Sunday, March 18, 2012

TomTom comparison chart

TomTom’s feature set can be confusing, but the chart below should go a long way towards clearing that up. The links at the top of the chart go to our TomTom reviews. A couple of notes; the Bluetooth feature refers to units that support hands free cell phone use. Some TomTom units have Bluetooth but use it solely for TomTom PLUS services. Also, older and discontinued models have been moved to a separate chart further down the page.

NEW: Click on column headers to sort chart. You can also click here for descriptions and more information about various features.

Model Maps Screen size Speaks street names Live traffic Blue- tooth Advanced Lane Guidance Lifetime maps Menu Voice command IQ Routes Compare prices
GO LIVE 1535M U.S. Canada Mexico 5″ Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Standard Yes Yes
Compare prices

GO 2535M LIVE U.S. Canada Mexico 5″ Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Standard Yes Yes
Compare prices

GO 2535TM WTE U.S. Canada Mexico Europe 5″ Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Standard Yes Yes
Compare prices

Start 45M U.S. Canada 4.3″ Yes No No Yes Yes Standard No Yes
Start 55TM U.S. Canada 5″ Yes Lifetime No Yes Yes Standard No Yes
Compare prices

VIA 1405TM U.S. Canada Mexico 4.3″ Yes Lifetime No Yes Yes Standard No Yes
Compare prices

VIA 1505TM U.S. Canada Mexico 5″ Yes Lifetime No Yes Yes Standard No Yes
Compare prices
VIA 1435TM U.S. Canada Mexico 4.3″ Yes Lifetime Yes Yes Yes Standard Yes Yes
Compare prices

VIA 1505M U.S. Canada Mexico 5″ Yes No No Yes Yes Standard No Yes
Compare prices

VIA 1505TM U.S. Canada Mexico 5″ Yes Lifetime No Yes Yes Standard No Yes
Compare prices
VIA 1535TM U.S. Canada Mexico 5″ Yes Lifetime Yes Yes Yes Standard Yes Yes
Compare prices

VIA 1605TM U.S. Canada Mexico 6″ Yes Lifetime No Yes Yes Standard No Yes
Compare prices

Older and discontinued models

Model Maps Screen size Speaks street names Live traffic Blue- tooth Advanced Lane Guidance Lifetime maps Menu Voice command IQ Routes Compare prices
EASE U.S. 3.5″ Yes No No No No Easy No Yes Compare prices
GO 630 U.S. Canada 4.3” Yes Option Yes Yes No Standard Yes Yes Compare prices
GO 2505TM U.S. Canada 5″ Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Standard Yes Yes
Compare prices

ONE 130S U.S. Canada 3.5″ Yes Option No Yes No Standard No No Compare prices
XL 325 U.S. 4.3″ No Option No No No Standard No Yes Compare prices
XL 325S U.S. 4.3″ Yes Option No No No Standard No Yes Compare prices
XL 325SE U.S. 4.3″ Yes Option No No No Standard No Yes Compare prices
XL 330S U.S. Canada Mexico 4.3″ Yes Option No Yes No Standard No Yes Compare prices
XL 335S U.S. Canada 4.3″ Yes Option No Yes No Standard No Yes Compare prices
XL 335SE U.S. Canada 4.3″ Yes Option No Yes No Easy No Yes
Compare prices

XL 335T U.S. Canada 4.3″ Yes Lifetime No Yes No Standard No Yes Compare prices
XL 335TM U.S. Canada 4.3″ Yes Lifetime No Yes Yes Standard No Yes Compare prices
XL 340M U.S. Canada Mexico 4.3″ Yes Option No Yes Yes Standard No Yes Compare prices
XL 340S U.S. Canada Mexico 4.3″ Yes Option No Yes No Standard No Yes Compare prices
XL 340S LIVE U.S. Canada Mexico 4.3″ Yes Yes No Yes No Standard No Yes Compare prices
XL 340TM U.S. Canada Mexico 4.3″ Yes Lifetime (US & Canada only) No Yes Yes Standard No Yes Compare prices
XXL 540M U.S. Canada 5.0″ Yes Option No Yes Yes Standard No Yes Compare prices
XXL 540S U.S. Canada Mexico 5.0″ Yes Option No Yes No Standard No Yes Compare prices
XXL 540S WTE U.S. Canada Mexico Europe 5.0″ Yes Option No Yes No Standard No Yes Compare prices
XXL 540TM U.S. Canada Mexico 5.0″ Yes Lifetime No Yes Yes Standard No Yes Compare prices
XXL 540TM WTE U.S. Canada Mexico Europe 5.0″ Yes Lifetime (US & Canada only) No Yes (US Canada Mexico only) Standard No Yes Compare prices
XXL 550TM U.S. 5.0″ Yes Lifetime No Yes Yes Easy No Yes Compare prices

