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on October 27, 2013
I initially purchased a significantly more expensive Garmin Nuvi 4.3 inch screen with lifetime traffic and map updates. It was "T"errible and I am technologically proficient. I did all the downloads and updates yet the unit did not list my favorite restaurants and could not even find a major route! The unit would tell you to turn on some road name that you couldn't see when it was actually a Route with a number sign posted. The keyboard screen was murder to type on which was very frustrating. I boxed up that baby real fast and returned it to the internet vendor for a full PayPal refund and purchased the TomTom Start 50M with a 5 inch screen and lifetime maps through One of my clients said he had a 10 year old TomTom and it was still functioning fine. That recommendation was good enough for me. Even with paying for the return shipping and insurance with the overall lower cost of the TomTom I actually saved a considerable amount of money and my peace of mind. It was great out of the box with "no" computer updating required. The only area TomTom can improve on and leave the competition in the dust would be to include a good secure non-suction based dashboard mount . I don't use the windshield method that would block my view and be inconvenient. I have also read many reviews where the windshield suction mount fails due to heat or cold or Tuesday. I fabricated my own mount that doesn't require using their suction cup method or attachment that will cause the unit to fall and that's not an "if"" but rather a "when" it will fall. I am very pleased with my TomTom purchase and I can't say that about too many products.
44 comments176 of 181 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 23, 2014
I purchased this unit after a fair amount of research and initially it exceeded all I had hoped for.

Unfortunately, as I started using the unit more (I don't drive much, at all) I noticed a ton of direction errors.
For example, a trip to a local spot, literally down the street, had me taking the tollway. Another, was a 20 mile
trip down the freeway had me taking the first exit. This despite programming it to take tollways. Other local
trips have me taking rights instead of lefts, really obvious stuff. Another, a 30+ year old road did not show up
on their road list.

Yesterday, I programmed the unit for a straight drive into town. It had me take the tollway and the next thing I
am doing is a big "U". I just threw probably $4.00 out the window. Should have heaved this unit along the way to
make some use of my four bucks.

Just now, I went on the Tomtom site to report the problem. Under "other" it has a map with NOTHING else to report,
nothing to fill in - a dead end - which is where I am at - a dead end.

I am ordering another brand ASAP and considering this unit a loss. It's a shame because it really is a fully packed,
quality machine. Tomtom needs to address this problem; it doesn't happen with other companies. MY cell phone's FREE
GPS is wayyyyy better map wise.

If you happen to live in an area where your maps are good, then consider yourself lucky. As for me, I wouldn't trust
this thing to guide me across the street.

BTW, I might also tell you that I did a complete update (982 megs worth), no improvement.
11 comment85 of 94 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 29, 2012
Picked up a Start 50M as a gift to myself to replace my 7 year old GO720 since the battery is toast on the GO and the map is out of date now. I've been pretty happy with the GO720 so I figured I'd pick up a newer TomTom. Checked out different models in the store and didn't like the "Refreshed User Interface" of the VIA units, so I went with the Start series since it appeared similar to what I was used to w/ the GO720.

+ Bigger screen (5" vs 4.3") is nice
+ Speaker is better on the Start (louder and better clarity)
+ Volume is auto adjusted based on vehicle speed
+ Navigation seemed solid while I had it
+ My previous downloaded voices transferred to the new unit easily w/ TomTom Home (Note -- I only had some "free" voices, not sure if this is the case with the purchased voices also)

--- EasyMeny removes a LOT of functionality from the user compared to the old menu system. One BIG one for me was the ability to have 2d map mode with "up" being direction of travel. This functionality is not available! So I can use 3d mode w/ direction of travel as up or 2d mode with up always == North. Also cannot build itinerarys, navigate to coordinates, ...
- The power cord on the Start 50 is a USB cable with a cigarette-to-USB plug and the wire is a bit short. I prefer the dedicated car charger so I don't have to worry about losing the cig-to-USB plug. GO720 came with separate PC dock and car charger, which was nice.
- EasyPort mount makes the unit more bulky and I'm skeptical about long-term durability. The "stock" suction cup mount on the GO720 was not very good, but the "tab" attatchment to the unit itself seems superior to the "ring" on the Easyport.
- The only "computer" voices available are English (US), Spanish, and French -- GO720 had many more Computer voices available. I don't like the US voices, so I used the English UK voice on my old unit, doesn't seem available for the Start
- Trip calculation time seems noticeably longer on this compared to my GO720 -- this could be due to the IQ routes on the Start (?).

