Pros Easy to use
Cons No repairs - throw it out
Summary Overall I liked my Tom Tom Go, until it was 15 months old and went blank refusing to turn on. It was dead. I called Tom Tom support and they said send it in. I did, they called and said it was out of warranty, which is 1 year. I agreed, how much to fix it? Sorry we don't fix them, we through them out, no repairs. But, we'll sell you another one for only $300. And, it will be the same model you have, no upgrade to current model.
I think this is a real rip off. I spent about $650 USD for this and it worked 15 months, then throw it out when it breaks.
Be aware if you buy Tom Tom products. They do not offer reasonable support.
Pros Fantastic screen, crystal clear audio, real-time traffic, excellent maps, very easy to use
Cons Mounting bracket could be more sturdy, non-existent technical support, some features are still being rolled-out
Summary In short, this unit vastly exceeded my expectations, which were set by previous vehicles's in-dash system (Lincoln LS with Navtech software).
When I bought my new Mercedes, I said 'No' to the $2500.00 in-dash system and went with the $600 TomTom 510, instead. I've used the M-B system in a rental car, and this thing is a better unit at any price.
The Good: The screen is extremely crisp and easy to read (even in direct sunlight); the spoken directions and very clear and seem coincide nicely with the actual route. I thought about returning it for a 910 to get the spoken street names, but the on-screen labels for streets are very easy to read and, along with the nice 3D perspective, I just don't need to hear the street names.
After I setup my bluetooth phone (Cingular 2125) for data and configured the TomTom PLUS free trail, I was off to my commute. On the first run, it very accurately showed my two accidents on my route and re-routed, accordingly. To my complete astonishment, the 510 routed me off the highway and right back on to avoid congestion between the off-ramp and a following on-ramp. No kidding...
The UI took me about 5 minutes to learn; it's very straight forward and it's much easier to find streets, et al. than my last in-dash unit. As you type, it shows a running list of matches.
And, the maps have been accurate, so far. We'll see how they do when I drive out to the sticks this Summer.
The Bad: The mounting bracket / suction cup thing does not hold the unit steady. My C230 has tight suspension and the 510 was jiggling up and down - very annoying, until I just lowered the suction cup and the 510 now rests on the top of the dash.
Also, while the audio quality for the spoken directions is quite good, the same cannot be said for the Bluetooth phone hands-free function. That may not be the 510, but a problem with my phone (although my BT headset sounds OK).
Technical support? I've submitted two e-mail requests for issues. I've not received any response. It may be that I will hear something later, but you will probably be on your own if you purchase this product and have problems.
Conclusion: Get one - you won't be sorry.Updated
...I'm not that bad of a driver
Also, I should mention that the issues I've contacted support on were (1) how do I sign-up for US TomTom Traffic (seems to allow only European subscription, even though the US free trail works wonders in Minneapolis) and (2) I upgraded the firmware on the device and had trouble getting the device to re-connect to the PC-based management sofwtare; the PC software is not needed, but is very handy for trip planning.Updated
After using the 510 for a week, I returned it to Circuit City and 'upgraded' to a 910.
Without hearing the Highway numbers and street names, I kept having to 'read' the display when navigating to unfamiliar locations. As I mentioned in my previous review, the screen is very easy to read; but I found myself spending too much time looking at the screen. With the 910's spoken street names, I almost never need to look at the screen while traveling.
I think that feature along makes it worth the upgrade. I also really like having the remote control, as I've positioned the unit as far forward as possible on the dash.
One more thing: after using the Bluetooth Hands-free functions, I decided to install and use the included external microphone; seems to be needed for call clarity.
I feel compelled to re-iterate how vastly superior the TomTom is to any in-dash nav unit I've ever used (Lincoln and Mercedes-Benz).
Pros easy to use, constantly updates maps, intuitive design, touch screen makes life so much easier
Cons pricy, flawed first shipment, some computer docking problems, lack of ability to modify display
Summary This was the first time I purchased a GPS of any kind. I recently moved to a new city (D.C.) and travel to wide open spaces (northern Virginia) a lot. I've used it for about 6 months (I think) so I feel that I can give a pretty accurate review.
I also had problems with the first unit I purchased. As in it never worked; it was always looking for a signal. Luckily the mail-order company exchanged it and I discovered that it should work within a minute out of the box.
First off, this thing works great. I am so glad I can finally stop printing maps from mapquest. It's easy to use - just punch in the address and off you go. It does a pretty good job of finding the "best" route and I like the arrival time feature. It increases in time when you are in traffic, and notably decreases when you decide that saving gas is for wimps.
This thing actually taught me a quicker way to get home from work. Admittedly, it only shaved about a minute off, but with heavy traffic, that new route saves me upwards of 10 minutes.
I also love the automatic re-route feature. If you accidentally take an early left, it will immediately recalculate the route and plan a new course.
I was surprised to learn that it works in the rain. Stormy rain. Weather conditions where my DirecTV would give out, this thing continues to plug away.
