Pros: Way cool, very useful
Cons: No included case, expensive
My wife has an older Tomtom 700 and it does a great job, we even bought the updated maps for it. So when I sold my car which had GPS navigation and got my new car (without it) I was wondering if I could go back to old school. Unfortunately for my wallet I am just too much of a gadget guy and although I tried to use my Dell Axim Pocket PC with a Belkin Bluetooth GPS module, it just didnt cut it. The local big box store had a 18 months same as cash deal and along with a 10% off coupon I went and got the 920T.
The 920T is the top of the Tomtom line (for now). It has all the features of the 920 but it includes the traffic antenna which would set you back ~$125 if you bought it from Tomtom. It has a very nice screen and is much thinner than my wifes 700 series. It comes with a smallish suction cup mount for the windshield, power cable, traffic antenna, install CD and a manual. One thing that I wasnt so happy about is the lack of a case. My wifes unit came with a nice nylon case. This unit has the entire US and Europe preinstalled so you shouldnt have to mess with any additional maps (unless you are travelling somewhere else . . ). There is a SD slot in the bottom but I think they are pushing that as music storage spot so you can use it as a MP3 player. Not to useful in my car but I guess it could be pretty cool.
The suction cup mounts nicely to my Civics windshield and I can set it up so the unit is just below my rearview mirror off to the side. It doesnt fee that substantial, but it hasnt fallen off yet. It is much smaller than the one on my wifes 700, but that also means it fits in my storage compartment easier so I can remove it every time I park the car outside (a good idea since GPS units are the new radar detector for thieves).
This model seems to grab the GPS signal very quickly and also has a dead reckoning feature which is basically a set of accelerometers that can get a pretty good guess at your position if you loose the GPS signal (like if you were in a tunnel). I havent experienced it yet but others on the web have said that it works pretty well.
The touch screen is a neat feature and lets you have pretty big buttons to press.
The unit has voice guidance and can read a street name which is actually pretty helpful. You can select different voices and even download some celebrity voices which could be fun.
The unit can also receive voice commands. You press a screen button to tell it that you want to do voice input, and then you navigate through the menus and input your destination. It is a neat feature but I think it is just faster to press the screen to do the input. As I play with it more I will update the review. I did get it to work but I had to repeat myself a few times, I think the position of the unit can have a big effect on how well it hears you.
The unit can also pair via Bluetooth with most phones and can act as a handsfree receiver. This lets you answer the phone and talk to the caller through the unit. I have used it a few times and it seems to work OK. Again the placement of the unit probably will determine how useful it is. I was able to sent my phone book contacts from my Motorola Q to the unit so now I can call someone by selecting them from the phonebook on the Tomtom.
One noticeable thing compared to our 700 is how much faster everything is. The 920 just seems to snap to things faster. The recalculation time is much quicker and the overall feel is just that there is more horsepower inside.
A neat thing to write about is the traffic system. The 920T includes this 1 meter long antenna that plugs into the bottom of the unit and can be routed along the windshield with a few suction cups. When the antenna is plugged in the unit receives free traffic information from a carrier FM signal in most big cities. You can also sign up for Tomtoms Plus service which can use you phone to chirp Tomtoms servers to get traffic info for your route. This is supposed to be free for the first year but would have a monthly/yearly fee after that. So far I have been happy with the free service but the antenna is yet another thing to clutter up the dash/windshield and the install and remove hassle may be a killer eventually. When the unit gets traffic info it displays the delay on your route on the side bar. If you entered a desired arrival time the unit can tell you if you are going to be late.
Another cool feature is that you can report problems with the map like a closed road or an error. Then when you sync the unit using the base connected to your computer it can both send and receive map updates. You can decide what level of correction you will accept (any corrections, corrections submitted by lots of people, corrections verified by Tomtom). I have syncd my unit a few times and it says it has received updates but I havent noticed them. Sounds like a neat feature.
This unit has a built in battery that is supposed to have pretty long life (over 4 hours) but I havent used it without being hooked up to the power cable. Maybe Ill try it out next week.
I found a case that fits the unit nicely. It is my old Dell Axim X30 aftermarket zipper case. The unit just sits very snugly and seems much more protected. As a bonus it doesn't have any kind of logos on it so it could just be a daytimer case. . .
I have left the traffic antenna mounted to the top of my windshield and I have gotten used to it being there. The traffic info seems pretty accurate, you can still get burned by an accident that hasn't gotten into the system yet. The windshield mount has also found itself being left mounted.
I have used the battery power function much more, it is easier that connecting the power adapter and running a cable across my line of sight. One neat feature is that the power adapter is the mini USB variety so I can use the same cable to charge my Blackberry phone if needed.
I really haven't found myself using the voice input feature. It think it is just easier to type in the address than to speak it.
Overall I have been very happy with it and my return to gadget happiness.