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ProClip Active Mount for TomTom One XL review

Date 8th August 2007

If you are a regular reader of our reviews you will know that I am a big fan of the Brodit mounts and holders. Last month I was in Florida and received an email from someone I know who is now working at ProClip in the USA offering me a chance to review the new Brodit TomTom One XL active holder. That was some coincidence as I just happened to be in the USA with my TomTom One XL which I was reviewing at the time.

 

The next day UPS delivered a ProClip mount for the hire car I was using and the Brodit TomTom One XL holder.

 

ProClip USA are the North America seller of Brodit products. So all references to ProClip will apply equally to Brodit in Europe.

 

Review by Mike Barrett

 

The ProClip TomTom One XL mount and holder

The ProClip TomTom One XL holder

The ProClip mounting system is modular and requires 2 parts: a Holder and a Mount. The holder is specific to the GPS/device, whilst the mount is specific to the car.

 

There are a number of ways to connect the two depending on your intended application, more of which later.

 

The ProClip TomTom One XL holder is what is known as an Active Holder. This means that it has the power connector built into the holder. This means that you don't have to fiddle around trying to connect the power each time you use the SatNav.

The ProClip TomTom One XL mount and holder

The TomTom One XL holder is designed as a replacement for the one (ahhh :S ) supplied by TomTom. The SatNav simply slides over the holder and connects to the mini-USB power connector at the bottom of the holder.

 

I have found that the original design of the mount by TomTom is a little tricky to mate up, especially in the dark. This has naturally been carried through to the ProClip mount as well. Care needs to be taken to get both guides located in the SatNav correctly.

 

The final item is the alignment of the power connector. I found that occasionally the TomTom One XL had to be pressed into the holder for it to mate correctly.

 

The ProClip TomTom One XL mount and holder

So that is the TomTom One XL active holder, but it now needs a sturdy platform to be mounted on. This is where the ProClip is used.

 

The ProClip mount

As each car is different there is no single solution to provide a mounting platform for the holder. The obvious solution is a windshield mount, but these are not ideal for a permanent or semi-permanant system. This is where the ProClip mount comes in.

 

There is a ProClip available for just about every car you can imagine, and in a lot of cases there is more than one option for placement.

 

The ProClip TomTom One XL mount and holder

The ProClip is a non-destructive method for mounting devices using existing gaps or joins in the car trim, coupled with double sided tape to secure the mount in place.

 

I was driving a Dodge Caravan (not my usual Mustang rental) and this car has a ProClip designed to fit over the ventilation area on the dash.

 

As I was only going to be using the car for a week I didn't bother to use the tape, and just prised a gap open on the left of the console and slipped the holder in. The other side simply clipped onto the vent and the job was ready for the holder to be fixed in place. As usual it was a perfect snug fit.

 

 

The ProClip TomTom One XL mount and holder

As you can see from the picture to the right the ProClip comes with guide holes drilled for a number of different holders.

 

This results in a strong and solid location for your treasured SatNav.

 

Also you can see the design of the ABS plastic construction of the mount and the holder are a good match for the interior of the Dodge and don't look out of place.

The ProClip TomTom One XL mount and holder

The picture to the right shows the tight snug clip fit to the vent molding. If I had wanted a more permanent mount I could have used the sticky tape which would have created an almost unbreakable fitment.

 

Without using the tape I only managed to pop the mount out once during the week testing period, and that was because I was hot and bothered and trying to do too many things at the same time. The mount snapped straight back into place and remained solid for the rest of the trip.

 

I don't consider this an issue, more of a user problem which would not have occurred if I had taped the mount in place as I was supposed to have done.

 

There are some other ProClip examples shown below.

 

The ProClip TomTom One XL mount and holder

The Mating system

So far I mentioned the TomTom One XL holder and the ProClip mounting system, but not the methods of joining the two together.

 

The holders themselves come with a tilt and swivel connector that can be screwed directly to the mount using the supplied small self tapping screws. This provides a solid system for permanent usage.

 

But what if you have a number of devices or you want to use the TomTom One XL in two different cars?

