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TomTom Navigator 2 Review

15th April 2003

 Review by Dave Burrows

  

TomTom have been around on the Pocket PC GPS scene for quite some time, previous releases of their GPS software include TomTom RoutePlanner, TomTom CityMaps and the award winning TomTom Navigator.

 

TomTom announced just prior to CeBIT in Hannover Germany that TomTom Navigator 2 will be released in early April 2003 after the commencement of the upgrade program for existing TomTom Navigator 1 users in Late March. 

TomTom created Navigator nearly a year ago which has been the choice for many European GPS users.  This is partly due to the aggressive pricing structure that TomTom have created, no hardware or software locking to their software in any way, and that the TeleAtlas maps provided are very clean and vibrant.  Unfortunately TomTom Navigator 2 changes this.  Although as many have experienced TomTom's lack of responses via email support can still be non-existant, TomTom do listen, and since we created the TomTom Navigator forum here at Pocket GPS, TomTom have been monitoring faults within their program and wish lists and have brought these altogether into the new 2003 version of their award winning software (TomTom Navigator 2).

 

 

TomTom Navigator 2 like it's predecessor is not only a reasonably priced complete GPS product, but TomTom had thought long and hard about what they are going to include with their product.  Included in the box are TomTom Navigator Software CD, a universal PDA Mount, a windscreen suction mount with a huge suction cup to stop it falling off the windscreen, a vent mount, a dashboard sticky mount, and also a windscreen sticky mount if you'd prefer not to use a suction cup.  This has to be the most complete GPS product on the market today, and we have to commend TomTom for thinking about what the average user may want or even require in their vehicle.

 

Picture Courtesy of Pocket PC Italia

TomTom Navigator 2 with GPS Receiver,

Compaq iPAQ 3950 and windscreen mount

 

 

Pocket PC Windscreen Mount

We've tried a large combination of Pocket PC's and iPAQ sleeves including Casio E105, Casio E125, Compaq iPAQ 3630 naked, with CF sleeve, with PC Card Sleeve and also a 3850 with PC Card sleeve, and all these combinations work well.  There should be no need to use the dual PC Card Sleeve with the TomTom Navigator as you are not taking up a CF or PC Card socket, TomTom Navigator plugs effortlessly into the ActiveSync port (Serial socket) and not only provides GPS signals to the Pocket PC, but also powers the Pocket PC at the same time!

 

The Navigator mount has a large suction cup on the end of the mount arm, and we must say is the biggest suction cup we've seen to date.  There's no worry whatsoever of this falling off the windscreen every five minutes!  One problem we have noticed and that is when the mount has been left in hot sunlight in-car for a short period of time, the rubbery sponge sidings that protect your Pocket PC from being scratched and also aid in gripping the Pocket PC, tend to go a little soft, and because there's nothing to stop the Pocket PC from sliding out the bottom, you might notice the Pocket PC sliding or moving in the cradle slightly.  What we did here was to prop the bottom corner of the iPAQ up against the dashboard which aided in resolving this from happening.  Most companies do say with the windscreen mounts that you should rest them on the dashboard, but with Navigator's serial connector, it does make this a little tricky.

Compaq iPAQ 3850 with TomTom Navigator mount

When you open the Navigator box, it's just like opening Pandora's box, there's a plethora of fixtures and fittings that can be used to secure your Pocket PC to the car's windscreen, dashboard and car's air vents.  Here you'll see the air vent mount.  This is totally adjustable, the long arms that go into the air vent, can be moved from the bottom, to the middle or to the top of this mount, giving you a perfect fitting.  You'll also notice on the bottom horizontal foot at the left there is a square block. 

  

Air vent mount 

     

This can be moved left to right to move it along the clip to allow for a tighter and snugger fit against your air vent.  Pure ingenious! 

 

You'll see from the front view of the air vent mount.  This has a 4-way locking system that locks onto the back of the Navigator cradle, and is a very tough lock with a solid click at the end of it once you've locked it in place.  This makes sure that the whole mount will not come apart when driving over potholes in the road, or driving down those rickety country lanes.

 

If you don't feel secure in using either the air vent mount, or the windscreen mount as you've had bad problems with suction mounts falling off the windscreen with other products, you can use the suction cup onto the bottom of the disc pictured right and then use the industrial strength adhesive to stick to the windscreen.

