July 08, 2005

TomTom Go 300

As I drove past the same set of traffic lights the third time returning from a customer site, I swore that I would purchase a gadget to help me never get lost again. Straight down to my local electronics shop, I slapped £369 down on the counter and purchased a TomTom Go 300.

First impressions - so, I get it all out of the box and think - first things first - let's plug it into the pc and upgrade / install all the latest stuff (speed camera, points of interest, maps, etc). But there is a problem - NO CHARGER! Must be a mistake I thought but no. The tomtom comes with only a cigarette lighter adapter NOT a normal charger. How cheap! I have just spent shy of 400 notes on this thing and apparently I have to plug it into my car to charge the batteries. The worst thing is that the first charge has to be for 2 hours!!! My car lighter adapter doesn't work unless the engine is running. Poor show tomtom.

Using tomtom - ok after my initial rage I went for a drive (not the 2 hour one that my batteries demand). It was very very easy to use. A few button presses and I was off. The map is clear, the voice is clear and loud, the instructions make sense.

Problems - NO CHARGER!!!! Ok other than that it is pretty damn good! I lost satallite signal a couple of times but the clever little device still follows the route and guesses where you must be based on current speed, as soon as the sat is back the display turns back to colour and you are off. It is a little bulky I guess, ideally with the 4 hour charge you could take it out of your car and wander the streets continuing not to get lost, but the size puts you off doing that.

300/500/700 what's the difference - basically:

300 - maps, voice guide, standard stuff, bluetooth to download updates via your mobile.

500 - as above + a mic so you can use it as a handsfree mobile and text messager, plus more memory & faster cpu.

700 - as. above + built in hard drive for more maps. This one has a charger.

Opinion - buy the 300. The 300 can in my opinion be hacked to have handsfree functions as it is the same hardware, someone will do this. You don't need a faster cpu or more memory because the 300 is fast already, you don't need a harddrive because the sd memory slot can be used to plug in big cards, I have a 1GB and haven't filled it yet. You can buy a 5v 2a charger from your local electronics place for not much money - shame they didn't include one :(