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TomTom XL IQ Routes Edition

20th May 2009

TomTom XL IQ Routes EditionReviewed by Darren Griffin

 

TomTom's latest adittions are the IQ Routes models of their popular entry level ONEand XL models.

 

Featuring regional(single country) or Western Europe map options and two screen sizes, (4.3" and 3.5"), the new models add IQ Routes Data functionality to the range.

 

Also present is Map Share, the Help Me menu and TomTom's Latest Map Guarantee.

 

TomTom provided PocketGPSWorld with an XL IQ Routes Europe model for review and so our findings below are based upon this device. Please be aware that there may be minor functional changes between the different models and that specifications discussed in the review may be particular to the model being reviewed.

 

In the box

XL IQ Routes BoxAs the ONE and XL have always been the budget or perhaps better described as 'entry level' in the range you don't expect much in the box and you don't get it!

 

Inside you will find the XL stowed in a tray at the top, lift this out and underneath is the EasyPort mount, the car charger and a USB cable.

 

There is also a basic user guide leaflet and an accessories brochure.

 

As is common these days, the battery had some charge so the eager amongst you can switch on and browse the menus before the ink on the receipt has even had a chance to dry.

 

Design

The XL has a very classy look and its slim compact design makes it the most pocketable of all the TomTom models. The new black surround lends an expensive 'high-quality' air to the device and it feels solid and well constructed.

 

TomTom XL IQ Routes Rear ViewAll the current ONE and XL models come with TomTom's EasyPort mount, a very different designfrom that seen on previous models.

 

Now I'll admit from the start that I'm not entirely enamoured of this solution.

 

TomTom XL IQ Routes EasyPort StowedIt is clever and unique but whilst it works well in some situations it creates issues in others.

 

Security of your belongings is of paramount importance and so TomTom, much to their credit sought to design a solution that made this easy.

 

The mount was designed so that it could remain attached to the device when you remove it from the windscreen.TomTom XL IQ Routes EasyPort Open

 

But whilst the end result is a mount that is infinitely adjustable and low profile, it is also rather fiddly. If you choose to leave the mount permanently attached to the device; as intended by the fold flat design; then it is very difficult to attach to the windscreen. The knurled wheel is hard to reach whilst attached to the device and if your preferred location is deep in corner or bottom of a windscreen then be prepared for a struggle.

 

If however you choose to remove the mount and attach it to the windscreen first, then, whilst it is much easier to affix the mount, it is now tricky to attach the device to the EasyPort. It requirs two hands and a firm grip with a press'n'click action to mate the two parts.

 

If I find this difficult having used these mounts for some time, USB Socketothers will doubtless find it more so. A trial with my in-laws revealed that the older users may find it even more difficult to handle.

 

Aside from the mount I also find the deeply recessed power socket troublesome. Because the mini-USB socket is deeply recessed on both the ONE and XL V4 models, inserting the supplied power lead is more troublesome than it should otherwise be.

 

On the plus side, the supplied power lead has a right angled plug and once successfully inserted it lies almost flush against the bottom of the device.

 

Again these may be minor issues for many users but they are ones that I and other testers have noticed and are worthy of mention.

 

In Use

The menus will be instantly familiar to anyone who has ever used a TomTom although this IQ Routes Edition sees the arrival of the new V8 icon design previously seen on the x30 and x40 range.

 

Although XL IQ Routes misses out on the Text To Speech (TTS) voice functionality of the more expensive models, 'Itinerary' makes a welcome return and similarly the 'Manage POI' functionality which on some earlier ONE and XL models had been simplified to such an extent that it was a real chore when configuring POI Alerts is now restored so it mirrors that of the other models. Advance Lane Guidance is also present with the full-screen lane images.

 

The power LED is located on the bottom of the device, not ideal if you wish to check that power is present but it is a better location than the top as found on the x40's where it can (and does) reflect in the windscreen.