 

You can also do the same thing with the far right hand mount in this photo as this will allow you to stick the mount again to a window, or to the dash board and has a ball joint that allows you to angle the mount.

Navigator complete mount kit supplied in box

 

New GPS Receiver

Pictured right is the new GPS receiver bundled with TomTom Navigator 2.  This is believed to be a Leadtek 9532. 

 

TomTom Navigator 2 still has the Y type adapters.  These not only give power to the GPS Receiver but also power to the Pocket PC and will charge the Pocket PC whilst you drive. 

 

It does mean that you will have more cables in car, but personally I prefer this option as you then don't have to purchase accessory socket splitters. 

 

 

TomTom Navigator 2 GPS Receiver

You'll see here the moulded accessory plug.  The cable then extends in a coil to avoid a tangled cable to the Y-socket.

 

The cable that comes out of this on the same side is the Serial cable that plugs into your Pocket PC and there are several feet of cable here allowing you to position the Pocket PC virtually anywhere in the front of the car. 

 

The cylinder block you see on the cable houses ferrite, which is a known filter for electrical interference and will help avoid receiving electrical interference from other nearby cables.

TomTom Navigator iPAQ 3850 cable

 

GPS Specifications

  • Based on SiRFStarII Architecture

  • Acquisition Time: Cold/Warm/Hot Start: 45/38/8 sec typical TTFF 

  • Reacquisition Time: 0.1 seconds  

  • Support Standard NMEA-0183 v2.0 and SiRF Binary protocol

  • Support Accurate 1PPS Output Signal Aligned with GPS Timing

  • Trickle Power Enabled for Power Saving

  • Superior Sensitivity for Urban Canyon and Foliage Environment

  • Magnet base for mounting on the car

  • Operating temperature: -40 ºC to +85 ºC

  • Power: 5.0 +-5%V DC input internal rechargeable 3V lithium battery

  • External Power: Universal connector for Pocket PCs

  • SiRF Binary plus proprietary messages NMEA-0183 v2.0 GGA, GSA, GSV, RMC, VTG, GLL

  • Baud Rate: 4,800 to 38,400 bps

 

GPS Hardware TTFF (Time To First Fix)

 

Cold

Test 1

Cold

Test 2

Cold

Test 3

Cold

Test 4

Cold

Test 5

Cold

Test

Average

Warm

Test

Hot

Test

CoPilot CF 1m 22s 1m 8s 56s 1m 17s 54s 1m 07s 52s 16s
Emtac Sleeve/CoPilot 40s 37s 42s 37s 46s 40.4s 10s 9s
Emtac/Socket BT GPS 47s 53s 42s 36s 38s 43.2s 10s 17s
Garmin eTrex 39s 44s 40s 41s 43s 41.4s 8s N/A
Garmin eTrex Summit 38s 41s 45s 39s 42s 41.0s 8s N/A
Garmin eTrex Vista 37s 57s 32s 35s 38s 39.8s 17s N/A
Garmin GPSMap76 42s 34s 23s 56s 32s 37.4s 12s N/A
Garmin GPSMap76S 32s 53s 32s 39s 36s 38.4s 11s N/A
Garmin Geko 101 1m 37s 45s 38s 44s 41s 53s 15s 13
Garmin Geko 201 34s 45s 38s 43s 40s 40s 19s 10
HaiCom 302 CF 50s 33s 1m 25s 36s 1m 25s 57.8s 23s 10s
HaiCom 303 MMF 42s 1m 05 s 41s 1m 02 s 1m 18s 57.6s 36s 3s
Holux GM-210 42s 38s 35s 37s 42s 38.8s 30s 4s
Holux GM-270 54s 1m 07 s 1m 03s 50s 1m 12s 61.2s 39s 4s
Holux GM-270U 46s 49s 42s 1m 01 s 49s 49.4s 35s 3s
Holux GR-230 1m 02s 55s 50s 49s 52s 53.6s 39s 5s
LeadTek 9531 / 9532 29s 37s 39s 41s 43s 37.8s 9s 5s
Magellan Meridian Range of GPS 38s 53s 43s 33s 35s 40.4s 18s 15s
Magellan SporTrak Range of GPS 37s 47s 46s 41s 41s 42.4s 19s 16s
Navman 3000 (ROM 2.0.0) 49s 52s 1m 33s 3m 23s 8m 5s 2m 56s 20s 11s
Navman 3400/3420 (ROM 2.1.2) 1m 33s 2m 30s 1m 32s 52s 1m 17s 1m 32.8s 20s 12s
Navman 3450 (ROM 2.1.2) 57s 50s 1m 09s 48s 1m 0s 56.8s 20s 11s
Navman 4400 53s 1m 03s 1m 19s 54s 53s 1m 00.4s 0s 0s
Pretec Compact CF 1m 28s 2m 47s 57s 45s 1m 2s 1m 23s 1m 16s 12s
Pretec Compact LP CF 3m 48s 5m 32s 4m 59s 1m 53s 4m 02s 4m 04s 52s 33s
Rikaline X5 41s 41s 34s 41s 42s 39.5s 39s 0s
Rikaline X6 34s 60s 44s 48s 57s 48.6s 38s 0s
RoyalTek Onyx 1m 28s 1m 39s 2m 23s 1m 38s 1m 35s 1m 46s 1m 24s 17s
RoyalTek Sapphire RGM 1m 02s 1m 0s 56s 41s 55s 54.8s 37s 10s
RoyalTek RBT-3000 57s 46s 43s 41s 55s 48.4s 30s 9s
RoyalTek RGM-2000 48s 52s 40s 45s 39s 44.8s 33s 7s
SysOnChip BT GPS 48s 77s 66s 67s 51s 61.8s 37s 4s
SysOnChip CF Plus (SIRFXTrac) 40s 30s 33s 38s 39s 36s 30s 0s
TFAC MG30 Mouse 1m17s 1m 26s 1m 38s 1m 36s 2m 11s 1m 37s 34s 4s
TomTom Bluetooth GPS 48s 52s 46s 59s 51s 51.2s 37s 3s

