Need to buy a GPS for road trip go with TT, Garmin or Navigon?

Discussion in 'Which TomTom Should I Buy?' started by Takk, May 8, 2008.

  1. Takk

    Takk

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    Hey all,
    Brand new to this forum, in fact just found it on google.
    My family and I are taking a road trip this summer from Florida to California and I really would like to get a GPS for the trip and willing to spend $300 to $500 for a good one.. I'm reading the different sites and reviews on Amazon regarding the TT 930 / 920 / 920T and the Garmin 660 and 680 model as well sa the Navigon 7100. Each of them seem to have postive and negative reviews so it's like back to square one on what do i get.

    Big things for me are lots of POI, like garmin and Magellan state like 6 million POI and even the Navigon has quite a few, I get the impression that the TT's don't have that many, like 30k + ? and you can download baskin robbins and dunkin donuts POI - oh boy :)

    I'd like that when you are driving on the road and look for a hotel, gas, etc.. that it will tell you if it's in front of you or behind you.. that'd be nice.

    Good routing skills of course is a plus because of driving through little towns and such going cross country.

    The Navigon is a very nice looking interface for sure, just not sure if it's routing and POI are up to par with ones that have been doing it longer maybe.

    The TT does seem a lot more customizable so that could be a plus as well.

    anyone have any thoughts?
    Really appreciate the time!

    Eric
     
    Takk, May 8, 2008
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  2. Takk

    ezerhoden

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    TomTom Model(s):
    Go 720, One LE
    This question has as many answers as reviews you have already read. Considering this is tomtomforums.com most answers will be for tomtom :)

    These days I believe that the difference between TeleAtlas and Navteq map accuracy relatively small. I have found roads on my tomtom that google could not find and vice-versa. Routing is pretty close also. TomTom has always been very conservative with travel times and from what I read, Garmin a little optimistic. The Garmin POI is more extensive and better organized.

    If you like to tweak and have a lot of control over your device, then TomTom is the clear winner.

    The tomtom mount gets some grief but if you clean the window suface and the suction cup with an alcohol wipe it will stick untill you take it down.

    Mapshare is a consideration. The maps are accurate to start and free mapshare updates for one year after the release of the map.

    I have never used a Navigon but the only reason I think someone would consider one is the static images feature. Now that the x30 tomtom models have this feature the decision has to be limited to either TomTom or Garmin.

    If you can find a place that does not have a restocking fee, get both and drive around with them for week or two.

    In the end, it personal choice. Good luck.
     
    ezerhoden, May 8, 2008
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  3. Takk

    Michael Quinlan

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    TomTom Model(s):
    Go 920
    I agree with ezerhoden on most points above, except that I wouldn't expose the suction cup to alcohol, as alcohol tends to dry out this type of material. Clean the windshield wth alcohol and let it air dry for several minutes beyond when it appears that the alcohol has evaporated. If the the suction cup has any dust on it, clean it with water only, and let it dry before applying the mount to the windshield.

    I have never used a Navigon outside of a store, but during in-store use I found the text on the map display unreadably small at a reasonable distance for in-car installation. I also found the maximum volume to be a bit on the low side when compared to Garmin and TomTom.

    I've had a TomTom for about 5 weeks, and had a Garmin for over a year. The simplicity of the Garmin interface attracted me when I just needed something that worked, and didn't want to spend any time learning how to use it. This simplistic interface quickly became a problem when I found Garmin's detour feature to be virtually useless, and that I couldn't avoid certain parts of a route.

    Since you may be driving an RV (you said you're planning a road trip), Garmin's routing profiles for Truck, RV, etc. get the nod here. But for everything else, including itinerary planning, route avoidance, detours, etc, I would go with the TomTom.

    Note: some Garmin models offer itinerary planning, route avoidance, etc, but not until you're well beyond your stated price range.
     
    Michael Quinlan, May 8, 2008
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  4. Takk

    Bama Rambler

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    TomTom Model(s):
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    I think it boils down to how much you want to be able to customize the unit. In your case I'd consider the TT Go730 or 930 if customization of the unit is a priority. If it's not you'll be happy with either the Nuvi 7xx series or he 8xx series. You can add POI's to either so that's not an issue. While the TT is more customizable, the Nuvi's interface and location search is a bit better. Both allow multiple waypoint routing (the 6xx Nuvi's don't by the way). My major reason for buying the 720 was Mapshare and customization. I believe that if the support for Mapshare is maintained the maps will get better with time.
     
    Bama Rambler, May 8, 2008
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  5. Takk

    Michael Quinlan

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    On the subject of finding a store with no restocking fee, try Staples. They don't necessarily have the best prices, but they sell all three brands, and have no restocking fee. When you decide which model you prefer, take advantage of their price match policy to get a better price.
     
