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TomTom XXL 540TM World Traveler 5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Traffic & Maps and World Maps (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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- Maps of the US, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. Lifetime Map Updates included for US, Canada and Mexico only.
- Lifetime Traffic Updates included***--outsmart traffic and avoid delays for life with real-time information via your TomTom
- Preloaded with more than 7 million points of interest in over 60 destination categories--gas stations, restaurants, hotels, ATMs and more
- IQ Routes Technology calculates the fastest route possible based on time of day, saving you time, fuel and money
- Advanced Lane Guidance indicates exactly which lane to use, so you can go confidently
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- Size (LWH): 0.9 inches, 5.2 inches, 3.5 inches
- Weight: 8.96 ounces
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This item TomTom XXL 540TM World Traveler 5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Traffic & Maps and World Maps (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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|Battery Average Life||—||3 hours||3 hours||2 hours||2 hours|
|Screen Size||5 in||5 in||5 in||5 in||5 in|
|Map Types||US and Canada||US and Canada||North America||US and Canada||North America, North America, North America|
TomTom XXL 540TM World Traveler 5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Traffic & Maps and World Maps
Get street smart with the TomTom XXL 540TM World Traveler Edition--complete, 5-inch widescreen navigation featuring Lifetime Traffic and Map Updates. Outsmart traffic and minimize delays with Lifetime Traffic Updates. Based on incoming traffic events, your device will suggest alternate routes. And, with Lifetime Map Updates you'll always drive with the latest and most accurate maps. On average, 15% of the road network changes each year, so it is important to have the most up-to-date maps. With the XXL 540TM World Traveler Edition, you'll always stay current.
Five-inch widescreen navigation plus Lifetime Traffic and Map Updates for the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Europe.
Expand your horizons with a 5-inch extra-wide touchscreen.
The award-winning Fold and Go EasyPort mount folds into the back of the device for maximum portability.
Switch on and it's ready to go right out of the box. Spoken turn-by-turn instructions, including street names, will guide you to any address in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Europe--including more than 7 million pre-loaded points of interest. The TomTom XXL 540TM World Traveler Edition is complete widescreen navigation.
Only TomTom has IQ Routes technology,* which shaves time off even the shortest trips by calculating the fastest route based on the time of day you are traveling. You'll always drive the smartest, most efficient route and save time, fuel, and money. Advanced Lane Guidance** uses photorealistic images to bring even more clarity to complex multi-lane exits so you can be more confident on the road.
TomTom has the most accurate maps, and with TomTom Map Share technology, you can instantly modify street names, street direction, POIs, road speeds, and turn restrictions on your own device.
The "Help Me!" menu provides added safety features so you can easily access local emergency providers. The award-winning Fold and Go EasyPort mount folds flat against the device, making it easy to take with you from car to car.
Maps of the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Europe
Pre-loaded with maps of the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Europe. TomTom has the most accurate maps, and with TomTom Map Share technology, you can instantly modify street names, street direction, POIs, and more on your own device, as well as receive daily verified updates from TomTom. Spoken turn-by-turn instructions and 3D graphics will guide you to any address in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Europe, worry-free.
Lifetime Traffic and Map Updates***
Enjoy a lifetime of easy driving with two great features from TomTom. Lifetime Maps guarantees you receive four new editions of your TomTom map each year to ensure that you are always navigating with the industry's most up-to-date map. And, Lifetime Traffic sends updates to your TomTom every three minutes, so you can always steer clear of traffic delays and take the fastest route possible to your destination.
7 Million POIs
Pre-loaded with more than 7 million points of interest in over 60 destination categories. Easily find millions of gas stations, restaurants, hotels, ATMs, and more on your route. Or, seek out a new tourist attraction, nightlife spot, or shopping center, and navigate directly to it. Customize by adding your own points of interest.
IQ Routes Technology
TomTom IQ Routes technology puts the driving experience of millions of TomTom users into your maps to shave time off even the shortest trips. Calculates the fastest route possible based on time of day. With TomTom IQ Routes, you'll always drive the smartest, most efficient route. IQ Routes saves you time, fuel, and money.
Traffic isn't the same during Monday morning rush hour as it is on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Heavy traffic, rotaries, traffic lights, and even pedestrians can slow you down. The route you need changes depending on the day and time, so the shortest route isn't necessarily going to be the fastest. With TomTom IQ Routes, you'll always drive the fastest route.
