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The TomTom XL 330 S GPS

At the same time that I bought the Garmin, I grabbed a TomTom XL 330S as well. It’s funny, you’d think one would completely win over the other.

It just doesn’t work that way though. They’ve each got pros and cons which I’ll be getting to in another post. In any case, a site has been created for the TomTom as well. Content’s done, but it’ll be slowly added to the site over the next while (just like the Garmin which is also done but pages will be added over time).

A quick list of some pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Incredible amount of options and customization available – I can’t even go into them all here, but for starters, you can customize what shows on the main map, you can have voice warnings for a variety of things, you can add your own points of interest (even TomTom’s offered Traffic Camera POI which marks cameras and gives an audiable warning when you near one). There’s so much more but it would fill a post (or a site!)
  • Consistently smart pathing
  • Points of interest show on the map as you near them (even if it’s not the destination)
  • Software package is very well done. One install and you can do everything from update, to getting new maps, to getting new voices etc (fluff), to sharing maps with others (free).
  • Getting on the map sharing side – really you can fix just about anything that’s incorrect on the map. Others can too, and since the entire community can share their map changes for free – well that’s some extensive fixing going on at no cost.

Cons:

  • Positioning isn’t completely accurate. It’s often off by quite a few meters. Usually that just means you don’t pass the road on the map at the same time you really pass it, but it often isn’t a big deal there. Where it causes hiccups is in certain locations when you’re on a road (highway) and it thinks you’re on a parallel road that runs across the highway. Definite improvement could be made here.
  • The interface is busy. It can take a while to get through all the options. While a lot of info can be displayed on the map itself, it’s displayed in a very basic fashion. To clarify: it seems more like you’re looking at a page of statistics than you are being guided.
  • 1GB storage memory. This is a bit of a blow – TomTom did such an impressive job with the software making it so you can customize, add voices, and make changes so easily… and yet 95% of the storage space is already taken up. That’s right, you get 40-60mb of free space. Adding an additional voice pack uses 23mb, so…. well you do the math.
  • Mounting – The mount’s built into the GPS unit – you could detach it with a screwdriver although that wouldn’t do you much good. Mounting it on the windshield is awkward, and it takes a few tries to get the suction cup to “catch”. If you pull the TomTom off the windshield every time you leave your car to keep it from being stolen… you’ll get annoyed with the mounting method quickly.

More info’s been placed (and is coming) at http://free-info-pages.com/tomtom-xl-330s.htm if you’d like to read more of a full review.

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