Even older discontinued models

Model Maps Screen size Speaks street names Map Share Traffic Blue- tooth FM trans- mitter iPod control MP3 player Remote control Voice command IQ Routes Compare prices
GO 720 U.S. Canada 4.3″ Yes Yes Option Yes Yes Option Yes Option No No Compare prices
GO 730 U.S. Canada 4.3″ Yes Yes Option Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Compare prices
GO 740 LIVE U.S. Canada 4.3″ Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Compare prices
GO 920 U.S. Canada Europe 4.3″ Yes Yes Option Yes Yes Option Yes Yes Yes No Compare prices
GO 920T U.S. Canada Europe 4.3″ Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Option Yes Yes Yes No Compare prices
GO 930 U.S. Canada Europe 4.3″ Yes Yes Option Yes Yes Option Yes Yes Yes Yes Compare prices
GO 930T U.S. Canada Europe 4.3″ Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Option Yes Yes Yes Yes Compare prices
ONE 3rd edition U.S. Canada 3.5″ No Yes Option No No No No No No No Compare prices
ONE 125 U.S. 3.5″ No Yes Option No No No No No No No Compare prices
ONE 125SE U.S. 3.5″ Yes Yes Option No No No No No No No Compare prices
ONE 130 U.S. Canada 3.5″ No Yes Option No No No No No No No Compare prices
ONE 140 U.S. Canada 3.5″ No Yes Option No No No No No No Yes Compare prices
ONE 140S U.S. Canada 3.5″ Yes Yes Option No No No No No No Yes Compare prices
ONE XL U.S. Canada 4.3″ No When updated Option No No No No No No No Compare prices
ONE XL-S U.S. Canada 4.3″ Yes Yes Option No No No No No No No Compare prices
XL 330 U.S. Canada Mexico 4.3″ No Yes Option No No No No No No No Compare prices
XL 340 U.S. Canada Mexico 4.3″ No Yes Option No No No No No No Yes Compare prices
XXL 530-S U.S. Canada 5.0″ Yes Yes Option No No No No No No Yes Compare prices
Model Maps Screen size Speaks street names Map Share Traffic Blue- tooth FM trans- mitter iPod control MP3 player Remote control Voice command IQ Routes Compare prices

Feature descriptions

  • Speaks street names – Formally known as text-to-speech, this function allows the device to call out the name of the street for upcoming turns, so you’ll hear “approaching right turn, Maple Street” instead of just “approaching right turn.” A very helpful feature.
  • Live traffic – A nice feature that isn’t quite ready for prime time. Expect lots of inaccurate reports as well as incidents that aren’t reported. Delivered via FM, this service is provided by the Traffic Message Channel, hence you will sometimes see it referred to as FM-TMC. Here is a link to a coverage map. “Lifetime” indicates no subscription fees.
  • Bluetooth for hands-free cell phone use – Another nice idea, and I’ve seen signs that TomTom’s sound quality is better than that of other brands.
  • Advanced lane guidance – Provides a visual representation of exits, and displays the number of lanes and proper lane(s) to be in.
  • Lifetime maps – Lifetime map updates provided (typically quarterly) at no extra cost.
  • Menu – The “Easy Menu” is simplified, but these models offer less customization options and other features than units with the standard interface.
  • Voice commands – Too bad it isn’t that great of a feature. For one that is, check out my Garmin nuvi 880 review.
  • IQ Routes – This feature bases routing decisions on historical traffic data, broken down by the day of the week and time of day, the latter in 15 minute increments. Routing behavior is greatly improved, even to the point of directing you to locally known shortcuts.
  • iPod control – Control your iPod via your TomTom touch screen
  • Map Share – Allows you to make certain map corrections on the device, share them with others, and receive their corrections as well. Found on all current models.

Return to GPS Tracklog

Comments

  1. Richard Marlatt says:

    It would be helpful to have the date the units were introduced. This would give me an idea how long the life of the unit and the map updates would be.
    I purchased two different brands in 2008 and they can not be updated.

  2. Ray Birnbaum says:

    I am retired and looking to buy my 1st auto GPS unit. There is a plethora of models making it confusing. However, I have narrowed it to Garmin vs TomTom.
    Your TomTom chart I found on gpstracklog is the best source of info I have found for TomTom. I went on TomToms website and they don’t have a model comparison chart, and I emailed them to complain.

    I just want a simple point to point GPS with at least 4″ screen, no Bluetooth or Traffic reports, with spoken street names and directions. One that is recent and not discontinued. How do I choose one for a 1st time user?

    TomTom scares me because of the reviews(340S) where a map update wont fit in the memory. unforgivable. Gives me a bad feeling for TomTom but a good feeling for reviews like yours. Any suggestions?

    • I hear more complaints about map updates for TomTom units than Garmin, but each have their problems. Garmin units tend to come with an SD slot, so you have that option should a map update exceed the unit’s built-in memory.

      Good basic models that meet your criteria include the Garmin nuvi 1300 and (as you noted), the TomTom XL 340S.

  3. Rich: First I want to thank you for the info on how to remove my TomTom 920 bezel so I could clean under it to stop the terrible problem of having rapid-fire and uncontrollable screen changes on my 920. Before tacking that somewhat complex job, I obtained a thick piece of construction paper (cardboard stiffness) and used the trick someone had suggested on your website of using the corner edge of the cardboard to thoroughly clean under the bezel. The cardboard cleaning under the bezel did it! I waited to write you back until I had about two months of continuous “zero defects”, i.e., no unwanted screen changes. There is nothing on TomTom’s website about this simple, yet effective trick.

