TomTom 4.3-inch GPS Easy To Use

Written by Mendelson Tiu     02/09/2010 | 04:44 | Category name i.e.AUTOMOTIVE

The TomTom XL 250 brings simple navigation to a large screen. This entry-level device does not have the bells and whistles found on other GPS devices but can get you from point A to B.

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You get four items out of the box - the 4.3-inch XL 250, an EasyPort mount (which is already connected to the GPS), a USB cable used for synchronisation and/or charging on a PC, and a car charger. TomTom did not include any AC charger, so you would have to charge it on your PC or inside your car.

The unit is made out of hard plastic with a black finish. The power button is located on the top right, while the speaker is located on the back. Mounting the XL 250 on a windscreen is a quick and simple process, thanks to its Easyport mount. The only problem we encountered with the mount was that there were times when the device 'snapped' out as we adjusted the angle.

After going through some initial settings (language, left or right hand operation, units, time displayed, correct time, and home address), the XL 250 displays the main menu.

The 'Plan Route' and 'Browse Map' are the two main icons on the menu. Other options including Volume, Day/Night mode, Help, Options, and 'Done' are located below the main icons.

To start planning a route, a user can either enter a postcode or the name of the city, the street, and then a house number. One can also click on the Home icon to get home, go to a recent destination, favourite, point of interest, or a point on the map.

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The virtual QWERTY keyboard (can also be changed to ABCD, AZERTY, or QWERTZ) is big and responsive, which is perfect for those with large fingers. The XL 250 will alert a user if the route involves toll roads before proceeding or recalculating the route to suit.

As soon as the route is decided, the XL 250 goes straight to the map. In addition to a 2D/3D map view, the unit also displays the time, speed, time of arrival, distance left, and directions. The XL 250 also has an icon that automatically reports a fixed camera or mobile camera. Text to speech is available but not for the Australian voice.

Like any other GPS device, the XL 250 is quick to pick up a signal just so long as you are not surrounded by buildings. The XL 250 also comes with an advanced lane guidance that pops up when you are reaching an exit or junction, and safety camera alerts. The device's "Help" feature will direct you to the nearest hospital or police station or give you a phone number of that particular service and display your current location.

Another feature found on the XL 250 is 'Map Correction' - this lets a user correct a map error and/or download corrections made by other users using via the TomTom Home software.

Overall, the TomTom XL 250 does not offer anything new - it is a 4.3-inch GPS device that tells you where to go. It is available now for $249.

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Pros & Cons


Big screen; Loud speaker; Easy to mount; Simple navigation; Text to speech; Can upload/download map corrections


Occasional slowdowns with route calculations; No AC adapter and case included