 

If you are like me (and hopefully you are not) I have dozens of SatNavs to test. Initially this was a problem as I had to continually unscrew and screw in the different holders. Brodit developed a system called "Move Clip" for people like me.

 

The Move Clip system has one male and 2 female plates that lock together but provide a mobile mounting solution. I have 3 cars (including the Dodge) with a Proclip and a Male mount in each. I attach a female Move Clip to each of the tilt/swivel holders and now I can move my devices at will.

 

The Move Clip solution is also good for security as well, when the holder is removed it doesn't look if there is a SatNav installation in the car.

 

Alternate Mounts

The picture to the right shows a ProClip installed in a Toyota RAV. Note that the ProClip doesn't look quite right. The reason for this is that some fool (I just raised my hand here) ordered the wrong ProClip. The ProClips come for either Left or Right hand drive cars. I ordered the wrong one.

The ProClip TomTom One XL mount and holder

The ProClip TomTom One XL mount and holder

However as you can see it still fits and it mounts the holder correctly. If I had ordered the correct one it would have tilted slightly towards the driver allowing better positioning with the tilt/swivel adapter.

 

I could claim that as I am normally a passenger in the RAV that this allows me to operate the TomTom One XL easier from the passenger side... But that wouldn't be true though :(

 

As you can see it sits snugly over the vent whilst still allowing air to be circulated in the car, and with no obstruction to the driver's view in any way. A perfect mounting solution.

The ProClip TomTom One XL mount and holder

To the right is a side view of the RAV mount. You can see from this how it clips over the air vent. It does cover the air flow control, but you can still operate it if required.

 

Again it has sticky tape which I have chosen not to use (my wife doesn't like marks on her car). So far it has been installed for over a month and has shown no signs of coming off and we have put it to some heavy handed use...

 

You can also see from this shot how the tilt/swivel and the Move Clip work together. All in all this is a very neat and portable SatNav mounting system.

The ProClip TomTom One XL mount and holder

The final option that I tried was in a Mercedes SLK. Now there is only a single position available for the mount here and this is way down in the depths of the passenger compartment next to the gear lever.

 

This time the mount clips over the console, again with the option of tape which is not required at all on the Mercedes. Once again you will see that I have installed the male Move Clip on the mount.

 

This is a very solid platform for my requirements. I am even considering mounting a video player on it for my passenger to monitor recording of the SatNav reviews. Of course the SLK is quite a compact car and there is not too much room inside to position much equipment.

 

The mounts do encroach a little into the cabin and can press against your legs in certain positions.

 

 

The ProClip TomTom One XL mount and holder

Looking at the image to the right you can see the TomTom One XL in place. Even all the way down here, with the roof on, the SatNav gets full GPS signal strength.

 

It is a bit inconvenient when you have to look at the screen, and as there is no Text to Speech on the TomTom One XL it doesn't provide as much navigational information as other devices. This unfortunately is one of the compromises needed for this car... I think it is worth it :D

 

Just in case you thought there was some strange image processing going on... I do actually have a mount on both the left and right side of my console. I actually find the one on the left side more user friendly than the right.

The ProClip TomTom One XL mount and holder

 

Conclusions

Once again ProClip/Brodit have come up with an ideal mounting solution for the TomTom One XL. The mounting platforms are non-destructive and non-marking and most importantly exceptionally stable. In my view there are some faults with the mounting designed by TomTom and ProClip have made what I consider to be the best solution for a poor design.

 

I am particularly impressed with the Move Clip system, and would recommend it even if you don't intend to move the holder between cars. As a security system it beats the windshield mounts and the rings left by the suction pads.

 

Brodit also make a non-powered version of the holder, and one which can be permanently wired into the car.

 

Credits

Thanks to ProClip USA for providing the Dodge Caravan Proclip and the TomTom One XL holder, and to Nemesis UK for providing the RAV and Mercedes mounts, and the Move Clips.

References

Manufacturers Website

USA: ProClipUSA.com

UK: Nemesis Ltd

EU: Brodit.com

Pocket GPS Contributor

Mike Barrett

Pocket GPS Contributor Website

www.Pocketgpsworld.com

   

 

 

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