    One quick question. Why don’t GPS manufacturers include altimeter readings on their devices? Their multiple satellite readings provide all the information necessary to also make available elevation info. When a GPS with the extensive functionality of my TomTom 920, maybe even a TomTom XXL 540 with lifetime quarterly map updates, includes altimeter readings, I will add it to my GPS collection immediately. ray

    • I’m glad it worked!

      I believe you can add elevation to your TomTom with the use of a third=party add on such as TripMaster. Garmin nuvis have this information available on the satellite screen, and it can be added to map data fields on some units.

    • Ray, I read you have a 920. I miss mine incredibly. There are some available on amazon but wondered what problems,if any, you have had as TT no longer make/support them?

  4. Bill Bordenave says:

    Do any of the new TomTom units with lifetime maps/traffic also have MP3 player ability. I’ve got a GO720 with an MP3 and love it.

    Thanks

    Bill

    • I don’t believe so. The GO 740 LIVE TM has an iPod accessory, but that’s as close as they come. TomTom is supposed to start selling a lifetime map update package separately in the near future. Once they do, you could go that route.

  5. Bill Bordenave says:

    Thanks for the info.

    Bill

  6. Rich,

    I’ve been searching for a GPS informational site and stumbled upon yours and it’s by far the best!! Thanks for running such an easy to use site.

    I was hoping you could help me with a quick question. I’m looking to buy a new TomTom because my current unit is about 4 years old. I’m likely going to buy the XL340TM, but I’m taking trip to Italy and wanted to bring my unit so I didn’t have to pay to rent one from the rental car store which I’m not familiar with. I did some research and I found that you can pay $60 for the Italian Map or $90 for the Western/Central Europe map (http://www.tomtom.com/products/maps/select.php?D=68&M=720). Maybe I’m a sucker, but the latter option seems better because I travel to Europe often. My questions are

    1) The Europe Map update is 2,309mb and I’ve read a lot about the size problems with the unit. Do know if I would be able to download these. (I’m trying to avoid stepping up to that world version if possible).

    2) I assume these maps would be includes with my free map updates via the “M” attribute right?

    Thanks Rich!
    David

    • David,

      I did some research in the European map issue a while back (your #2 topic). One thing I’ve got out of it is that the European map updates are NOT included in ‘M’ attribute, not even with the WTE model. Seems to be different divisions of TomTom or something.

      • Correct, European maps are not included in the lifetime map updates. I think your best bet would be to get a model with an SD slot, so as to avoid the memory issues. Hmm, it looks like TomTom’s site is down now, so I can’t check. I don’t think the XL’s have a slot. Not sure about the GO series.

        • The GO 740 and 730 have micro-SD slots. I don’t believe any other current models do.

          • Rich,

            Thanks this is extremely helpful. I actually wrote to TomTom to see if there anyway i could download the Western/Central Europe maps and only upload certain countries to the device, or pay for the full download but they should give me the Italy only download. Hoping they have some creative suggestion, will let you know what they come back with. Thanks so much!
            David (thank you Gis as well!)

  7. George Galamba says:

    Just a note to say thanks for the fantastic site. I am going to get my first GPS tomorrow for Black Friday, and wanted to compare models. I think I’ll go for the TOMTOM XXL 540-S

  8. Thinking about purchasing XXL540M. How “handy” is this unit when onfoot (say, when in a city)? I envision loading multiple “sites of interest”, and when wandering around, knowing proximity to them.

    • It works, but I find it a bit awkward. I prefer a 2D map for pedestrian navigation, holding it flat, just like a paper map. But in this view, there’s nothing pointing you in the direction to go, because unlike handheld GPS, most car units lack a compass screen.

      However, you can use it in 3D view, just like you would in a car, with it giving you turn by turn directions. If you get turned around though, it can be difficult to reorient yourself. One advantage certain Garmin auto units have, is the ability to show your “track,” displaying where you’ve been, which can help orient you.

      Regardless, you might want to mute the sound to keep from attracting unwanted attention… 🙂

  9. Hello, thanks for the site. I’ve been pulling my hair our trying to see the difference between the XXL540TM and the XXL550TM. Surprise their site doesn’t tell you. Anyway what is “Easy” menu? as thats the only difference you list.
    Is the 550 newer than the 540?
    Is one better than the other?
    Thanks you.

    • It’s a simpler interface, with fewer options. A recent firmware update brought back some features like being able to view a list of turns in a route. But if you want a full complement of options and feature, go with the 540 over the 550.

      • Thanks Rich,
        I did opt for the 540M today on Amazon for $90 delivered.
        I returned the 550MT to BB that with tax was $140.
        Thanks for your help and this site.

        • Excellent! Glad to have helped.

          • Steven Spaner says:

            Rich, After reading your blog, studying your charts, querying you, and looking at the product websites, I, like Larry, jumped on the fabulous Cyber Monday deal that Amazon was offering on the TT XXL 540M ($90).

