Wednesday, January 6, 2010

TomTom XL 340 s GPS Navagation - Review TomTom XL 340 s GPS Navagation - ReviewWe received this TomTom XL 340s as a Christmas gift from Santa. Presumably it was purchased from Target during the Black Friday door buster sale. Anyway, I previously posted about my experience and opinions of the Garmin nuvi 365 wt that I purchased and tried before opening this TomTom because I was thinking I would prefer a GPS unit with the Bluetooth handsfree option. I ended up returning the Garmin for the reasons listed here. <-

The first thing I noticed that I prefer on the TomTom (other than the door buster price of $99?) is the suction cup mount. It has a much lower profile than the Garmin. This makes it less bulky or obtrusive when mounted on the windshield. Other than that, these are some things I felt I either prefered or did not like compared to the Garmin:

- When connected the TomTom to PC via usb, it automatically downloads updated maps. The TomTom also does not let the unit operate while being charged via PC usb which I don't understand why.
- This TomTom does not come with a carrying case like the Garmin did.
- The traffic adapter looks like a better design, but for about $60 and no traffic service in Honolulu, Hawaii I will not be buying one. It does not come with the TomTom unit.
- This TomTom has no Bluetooth, but I knew that which is why I wanted to test the Garmin prior to opening this one up.
- This TomTom has "lane guidance".
- The brand name "TomTom" sounds cooler than "Garmin". Haha =P
- It comes with a normal length usb connector while the Garmin came with a super short 12 inch one which was silly.
- It doesn't keep the display on when plugged in to usb PC for charging. The Garmin display was always on if plugged in which doesn't make sense since you can't operate the unit while it's plugged in anyway. (just wanted to point that out again.)
- The usb connector port on the TomTom is centered on the bottom and the Garmin's was offset protruding out of the back making it seem more obtrusive especially if not using the mount it cant lay flat.
- The TomTom's POI (Point of Interest) interface is much better than the Garmin's. It allows the POI's to be layered on the map. You can also select what types of POI's you want to be layered on your maps.
- The TomTom doesn't appear to have any pin code security feature like the Garmin unit. Although I don't think it matters much if the thief is able to steal my GPS unit they might as well be able to use it. It's not like if they already stole it I'll feel much better knowing that they won't be able to use it while I'll already be stuck with car lock repairs or broken window repairs anyway. The only thing is they would know how to immediately drive to my "home" if it's set up. That would only make it a little easier for them to find it since your home address is normally on the vehicle registration paper which is normally also in your car anyway. So I don't think it matters much. Unless you are trying to keep the records of where you are driving to a secret from other household members that could get access to your GPS unit.
- TomTom XL 340 s GPS Navagation - ReviewSo those are my thoughts on the TomTom XL 340s.

Hopefully I'll be posting yet another GPS unit (sort of) review in another week or so. This will be on the highly anticipated arrival of the Google Nexus One Phone. Of course it will be no comparison as far as price, but I'm sure I'll enjoy the Google Maps navigation & searching features over these stand alone GPS unit's. Not to mention I will be able to use the handsfree speaker phone which is presumably going to integrate flawlessly into the device unlike the Garmin Bluetooth connection.

**Update** I'm expecting my Google Nexus One Phone to arrive today! Hurry up FedEx! I'm thinking I won't even need a stand alone GPS navigational device. Maybe I'll sell it since it was a door buster price or I'll just return it to Target. Stay tuned for my Google Nexus One Phone impressions!

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