TomTom XXL 550TM


Joined
Mar 4, 2011
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7
Hello,

I just purchased this unit, but it's still in the box. I haven't decided whether or not to keep it....and i'm looking into the Garmin 1450LMT in comparison.

Does anyone have any unbiased opinions of both of these units? I read that this TomTom doesn't hook up to the computer for updates, is that true? If that is the case, how does it have "lifetime maps" feature if it can't connect to a computer and the internet to update?

Any information on this would be appreciated!

Thanks!
 
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canderson

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I read that this TomTom doesn't hook up to the computer for updates, is that true? If that is the case, how does it have "lifetime maps" feature if it can't connect to a computer and the internet to update?
Not sure where you heard that, but let us dispel it -- it most definitely does hook to your PC for updates, including maps. Standard USB A-miniB cable.
 
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Oh great! I'm glad that you let me know that it does hook up to the computer. it didn't make sense to me when i heard that either.

Aside from that....does the Garmin 1450LMT have more bells and whistles than the TT 550TM?

Are they both pretty comparable? How accurate are they with routes, etc?

Thanks!
 

canderson

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Units are pretty roughly comparable. Whether one or the other will give you better routing will be a function of the quality of the maps in a given area.

Garmin uses NavTeq maps, TomTom uses Teleatlas maps. Each of those map makers is stronger in some areas than others when it comes to getting updates incorporated.

I'm not a huge fan of the EasyMenu system on the 550. It does leave a few features out from the control panel. However, if you check the sticky thread in the XL section below you'll find a way to add some of those features back. The one thing that can't be restored is the ability to navigate to a specific latitude / longitude. I'm one of the wonks that needs that feature, so it's an issue for me. Most people will never use it.

My first preference would have been for the XXL540TM that has all of the features - although preferably from somewhere other than Amazon - they got a rough batch of them pre-Christmas.
 
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Mar 4, 2011
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Thanks for the input.

I see on the best buy site that the XXL 540TM is rated MUCH LOWER than the 550TM. For a better GPS, shouldn't the ratings be BETTER for it?

Btw, Best Buy is the site that says that the 550TM doesn't have PC connectivity OR download capability!
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2011
Messages
93
Location
Seattle, WA (Where it RAINS all the time...)
TomTom Model(s)
XXL540TM
Hi - for a review of various TomTom units and their abilities -
please see the following:

https://www.tomtomforums.com/general-tomtom-discussion/21826-tomtom-model-feature-reference.html

That doesn't compare Garmin of course. Just TT. Some times TT states a unit does something - when it does not - due to the software updates. They seem to spend more time adding whistles - rather than correcting problems. I only have brief experience with the XXL550tm & the XXL540tm

In addition to what Canderson noted - you also cannot get back the function (in the XXL550TM) of the compass. It does display degrees which is more accurate. But lots of people like the NE, NW, E, W, indicators (total 8 points) rather than just degrees giving you 360 points...
 
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canderson

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Thanks for the input.

I see on the best buy site that the XXL 540TM is rated MUCH LOWER than the 550TM. For a better GPS, shouldn't the ratings be BETTER for it?

Btw, Best Buy is the site that says that the 550TM doesn't have PC connectivity OR download capability!
Sounds like it's time to expand the search for reviews a bit.

The 540TM is every bit as good as the 550TM, and better in that it does not use the EasyMenu system. As noted, that system drops some features.

The only really legit knock on the 540 has been that a bunch of them 'escaped' through mail order channels, primarily Amazon, with some bogus firmware. It's caused a lot of grief for the people who bought them through that channel, and we've had quite a few of those users show up here scratching their heads. Purchasing through a store like Best Buy - someplace you can walk in and touch the unit - is good when it comes to that model.

If you purchase one that way, you want firmware version 9.053 or earlier on your unit. That will avoid some of the buggy stuff that came out later on those Amazon units. Do NOT let the TomTom Home update service load any firmware more recent on your unit.
 
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Messages
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Location
Seattle, WA (Where it RAINS all the time...)
TomTom Model(s)
XXL540TM
The XXL540TM or just the XXL540 in general - has many more features and functions than the XXL550TM

TT has started going to brain dead function units. They downgraded the units - calling them 'easy menu'.

So, the XXL550TM functions better out of the box.

The XXL540TM has some application software issues - which currently prevents it from doing all that is advertised. Especially units purchased from Amazon. So, people get frustrated, and TT does not care.

Previously (from Forum posts) the XXL540 was the virtual Gold Standard for TT units. Then they started introducing software apps - which caused serious problems. They haven't for the most part corrected that...

This forum has developed work around(s) to get it to work fine. These are just some software updates. If you want the XXL550TM to have most of the functions of the XXL540TM - you must load software switches and edit config files etc. Not real hard to do... plenty of forum advice.