            After receiving the unit and backing up all the initially installed files before doing any map download … as recommended by so many of your bloggers and yourself … I then registered the unit and began to download map updates. I was a bit perplexed when the website identified my unit as a 530M and began downloading.

            Question #1: Did I get snookered by Amazon or are the map and attendant files for the 530M the same as those for the 540M?

            Question #2: After downloading and installing the complimentary new registrant maps and update files, I used the backup program on the TT Home page. Does this program save to a different location than Program Files/TomTom DesktopSuite folder? This is the folder that I dragged and dropped when I created that pre-registration backup and it takes up 1.92 GB … a lot of disk space. If I don’t need this folder anymore, I’d like to delete it.

            Question #3: Obviously, since the dump of the original XXL 540M unit created a TomTom DesktopSuite folder that is 1.92 GB, that is how much space is gobbled up on the TT unit. Since I have read on your blog that some have had trouble downloading map and file updates because they took up more space than available, are there some files on the unit that I can delete/eliminate to free-up space on the unit, e.g., languages, voices, POIs, etc.?

            Question #4: I was delighted to make use of the user map correction capability on the TT because the name of our road has ALWAYS been misidentified on every GPS unit and mapping website. Does a correction on TT get shared with other mapping services? Or are we still incorrectly identified on all other services? Also, I was able to download other user corrections when I uploaded my correction, but I haven’t been able to get any new user corrections since. Is this user corrections only available if I have some correction to exchange/offer myself? Or am I dealing with coincidence?

            Thanks for all your wisdom and shared experience.

            Steven

  10. Speakeasy says:

    Great site, No advertising or pop-ups. You should make TomTom send you a check.

    • Thanks. We try to keep it pretty clean. We do make a small amount from sales, and there are some other ads on the site. Have to or we couldn’t justify the time spent on it!

  11. Hello,
    I am a little confused. I would like to purchase the XXL 540TM edition, but after reading reviews, I am a little hesitant. They state that the map updates are only good until your TT unit runs out of memory. WOW…is that a gimmick to sell more units? One post actually said to buy the World traveler edition and only update US maps because it has twice as much memory. What is your opinion on that? Do you think it is worth the extra money?
    Also, I have often wanted to program my old TT unit to allow for several stops, which did not work. Can the 540TM do that? Are there any TT models that can do that? And, one last question, is the only difference between 540TM and 550TM the easy menu? I really do not think I will like the easy menu!

    • You just have to delete the current map before installing the new one, but they do cut it close on memory. Its possible that the map data will be too large in the future, forcing you to leave out some regions (e.g., Canada).

      I do think that lifetime map updates are a good deal.

      The 540 does multi-destination routing. Tom Tom calls this an Itinerary. I don’t believe the 550 series has this option. Several other advanced features are missing as well.

  12. hey Jenny the xxl 540tm is $119.99 at staples Sunday & Monday (Dec 12 & 13) only.

    • Thanks so much for the update! I ordered one on amazon earlier this week! Merry Christmas.

    • That’s wrong. The sale ended yesterday (11th). Staples wants $210 for the 540TM now, excluding the 15% coupon. So total price of $178.50+tax.

      Amazon does list them in stock though…

  13. Jenny- It’s in the Sunday Staples flyer showing $119 price good for 2 days only – Sunday & Monday for the xxl 540tm. A friend was going to get the “M” model and got this one ™ instead for that price. They ordered via phone order because that price didn’t show up online. On the phone they had to find the flyer, then adjusted the price for them. Enjoy it. It’s worth whatever you paid.

    • I got it for 149.00 w/free shipping on amazon. I think that is still a great price! I had a tomtom before and someone broke into my van and stole it. I am so glad to get the new one, I hate being w/o one!

  14. Sorry Opie, you commented just as I was entering mine.

  15. Okay then, I am shopping for my first GPS unit. Most people I talk to tell me to get a Garmin. I will be using this mostly for trips in the USA. I like a lot of features as long as they are very easy to use. Dependability is the most important feature. Should I get a Tom Tom or a Garmin and which one?

  16. Personally I prefer Garmin, which (broadly speaking) is easier to use, while TomToms allow more customization. Broadly speaking. 🙂

    I would need to know more about your budget before making a recommendation. Also, are you in a large metro where you would benefit from live traffic?

    • I don’t really have budget. I just want to get one that works the best for me. Lets just say keep it under $230. If I find one for $100 great. I live in the Grand Rapids Michigan area so live traffic is not a must. Accurate maps and ease of use I think would be the most important to me. Maybe once I started using one I would appreciate things like live traffic.

      Will smart phones hurt the sales of gps units? I don’t have one of those yet either. Is bluetooth a nice feature with a gps or should you seek other devices for that app?

      • Ah, Grand Rapids. My wife is from there, well, Jenison actually.

        For TomTom, I’d recommend the 4.3″ XL 340M or 340TM (the latter if you want traffic) models. Both include lifetime map updates. Or if you want a 5″ screen, the XXL 540M or 540TM.

        For Garmin, in 4.3″ models, I’d go for the nuvi 1350LMT or the 1450LMT if you want a 5″ screen.

