If you're like me, you've tried doing some research before deciding on which GPS unit to buy. Trouble is, the more you read, the more confused you become. There are so many models to choose from, and each one is a little bit different than the other, as well as a little pricier or a little cheaper. What to do, what to do!
Recommend this product?
You could do what I did, and buy one because it's on sale at a really good price from Target, then return it 3 days later. The TomTom XL340s was on sale for only $179.99, so I bit. Problem is, it didn't have the features I really wanted and in some ways I found it be quite disappointing.
For the price, it did a good job of getting me to where I needed to go. The easy mount worked well and it's cool to have it flip into the back of the unit so it's all-in-one, without a separate bulky mount. The speaker was plenty loud and there are numerous software features and options to keep most everyone happy.
The bad outweighed the good, though, by a long shot. Using the touchscreen keypad was very frustrating. I had to hit the letters just right, otherwise I would type the wrong letter. If I pressed too hard it sometimes entered the same letter twice, and if I pressed too lightly it wouldn't recognize my finger.
In bright sunlight the screen almost washes out completely. I'd say the visibility is about 10% of what it should be. If you buy this unit and live where the sun comes out occasionally (maybe anywhere other than Seattle), I suggest finding a visor for it.
TomTom has this new IQ routing, which is supposed to provide you the best route based on historical data and time of day. It ain't perfect, that's for sure. At 8:30 at night it routed me off the road I was on, around an intersection on another road, then back on the main road! How stupid is that? I could see during rush hour that this might be an area to avoid, but at 8:30 pm?
The "S" in the model name means that it speaks the name of the road you are to turn on. Save your money and don't buy the S model because the voice is too hard to understand. 90% of the time I found myself looking at the display to read the road because I couldn't understand what the hell he or she was saying. By the way, you should know this because I didn't read this anyway else: the S model has human voices and computer voices, and only the computer voices can read street names (and horribly at that). So don't go spending $12.95 for Homer Simpson's voice or John Cleese's voice if you want to hear the road names.
For some, this model will serve them well. For nitpicky geeks like me who demand a lot from their electronics, I will search for a better fit, probably a higher end Garmin.