 

Fastest

TTFF

Cold

Tests

Slowest

TTFF

Cold

Tests

Manufacturer

Stated

Times

Warm

TTFF

Tests

Manufacturer

Stated

Times

Hot

TTFF

Tests

Manufacturer

Stated

Times

CoPilot CF 54s 1m 22s Not Stated 52s N/A 16s N/A
Emtac Sleeve/CoPilot 37s 46s Not Stated 10s N/A 9s N/A
Emtac/Socket BlueTooth GPS 36s 53s 1m 20s 10s 45s 6s 10s
Garmin eTrex 39s 44s 45s 8s 15s N/A N/A
Garmin eTrex Summit 38s 45s 45s 8s 15s N/A N/A
Garmin eTrex Vista 32s 57s 45s 12s 15s N/A N/A
Garmin GPSMap76 32s 56s 45s 12s 15s N/A N/A
Garmin GPSMap76S 32s 53s 45s 12s 15s N/A N/A
Garmin Geko 101 38s 1m 37s 45s 15s 15s 13s N/A
Garmin Geko 201 34s 45s 45s 19s 15s 10s N/A
HaiCom 302 CF 33s 1m 25s 48s 23s 38s 10s 8s
HaiCom 303 MMF 41s 1m 18s 48s 36s 38s 3s 8s
Holux GM-210 35s 42s 45s 30s 38s 4s 8s
Holux GM-270 50\s 1m 12s 45s 39s 38s 4s 8s
Holux GM-270U 42s 1m 01s 45s 35s 38s 3s 8s
Holux GR-230 39s 1m 02s 45s 39s 38s 5s 8s
LeadTek 9531 / 9532 29s 43s 48s 9s 38s 5s 8s
Magellan Meridian Range of GPS 33s 53s <2m 18s <1m 15s <15s
Magellan SporTrak Range of GPS 37s 47s <5m 19s <1m 16s <15s
Navman 3000 49s 8m 05s 2m 0s 20s 48s 11s 18s
Navman 3400/3420 (ROM 2.1.2) 52s 2m 30s 2m 0s 20s 48s 12s 18s
Navman 3450 (ROM 2.1.2) 48s 1m 09s 2m 0s 20s 48s 11s 18s
Navman 4400 53s 1m 19s n/a 0s n/a 0s n/a
Pretec Compact CF 45s 2m 47s 1m 0s 1m 16s 45s 12s 8s
Pretec Compact LP CF 1m 53s 5m 32s 2m 10s 52s 45s 33s 20s
Rikaline X5 34s 42s 45s 39s 38s 0s 8s
Rikaline X6 34s 1m 00 s 45s 38s 38s 0s 8s
RoyalTek Onyx 1m 28s 2m 23s 45s 3m 0s 45s 17s 20s
RoyalTek Sapphire 41s 1m 02s 45s 37s 38s 10s 45s
RoyalTek RBT-3000 41s 57s 45s 30s 38s 9s 8
RoyalTek RGM-2000 39s 52s 45s 33s 38s 17s 45s
SysOnChip BT GPS 37s 77s 45s 37s  38s 4s 8s
SysOnChip CF Plus (SIRFXTrac) 30s 40s 45s 30s  38s 0s 8s
TFAC MG30 1m 17s 2m 11s 45s 34s  8s 4s 0.1s
TomTom Bluetooth GPS 48s 59s 45s 37s 38s 3s 8s