Advanced Lane Guidance
TomTom Advanced Lane Guidance gives you extra clarity when navigating difficult junctions by showing you which lane to take, so you won't miss your turn or have to make sudden, dangerous lane crossings. Photorealistic images and a pulsing green arrow indicate exactly which lane to use, so you can go confidently.
Spoken Street Names
Announces turn-by-turn directions aloud, including street and place names.
Expand your horizons with a 5-inch extra-wide touchscreen. A widescreen allows an expanded driving view and easier menu operation.
Fold and Go EasyPort Mount
The award-winning Fold and Go EasyPort mount provides maximum portability. It folds neatly onto the back of the device, so both are small enough to fit into your pocket or bag, and makes your device even more portable so you can take it with you wherever you travel.
*Feature only available in the U.S. and Canada
**Feature available in the U.S. only
***Lifetime Traffic and Maps: You receive non-transferable traffic data and up to four non-transferable map data updates per year until the product's useful life expires or TomTom no longer receives map or traffic updates from its suppliers--whichever is shorter. Lifetime Maps available for the U.S., Canada, and Mexico only. Lifetime Traffic available in the U.S. and Canada. Details and terms at www.tomtom.com/legal.
All TomToms Feature
Plug and Go--Works right out of the box.
30-Day Latest Map Guarantee--Up-to-date, off the shelf.
TomTom Map Share--Modify your own map and benefit from other users' verified changes with TomTom Map Share.
Help Me! Emergency Menu--Easily access local emergency providers such as police, fire stations, and hospitals.
TomTom HOME--Always up-to-date.
Fuel Price Service (optional)--Know more, pay less.
What's in the BoxTomTom XXL 540TM World Traveler Edition device, EasyPort mount, USB cable, adhesive disk, car charger with integrated traffic, and user's guide with lifetime maps voucher.
About TomTomFounded in Amsterdam in 1991, TomTom has established itself as a global leader in navigation by being an innovative company with a strong brand, clear customer focus, and high-quality products and services.
TomTom is the world's leading navigation solutions provider, with navigation products sold in 30 countries and in over 20 languages. To further our commitment to car navigation, TomTom acquired Tele Atlas maps in 2008 so we can continually provide the most up-to-date maps and intelligent routing.
We have our own mapping company!
Did you know that every year roads change by up to 40% in high-growth areas? Tele Atlas manages this by using the world's most comprehensive systems to identify and incorporate these changes into our maps with unprecedented levels of speed and accuracy. All TomTom devices benefit from the Tele Atlas advantage--more coverage, more points of interest, and more freshness and accuracy.
At TomTom, we believe that personal navigation should be as easy and safe as possible. We develop smart technology that gives you straightforward solutions and innovations to make life easy.
Top Customer Reviews
A growing number of portable GPS units have come to market in the past 5 or so years. Over time, the hardware has improved, the software has (for the best ones) gotten pretty good, and prices have (especially in the past year or so) dropped tremendously. (That last point--the tremendous drop in price--has forced many manufacturers out of the market. At this point, it is mostly dominated by names like TomTom, Magellan, and Garmin). There is also now competition from high end smart phones, most of which have a GPS unit built in.
(Amazingly--or perhaps not--the cost of factory installed car GPS systems has stubbornly remained around $2,000!)
While there has been substantial brand attrition in the GPS market, there is no shortage of choices. That's because each manufacturer now offers an almost ridiculous number of models, many of which are only modestly different.
GPS units can basically be differentiated as follows
1) Screen size (usually 3-5" diagonally)
2) Ability to acquire a GPS signal
3) The GUI (graphical user interface) presented to the user
4) Quality of the maps (how often updated, what geographical regions they cover)
5) Does the unit incorporate traffic data?
6) Quality of routing (how good are the driving instructions generated)
7) Does the unit offer text to speech? (Does it tell you the names of streets, or just say "next left"?)
8) Does the unit offer voice recognition
9) Does the unit incorporate blue tooth to communicate with your phone and/or FM transmission to play over your car radio?
10) Does the unit have expandable memory; play mp3s; etc?
11) How good is the included mounting hardware?
Let's take these features one at a time for this particular GPS, the TomTom XXL540TM
1) The screen size of this unit is 5". This is at the high end of current offerings by the major GPS manufacturers. This doesn't really buy you any additional "real estate", i.e. the resolution isn't higher than the small GPS units. It's just a little bigger. That IS useful, to be honest, and is also helpful as it makes it easier to maneuver the touchscreen menus.
