TomTom ONE 130 - US (including Puerto Rico), Canada Automotive Mountable GPS Receiver Reviews

TomTom ONE 130 - US (including Puerto Rico), Canada Automotive Mountable GPS Receiver

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GPSR on the cheap

May 17, 2009
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Free Updated Maps! Big screen, good voice quality/clarity and volume.

Cons:No Text to Speech

The Bottom Line: Free updated maps provides great value to the GPS over time.


What's Is the TomTom One 130? It is a portable, vehicle mounted Global Positioning Satellite Receiver. It's primary purpose is to guide you while you drive your vehicle from your current location to a desired location.
Initial disclaimers: This is a replacement unit for a Garmin Streetpilot i3. I have only used the i3 and One 130 for more than just casual use so my review will contain comparisons of these two units.
What's in the Box? The GPSR, window mount, USB cable (for computer-GPSR connection), and DC charging cable.
How does it look? It is approximately 3" wide x 2.5" tall x 0.5" deep. It has a matte metal finish framing its screen. The back houses a 1.5" diameter speaker.
The Screen: It is bright enough to be clearly visible during the day, but you'll most likely need to reposition it from time to time due to glare. YMMV (your mileage may vary): graphics, brightness, clarity of viewing may vary depending upon time of day and your car's greenhouse dash characteristics. Larger screens are available in higher price brackets. I find the screen to be of an adequate size and brightness for this price point.
Physical Interface: This is a touch-screen unit. I'm not entirely sold on the touch-screen technology yet. Certain interactions require touching a portion of the screen to activate features; however, it is quite easy to touch the wrong part of the screen and thus create accidental menu choices; however, this may be characteristic of all touch-screens and not just this one. Further, input error is likely will all physical interfaces. Voice recognition (VR) is available on higher end GPSR. Physical interfaces should NOT be utilized by the driver while the vehicle is in motion because it poses a driving hazard; thus, to make course corrections, one should either stop or have a passenger make those inputs. VR allows the solo driver to make inputs while in motion; If you drive by yourself, a unit with VR may be better suited to your needs. One 130 screen buttons will accommodate my fingers adequately; when I shopped for the i3 replacement, I noted seeing other units with smaller screen buttons. If you have larger fingers, you will want to touch a few screens yourself to find buttons to your liking.
Mounting: The suction cup mount works well. A knob turns to create suction. Press, turn, you're done. The knob is large (1.5"- 2" diameter) and easy to manipulate.
Software Interface: Point of Interest search interface allows you to look general categories, but does not allow for more advanced search queries. For example, the Garmin software allows you to search for restaurants by type of food served. TomTom will allow you to search for restaurants in general, but not by type. Both will allow you to search by name. The One 130 (as most newer GPSRs) have Find POI on Route, Near You, and Near Destination. These are useful functions which I feel make the unit worthwhile.
Use: This unit has Voice Prompting (A voice gives you directions). However, this unit does not have Text to Speech (says the names of streets). T2S is not necessary, but is very useful when there are turn choices close together. IE: "In 200 yards, exit right." There may be two exits in close succession; T2S might mitigate this problem. Sadly the 130 does not have this feature; The 130S does.
Speed: This unit is much faster at route calculation than the older i3, thus, course corrections occur in a more timely manner. If you miss one turn, you'll get the next turn sooner rather than later. It is difficult to give times for calculation as I do not have the instrumentation to give benchmark times. Suffice to say, the 130 feels faster.
Voice Prompting: Volume is important. If you can't hear the directions, you're not really getting any help from your GPSR. I find in my CR-V, volume to be adequate. The 130 also has speed sensitive volume control; thus, the volume will increase the faster you are traveling. YMMV, as your vehicle may have higher susceptibility to road/wind noise. I've used both units (i3/130) in a convertible and found both to provide adequate volume.
Battery Life? The 130 uses a fixed lith-ion battery. It is charged via USB (to computer) or DC charger (in your car). The 130 can be used on foot, on a bike, or in vehicles. When used outside of a vehicle, battery life becomes paramount as batteries cannot be replaced, but must instead be recharged. Since I have not used the unit for more than a few hours outside of a vehicle I cannot give a performance evaluation of the battery life. I do not feel that this type of GPSR is appropriate for foot/bike travel; handhelds being made for hiking/biking/fishing/hunting/etc. are more purpose built. The 130 can be given coordinates (like handhelds) however, I don't feel the construction of the unit is hardy enough. The chassis is awkward to hold in your hand. In short, if you want a GPS for outdoor use, there are better units for that purpose than the 130. Battery life should not be an issue if you can use the car charger; however, this will be true of most vehicle purposed GPSR; most contemporary units have fixed lith-ion batteries.
Maps: TomTom has a user updated map database, so updates to the maps are always available. This is a nice feature as new roads and neighborhoods are being build and things change. Garmin charges for map updates. (This aspect is one reason we replaced the Garmin with TomTom as opposed to getting a new Garmin). Map updates may cost $70 - 80 USD for Garmin; TomTom does not charge for map updates.
Last words: Up-to-date maps and POI data is what I feel are the most useful features of a vehicle mounted GPSR; TomTom provides the most up-to-date maps. Adequately large screen and screen buttons. Fast route calculation.


Recommend this product? Yes

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