        The larger screens are popular, but I find them a bit too big. Yes, smartphones are cutting into sales of GPS units. But they aren’t as easy to use for navigation. For rare to occasional use, they may work for you. For regular use, I’d get a GPS. Another option is the nuvi 295W, which has wifi, letting you check your email around any open hotspot (with no need for a $30/month data plan!). Bluetooth sound quality leaves a lot to be desired. You’re better off with a headset for that, which puts the mic closer to your mouth.

        Hope that helps!

  17. Thanks Rich! Jenison eh……my first job was working at the Jenison Mickey D’s at 160 Chicago Dr. back in 1974. I actually live in Byron Center now. I just saw a video on the Garmin Nuvi 3790T.

    http://reviews.cnet.com/car-gps-navigation/garmin-nuvi-3790t/4505-3430_7-34079084.html?tag=contentMain;contentBody

    Is that like way more than a non-techie would ever need? I think I will stick with Garmin and go with the 1350LMT or get crazy and go with something like the 3790T. What do you think?

  18. Hi
    Interesting stuff!

    I’m looking at the Tom Tom Go 650 Live and Tom Tom Go 750 Live. I would be keen to hear the plus and minus.

    I plan to use it mostly in Southeren Africa but take very occasional trips to Europe, and the 750 is advertised with European maps.

    Please let me have your opinion – much appreciated
    Mike

  19. I both BOTH don’t know which one to keep or send back I have TomTom 540M and the Garmin nuvi 1350-LMT 4.3″ GPS w/Lifetime Maps & Traffic. My question I like the 5′ screen on tom tom, but does not have bluetooth. What is the purpose of bluetooh? Verses Not

  20. I am looking for my Mom she is 68 and gets lost easily. She has had a couple small strokes and has a hard time remembering things so I need one that is easy for her to use. Any technical things I can do for her. I just need simple and needs loud voice her hearing is not 100% either. Any suggestions?
    thanks

  21. THANK YOU SOOO MUCH FOR THE INFORMATIVE COMPARISON CHART! It is soo helpful!

    Question: I have (2) unopened TT’s (340M & 335T) and have never used a GPS so hoping you can give insight on which model would be best for my needs.

    TT 340M – Sears $99 (+ $15 lifetime warranty/replacement)
    TT 335T – Target $79 (has protective carrying case, no addn’t warranty purchased)

    I called the TT Cust Service for clarity and looks like the difference between these two is: The 340M offers the free lifetime MAP update feature(but NOT an option to add lifetime traffic feature) and the 335T has the free lifetime TRAFFIC service (and option to purchase lifetime map update feature for $50/yr – which would essentially turn it into a 335TM).

    You list the “traffic” feature as one of the “don’t needs” since it’s rarely accurate info. I live in Seattle and traffic is ALWAYS the issue but current way I track is via webcam on laptop (I don’t have internet on my phone) or radio. If traffic feature was even somewhat accurate, it would be a good selling point and useful service for me and make the 335T the better choice (esp. since I can add the map upgrade service if I want to). But conversly, the 340M would be the better choice if the traffic feature really was useless but it doesn’t allow for upgrading (would be better off to return the 340M and purchase a 340TM).

    Soooo….. what do you think is my best option: Use 335T “as is” (no lifetime map feature – LMF), upgrade 335T w/ LMF for $50, or use 340M (no lifetime traffic feature and no option to add this). Breakdown of final cost would be $129 ($79+$50) for 335T vs. $99 for the 340M. Amazon & Best Buy 335TM AND 340TM = $119. Most cost-effective to return BOTH products and purchase a 335TM or 340TM but what becomes the difference between these two then?

    • Wow, I had no idea they wouldn’t sell a traffic receiver for the 340M. Strange. Traffic info tends to get better in the larger metros, so I would go that route.

      The 335T has a very limited feature set, so I’d choose the 340TM if at all possible.

      Hope that helps!

  22. Just talked to TT Cust Svc again and they confirmed that there is no point in purchasing a receiver for XL 340M b/c the model isn’t capable of providing the traffic info (it’s an older model). So this one isn’t useful to me if I want traffic updates.

    Cost for adding MAP update service to XL 335T: A) 1 yr. subscription (4 updates) = $39.95, B) Lifetime = $99.95. So $79.99 + $39.95 = $120 BUT the cost to purchase XL 340TM (includes receiver/charger AND lifetime map & traffic updates) = $120 (Amazon & Best Buy).

    But then there’s the XL 350TM for $98.99 (Amazon)+ free 5-7 day shipping and it’s everything the 340TM (including lifetime traffic & maps) but has 2-button interface instead of “classic view”.

    So the REALLY BEST BUY is the 350TM – yes?

    • Actually, the more I read the reviews for the XL 350TM, the more I think that the 340TM is the best model overall in the 300 series. Seems like TomTom tried to upgrade the 340TM to a more simplified, user-friendly model and it backfired. Apparently simplier isn’t always better. Reviews, overall, for the 350TM are just not very favorable unfortunately.