 

GPS Receiver Details
TomTom Navigator 2 is an affordable and easy-to-use navigation system for Pocket PC handheld computers. The system can be used in the car in combination with a GPS receiver. It can also be used without a GPS receiver as an electronic mapping product when away from your car.

TomTom Navigator 2 is designed for use with powerful Microsoft® Windows® Powered Pocket PC handheld computers. The Navigator 2 software works alongside a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver to ensure that you find your destination and accurately plan your route. The TomTom Navigator 2 software includes a completely digitised roadmap system. Working together with an extremely precise GPS receiver, which uses satellites to indicate your position automatically, the software frequently updates you as to your whereabouts by displaying your position on a map.

Satellite GPS-receiver, accessory plug power adapter and connection cables

 

 

Software and Maps

TomTom Navigator 2 Software is very rich both in features and content.  The TeleAtlas maps used are very up to date (December 2002).

 

TomTom Navigator allows you to plan routes to your destination in a number of ways.  You can search for an address using Pocket Outlook Address Book (Contacts) integration, which allows you to tap and hold from your Contacts and SEND TO TomTom Navigator 2. 

 

You also have the option of searching in the Search facility or planning a route using the A to B option, and you can zoom in on a particular city, find the street you want and tap and hold and set this as a destination.  This makes TomTom Navigator a great GPS package.  Every possible way of completing a task is incorporated within TomTom Navigator 2.

 

TomTom also have several offerings available:-

 

TomTom Navigator 2 Software and Maps

€169 / £116

 

This version supports any NMEA 0183 or SiRF compatible GPS Receiver connected to your Pocket PC.

 

Maps are available as single country sets including Benelux, France, Germany (inc Austria and Switzerland), Great Britain, Iberia, Italy, Nordics.

TomTom Navigator 2 GPS, Software and Maps

 

This version supports not only the supplied GPS Receiver but any NMEA 0183 or SiRF compatible GPS Receiver connected to your Pocket PC.

 

Maps are available as single country sets including Benelux, France, Germany (inc Austria and Switzerland), Great Britain, Iberia, Italy, Nordics.

TomTom Navigator 2 European Maps

 

This version contains complete European maps for TomTom Navigator 2, however it doesn't come with the TomTom Navigator 2 program, so you have to make sure you purchase one of the above packages before you can use the complete European Maps.

 

 

POI Data

One of our major complaints regarding TomTom Navigator 1 was the lack of POI.  There still is a lack of POI in a lot of Towns and Cities, for instance Poole, Dorset, but there are now 21 new POI groups.  This does make TomTom Navigator 2 a much better product over it's predecessor.  Additional POI groups include:-

  • Amusement Park

  • Beach

  • Camping Ground

  • Car Dealer

  • Car Repair Facility

  • Cash Dispencer

  • Company

  • Convention Centre

  • Embassy

  • Mountain Pass

  • Mountain Peek

  • Museum

  • Nightlife

  • Opera

  • Park And Recreation Area

  • Place of Worship

  • Rent Car Parking

  • Shop

  • Theatre

  • Tourist Attraction

  • Yacht Basin

 

On Screen Keyboard

TomTom Navigator 2 now includes a large on-screen keyboard which can be togged between three format which are the standard QWERTY (western world) keyboard layout, ABC and AZERTY.  This aids typing with nice large key buttons allowing you to use your finger rather than stylus.