    Michael Quinlan, May 8, 2008
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  6. Takk

    ezerhoden

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    Good call. I will have to stop using achohol wipes on the suction cup.
     
    ezerhoden, May 8, 2008
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  7. Takk

    Smokiewolf

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    I noticed that people were doing that a while ago, no wonder those things started failing after they were wiping them with alcohol. I have found that saliva is the best remedy!
     
    Smokiewolf, May 10, 2008
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  8. Takk

    mcat0

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    Location:
    Cameron Ontario
    TomTom Model(s):
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    TomTom 730 vs Navigon 2100 Max

    I had opportunity to compare my friend's Navigon 2100 Max next to my TomTom 730. I have to admit, it was no contest. The Navigon's text-to-speech voice was much clearer compared to the often garbled TomTom's computer voice. The Navigon's graphics were smooth and distinct (more technologically advanced?) than the choppy, PacMan-like TomTom 730's screen. A lot more detail and street names appeared on the Navigon. The Navigon had a lot of similar features (lane assist, traffic) for a lot less money. If I had to make a purchase again, I would have definitely chosen the Navigon. TomTom needs to improve if it wants to stay competitive. Sorry.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
    mcat0, Nov 23, 2008
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  9. Takk

    sageuvagony

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    Way to go on the dead thread revival :rolleyes:
     
    sageuvagony, Nov 23, 2008
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  10. Takk

    tukatz

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    Lots of POIs may not be as grand as you think. A couple of years ago we were on the road with our TomTom Go 700. We were in the Nashville area and wanted to find a pizza parlor near our hotel. TomTom took us to one quite close but it was closed - kept weird hours. TomTom tried again and this one had changed to a teriyaki place. TomTom tried a third time and this one was take out only. TomTom tried a fourth time and this one had a sign out by the road but the building had not even been built yet. We ended up at Chilis.

    But seriously, we found the 700 quite useful on that trip. This past summer we took our 910 to Europe and in Italy it was great.
     
    tukatz, Nov 23, 2008
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  11. Takk

    gweilo8888

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    Location:
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    TomTom Model(s):
    TomTom GO 920T
    Personally, I find my TomTom 920(T) to be almost completely useless when it comes to POIs.

    I came to the TomTom from a Cobra NavOne 4000 - a mid-2006 bulky hard disk-based unit which served me well, had an excellent screen, but eventually started to have hardware problems (possibly after falling off the windshield one too many times).

    The Cobra had an excellent POI database that included vast numbers of local businesses of all kinds, very well categorized and easy to find. It also had clever touches like the ability to search the database by phone number. Cobra listed it as offering "over 7 million" POIs.

    The TomTom, by contrast, makes it difficult to find POIs. You can't search by phone number, and when searching in larger towns, you have to know the name of the suburb the POI is located in. Otherwise, you're frequently out of luck because the search only lets you browse a handful of pages - and if your POI wasn't in those first few pages, you can't find it. The categorization is comparitively poor as well, and I frequently have to try 5 or 6 categories in the hopes of stumbling upon the POI I need somewhere.

    I haven't found a figure for the database size from TomTom although I've seen reports in the region of six million POIs. The quality of the POI database is absolutely dire, though, lacking many major institutions such as banks (not a single branch of my local Federal Credit Union is located by default, for example - I had to add them all myself). In my area, I've also found many other items I'd expect to be included - supermarket chains, fast food chains, things like that - which are missing locations that haven't changed in 5-10 years but are completely unknown to my TomTom. As for smaller businesses or attractions - local lawyers offices, hairdressers, government utilities offices, minigolf courses, National Park attractions, things like that - forget about it. I'm seldom able to find them in the TomTom.

    It's pretty sad to me that my TomTom 920T - only a few months old - can't even come close to matching my two year old Cobra GPS for database quality, failing to include many POIs that were in the Cobra. It's even more frustrating that it is so much harder to find the POIs that *are* in the TomTom. Honestly, I'd rate POIs as the single biggest weakness of my TomTom, to the point where I've just learned not to bother even trying to use the built-in POIs for the most part. I find the addresses in Google, and leave my old Cobra GPS in the trunk for if I ever *really* need to find a POI in an emergency.

    Hardware wise, my TomTom 920T is great. The only change I'd make is that the battery should be removeable (I'd happily have bought a couple of spares). Software-wise, it's generally fairly good if rather buggy, and TomTom has a penchant for removing or breaking existing good features with new updates.

    If I were to buy another GPS today though, I kind of doubt it would be a TomTom.
     
    gweilo8888, Nov 24, 2008
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