      Unless someone can provide a compelling reason why I shouldn’t get the 340TM, that’s the one I’m going with. 🙂

  23. Jen
    My only compelling reason NOT to get the 340TM is you should get the 540TM instead. If you look at the 4.3 inch screen next to the 5 inch, there is a big difference you wouldn’t expect. You would be wise to stay away from the x50 models. They are Tom Tom’s way of competing with the simple to use Garmins which allow for little custom changes.

  24. Jennifer,

    My take is that the 340TM is the best followed by the 350TM, followed by the 335T+M. The 350 series has received an update which gave it the most important missing features, and will be fine for most people…

    http://gpstracklog.com/2010/09/tomtom-eases-in-expanded-feature-set.html

  25. Some of my decision will be based on cost so if the 340TM is significantly less than the 540 series, I may have to go with the 340 first (easing into this as a novice GPS owner) and then eventually upgrade. But I’m definitely going to steer clear of the x50 series at the moment and they just don’t seem as “user friendly” – even with changes/updates to the earlier series.

    Thanks for the info! Merry Christmas! 🙂

  26. OK, so after looking at both the 340TM and XXL 540TM (closest apples-to-apples of like models), it seems that the only difference between these two is the larger screen on the 540TM which adds $20 to the cost (on Amazon, the cheapest price I’ve found). However, Best Buy does have the XXL 540TM w/ carrying case for $162 but both 540’s are on backorder 🙁 . Think I’m going to see where I can find both the 340TM and 540TM side-by-side to do a screen comparison and then make my decision. I would think that if it’s the voice the driver is listening to more than looking at the screen for directions, why would the larger screen make a significant difference?

  27. Jennifer, I have tried both the smaller and larger screens and find the larger screen significantly better for me. Obviously it is a matter of personal preference. Also, my price comparisons earlier today showed the 540TM only $18 more than the 340TM ($136 vs. $118, respectively). However, my new TT-540TM didn’t work properly “out of the box” with the primary problem being an intermittent (initially) and then a rather consistently frozen start-up screen which made the unit useless. It’s too long of a sad story for here, but my experience suggests if you ever have a problem with your TomTom, use the live human being, telephone call-in number (888-486-6866) for any warranty support and not the Web/Internet-based, sequential trial-and-error interactive approach (www.TomTom.com; “Support” menu; followed by clicking on “My questions” under Support Links). I’ve had outstanding reliability and performance out of a previous TT-GO920 unit except after several years grit under the bezel caused erratic, out-of-control screens to flash by in a random cycle. The fix was simple and thanks to Rich Owings was noted in an exchange with Rich several months ago. ray

  28. Jennifer,

    Ray is right, screen size is a personal preference issue. I’m fine with 4.3″ screens and actually prefer them due to the smaller device size. If your eyesight is really bad, 5″ can make a difference. The one place most people will notice a difference is the larger keypad for entering POI searches, etc.

    If you see this in time, Amazon has a deal on the 540TM this morning starting at 9 am ET. Follow this link… Gold Box Deal

  29. Jennifer,
    The 5″ is much larger as noted by others, it is measured diagonally. You DO need to view the screen sometimes for the next street or highway name. You may not hear or understand it when pronounced, and the larger screen has a larger font (proportionally). Also as Rich mentioned, it is easier to hit the correct key on the keypad when it is larger !! Other than the screen size, the speaker might be a little larger (it would make sense but not sure), though Tom Toms are louder than most Garmins (maybe the new high end Garmins are good now). You should try them out at a store with a large supply.

  30. The larger font on the XXL540 shows the street name larger. That’s what I meant !!

  31. Hello Rich, My Dad bought a 540S thinking he was getting lifetime maps. He took it home and made a log in account on tomtom home. He then took that GPS back and bought the 540M and is now trying to change his original account from the 540S to the 540M and can not do it. When he plugged it in and updated the map, now it will only show the unit as the 540S and will not allow him to enter his code for lifetime maps. Please help!!!

    Also, my Husband and his father have a debate going on about tomtoms. My father in law says there is a transmitter and that anyone could track where you have been, or rather yet find you at any point. My husband says no, that the gps just receives information and does not transmit it. Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks again for your help! Jenny

    • He may need to uninstall TomTom HOME and start over. Or call TomTom support.

      The 540 series (and most auto GPS units) have no way to transmit location data. They can record it however, but someone would have to have physical access to the device to recover that info.

  32. @Steven,

    The 530 is an older model. This could be a TomTom HOME bug. If your model has Advanced Lane Guidance and maps of Mexico, it is a 540 series and not the 530. You can also check here…

    http://us.support.tomtom.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/9521/related/1/c/2356

    I’m on a Windows 7 machine, which isn’t TomTom HOME compatible, so I can’t verify file locations.