Overall, not a bad unit, but I'm bummed by some of the old functionality that is not available. In the end, the lack of 2d map w/ "up == direction of travel" made me decide to return this and pick up an XXL 540, which has the old (non-Easy) Menu. Hoping this meets my needs better.
44 comments89 of 100 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 31, 2013
I live in a populated city. where the streets are less than 200 feet apart. This unit is off with directions by 3/4 of a mile.. most of the time I pass by the street before it tells me. When sitting at a light to turn it still says I have a few hundred feet to go before the turn. The unit is just too slow for the city. There are many added options labeled on the box.(Gas Prices) but this unit does not support those options. There are also many menu options for custom setups that "Do Not Work" because they have been disabled from the factory. TomTom was not helpful when I called and the support rep was tired of hearing about this unit and it's awful design. I think this unit is so locked down at the factory that it runs slow. You get what you pay for.. My 10 year old Magellan is 80% better.. Changed to 1 star after resetting unit and speaking with support again. DO NOT INSTALL TOM-TOM HOME on your PC.. It will cause a registry corruption with the USB ports. And not easy to fix unless you now what you are doing. DO NOT TRUST THIS UNIT FOR NAVIGATION!!
22 comments50 of 58 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 13, 2014
I had mine just a few weeks over a year and it suddenly died just before starting a 500 mile trip. Pulled my old Garmin out of the glove box and continued. When I got back home I started the trouble shooting process on the tomtom website (which consisted of only power button resetting) but it was still absolutely DEAD. Called customer support and they told me that since I was out of warranty (barely 3 weeks !) there was nothing they could do. Since I am an Electrical Engineer I decided to take it apart and see if I could bring it back to life. The problem was a defective circuit board so I called customer support again to see if I could at least get a replacement board. NOW, they said they could have sent me a new unit if only I hadn't opened it!!!! They will obviously say anything to weasel out of supporting their defective products.
What good are free lifetime map updates if their junk only last a year?!?
Bad products, horrible customer service!!!
0Comment20 of 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 21, 2013
Update 17 Aug 2015: Today, I attempt to purchase a USA-Canada map. The result was incredible. I paid online by credit card and received an email receipt. Next, I was instructed to follow a link. I did this and it updated by GPS. However, I had no map of Canada. I spent about 2 and a half hours on the phone, and learned in bits and pieces that a purchase takes 4 or 5 days to clear. At that time, I can download the map. It took a couple more calls, the incompetent people will not pass you on. You have to hang up on them and call back into the cue. Anyway, when your payment clears, one is not informed as to when this occurs, you are suppose to be able to update your GPS and the map will appear. Unfortunately, we are leaving from Canada in two days (we are currently 50 miles from the border). I would never buy another TomTom product.
I purchased this unit while traveling at a retail store. We were in a small town in Kansas, and there were a few problems, but it was a small town with minor roads. I spent more than 3 hours to update the maps and software. In Austin, TX, I headed out for a shopping center that has been in existence for at least 12 years. When I put the address in, a 9901 number, it indicated that no address greater than 6600, was acceptable. There are other problems and short comings in its use compare to our old Garmin which lost its mind, and cost money to update. I attempted to use the website for support on the issues I had. First off, it will not recognize my password. So, I went to the 'forgot your password' option. Reset, and thought all is well. When I attempted an email, I had to re-login, and yes, it would not accept my password. Sometimes, the website does not recognize the model I have, a Start 50M. It shows only 3 Start models. This morning, the website showed a bunch. I selected my model and proceeded only to be kicked out again on my password. The several emails that I managed to solicit were mostly automatic. The one that may have been sent by a person was patronizing. It merely suggested that I repeat the update process (of 3 hours plus time). I am headed to a store in Austin for a refund. I did purchase the extended warranty which may be helpful. There was one plus, unlike Garmin, the TomTom is mindful of sending you on gravel roads. As an RV traveler, this is indeed a plus.
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on March 11, 2014