But that is the problem. Plus - even the XXL550TM does not do ALL that it is supposed to due straight from the box. For example - it does not have 'one button report' which a tech told me it should do, and should have... but they screwed up that function with the Easy Menu - so my unit was incapable of doing even that simple deal. (Which is part of map share, and putting in map corrections even for your use on your unit.)

If you never Read about it; and never find out what they took out, or what it is supposed to do - then you never miss anything, and you don't realize you've been 'shorted' and it is fine... ;) I was HAPPY with mine, still I tried to get a manual for it; and find all out how to use it...
 

canderson

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TT has started going to brain dead function units. They downgraded the units - calling them 'easy menu'.

So, the XXL550TM functions better out of the box.
Didn't you mean the XXL540TM? It's the 550 that is missing the functions.
 
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Mar 4, 2011
Messages
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Thank you for all the information!!!

As I'm reading this....it sounds like TomTom is going backwards with their new units than forward. I feel more apt to trying out the Garmin 1450LMT now....even though it's more than what i paid for the TomTom XXL 550TM....

Thanks!
 

canderson

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GO720, GO740TM Live, GO 1535 Live, Via 1535, Via 1605, GO 52, GO 600, GO 620, GO 630, TomTom Bridge
Thank you for all the information!!!

As I'm reading this....it sounds like TomTom is going backwards with their new units than forward. I feel more apt to trying out the Garmin 1450LMT now....even though it's more than what i paid for the TomTom XXL 550TM....

Thanks!
We feel that it is backwards, but primarily because of our previous experience with these units and our expectations about specific features. I'm sure there's a whole lot of folks who care or need for no more than the EasyMenu offers.

Rather than paying more for the 1450LMT, have a look at sources other than Amazon for the 540TM. You never did say where you got the 550. Possible to exchange for a 540 there?
 
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I got the 550TM at best buy and unfortunately...I HAVE to get a gps from there...as I have a $130 credit to best buy. And...the 540TM is rated low....much lower than the 550TM!
 

canderson

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GO720, GO740TM Live, GO 1535 Live, Via 1535, Via 1605, GO 52, GO 600, GO 620, GO 630, TomTom Bridge
I got the 550TM at best buy and unfortunately...I HAVE to get a gps from there...as I have a $130 credit to best buy. And...the 540TM is rated low....much lower than the 550TM!
Sorry about the ratings. That just doesn't make any sense. Again - and apart from the issues of the Amazon units - you will find pretty much unanimous vote for 540 over 550 here. The 550 offers NOTHING over the 540 at all.

Tell you what - I'll go LOOK at the Best Buy ratings and see if I can make any sense out of them for you. Meanwhile, you need to be looking at other sites than just ONE to do your rating comparisons if you want a full view of the opinions on the two models.
 

canderson

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GO720, GO740TM Live, GO 1535 Live, Via 1535, Via 1605, GO 52, GO 600, GO 620, GO 630, TomTom Bridge
OK - to the Best Buy reviews. And understand, the suffix issues determine only whether the unit has traffic, free lifetime map updates, or has European maps. The base hardware and software of a 540 is a 540. The base hardware and software of the 550 is a 550.

Apart from the lifetime map subscription, there is NO difference between a 540T and a 540TM, or between a 550T and a 550TM. What you are seeing is a problem of a small sample population in the "voting".

Code:
[FONT=Courier New]540T     4.5    4 reviews
540TM    2.8    5 reviews
540S     4.4   74 reviews
540WTE   5.0    2 reviews

550      3.0    2 reviews
550T     2.4   12 reviews
550TM    4.2   33 reviews[/FONT]
 
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Mar 4, 2011
Messages
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Thanks for those ratings.

Does the XXL 540TM display the speed limit?

I have also heard that Navteq maps are better than Teleatlas....?
 
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Thanks for those ratings.

Does the XXL 540TM display the speed limit?
Yes, it will. It will display the current speed and you can even make it flash if you're going faster than the posted (according to the map) speed. <-- I find that a most irritating feature and it was one of the first things I disabled.:rolleyes:
 
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canderson

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TomTom Model(s)
GO720, GO740TM Live, GO 1535 Live, Via 1535, Via 1605, GO 52, GO 600, GO 620, GO 630, TomTom Bridge
Thanks for those ratings.
Just took them right off the Best Buy site that I assume you area using. As I say, it would be good if you'd check reviews from a number of sites.
Does the XXL 540TM display the speed limit?
Yes.
I have also heard that Navteq maps are better than Teleatlas....?
I'll repeat a sentence from my earlier post. "Garmin uses NavTeq maps, TomTom uses Teleatlas maps. Each of those map makers is stronger in some areas than others when it comes to getting updates incorporated."
 

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