    Computerized foreign voices gobble up the most memory. This may be helpful…

    http://www.tomtomforums.com/tomtom-one-start-ease-xl-xxl/23556-safe-delete-these-files.html

    A correction on TomTom gets shared with Tele Atlas, but not other mapping companies. The change may or may not show up in a future map update. There is a long lag time and Tele Atlas would probably field verify it. The latter question sounds like coincidence; you don’t have to share any changes to download those from others. This may help…

    http://www.tomtom.com/page/mapshare

  33. UPDATE: I’ve been so busy since Christmas that I’ve almost forgotten about my TomTom purchase but I’ve been checking Amazon, where I’m finding the best prices on the 340TM & 540TM, and keep seeing the price drop for the 340TM (started at $119 on Amazon right after Christmas and is now at $98.99) but looks like the 540TM has gone UP to $169 (from $139 on Amazon but is $139 on Buy.com). I did compare both side by side and although the 540 screen is noticeably bigger, I’m not sure it makes enough of a difference to *me* to justify the higher cost. However, at the $139 price on Buy.com (and free shipping), it’s still “affordable” and within my budget even though I originally set out to only buy the 335T for the $79 price on Black Friday – LOL!

  34. Jennifer
    If you can hold out, the TomTom XXL540Tm will certainly drop again soon. The 5″ is worth the difference if you are trying to glance at it while driving, not just in the store.

  35. Well, I’ve been waiting this long (like a few years now) to get a GPS so what’s a few more weeks or months right? HA! HA! Actually the $136 w/ free shipping is better than the other $200+ prices so biting now at the cheaper price is still pretty good – considering the 340TM isn’t too much cheaper than the 540TM some places.

    By the way, what’s the benefit of the LIVE versions and are those models worth the extra cost?

  36. Live versions of TT or Garmin link to more current traffic reporting as well as other things such as gas prices, etc (of course for an extra monthly or annual fee). I think TT is $10/month and Garmin is $60/yr. RICH could give more deatils on the LIVE models. You have to determine if they are worth the extra cost, but I believe based on sales most do not need the LIVE models, or stop the pay subscription at some point if they do purchase them.

  37. Jennifer,

    I reviewed the GO 740 LIVE here…

    http://gpstracklog.com/2009/05/tomtom-go-740-live-review.html

    Personally, I don’t think they are worth it, especially with a short 3 month trial and high continuing costs.

  38. Marvin Neiswanger says:

    These are the best feature charts I have found. Have searched all over trying to find which TomTom’s have intenary/multi-point or travel via features and for some reason they seem to be secret. Have a TomTom that has these festures but it has quit working. Which TomTom has these festures

    Want a new GPS with these features plus Blue_tooth. As of now I am favoring the Garmin 1490LMT, but not sure I like the travel sumary screen shots I have found. I like the one on older units with more information.

  39. Thank you so much for this! I’ve been searching for a comparison of the TomTom 540TM and 550TM and finally a site that explains it! The comments have been very helpful for me to figure out that I really don’t want the 550 even though I can actually get it cheaper than the 540 now. Should have got it in the Thanksgiving sales at $129. Ah well, $159 is still not bad. I’m very glad I didn’t get the 550 (Costco used to have the 540 but now only has the 550).

    Your site has really made me feel much better about my purchase decision. No other site (including TomTom itself!) explains it properly. Kudos to you! Thanks again!

  40. I’ll be purchasing my 1st GPS unit, am thinking about a 5″ screen just so that I can read it quickly when I glance at it. (I think I’m one of the few drivers that really concentrates and keeps eyes on the road, I don’t even like turning my head to the passenger when conversing)

    Regarding up-to-date traffic, (I’m in Houston area) do all units need to be plugged in to the car power adapter? I’ve read some reviews that the power adapter functions as the antenna.

    • Older models had a separate antenna lead you would need to string across your dash/windshield, but most units now have the traffic receiver integrated with the power cable.

      • Thanks for the info, this is truly a great site. Since I like to keep a USB power port available for my phone, how can I find out which GPS devices can charge through a USB port? Also, I really like the multiple destination function (which apparently the GO 2505TM lacks), is that a feature that is easily searchable?

        • I’m not sure I understand why you want to charge through USB. Most current TomTom and Garmin units will charge through USB; only some Magellans are designed to. The charging process may take much longer this way though.

          I’m surprised the 2505 doesn’t offer multi-destination routing; the manual isn’t entirely clear on it. The x40 models do offer this feature though.

  41. Can anyone tell me the difference between a unit marked “XXL 550” and “XXL 550 T”? Now, I know that T stands for lifetime traffic. Does that mean that the unit labelled only 550 does not have this feature, or is the 550 just an umbrella label? I want to make sure I do not shortchange myself on a feature. And, if this is in fact a difference between the 2, are there other differences as well?

  42. I’m wanting the TT 540TM (NOT refurbished) and I *think* the least expensive I’ve seen on-line is Amazon at about $150 right now (it was down to $135 a few weeks ago).

    Anyone know of any other *reputable* places selling less that $150? If I order on-line, I only want to buy from a place that I’m familiar with (has no-hassle return, decent shipping price, etc.) No ‘previously unheard of’ or ‘fly by night’ places. THX!

  43. Franny Glass says:

    THANKS for a great chart!!

    Will you update this chart to reflect all the new models? VIA series and Go 2405, 2505, 2435, 2535, etc.

    • I will, but not until I’ve reviewed them, so there may be a month or so lag behind when they are first available. The GO 2505TM is already here BTW. The only difference between it and the 2405TM is screen size.

