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Wednesday, 30 April 2008 14:17

TomTom GPS goes SlimSlimmer than ever

By
The slimmest TomTom yet is set to go on sale ‘mid year’, with a fold back ‘EasyPort’ mount that still permits the TomTom to slip into your pocket. Alongside a full redesign, the TomTom could well be the BestBest GPS yet!

The 3.5-inch TomTom ONE and the 4.3-inch TomTom XL touch-screen GPS satnavs have been totally redesigned, with TomTom hoping they’ll help the company to retain its leading status as GPS mapping manufacturer extraordinaire.

Both are ‘ultra compact’, and are even slimmer than the models they surpersede, with new designs that actually feature enhanced audio, a latest map guarantee, safety camera information pre-installed and more, including the option of adding an RDS-TMC traffic update receiver.

Redesigned “from scratch”, the slimmer design is paired with an “EasyPort” mount which can be left on the device, and folded “flat” after use, with TomTom saying it will still fit into your shirt pocket, bag or pocket so your GPS isn’t at risk, left in the car, when you leave it, with a simple ‘twist’ off the windscreen.

Both models’ audio systems have also be “completely revised”, with much larger, enhanced speakers, ensuring that navigation instructions are always loud enough to be heard, even “above the car radio, outside traffic noise or a car full of excited children”, while the usual selection of male and female voices are available, as you’d expect.

Harold Goddijn, TomTom’s chief executive officer, said, “The updated TomTom ONE and TomTom XL are now even more desirable, offering a combination of unrivalled ease of use, extreme portability, the most comprehensive and up-to-date maps, and personalisation options to suit the individual user – all at an affordable price.”

Goddijn said “The distinctive design of the new TomTom ONE and TomTom XL, with the convenience of the EasyPort mounting solution, will set them apart from other devices on the market, and will appeal to customers looking for a compact, smart, ultra-portable navigation solution, but who don’t wish to compromise on quality or features.”

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TomTom also offers its own “unique Map Share technology”, which allows for millions of corrections and improvements to be uploaded by other TomTom users, and shared with everyone else.

These corrections and improvements include “changes in street names, road speed limits, turn restrictions, traffic directions and road blocks, as well as corrections to Points of Interest, such as phone numbers changes”.

You can also make corrections and improvements to the maps on your own TomTom device, instantly, which you choose to share with others. Plug your TomTom into your PC, use TomTom’s “HOME” software, and download corrections from others, giving you unparalleled “local knowledge” upon updating, even if you’re just arrived in town.

TomTom are also promoting their “latest map guarantee”. This ensures that, if within 30 days of purchasing either TomTom model, a new map is released, you will receive it as a free download.

Interestingly, TomTom have also included other useful details within though a “Help Me!” screen, which has emergency and breakdown service numbers, directions to the closest hospital, first aid instructions – and even car maintenance advice – although the TomTom can’t replace your mechanic just yet.

You can even set your own preferences regarding “speed warnings, timed driving breaks and menu accessibility options”.

No pricing for either new TomTom model has yet been announced, with a “mid year” date for release, meaning anyone that was going to buy a TomTom in the near future now best advised to wait until the new models are released.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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