Want more than simple A-to-B navigation? We put two top-end models from TomTom and Navman - respectively, the Go 540 Live and the S100 - head to head to see how they match up. Navman and TomTom Line them up: Navman S100 and TomTom Go 540 Live Going by looks alone, the TomTom wins hands-down. With smooth, curved edges and a …
That one company name dissuaded me from both products. Google's currently UK map data comes from TeleAtlas and is so much worse than the superior NavTEQ content used by Microsoft's Live Maps site. Just zoom in to your local area and see how many mistakes you can spot from TeleAtlas and how far things are out of date. I have submitted numerous corrections for my local area to TeleAtlas through their MapInsight web-system, over a period of years, and not one has appeared live or been responded to. Particularly infuriating if you happen to live right next to one of those errors.
What happens in Europe?
One thing you didn't mention is how the satnav behaves overseas. I was recently in Germany with a colleague who had a garmin. It insisted on Americanizing all the German street and place names. For example it pronounced "Mainzer Straße" as "maynzer strass". There is no excuse for this and it is very embarrassing if you have locals in the vehicle!
Why does no review...
...on Satnavs ever mention if there's mapping references other then "names" and "postcodes"? I have a Nuvi 300 and that can accept UK Ordanance Survey Grid References and that's excellent. I can pin point a GPS co-ordinate in Memory Map 25k to within 1 metre and load my Nuvi with it. This way, it's far superior then Postcodes or street names.
Style of Functionality
"...you’d be hard pushed to find a better example of style over functionality"
Have you ever used a Sony Sat Nav? They look lovely. Shame they are next to useless. Mine is probably the least reliable bit of consumer electronics I have ever owned. It crashes, it ignores (touch screen) key presses (even though the graphics change to show that the the key has been pressed), It's sloooooow. The UI is inconsistent and unintuitive. It's about as reliable as MS Windows on a bad day! Oh hang on... it run on MS Windows! Now, who would have guessed that?
Sony don't have a monopoly on crashing
I updated my previously reliable Tomtom Go 510 at the weekend and now it crashes regularly - three times in a single 20-mile journey. At least it carries on once it has rebooted, but it is still a pain while I wait for it to return from its latest bout of narcolepsy.
"We put two top-end models from TomTom and Navman - respectively"
Isn't the TomTom 940 their top end model, with the 740 below that? I'd say this makes the 540 more of a middle of the range model...
TomTom 540 only Â£231
You can get the TomTom Go 540 Live + postage including VAT for £231 here...
...but why do reviews for satnav products rarely show or review the maps in 2D? I much prefer a top-down view on the roads ahead of me than the 3D view that seems to be being forced up on us these days.
The same argument goes for the new widescreen displays vs a vertical display that would be more useful for showing the layout of the roads (and cameras) for the foreseeable few miles...
A shame these products don't have accelerometers to know when the device has been rotated 90 degrees.
A couple of things on the review first of all (I have had a 540 for a few months now):-
The 540 does not have MP3 playback ability, that gem is reserved for the 940 unless I'm mistaken.
The map scrolling on the 540 sometimes suffers from the same problem of sometimes interpreting a press as a scroll, although it's true that the menu system doesn't suffer this.
Whilst the 540's traffic will direct you to smaller roads, the "HD" traffic coverage is much better on these roads than it's predecessor, which AFAICT only coverd motorways. It is far from perfect, and seems to have had some teething troubles, but is improving - just today, for example, it reported a queue on the A1081 into St. Albans from the north - TT's "plus" traffic would never have done that, I'm sure.
The 540 will also navigate to Latitute/Longitude, inbuilt (or downloaded or maually added) "Points of Interest" or even the location of your "Buddies" as long as you both use the "Buddies" service, as well as the usual recent destinations, favourites, home, or current location plus post code, address, and 'city centre'.
The 540 is TT's top-end *UK* edition (I guess the same applies to the NavMan). The others in the x40 range only include different maps# - at something like 50% more cost (the 940, IIRC) for little more than maps of a different continent, it's not really the sort of thing a 'typical' UK based user would go for.
# acutally, the 940 - europe, US/Canada maps - also includes MP3 playback, FM transmitter, and inertial navigation for use in tunnels &c, but otherwise, unless i've missed anything, they are essentially the same device
If your TomTom uses an SD card, try to copy your maps to a fresh one, and see if that works better. My first TomTom gave me no end of trouble until I got my hands on a spare 1GB SD card (back when they were much more expensive than they are now!) and I restored a backup to it, and it was fine from then on.
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