I'm a limo long-term, full-time driver who has seen and used all brands - and I wear em out! Yesterday, I bought a Tom Tom 50 and tomorrow I am returning it. I listed my six addresses last night for today's tour, and this machine RENAMED 3 of the six addresses!! I entered: (say) 2936 Tampa Road, Tampa, 4521 Race Track Road, Oldsmar, and 2121 Davis Isle Blvd, Tampa. When I looked it up today, it said "Amscot Center", "Suntrust Bank", and "The Slug" for 3 of the addresses. I had to RE-INSTALL the addresses because I was not going to any of those stores - although they are the ANCHORS at the shopping strip centers for the stores that I was looking for- but I did NOT know which was which for my sequence on the tour. I have never seen anything like it, and I will be looking for another brand tomorrow. No further comment of the quality of the machine.
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on July 12, 2013
Used this for the first time last week. We traveled about 3 hours away in a town I'm not familiar with. It was very easy to use. I like how it shows if you're speeding by turning red. Directions were easy to follow and were correct every time. Will use it for many years to come I think.
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on November 17, 2013
I purchased this because I own an older TomTom that seemed to be getting really slow to start and a bit senile. I thought there would be less to learn if purchased the same brand. I was right about the learning curve. But this thing has all the same problems of the old TomTom device with the added disadvantage of being much slower to recalculate when one is forced to take a different route - much slower.
The voice synthesizer frequently stuttters and mis-pronounces PA and NJ street names and route numbers. This never happened with the old TomTom it just led me to dead ends occasionally.
If you purchase this item don't dilly dally. Test it and return it before the 30 day return window closes. My window closed yesterday - lesson learned. The last straw for me was that it got me lost in South Jersey last night when neither I nor my wife could tell if the GPS was telling us to use Rt 30 or Rt 38. By the time we reasoned it out, with the help of Google directions that I printed out before we left, we were taking another tour of New Jersey in the dark.
I'm really tired of having to print out directions to use just in case. I would like a GPS where I can load it up with directions that I can clearly read ahead of time like Google or Yahoo maps. I would also like a GPS that has a "Home James" button that reverses the route with one touch.
I turned it off on my way home last night because it obviously taking us over a more distant bridge to go back to Philadelphia. I lucked out and fumbled my way home using distant memories of the roads and towns. I would never use it to go some place I'd never been. Fortunately New Jersey is a pretty friendly place where you can always ask directions if you don't have distant memories to draw on.
It's amazing that TomTom has made very few real improvements in 10 years. Bigger screens are not a real improvement they just block more of the windshield when you have to take over and find your own way home.
0Comment8 of 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 31, 2013
I purchased this product mainly because (1) I got a good deal on it (2) I had seem a lot of these being used in the Europe (3) I needed to buy a GPS for myself urgently (4) I didn't have first-hand experiences/reviews from others about this GPS.

I am not happy with it at all.

In the first ever 3 mile route, this GPS didn't show me the nearest route. It showed half a mile longer route (out of 3 miles) to my destination. I needed to give another try and hence tested it for 3-4 more locations but every time, it gave me a route that's different than what I normally take (which is the route even the Magellan GPS Device that I borrowed from my friend shows. Google Maps show the same route)

As suggested by someone, I tried updating the maps using Tomtom Home. It gave me unexpected errors a lot of times before finally updating the maps. This entire ordeal took me 45 minutes and more. Stuff like creating user id had problems. I didn't expect this from a reputed company such as Tomtom.

The device took 75 seconds to calculate route to destination that was 450 miles away (most drive is on Interstates though).

The user interface is pretty unintuitive. I don't know what options I used but once it showed me the map upside down. I had to really make a lot of efforts to understand how it works. Here are my final remarks:

1. Big Display, OK accessories that came with it though the cord is too short

1. Always shows longer routes when shorter ones are available.
2. Bad UI experience.
3. Tomtom Home software took a lot of time to work.
4. Route calculations take unusually long time.

I am returning it back.
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