But it's not flawless. When I turn it on in the middle of the city, sometimes it gets "drunk." More specifically, it will only have 1 out of a maximum of 5 (think cell phone) bar of reception in some locations. The map swings wildly because it thinks I'm doing donuts in the middle of downtown DC. To its credit, the longer I drive, the more it evens out (sobers up?). Note that this happens when I turn Tomtom on in the city. When I'm in the suburbs/country with 5 bars and then come into the city, there are no problems.
I was surprised to learn that I actually use the point-of-interest feature. When I need a quick gas station or ATM or just looking for that stupid shopping center when i can't remember the address, Tomtom is there. You can select a category, then focus the list by typing in a couple of letters. Helped me find my bank's ATM and find a mall when I was on a roadtrip.
Yes, it does have some flaws. Most notably, Tomtom considers all neighborhoods to be the same, traffic wise. As of this date, the traffic feature still isn't implemented. What this means is that sometimes, Tomtom will send me straight through a tourist area (such as Georgetown) instead of taking me on the highway. This is easily fixed by just not taking the exit, as it will recalculate a better route immediately. If you're anal, you can manually use the "avoid road" feature before you start driving.
Another weird problem is when docking to the computer. It always messes up the clock on Tomtom. And for some reason, I can't correct the time using the computer program. I end up fixing the clock when I reinstall it back in the car. Why those wacky Europeans couldn't sync it to the computer's clock is beyond me.
Another pet peeve is that I can't use my computer's shift button when I'm typing into Tomtom. But I'm not sure if that's due to my keyboard (Logitech G15) or if its a program flaw. I end up hitting the shift button on the Tomtom directly.
Mounting it on the windshield is pretty easy. I noticed that the first one I bought had a really loose pivot, but the second one didn't. Apparently many others complained, and Tomtom is sending me a complimentary windshield mount. I would recommend just setting it and leaving it. The mount was a distraction the first day I installed it, but now it's hardly noticeable.
I'm glad I didn't splurge on the 910, as I really can't see a need for the extra memory. And I'm not really a "books-on-tape" kind of person. The speaker is pretty bad for MP3 playback - I would just use your car's radio. The iPod accessory was a waste of money for exactly the same reason. Just use your headphones or (if your lucky) a car stereo docking station. And if you're geek enough to need the extra memory for storage, a flash drive is cheaper and more efficient.
You can only partially customize it. You can download wacky voices, which will entertain you for about a day. And you can change the color scheme of the display. I have to admit that it is pretty cool that at night, the GPS matches the interior color scheme of my Jetta.
What's missing is customizing the display of the Tomtom itself. There are buttons on the display that I simply don't need. It would have been nice to be able to remove some buttons to avoid the clutter. The only option it has is a function to display "fewer" buttons, but you don't have any input as to which buttons it removes.
It's only crashed on me once, but that was because I took it out of the car and forgot it was in a bag. I banged it up a little bit, so I consider it my fault. The home computer program restored everything from my last backup in about a minute flat.
It sometimes locks if I use the ejection button on the home computer program instead of just shutting the unit down ejecting. Looks to be a software bug that (I assume) will be eventually updated.
So why an 8? Well, when you plunk down over half a grand, it should work straight out of the box. Period.
Also the home computer program can sometimes be finicky. You can't avoid this; you will need to use the computer docking station for updates to the maps. And it's cool to google a restaurant, then punch the address as a favorite in your Tomtom. The home program also self-updates, but overall still has flaws.
Bottom line: When you get one that works, keep it. Much like Tivo, it's something you never knew you needed.
Pros Accurate, easy to use
Cons Check your unit right away, may be a dud
Summary Well, first I preordered a 510 from TigerGPS and ended up buying one from Circuit City because it came out a couple of weeks before TigerGPS even began shipping. Cancelled that order. My FIRST unit was a dud. Would not even search for satellites. Called TomTom who sent me an updated OS (6.02 vs 6.00 on the device). Now started to search but kept searching no matter the weather or location. Waited more than an hour (TomTom says upto 45 minutes!) without success. Returned it and tried the replacement immediately in the parking lot. Perfect. Found the satellites and valid signal within a minute and has worked beautifully ever since. Gave it to my techno-challenged sister the next day to drive to NYC and back (4h one way) and she said it worked great. Easy to understand, accurate, reliable. Mount is NOT as hard to use as other have said. Just takes practice. I would rather have a sturdy mount that doesn't disconnect that easily. TomTom home works very well for route planning and favorite storing ahead of time. The only reason I don't give it a 10 is because of the dud I got first. TomTom needs better quality control but I can understand if this is a new model.
"Nearly OK, but"on by schnegcj
Pros Definitely gets you where you want to go.