 

Pocket Outlook Integration

A feature you will see in many GPS products now is the ability to use your current Pocket Outlook Contact Database to navigate to a particular destination.  What you can do is tap and hold a contact within the Contacts program and you'll see two new options.  One option is Navigate To which will then jump you straight back to Navigator 2 with the correct information allowing you to modify or OK the data.  The second option is Show TomTom Map allowing you to see where the contact is on the map.  Both very good features, and it's nice to see how well this has integrated into TomTom Navigator 2.  Outlook Integration sometimes works, and

sometimes doesn't.  There are still a lot of towns and cities categorised incorrectly, which means entering a UK address like you would do will result in not finding the location, but sometimes finding a location similar 200 miles away.

 

Postcode Routing

Postcode routing is not an option.  TomTom state on their website "You can now use a postal code as a short-cut for entering a city name; In Great Britain, streets now also have a postal code postfix.".  This is unfortunately untrue and is the biggest let down of TomTom Navigator 2. 

 

You can enter the first part of a British postcode when planning a route using A to B under the street name, eg BH12.  This will then jump to the first street name in alphabetical order that has BH12 listed next to it.  Now although this looks like it gives you the postcode, it's a postcode of several square miles and not a full postcode.  You will also find street names are sorted alphabetically, and postcodes are not, so the next street name may not be listed as BH12, but BH4 or BH5.  This makes searching through postcodes nearly impossible, and there certainly is no option of using postcodes as a short-cut.  Unfortunately if you want to use postcodes you have to still scroll down the complete list of roads within the City which really doesn't make it easy.

 

3D Map

TomTom are now the second company to include a 3D Map where you can actually drive the map rather than feel as though you're travelling it in a helicopter.  TomTom have tried to keep the look and feel the same as the 2D map with just as much information like the distance before next turn, speed, road names, distance time elapsed and ETA.  This is one of the hottest new features of TomTom Navigator 2.  The 3D Map is incorporated into the Navigator screen, following on from what we've seen in Destinator 2.  The maps are clean, and very colourful.  Look at the horizon and sea on the third screenshot!  

 

 

3D/2D Map Comparison

Here's a couple of motorway screenshots to show what the difference between the new 3D look and the conventional 2D look.  Some people like the 3D drive views, some people prefer what they're used to which is a 2D screen.  It's essential when implementing radical new features like this to not dictate what people are going to use, and it's good to be able to toggle between 2D and 3D modes quickly.

 

3D Map

 

3D Map

 

3D Map

 

2D Map

2D Map

2D Map

 

Route Instructions

TomTom Navigator 2 gives you the standard Navigator screens both in map mode and safety mode that you can see below, but also a split map and direction mode, or a plain direction mode allowing you to choose which type of data you want back from Navigator 2.

 

 

 

Following directions with TomTom Navigator 2 is very easy.  When you are in the Navigator screen, you will always be travelling up the screen which makes driving and navigation a lot easier. 

 

When you are following a set journey you will see the road you are following highlighted.  When you are changing direction a big green arrow will point you in the direction of the junction you need to take, which makes getting lost at junctions and roundabouts a thing of the past.

 

 

Navigator Screen

The Navigator Screen is known also as the Safety Screen. 

 

The Navigator Screen allows you to set a safety speed limit which allows you to not have to look at a detailed map when travelling at high speeds which can become rather dangerous both to yourself and passengers within your vehicle, but also to other road users.

 

When using the Navigator screen you will still continue to receive voice navigation prompts and you will also receive a basic on-screen display which helps in navigating to a destination safely. 

 

The safety screen here is very similar to TomTom Navigator 1's screen, but the main difference is everything on this screen is customisable using the Navigator Properties screen.

 

You can change where you want the Time to destination, Arrival time, and Distance to destination options to appear on the Navigator screen. 

 

You can also add + and - symbols to the enable zoom facilities on the map, set 2D and 3D modes with automatic zooming to on or off, show speed, show the no-power indicator, show sound muted indicator and many more options.

 

Within the Navigator Properties screen you can also set hardware buttons to various functions within TomTom Navigator 2 making it easy to navigate through the various options whilst you are driving, making it safer to operate if you have to without a stylus.

 

TomTom really have thought of everything here, allowing for full customisation.

 

 

London Congestion Area

Something new in British life is the new London Congestion Zone.  TomTom have incorporated a warning system into Navigator 2 which will warn you if you plot or drive a journey into the charge zone around central London.

 

Two great features include

1) to be warned that you are going to enter the congestion area

 

2) to avoid the Congestion area altogether. 