  44. Rich,

    First, I would like to thank you for such a lovely site. I made my decision to buy TT540TM after going through comparision chart. Earlier I was inclined towards Garmin but they are a bit costly and then I got some good deal for TT540TM so I bought it.

    I bought this new TT 540 TM, but I am not able to find ALG thing to work for me. Do I need to activate it somewhere ?

    I have another question. The very first time I tried to connect it to computer and update map. The update failed with some error code and now I am not able to update the map.

    I haven’t activated my Lifetime map update code yet.

    This is also having some space issues, could you help me resolve this ?

    • ALG coverage varies region to region, but it seems very good here in my corner of the southeast US.

      Did you make a backup? What was the error code?

      • I have made the backup now. I will try updating it once again. Now I tried using it in US 75 Freeway. Show Lane option was enabled. What I could see was only multiple lanes on bottom left of GPS and the lane which I had to use for exit was bold. But I couldn’t see anything like that green arrow which zooms and clearly shows the lane, as I have seen in demo videos on tomtom site.

        Is this kind of usual or its some bug. I am still trying to find out if my GPS has ALG working successfully. Is there any other way to test it. I have also tried using ‘demo route’.

        Thanks for your help.

        • The reality view type screen showing interchanges won’t show up everywhere. You might try demo’ing a route through a major metropolitan area.

          • This is exactly the reply I got from Tomtom Customer Care. ‘ALG zoomin screen doesn’t show up every now and then.’

            I tried connecting my TT once again to my lappy and this time, I was able to update it correctly. I was confused about one thing. The preinstalled map in my GPS was of 1750 MB and the latest map update took only 1600 + MB. do the map space decrease in future ?

            Can you give me a test route to test Realty view on my GPS.

            Thanks for all your responses.

  45. Hate to say this because Amazon has been great for all my purchases, but there seemed to be a major problem with the (software in the) batch of XXL 540TM Tom Toms shipped only to Amazon for the holiday rush. On the many non-affiliated TT sites online the only problems reported and 1 star reviews are for the models purchased from Amazon. It might be worth getting THIS model only somewhere else. It is a fantastic GPS and I would hate for people to get a bad one and decide to get a Garmin without first experiencing the actual XXL 540TM as is is meant to be used. Only then can they make a choice whether or not they like it.

    • I also checked my tom tom serial no. on TT website. It says XXL 535 / XXL 540 S – 2GB. Is this what I get for TT 540TM. Though I have traffic antenna emberded in car charger and I have lifetime Map promotional code, I haven’t used it yet.

  46. I bought the XXL 540TM from Amazon in the early summer 2010 and have not had to reset it even once. It has allowed me to choose so many options to have it work the way I want that I am glad I tried out a Garmin first to see the difference. Except for the absolute new Garmins priced much higher, Garmin allows for very few optional setting by the user. they are good for people who never want to change the factory settings and will accept any route it comes up with (that’s a good thing for some people).

  47. I’m wanting to buy a new TOM TOM GPS, What is the difference in the TOM TOM XXL 540 TM & XXL 550 TM?

  48. @Kapil – Maybe they found a better way to compress the data.

    I don’t see any way to determine what areas have ALG near you. NAVYEQ shows these on their website, but TeleAtlas (the TomTom map provider) doesn’t. Their site is at http://mapinsight.teleatlas.com/mapfeedback/index.php

  49. @Jennifer — Yes, Amazon pricing is definitely mercurial.

  50. What a great website! Im hoping that I too can ask for information…

    I am looking for a new TomTom (GO 920 stolen) but cannot determine differences in the new GPS models beyond some have Live traffic/bluetooth etc. As many features come on the cheaper models (and as there is no comparative map on TomTom’s website its hard to really know what comes with what) Im not sure what the more expensive ones get you.

    Basically, if we don’t mind spending $300, what do you get for the extra money?

    I loved about our Go 920:

    *Record your own voice (or that of my kids- very funny. To me and mine only ofcourse. Visitors very irritated so hope too are the people who stole it).
    *Lots of options- 3d, different cars, fastest vs shortest routes etc
    *Itinerary mapping- or multiple destinations.
    *Europe and Asia map compatible
    *Bluetooth (tho didn’t use it at the time as no bluetooth. Love how the iPhone will bring up searched place on map and provide web/phone number to call instantly, so imagine would use on the GPS too).

    We didn’t have live traffic then, but would definitely use it, as well as lifetime maps as old maps very frustrating…

    Given that, and my comfort with the tomtom setup so not after different brand, any suggestions? I think I like a bigger screen, but the old 4′ one was fine too.

    Any comments about what the more expensive models offer that the cheaper ones dont and usage issues of each would be much appreciated, and if there is a model that does all of the above I’d be grateful for the short cut.

    Again, great service here and thanks in advance!

    • I can’t find documentation about which models let you use your own voice.

      Otherwise, I’d look at the x40 models (the x50 and x35’s are dumbed down). Or maybe one of the new GO models. World Traveler Editions some with maps of Europe too.

      Hope that’s enough to get you started.

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