2) This unit, like all the current TomTom line, does a great job of acquiring a GPS signal. It can take far less than a minute with clear lines of sight, and my unit was even able to pull up 5 satellites inside my home with the blinds drawn. I also have GPS units from Sony and Garmin, as well as a built in unit in my car. The TomTom is better than the Sony at getting a signal, as good as the Garmin, and slower than the built in in my car (not a fair comparison, since the built in gets a much larger antenna).
3) This TomTom has a very good GUI. The touch screen is reasonably responsive and most everything appears where one would, intuitively, expect it to be. My biggest complaint is that there are a LOT of options and option screens you can drill through--way too many to deal with while driving. The upside, is there is a "simple menus" options that will present only the most significant option screens. It should be noted that some of the recent TomTom models (e.g. the 550) have eliminated a lot of the options/option screens, leaving ONLY the "simple" menus. That is a big negative, since some of these deep menus are quite useful. Bottom line: Good GUI and stick to a model like this that at least gives you the option of the deep menus.
4) The map data is good, and this particular GPS comes with lifetime map updates. TomTom also has a "map share" facility, which allows users to upload/download map changes. That means if a bunch of users discovery that a street is closed, they can note this information on their GPS and that info will get transmitted back to TomTom, who then shares it with everyone else. In this way, maps get corrected very quickly. This unit includes maps for both North America (US/Mexico/Canada) and much of Europe. The inclusion of European maps will be considered a major bonus for some, and irrelevant for those who don't plan to take this outside this continent.
5) This unit includes lifetime traffic data. The value of this data will depend on where you live. Major cities have great coverage. Smaller cities frequently get poorer coverage. The traffic data is also sometimes incorrect. But on the whole, the traffic data is good, and reasonably reliable (where you can get it). It is transmitted over the FM frequency, and an antenna is built into the auto power adapter cord that comes with this unit. The REAL value of the traffic data is that the unit incorporates the data when calculating routing information. I was skeptical at first, but have been VERY surprised at how well the unit picks the "right" route (not just the route that is shortest in land miles, or shortest based on posted speed limits). This is an A++ feature.
6) The quality of the routing with this unit is OUTSTANDING. Everything else aside, this is, in my opinion, where this unit really shines. They use what they call "IQ Technology" for routing. This is just putting a brand name on the following process: Incorporating frequently updated information on the real speed of various roads (and current traffic information) when generating routing information. It works beautifully. I tried several routes I frequently drive, where the real-world best route would NEVER be predicted on the basis of land miles or on the basis of posted road speeds. No other GPS I have used has ever predicted the real-world best routes--that includes a last generation Magellan unit, a last generation Sony unit (updated with their most recent firmware), and the unit installed in my car (also updated). In one case, the TomTom came up with a very good route, but not quite the best one. I went to the menus and indicated I wanted to avoid a certain road. The TomTom recalculated and subsequently came up with the correct (and not obvious) route. On the basis of their routing, I am a TomTom believer.
It's worth adding that this unit also includes "lane guidance", which is extra information about what lane in a multi-lane road/highway you should be in to prepare for your next road change. This feature is included in the higher end units in pretty much all the manufacturer's lines, and as with the others, it works very well here. I find this to be a very useful feature and would gladly pay to move up in a product line to get it.
7) This TomTom unit features text to speech. I find this a good feature, though obviously you can glance at the LCD screen to get the same info on a unit that does feature this feature. The TomTom is very good at pronouncing names that you might expect would present a problem (e.g. names derived from Spanish, or those derived from the names of Native American Indian tribes).
8) This unit does NOT include voice recognition. Although I would consider good quality voice recognition to be a MAJOR advantage, my experience is that the voice recognition on most portable GPS units is poor/worthless. Some of the high end Garmin units feature reasonable voice recognition, but they are expensive and the feature is still, to some extent, a work in progress.
9) This unit does not offer blue tooth connectivity to your cell phone, nor FM transmission through your radio system. To be honest, while these features sound good on paper, the ONLY blue tooth systems I have used that have ever been worth consideration are those factory installed into a car (at a cost of...$2000, or so...) When blue tooth is available on these portable units, it's mostly bad, and frequently horrible. So the lack of blue tooth on this GPS is no loss.
10) This unit does not have an external memory slot, and the memory cannot be expanded. Full loaded with both North American and European maps, this device uses about 3.7Gb of the 4Gb that are built in. But you can easily remove the maps for either North America or Europe in standard use, if you need more space in the future. The lack of external memory means you also won't be using this unit for playing music or videos or whatever. Again, this is no loss in my opinion. Few people use these features even when they are included.
