One unexpected consequence of blogging is that people start sending you stuff. I like stuff so I guess that works out well.
The latest stuff to arrive is the new TomTom GPS navigation system. I think I got it after Mauricio as it was still bluetooth paired to his phone. That’s right it has a bluetooth hands free system in it.
Mauricio did an excellent review here. Geekzone: TomTom One XL review
Now I’m a loyal New Zealander so have found it hard to look at any other GPS unit but NavMan. The NavPix was my spousal christmas present last year. When I got it I was thinking I know everywhere I need to go in NZ so why would I need a GPS - but over this year I’ve used it every couple of months and found having my own GPS in the rental car very useful.
I have a couple of gripes with the NavMan. The keyboard was ABC and had no QWERTY option, I don’t need another camera (I know that you can put a camera on a car gps, but that doesn’t mean you should), and the unit is too big for it’s sucker mount so it droops. Drooping is bad.
I’m not sure who owns NavMan now so I felt a little less guilty about trying a new unit. TomTom is brand I’ve seen in countless London minicabs. Now it is in New Zealand.
The Tom Tom won me over quickly with some first impressions. USB Power, QWERTY by default, Mac Software and super quick location of satellites. So fast that I was relieved Mauricio had researched how it did it.
… the TomTom One XL has the fastest time to get a fix I have ever seen, thanks small data files you can download and transfer to unit, containing information on satellite ephemerides. With this data the GPS knows where to find the satellites in the sky given the current date and time, instead of having to scan the sky, like other GPS devices do.
My challenge today is now to work ephemerides into a conversation.
It’s a great size and the sucker mount works well. There is only one button and the user interface is natural. The graphics are not as pretty as the NavMan. The manuals are missing so Mauricio if you can remember the pairing code I’ll try to connect my phone
I tested it yesterday by myself and I realized I had not been driving the fastest way to work. This morning with the family we went to the opening of the new Giraffe House at the Zoo. I was willing to forgive that the Tom Tom tried to drive us up some stairs in Newtown but as my wife (in the car) bought the original NavMan last Christmas she wasn’t having any of it. “… a GPS is all about the maps …” she said.
So as long as you don’t use your Tom Tom to find the Wellington Zoo it’s an ideal spousal gift to receive this Christmas.