffic Message Channel

Category: Portable Devices Dedicated For Navigation, Portable Navigation Device

Bluetooth: Yes

MP3 Playback: No

Touchscreen: with Touchscreen, 2-Point Touch, 1-Point Touch

Map Storage Medium: On Board Memory Card

Voice Control: without Voice Control

Telephone Included: Via External Device, No

Internet Connectivity: Via External Device, Yes, No

CD Player / Recorder: without CD Player / Recorder

MD Player / Recorder: No

Type of Memory Card: without

FM Tuner: No

Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB): No

Memory Stick: No

Multimedia Card: No

Secure Digital Card: Yes

Smart Media Card: No

Compact Flash Card: No

On Demand Map Access: No

TV-Tuner: No

DVD Player / Recorder: without DVD Player

3D Elevation Mode: No

3D Landmarks: Yes, No

Traffic Message Channel: Yes, No

Map Coverage: Single continent, Single countries

Map Provider: TomTom Maps, geosmart

EAN: 0636926062800, 0636926066020

iPod Control: No

Text-to-Speech: Yes, No

Pedestrian Mode: Yes, No

Lane Assistant: Yes, No

Reality View: Yes, No

Map Sharing: Yes, No

Screen Size in Inches: 5, 3.5

Application: Car

Preloaded Maps: Great Britain, France, Africa, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland

Weight: 0.3 kg, 229 g, 235 g

Dimensions (WxDxH): 11.4 cm x 5.8 cm x 9.1 cm, 14.5 cm x 2 cm x 9 cm, 14.45 cm x 2.22 cm x 9.05 cm, 14.46 cm x 2.04 cm x 9.01 cm

Product Description: TomTom GO 500 - GPS receiver, TomTom GO 500 - Traffic Europe - GPS receiver

Product Type: GPS receiver

Voice: Navigation instructions, Navigation instructions, street name announcement, Navigation instructions, street name announcement, voice command recognition

Receiver: 12 channel

Card Reader: SD Memory Card, Micro SD Card

Included Software: TomTom GO Great Britain

Internal Memory: 32 MB flash, Flash

Interface: USB, USB, Bluetooth

Touch Screen: Yes

Display: 3.5" colour - 320 x 240, 5" colour - 480 x 272 - widescreen, 5" colour widescreen

Recommended Use: Automotive

Traffic: TomTom Traffic, TMC (Traffic Message Channel), TomTom Traffic

Speed Camera Warning: Yes

Spoken Navigation: Danish, Hungarian, Czech, Croatian, Slovenian, Slovak, Flemish, English, German, French, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Polish, Finnish, Swedish, Russian, Spanish, Dutch, Greek, Turkish, Bulgarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Serbian, Romanian, Catalan, Afrikaans, UK English

Functions & Services: Lane Assistant, Lane Assistant, Point Of Interest (POI)

Included Accessories: Magnetic mount, USB car charger, USB cable

Display

Resolution: 320 x 240, 480 x 272

Diagonal Size: 3.5", 5" - widescreen

Type: LCD - colour - touch screen, TFT - colour - touch screen

Menu Language: Danish, Hungarian, Czech, Croatian, Slovenian, Indonesian, Thai, Slovak, Flemish, Chinese (traditional), Chinese (simplified), Brazilian Portuguese, English, German, French, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Polish, Finnish, Swedish, Russian, Spanish, Dutch, Greek, Turkish, Bulgarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Catalan, Malay, Spanish (Neutral), Afrikaans, UK English

Dimensions & Weight

Weight: 0.3 kg, 229 g, 235 g

Height: 9.1 cm, 9 cm, 9.05 cm, 9.01 cm

Depth: 5.8 cm, 2 cm, 2.22 cm, 2.04 cm

Width: 11.4 cm, 14.5 cm, 14.45 cm, 14.46 cm

Miscellaneous

Included Accessories: PC cable, car power adapter, mounting bracket, carrying case, AC power adaptor, SD Card

Battery

Run Time (Up To): 4 hours, 2 hours

Type: Lithium Ion

Navigation

Trip Computer: Quickest route, avoid toll roads, fast/short route

General

Preloaded Maps: Great Britain, France, Africa, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland

MPN: 1D00.560, 1FA5.002.04, 1FA5.013.00, 1FA5.002.03, 1D00.550, 1FA5.002.00, 1FA5.075.00, 1FA5.002.08, 1FA5.002.02, 1FA5.002.10, TOM111146, 1FA5.002.09

Product Type: GPS receiver

Features: Optional external GPS aerial connection, TomTom PLUS ready, hands-free calling via Bluetooth, TomTom PLUS ready (via Bluetooth)

Internal Memory: 32 MB flash, Flash

Aerial: Built-in

Included Software: TomTom GO Great Britain

Voice: Navigation instructions, Navigation instructions, street name announcement, Navigation instructions, street name announcement, voice command recognition

Interface: USB, USB, Bluetooth

Card Reader: SD Memory Card, Micro SD Card

Receiver: 12 channel

Recommended Use: Automotive

Functions & Services: Lane Assistant, Lane Assistant, Point Of Interest (POI)

Traffic: TomTom Traffic, TMC (Traffic Message Channel), TomTom Traffic

Speed Camera Warning: Yes

Spoken Navigation: Danish, Hungarian, Czech, Croatian, Slovenian, Slovak, Flemish, English, German, French, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Polish, Finnish, Swedish, Russian, Spanish, Dutch, Greek, Turkish, Bulgarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Serbian, Romanian, Catalan, Afrikaans, UK English

Connections

Interfaces: USB ¦ Bluetooth

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Listed on Ciao since: 02/10/2005