11) The included mounting hardware is, sorry to say, very poor. The design--where the mounting bracket folds to nearly flush with the unit when not in use--is quite cute. Unfortunately, A) the suction device doesn't work very well and loses suction fairly quickly, even when applied to a good, clear, level surface. (When that happens, your GPS comes crashing to the floor!); B) the quick release bracket that allows the GPS to be removed from the mounting bracket is poor, and if you try to adjust the direction of the GPS, it comes off too easily; and C) even if A & B were not true, the included bracket allows only a very limited amount of motion--not enough to really adjust the GPS to the angle and direction you'd want (and certainly not enough to be usable with the increasingly popular "beanbag" dash mounts...) I would STRONGLY recommend that you buy a high quality after-market mount system made for this device, specifically this one: ARKON TTEP115 TomTom EasyPort Windshield / Dash Mount. At the time of writing this review, it's about thirteen dollars from Amazon, and worth every penny. It works great with this GPS and fixes all the problems that the built in mounting system presents. The only downside is that it can't fold away flush with your GPS when done!
On the whole, this is a very very good GPS unit. Outside of voice recognition, it offers pretty much all the desirable navigation features of the current generation GPS units, and it performs quite well. The "IQ Navigation" feature, which calculates routes based on real-world speeds of roads, works incredibly well in my tests and differentiates this unit from the competition from other brands. The included mounting system is the only Achilles heel, but this can be solved by an inexpensive after-market mount, as noted above.
It's worth adding a final note about this particular TomTom model. TomTom has a large number of current models. By and large, they are very similar in terms of the hardware related to the GPS features that positively differentiate the GPS reviewed here. (E.g. good at pulling in satellite signals, excellent "IQ Navigation", good maps, etc.) The different models vary primarily on the basis of screen size, whether they include lifetime updates of map data, whether they include traffic data, and whether they include such inessential features as blue tooth and mp3 play. I found the IQ Navigation feature, which incorporates the traffic data, to be so good that I would strongly recommend one of the models that includes traffic data, at least for those who live in/near the urban regions that get good traffic data service. Some of the recent units (e.g. 550) used a "simplified" interface, which I would avoid. This is, by and large, the "simplified menu" option that this unit offers, but without the ability to move to a more elaborate menu system when desired.
Beyond these two recommendations, you should probably choose the unit that is consistent with your budget, knowing they will all function as a GPS about equally well.
And plan on buying the after-market mount!
What's in the box?
* TomTom XXL 540TM portable GPS
* Windshield suction mount
* Adhesive mount disk
* Car power Adapter
* USB connector
* Instruction guide
Setup of this device is pretty simple. The instruction guide walks you through connecting it to a PC, downloading updates, etc.
On a high level, the TomTom gets me where I want to go and both visual and audio instructions were clear and timely. One note: when you near your destination, the TomTom tells you that you arrived and the display shows if the destination is on the left or right, but the voice does not tell you which side of the street it is on. This is not a huge deal, but its something I became used to with Garmin, which tells you "arriving at destination on left" and so on.
Two places where Garmin beats out the TomTom: Garmin seems to always give you fair warning of approaching turns, etc. The TomTom seems to occasionally offer the info a little late, like as you pass the turn. I noticed this issue during side by side testing. It doesn't happen real often with the TomTom, but it does happen. Also, if you miss a turn or intentionally alter your route, the Garmin is very quick to recalculate. The comparable 'replanning' feature on the TomTom sometimes takes a while, which means you drive around or sit there, waiting for recalculated instructions.
The "lane guidance" system, which points out which lane you should be in on multi-lane highways, works very well, It can automatically switch the display to a "blacktop" view, showing the lanes, dividing islands, and highway signs so that the display looks similar to what you are seeing on the road. If you have an older GPS, the lane guidance features alone should be enough reason to upgrade. My Garmin 765 has this same feature and it is similar on both products.
The TomTom controls are simple and intuitive. The TomTom does not seem to provide as much Points Of Interest information as I have become accustomed to with Garmin. The Garmin tell you the POI's address, city, etc. of each point (store, etc.) rather than just the distance and direction provided by the TomTom. Signal strength seems about the same on my TomTom 540TM and the Garmin 765.
