Sunday, March 18, 2012

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TomTom GO 300 review

Tomtom_go_300_review

UPDATE: This model has been discontinued. For current recommendations, please refer to our TomTom comparison chart.

I’ve been playing with a TomTom GO 300 for the past couple of weeks and, for the most part, I have been pretty impressed with it. The menus are so intuitive that I barely glanced at the manual. In my opinion, the intuitive interface of the TomTom GO 300 rates as highly as those of Garmin products.

The unit locked onto satellites promptly, even in a new location all the way across the country. It topped my trusty Garmin on this score. And it was very fast to re-route — whenever I missed or ignored a turn, a new route was calculated quickly, generally within half a block.

Otherwise, routing was a mixed bag. The TomTom picked up a major
turn in my hometown that my Garmin always misses. In general however, it didn’t route quite as well. One time, the TomTom routed me down a narrow rural road, paralleling a nice, fast highway. And sometimes it would not show major forks (missing the change from I-95 to I-476!). While the routing was a little weak, it was easy enough to correct flaws that I knew about using the “Find Alternative” screen shown at right below. Of course, that wouldn’t help in a strange area.  Alternateroute_1

My regular GPS is a handheld, so I can’t really compare the TomTom to other dedicated automotive units. I can however, tell you about a few features missing on my 60CS, that I really enjoyed on the TomTom GO 300. One was the fact that it would give me an indication of what was happening one turn ahead — “Turn left, then stay in left lane.”  Another great feature is the amount of info available on the navigation screen. I especially like being able to see my current speed on the main screen. Finally, the previously mentioned “Find Alternative” screen is very helpful. One feature missing on the TomTom GO 300 however, is submenus. For example, you can’t search for a category of restaurants (e.g., Asian).

Quite frankly, the poor routing keeps me from recommending this unit. Otherwise, it’s a winner. Hopefully, these flaws have been corrected in the new TomTom GO 510 and 910 models.

Here’s what others are saying about the TomTom GO 300:

Here are some other resources that may prove helpful:

Compare prices on the TomTom GO 300 at these merchants:

 

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.

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