UPDATE: This model has been discontinued. For a list of current TomTom models and their features, please see our TomTom comparison chart.
Hands on with the TomTom EASE
The TomTom EASE is a new entry-level unit with a 3.5” screen, text-to-speech, 3 million points of interest and pre-loaded maps of the US. But what really makes the EASE attractive is the fact that it includes IQ Routes, TomTom’s historical road speed database that can make for significantly improved routing. This feature is not included in many other low-price TomTom models, so I was quite pleased to see it included on the EASE.
A new feature for TomTom is the simplified menu system shown in the screenshot above. A “fold n’ go” mount is integrated into the back of the unit. before I get into the details, let’s compare the EASE to some…
- There are quite a few older models out there (the ONE 125, 330, and XL 325 series) with various feature sets, that you may find cheaper, but they’ll all be missing IQ Routes
- Going the other direction, you can step up to the ONE 140-S to add maps of Canada, Advanced Lane Guidance and the ability to customize your experience a bit more
- Or move on up to the XL 340-S to get all this plus maps of Mexico in a 4.3” wide-screen model
- You can see how the EASE stacks up against other models with my TomTom comparison chart
TomTom EASE interface
The interface is much simpler than most TomTom units. Quite a few options are missing, but all the basics are there. The main screen, shown above, has two main options (Plan Route and Browse Map), along with five additional icons at the bottom of the screen (mute sound, day/night, help, options and done).
Once you select Plan Route, you’ll be given the options shown below.
Going back to the row of options on the bottom of the main screen, most are self-explanatory, but a couple merit further discussion…
The Help screen produces a map and details of your current location, along with options to drive to or call for help, as shown below. There’s no Bluetooth capability on the EASE, so don’t expect to be able to make a call from the unit; however, you can easily access phone numbers for, or directions to, the nearest police station, fire station, hospital, repair shop, etc.
While the EASE doesn’t have the options of more advanced units, as you can see below there are still quite a few available.
Navigating with the TomTom EASE
The EASE show the next turn at the top of the screen, as you can see below. Lets take the three boxes at the bottom of the screen one at a time.
On the lower left you’ll see your current speed (and speed limit where available); this field turns red if you exceed the speed limit by more than 5 MPH. While coverage seems more limited than that offered by Garmin, posted speed limits tended to be more accurate on the TomTom. These results may vary widely by region. Note that you can tap the speed limit field to adjust the volume. While that’s not an intuitive placement, once you do it I doubt that you’ll forget how to.
In the center is the distance to, and maneuver at, your next turn. Tap this field to switch between 2D and 3D map views.
The lower right field provides information relative to your destination – estimated time of arrival, distance to destination and time to destination. Tap this field to see a route summary or to change your route.
Shown below is the Change Route screen.
The IQ Routes historical road speed database can result in significantly improved routing, and is a fairly good substitute for (and in general is more reliable than) live traffic. If you drive in areas with routine traffic problems and choose to buy a TomTom, I highly recommend that you get a model with this feature.
TomTom EASE performance
I had very few problems during my time testing this unit. I noticed no routing errors or significant lags in position or recalculation. Satellite acquisition seems a little slower than most units, taking around 30 seconds to a minute to lock. Overall though, the unit performed exceedingly well.
TomTom EASE mount
Here’s a video with a quick tip on how to make the TomTom EASE work with a friction mount.
TomTom EASE pros
- Has IQ Routes historic road speed database for improved routing
- Includes text-to-speech (calls out street names for turns)
- Map Share allows you to submit and receive map corrections
- Displays speed limit and warns when speeding over 5 MPH
- Speed limits were very accurate in my testing
TomTom EASE cons
- Does not automatically switch between day and night view; must be changed manually from main screen
- Does not power on / off automatically
- Satellite acquisition is a little slow
- Speed limit coverage seems limited to major highways
- Points of interest database is small (3 million)
Recommendation and conclusion
This is an excellent unit for the money. It’s a great entry level unit, especially for those living in areas prone to regular traffic problems. I’m impressed enough that I’m adding it to my auto GPS recommendations.
More TomTom EASE reviews
- Consumer-authored TomTom EASE reviews have been posted at Amazon
- GPS Lodge has posted their own TomTom EASE review
- CNet gives a 3-1/2 out of 5 star rating in their review of the TomTom EASE
- eTech Reviews has also posted a TomTom EASE review
- PC Mag gives a 3 out of 5 star rating in their review of the TomTom EASE
- About.com gives a 3-1/2 out 5 star rating in their TomTom EASE review
I’ll be posting more hands on GPS reviews as they appear, but in the meantime, here are some…
Other TomTom EASE resources
- TomTom has yet to post an EASE owners manual, so you may want to look at the one for the European version
- To see how the EASE compares to other TomTom units, check out my TomTom comparison chart.
- The official TomTom EASE web page
- There are several good TomTom message forums:
Compare prices on the TomTom EASE at these merchants:
- Check the current TomTom EASE price at Amazon
- NOTE: At the time of this posting, the TomTom EASE appears to be available exclusively through Amazon.com