Cons Some irritating flaws - send the engineers back to school
Summary I have had my TomTom GO 510 for about 10 weeks now. What a fantastic system! Two weeks after I got it, I took a trip to a very distant large city that I had never been to. Not once during that trip did I have to look at a map! Every time I went somewhere, I just put in the destination address and the TomTom took me right there – without fail. When roads were blocked, it helped me find alternate routes. When I needed to find a place to eat, or a gas station, it found something very well for me. I have enormous praise for this system. Of course, I wasn’t always sure that I was taking the most direct or desirable route, but the system sure got me to where I wanted to be. There are some features that haven’t tried, such as PLUS services, weather, and traffic. They require cell phone services that cost extra that I’m not willing to pay for. That said, I am still very high on this system and I have numerous friends that have borrowed it or are waiting to.
Although I love this system, there are some real disappointments with it that I’ll try to highlight. Maybe the most bizarre flaw with the system is that the time display is almost always wrong. Granted, it has to be able to get a valid satellite signal to synch the clock, but even when the system is getting valid locations, the clock seldom synchs. When it does synch, it’s almost always to the wrong time zone. It’s a GPS system for heaven’s sake – how can it not know what time zone I’m in?
I have been in some very rural areas and the system always knows where I am once I’m there, even on the roughest, unpaved, remote roads. However, I’ve had a hard time finding my way to those remote locations. To navigate there, the system requires that you put in the city and state. However, for some locations, there is no city, and when I put in the closest city, it couldn’t find the location I was looking for. Once I was there, it knew where I was.
In my travel, I wanted to go to Pike’s Peak. It wasn’t identified as a Point of Interest. Odd.
The display could be better. In bright sunlight, it could be difficult to see. A brighter display would help under those conditions, or maybe a hood or shade of some kind. Otherwise, the display brightness was just fine. It would be nice to have a larger display. Us baby-boomers’ eyesight may not be what it was in the past and some of the lettering was quite small. We could well use a larger display and many have the buying power TomTom should consider.
The most irritating thing about the TomTom GO 510 was the mounting mechanism. There’s a button on the front of the system that’s supposed to release the system for engaging or disengaging the system from the windshield mount or the computer dock. However, the button seems to have little or no effect, and the system snaps onto both in a way that feels like you’re forcing it and it’s going to break easily. It’s very unsettling.
The documentation for the system is lousy. There’s very little detailed technical information about how to use it. The documentation for mounting the windshield mount and for attaching the system to the windshield mount is all pictures – not one word – and the pictures aren’t intuitively obvious what they mean. There’s no explanation of the colors on the display. Sometimes roads are red, sometimes white. Land features are different colors, with no explanation. I could find no information on how maps are updated, if at all. That’s a big disappointment. There’s no system registration process so we can be notified when updated maps are available.
Apparently, maps are contained on the SD card. The SD card easily pops in and out with just a touch. However, when installing or removing the system from the mounts, it’s way too easy to accidentally touch the SD card and pop it out. It could be easily lost. Seems like there should be some kind of safety catch or door to prevent accidentally losing it.
Finally, the system didn’t work well with my cell phone – a Motorola V710. My contacts wouldn’t synch and text messages wouldn’t work. However, TomTom does caution that all cell phones are not compatible.
Notwithstanding these flaws, I’m still very high on this system. I like that it can be easily moved from car to car. It generally works well and gets me where I want to be. I’m satisfied with that.Updated
P.S. I've had my 510 for 8 months now. TomTom recently came out with updates to the maps at no cost to the owner (except shipping and handling). The new maps are a great improvement. A couple locations that could not be found previously have been fixed with this update. They were in places that were fairly new developments and hadn't been identified before. On the down side, I find the windshield mount for the 510 to be utterly unacceptable. It is nearly impossible to lock the mount in place. The locking ring is difficult to grip in a way to effectively lock the mount, especially when reaching over a steering wheel and across a dashboard in an awkward position. My first mount broke. Fortunately, I had the foresight to purchase an extra one.Updated
P.S. I've had my 510 for 8 months now and I'm still very satisfied. TomTom recently came out with an update to the maps at no charge (except for shipping and handling). The update installed nicely. However, after the update was complete, I got a blue "screen of death". The device would not reboot or power off. I ended up having to locate the reset button (difficult to find and use) to get the system working again. My biggest complaint about the TomTom GO 510 is the windshield mounting bracket. It is nearly impossible to lock the mount in place as directed. The locking ring is very difficult to grip, especially when reaching over a steering while and dashboard. My first windshield mount broke, with the suction cup broke off the rest of the mounting mechanism. Fortunately, I had the foresight to purchase another one ahead of time. The mechanism for locking the mount to the windshield badly needs reengineering.Updated
PPS I've had my TomTom GO510 for 13 months now. I've changed my mind - I'm completely disgusted with TomTom. My third windshield mount just broke on me. I went back to the Circuit City store that sold it to me. Of course, they wouldn't do anything about it because I didn't purchase their extended warranty. The windshield mount is flimsy at best. I've seen reports of the unit drooping after a while, but that's not what happened to mine. Instead, the mount just came apart - the clear suction cup broke away from the mount itself - same as the last 2 times. 90% of the time it isn't even mounted in my car and I have not stressed it, forced it, or anything of the sort. I've treated it very delicately. If you can't mount it, you can't use it. If you can't use it, it's a waste of money. I am enormously frustrated with TomTom.