Tom Tom Sat - Nav, Wide screen Models 520, 720 and 920
All units can direct you in the same way, by postcode, town and street (even down to house number!), town centre or road crossing. They even have voice recognition to make them easier to use whilst driving. They come with 4 GB of internal memory with maps of UK and Ireland loaded onto the 520 and all of Europe on the 720. The 920 has maps of everywhere tomtom have mapped to date
On all three units the 4.3" widescreen means you can navigate with the touch of a finger and you can store frequently visited places so you don't have to type in a location every time. Watch the screen or listen to the spoken instructions on where to go, couldn't be easier ! You can even select different voices, or record your own, but I guarantee you'll go back to Jane in the end. You can also subscribe to a live traffic update system to avoid those jams, they usually come with a one month free trial of this service but if you buy the "T" models (eg 520T) they come with free traffic updates for life. This new range is a lot more customisable than the last, I connect my 520 to the PC most nights and map corrections made by myself and everyone else are shared so the maps become more accurate by the day utilising the tomtom home software you get with the unit.
For me a huge bonus is the hands-free mobile phone calling via bluetooth using the built-in microphone (no external one as with the 510,710,910) and loudspeaker. The units even copy of all your mobile numbers out of your phone automatically so you can dial people directly from your tomtom without picking up your phone! They can even read your text messages aloud ! You can load pictures and music on to the hard drive, but not too many as you only have 4 GB to play with. There is an SD card slot but as far as I can tell this is only for adding extra maps and not as a overflow memory for your mp3 music and pictures which is a shame.
The unit has a built in FM transmitter so you tune your radio to an unused frequency and it plays music over your car speakers and cuts in with directions if required, a low tech version of bluetooth if you like, but your phone calls will not do this also, which seems a waste. A remote control is also available to buy for the 520 and 720, but comes with the 920. Note, the remote control from the 510,710,910 may look similar but is not compatible with the new models.
They all come with UK speed camera locations pre-loaded, which could save you the price of the tomtom in speeding fines. Similarly railway stations, shopping centres etc are included. Also you can load in grouped items like Tesco sites, congestion charge zones or BP petrol stations for example, plus hundreds of others if you connect it to your PC every now and again. (Many free web-sites available)
On the down side these units are top of burglar Bill's Christmas list so never leave them in the car if you can help it, they might even see the window bracket (included with all units) or the mark it leaves behind on the window and break-in just to check the car for you. (Been there, done that!) Also you will need to buy a case to carry it in, the tomtom official ones cost another £23, pity it doesn't come with one as the originals did.
In conclusion a sound investment if you do a lot of driving or can't find your way out of a paper bag, plus these units save you the price of a hands-free car kit for your phone. I could never go back to using maps again now, Get one you won't regret it !
Prices at Comet (On line) 18-01-2008
Tom Tom 520 - £249.99
Tom Tom 720 - £254.99
Tom Tom 920 - £374.99
These models replaced the 510,710 and 910 for which I have written another guide
Tomtom Sat - Nav, Wide screen Models 510, 710 and 910