Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tom Tom and Magellan Differences

Ok, this has been stored in my flash drive for almost two months now and I haven’t posted it because there were other things to talk about. Just keep in mind that these are older products and not even last year’s models.
I hinted at this purchase briefly in my post about Black Friday shopping. Well, I happened to order a refurbished Tom Tom XXL GPS which has a bigger screen than my old Magellan Roadmate (5 inches as opposed to 3.5 inches). Why I ordered it when I hardly used the old one, I can’t really justify other than wanting a bigger screen and the cost was too good to pass up. There was also no sales tax plus free shipping.
When the product arrived, I set it up, downloaded the latest updates, then tried it on my way to work. The first thing I noticed was that it wasn’t announcing the street names the way the old Magellan did. It was actually better to read the text directions because you can see which street is the next turn. The problem with that is you have to divert your eyes off the road briefly to read the directions. Of course, the device would still say turn left or right at the next street and announces how many yards to go before the turn. The Magellan would give a 2 mile and 1 mile warning, announce the upcoming street name at which to turn, then makes dinging sound when you reach it. Well, at first try, I was disappointed with the Tom Tom because of this lack of street name announcements. Wow, did I make a mistake in buying this? Maybe I’ll discover better functions later.
Upon further review and after fiddling around with the settings, I found out that I had programmed the device to use human voice for directions rather than a computer voice. That was the difference, the human voice only gave turn by turn directions without announcing the street names while the computer voice, which was a bigger file, announced the street names. That takes care of that problem.
One difference I noticed is that the keypad for the Tom Tom is in QWERTY format while the Magellan is A to Z format. Maybe the newer Magellans are now QWERTY, I don’t know. Another difference between the two: when I divert from the suggested route, the Magellan announces “recalculating route” while the Tom Tom just shows this in text on the screen. There is another advantage that the Tom Tom has. It doesn’t need a separate mounting bracket because it already has a foldable one at the back. You just unfold it then attach it to the mounting disk on the dashboard. I still have to take it through its paces of course but as far as first impressions, I think it was a good buy. Anyone wanna buy the Magellan Roadmate? 

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