 

Comparing the XL IQ Routes with a GO 720 that has the same Europe map version reveals the XL is a little slower in its route calculation. Comparing the time required to calculate a 300 mile AtoB route from South East England to North Wales, the XL took 60 seconds whereas the 720 calculated the same journey in 50 seconds.

 

The screen is bright with good contrast and although we haven't had many sunny days on which to properly test it, the display bears comparison with that of the x40.

 

XL and 730 compared

720 on top and XL on bottom demonstrates the slim format of the new model

 

As you can see from the image above, the XL is a much slimmer device but as can also be seen, in common with other ONE and XL devices, it now lacks any form of memory expansion slot.

 

This is worth bearing in mind should you have any future plans to expand the maps. The storage provided is all you have at your disposal with no possibility of expanding it at a future date.

 

Not an issue if all you plan on doing is updating the supplied map but it would preclude the addition of a US map should you wish to at some future point.

 

Power Socket Power Socket

The USB power plug is tricky to insert but offers a low profile once you manage it!

 

One very welcome feature is the reset procedure. Of course we all hope we will never need it but on other models a reset has required a safety pin or paper clip, not something we often have lying around, especially in a car. The XL (and ONE) have now adopted the system already found on the x40. Now a reset can be initiated by holding down the top mounted power switch for 20 seconds. This is a much simpler solution.

 

Map Coverage

Supplied maps on the XL IQ Routes Europe model cover the following countries and regions:

 

Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Vatican City.

 

The connecting roads of Albania, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldavia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine and the Russian Federation are also included.

 

IQ Routes

IQ Routes makes use of census data compiled anonymously from millions of miles of roads driven by TomTom users.

 

Rather than compile a route based an an arbitrary maximum speed possible on each section, IQ Routes instead used this historical data to calculate a route based on the actual speeds possible on any given day and time. This data has been collated and added to the map data.

 

In this way, IQ Routes enabled devices will know that the optimal route from point A to point B may differ if driven on a weekend or a weekday. We all know that rush hour affects the route we choose and now your device knows it too.

 

IQ Routes - SundayIQ Routes - Monday

 

See the examples above of the identical route calculated on a Sunday afternoon (on the left) and a Monday morning (on the right).

 

Conclusion

A nice device which I believe has the best form factor of all the devices. If you don't need frills such as Bluetooth hands-free or TTS then this is the ideal solution.

 

Notwithstanding my personal gripes about the EasyPort mount and charge lead, this is still the device best suited to daily use. Its design encourages you to remove it from your car when not in-use and given the plethora of satnav thefts reported daily this has to be a good thing. Its compact design means it will fit in a handbag or trouser/jacket pocket and at £199.99 RRP for the Europe version it offers very good value for money.

 

Various Menu Screens

 

Menu Page 1 Menu Page 2

Main Menu Screens

 

Preferences Page 1 Preferences Page 2

 

Preferences Page 3 Preferences Page 4

 

Preferences Page 5 Preferences Page61

Preference Screens

 

About Screen IQ Routes Page

Map and SW Version Screen and IQ Routes

 

Planning Options Planning options

Planning Preferences

 

 

Resources

PocketGPSWorld Author

Darren Griffin

   
Manufacturer www.tomtom.com

 

Comments?

Have any comments about this page? Post them below or visit the forum thread directly here.

Comments
Posted by dorsetwurzel on Wed May 20, 2009 6:46 pm Reply with quote

Thanks for the review Darren. Very useful and fair balanced comments.
Tim Very Happy


TomTom XL IQ routes Europe App 9.401 Map W Europe v880.3810. iPhone 4s 32Gb with PGPSW CamerAlert, Tomtom UK & ROI v1.10 with HD Traffic. Tomtom car kit. iPad 64Gb 4G + GPS
@dorsetwurzel on twitter

If I'm not here, I'm out Geocaching

 
Posted by pilk on Thu May 21, 2009 8:08 pm Reply with quote

Hi, I've had my old One XL for three years now. I did use the traffic alerts by linking my phone and the One by bluetooth, until Microsoft messed it up by changing their bluetooth protocol. My phone was, and still is a pocket pc PDA. Am I correct in assuming that the new TomTom One IQ requires a mobile phone connection to use its IQ facility, or is the data stored in memory, and updated when you sync to your pc? I also am guessing that my Microsoft phone won't connect anyway and I need a new phone!


