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Introduction: Now I'm not the most tech-savvy of people, nor is my knowledge of GPS systems great as I'm a new driver, but I thought I'd give writing a review for this little wonder a go as it's taken me from South Wales to the North West and back in one piece... and on more than one occasion (and if you've seen me driving, you'd know this was a miracle eg. "Oh my god, was that my turning???" "Argh which lane should I be in???" etc etc :$)
Price and availability: These are widely available and retail at around £150. In my case though, it's a freebie (stolen from the boyfriend) but if I had to buy one, I'd be happy to spend my hard earned cash on this model.
TomTom: TomTom are a well established brand of GPS receivers, probably the most popular brand as Sat Navs are frequently and commonly called TomTom's. When you hear the name, you know you have a good quality device.
Looks: The screen is quite wide and outlined in silver which looks very sleek and stylish. It just fits into my hand so isn't too big but will happily fit into my handbag when not in use. I think it's also quite heavy but perhaps this is to be expected, I don't really know.
Fitting it: To fit in your car is quite easy. You attach the sucker type contraption to the SatNav, stick it where you want it on your windscreen, then tighten it to hold it firmly in place. The only thing I don't like about this is the marks it leaves... I'm constantly cleaning after using the TomTom for a trip. If you need to charge it whilst using it you simply plug the wire into the SatNav and into your cigarette lighter. Marvellous!
Getting to where you want to go: After turning the device on (button on top) you tap the screen and are greeted by a menu. Simply tap "navigate to..." and you will be given several options to locate your destination: - Home (where you can save your own address for future use) - Favourite (for locations used often) - Address - Recent Destination - Point of Interest - Point on map - Latitude Longitude - Position of last stop. Personally I use "Address" then postcode as this pinpoints exactly what I want, but if you don't have a postcode there are plenty of other ways to pinpoint your target destination.
Display after choosing destination: After choosing your destination you will be shown a map of the UK whilst TomTom analyses roads and calculates a route. After this it tells you how many miles you will travel and how long it will take you which is very useful. Tap "done" and you will be greeted by the route plan. Along the bottom of the screen is an arrow telling you which direction to travel and how long for, how many miles you have left and time it will take. The current time and the arrival time... and the speed limit and the speed you are travelling at. Again, all very useful tools and handy to have, especially if you don't know an area or there aren't any clear speed limit signs.
Travelling with the TomTom: I'm yet to experience any real problems with this gadget. I have taken a wrong turn once or twice, or taken the wrong exit off a roundabout but if this happens the TomTom automatically calculates a corrective route. Once again very handy. It does take a little getting used to, especially if you haven't used one before, but don't be put off. These are lifesavers!!!
Additional functions whilst travelling: The TomTom will alert you of any speed limit changes and will sound a warning if you are approaching a speed camera. Well done TomTom, saved me a few times! Also if you tap the screen you are able to find points of interest along your route, such as a maccie d's if your hungry... or a petrol station if you're running low. Not essential but make your journey that bit more comfortable.
Voice over: This is another handy feature because it will alert you to a change of route in advance so you know when to glance at the screen. The female robotic type voice does somewhat irritate me... I'd make a much better voice over haha ;) but you can turn the volume up and down to suit your preference. Battery Life: I tend to have the TomTom charging on my way to a destination and not on the way back. So far I have no complaints about the battery life. It lasts ages!
Other features: There are lots more features to the TomTom One XL but I'm yet to experiment with them all. I just use it for the basics, getting from A to B. But I'm sure these other features will prove very useful to others.
Overall: For technology whizzs and gadget nerds, this review probably hasn't covered enough of the elements for you. But for drivers hoping to purchase one of these or use for the first time I hope I've covered enough of the basics and given you a little insight into the wondrous world of the TomTom One XL. There may well be better models out there, but this one does a fine job and I will continue to use it.