Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

TomTom One XL

A couple of weeks ago, some dirtball stole my trusty old handheld GPS right out of my truck in our driveway.

I ended purchasing a TomTom One XL. Shortly after that, (totally unrelated) the hard drive on my HP crashed which wiped out my install of TomTom Home. Once I got the new laptop running, I thought I would simply download the software and install it rather than hunt for the CD. The problem was it took a good half hour to locate the download on the TomTom site.

I finally found it and downloaded it. For the life of me I don’t understand why the website designers don’t have a download link on the product page. Oh well, that would make too much sense.

Overall the unit is pretty good. The software is essential for backing up your destinations and routes.

There are a couple of things I like about the unit

  • You can get a cool English Female voice that says things like “Take the Motorway”.
  • It is pretty easy to operate for local destinations.
  • The routes it picks are usually OK. However I did have one occasion where it took me through a really, really bad neighborhood. I should have realized that cannot be programmed in.
  • If you deviate from the suggested route (ie make a turn a little early or late) it will quickly recalculate the route to your destination.
  • It can show you local hotels and restaurants along with a whole lot of other locations.

There are a few things I don’t really like

  • If you want to plan intermediate waypoints (ie to avoid bad neighborhoods as listed above) that part is a little cumbersome. One problem I have is that if you want to go via a certain intersection, you need to know the town or the zip code where that intersection is located. That info isn’t always readily available.
  • When I first got the unit, I found it difficult to tell which favorite I was navigating to. We were heading to a wedding and I ended up accidentally choosing the location of the reception instead of the location of the ceremony. I was wondering why it seemed to be taking longer than I thought it would. That really wasn’t the fault of the unit but rather my inexperience and a bit of sloppiness.
  • I wish there was a way to do the itineraries on my laptop and download them so you don’t have to mess with the little touchpad

All in all, it was well worth the price.

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