 
Posted by mikealder on Thu May 21, 2009 8:15 pm Reply with quote

The new XL device have no bluetooth capability at all so the IQ routes data is contained within the map, this is not a Traffic alerting system it is based upon average road speeds from people driving the actual roads over time.

As for you PC Phone problem, what device are you using? as it is possible to add the BT DUN profile to HTC PPC Phones and get the data connection working, let us know the phone make/ model and we can see if sorting out the existing problem with your hardware can be resolved - Mike


 
Posted by pilk on Thu May 21, 2009 8:45 pm Reply with quote

Thanks for that. My current phone is however, not an HTC phone but the MWg 'Atom Life'. (originally an O2 phone for the asia market, but rebranded as MWg and sold off in the UK!) It has windows mobile 6 professional on board.


 
Posted by mikealder on Thu May 21, 2009 8:49 pm Reply with quote

AFAIK the Bluetooth DUN profile cannot be added to the MWg devices as nobody has created the required installer, I have an MWg Zinc-II which is useless due to a lack of support and the manufacturer has gone out of business, this will be my daughters next phone as she likes the device! - Mike


 
Posted by pilk on Thu May 21, 2009 8:52 pm Reply with quote

Thanks,
If it wasn't so brilliantly fast on the internet I'd have dumped it by now! That's good news about the One XL IQ. I am very tempted.


 
Posted by navver on Fri May 22, 2009 7:13 pm Reply with quote

I have to say for anyone who hasn't tried IQ routes they do make the tomtom pick routes that you would use as a local. No more stupid routes through the middle of Bristol. Also the predicted journey times are spot on.
This is something tomtom have got very right.


Tomtom Go520, App 8.010, Map UK&ROI 810.1870

 
Posted by Andy_P on Fri May 22, 2009 11:03 pm Reply with quote

pilk Wrote:
Thanks,
If it wasn't so brilliantly fast on the internet I'd have dumped it by now! That's good news about the One XL IQ. I am very tempted.


You might be tempted even more by the recently announced "TomTom XL LIVE IQ Routes Edition" (don't you love these snappy names TomTom think of?)

This version has the LIVE features of the much more expensive Go x40 models, such as HD Traffic, Google Search, Fuel prices, Weather etc. - all from a built-in dedicated SIM card and subscription.


"Settling in nicely" ;-)

 
Posted by v3man on Thu May 28, 2009 2:13 pm Reply with quote

I like to have my satnav on the small front side window on my Picasso but when I got the shop to try the mount in that position it wasn't possible to get the screen to face me so I was getting reflections of the passenger's hands - very distracting and a pity as it seems to be a good unit.g.


 
Posted by Darren on Thu May 28, 2009 2:45 pm Reply with quote

v3man Wrote:
I like to have my satnav on the small front side window on my Picasso but when I got the shop to try the mount in that position it wasn't possible to get the screen to face me so I was getting reflections of the passenger's hands - very distracting and a pity as it seems to be a good unit.g.

There are already a number of third party solutions available for the EasyPort mount, e.g. Arkon.


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by kartracer on Fri May 29, 2009 4:12 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
As you can see from the image above, the XL is a much slimmer device but as can also be seen, in common with other ONE and XL devices, it now lacks any form of memory expansion slot.

Although it lacks a memory expansion slot, the IQ Routes Edition does come with 2Gb of memory built in. I just bought my wife a TomTom One IQ Routes Edition Regional (UK), and it had plenty of room to additionally install the Western Europe Map I used to use a few years ago on my Nokia N70.


Kam

 
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