The maps on the TomTom seem current/accurate. The big difference compared to the Garmin is that TomTom includes FREE map updates four times annually for the useable life of the device. Some critics have observed that only TomTom knows what they consider "usable life." However, I can tell you that Garmin makes you buy most map updates, "usable life" or not. It seems silly to pay $70 for a one time map update on a $200 GPS. To buy the same 4 updates per year that TomTom offers for free costs $119.99 at Garmin.
At 5" diagonally, the TomTom has a larger display than the Garmin. While certainly very portable, the TomTom does not have much "pocketability", outside of maybe a large pocket in cargo shorts, etc. I prefer the TomTom's larger screen, and at 4.3" the Garmin won't fit in many pockets either. Most of the GPS products in this size class will fit in a small carrying case, pocketbook, under your car seat, or in your glovebox.
Sound quality: Hearing directions is key when diving with a GPS. The TomTom pronounces words clearly enough to be understood, yet I would say pronunciation is slightly better on my Garmin. However, and it's a big however, the TomTom has far better volume. With the Garmin 765, if you are on battery power, the maximum volume is fairly low, especially when there is conversation in the car, radio, or road noises. The Garmin volume becomes decent only when you plug in the power adaptor. The TomTom's volume is fine, regardless of the power source. Speaking of power, the battery life on the TomTom is not great, two hours if you are lucky.
Traffic updates on the TomTom come via RDS updates, so you have to connect the device to an FM radio system to receive the RDS data. This means unless you plug in the car power adaptor, the GPS will not get the signal through your car radio, and you won't get the traffic updates. This is true of the Garmin 765 I own as well.
TomTom also includes their IQ Routes feature, which makes use of historical traffic volume based on the time of day of your trip. Route selections are made with this data factored in, which is a pretty nice feature.
When it comes to mounting the device on the windshield itself, the suction feature on the TomTom is better than the Garmin. The TomTom has a knob integrated with the suction cup so you apply the mount and turn the knob to create a firm adhesion to the windshield. With the Garmin you just push the suction cup on in a standard manner. The Garmin is a little more prone to fall off than the TomTom.
The TomTom uses a very small stand, which is very portable, and much less bulky than on the Garmin products. It does tend to limit you to mounting on the windshield, unless you prefer to use the mounting disk, which to me is a general no-no, putting an adhesive disk on your auto interior. That is a personal choice though, and obviously many people will be fine using the disk. The larger stand on a Garmin allows you to place the device in a cup holder or other front console/dash compartment. Personally, I find the bean bag type accessories an excellent alternative. I would recommend one from Garmin or TomTom, depending of course on which product you own.
I found the mount itself on the TomTom to be annoying, coming off more than half the time when I adjust it or remove the device from the windshield. The mount reattaches easily to the back of the GPS though.
When it comes to overall features, the Garmin is more loaded at a price of $20-$40 more - Bluetooth/phone compatibility, redirection of audio through car radio, MP3 capability playable through your car audio system, and photo features. The TomTom sticks more to GPS mainstream, lacking most of these features.
If you want celebrity voices on your GPS, TomTom provides the ability to download these. The Garmin does not. Keep in mind celebrity voices will NOT read you street names, just general instructions.
All in all, I really like the TomTom and in general, would choose this item again, although I can't say it is better than the Garmin. Garmin's map pricing policy makes me lean toward the tomTom, but the few buggy items on the TomTom (occasional late instruction, long time to recalculate) make it a toss up.
I phoned customer service to ask about the Europe map updates and was told that first I must update USA maps then I will be given options to update Europe. After completion no options for Europe map updates were available.
I called back and was told that only USA maps get updated and that I must buy the Europe map updates. I thought that this was impossible and called back to get the same answer.
With that I looked at the information on the Amazon site which clearly states "Free Lifetime Traffic and Map Updates for the US, Canada, Mexico & Europe."
I looked on the box and it says exactly the same thing.
I called back and I was told that I should refer to their web site and Europe maps are not included. I explained that it states that lifetime updates are included right on the box and I was told that I am mistaken. I then spoke to a supervisor who explained that there was a miscommunication and that everyone thought that I was trying to update after one year and Europe maps are only updated for a 1 year period (again TomTom states free updates for life).
All lies by TomTom - they do not want to update to the latest Europe maps. I did get my upgrade and I found out that it was handled as a courtesy.
This is not a courtesy - the box and all of the TomTom documentation for the XXL 540TM World Edition states "Free Lifetime Traffic and Map Updates for the US, Canada, Mexico & Europe."