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By Mike Joubert 18 February 2010

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The TomTom range of GPS devices has been well received in the TechSmart office, since they are easy to get the hang of, include good assistance in case of an emergency and their updates are uncomplicated enough to install. The XXL is no exception.

 Looks

The XXL with its 5” screen looks particularly smart with its bezel finished in a cool black with a silver lining. As such it won’t look out of place in the interior of any new sleek German sedan (although we think Navigon still holds the title for most stylish GPS). 5” is a lot of screen to play with, and it makes not just navigating the menu a breeze, but also viewing the device, with especially the text being easier to read.
 
User interface

The user interface on the XXL is identical to TomTom's smaller models such as the TomTom Pearl, in fact the whole menu structure and the way the XXL works is the same as the Pearl, with not many extra features added.  Their Help Me! Functionality is as excellent as ever, with emergency numbers, the nearest emergency services and a First Aid guide never more than a few presses away.
 
TomTom's menu structure is easy to navigate, but unfortunately the zoom in and out buttons found in the left and right hand corners of the screen are still as small as ever. As usual TomTom keeps its GPS free from clutter, and you won't find any hardware buttons on this device, only the power button on the top right. Volume buttons on the side would definitely have made things easier, but hey, that’s just us.
 
Mounting

The proprietary mount that comes with TomTom devices, called the EasyPort mount, seems excellent in theory, but the one packaged with the XXL is just too tight, resulting in the GPS popping out of the mount when trying to adjust it.
 
Maps and updates

TomTom is kind enough to not just load maps for the Republic, but also for the rest of Southern Africa including Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique amongst others.
 
Map updates are received online, and for this you need to connect the device to your PC via the provided USB cable, install the Home software, register the device to an email address and then wait for the software to check if any new updates are available. There was a very small update ready the last time we checked, so the XXL is fine out of the box, with speed camera alerts already installed.
 
The TomTom XXL comes with an RRP of R2499, which is about R500 more than the entry level Pearl at R2000. Although the device works the same, the delicious 5” screen makes the extra bucks worth it. Visit http://tomtom.co.za for more info.

 

PROS
Five inches of screen, southern African maps, Help Me! functionality is good.
CONS
Mount too stiff, zoom in and out difficult to press.
USER COMMENTS

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