 

Although we haven't been able to actively test this in and around London, we have been able to test this in Demo mode and it does appear to work well when planning a route, although we haven't had any notification whatsoever in the demo mode on entering the congestion zone area which worries us slightly. 

 

 

 

GPS Status Screen/Drivers

The GPS Status screen gives you everything you need to see, satellite signal strengths, speed, compass direction and a world map showing roughly where satellites are located.  You also have an extensive support for GPS receivers in the GPS screen and the LOG screen allows you to record and playback trips/logs.

 

The GPS drivers included within TomTom Navigator now include:-

  • TomTom Navigator GPS (Leadtek 9531/9532)
  • TomTom GPS (iPAQ Sleeve) (Navman GPS Sleeve)
  • DeLORME TripMate
  • Destinator GPS (Leadtek 9531)
  • Emtac CRUX GPS
  • Emtac GPSJAC (Emtac GPS Sleeve)
  • Emtac Wireless GPS (BT GPS)
  • Garmin Etrex
  • Garmin GPS12
  • Garmin GPSIII
  • GNS gpsCard CF II
  • Haicom GPS
  • Holux GM-200
  • Holux GM-210
  • Holux GM-270 CF
  • Navman GPS 1000 (CF)
  • Navman GPS 3000 (iPAQ Sleeve)
  • Navman GPS 100
  • Peiker DR
  • Pocket CoPilot GPS Jacket (Navman 3000)
  • Pocket Track
  • Pretec Compact GPS
  • Pretec Compact GPS-LP
  • Rikaline GPS 6010
  • Scania Falcom A3D
  • StreetNav iGPS
  • NMEA 0183v2 drivers supporting 4800, 9600, 19200, 38400, 57600, 115200, Bluetooth
  • SiRF drivers supporting 4800, 9600, 19200, 38400, 57600, 115200, Bluetooth

 

Don't worry if you don't see your GPS Receiver listed above, you should be able to select either the NMEA driver or the SiRF driver and dial in the relevant baud rate.  If you don't know the baud rate or protocol to use, then this may be trial and error until you start to see some gray bars appear.

 

Alternative Routing

TomTom have support for alternative routing.  Once you've created your journey and start to drive it, if you come up against a roadblock on a specific road, you can recalculate a route avoiding any of the nearby roads that TomTom Navigator 2 is looking to route you through. 

 

This is a feature that only a few GPS Street Routing programs currently have, and should allow you to drive off a motorway junction when you hit heavy traffic, and route yourself away from this road for several miles where you can then unblock the road and continue your travel. 

 

 

Database Problems Fixed

TomTom Navigator 1 did have a lot of database problems.  These are by no means completely fixed, but there are a lot of problems that have been fixed. 

 

The following places we've checked and are now in the database

  • Shepton Mallet, Somerset

  • Wells, Somerset

  • Glastonbury, Somerset

  • Street, Somerset

  • Bideford, Devon

  • Ilfracombe, Devon

  • Newton Abbot, Devon

  • East Allington, South Hams

  • Kingsbridge, West Somerset

  • Salcombe, South Hams

  • Bodmin, North Cornwall

  • Bampton, Eden

  • Cheddar, Somerset

 

Bridges Fixed

  • Britannia and Menai bridges to Anglesey are also fixed and you can route across these

  • M25 Exit 15 Northbound to M4 Exit 4B east bound, is now resolved for routing

  • M4 Junction 10 routing from Wokingham to Slough is now fixed

Database Problems still in TomTom Navigator 2

  • Combe Martin, Devon

  • Totnes, Devon

  • Dartmouth

  • Dorchester, Dorset (still listed as Oxfordshire)

  • Wareham, Dorset (listed as Warham North Norfolk)

  • Mawgan Porth (think it's still a problem)

  • Newquay is still showing the wrong area of Cornwall

  • Fleet (Hants) shown as Fleet (Harts)

 

TomTom Navigator 2 Activation

Two words that always make me cringe and want to curl up into a ball is the words Software Activation.  I've now been dubbed a criminal, because I'm no longer trusted.  I always thought our society said innocent until proven guilty, but things sure has changed!  I can understand why companies want to protect their assets, but given the choice of software that requires activation, and software that doesn't, I'll go and purchase the one that doesn't require activation because I know I'm not going to be restricted or have any hassles with activation or renewing my hardware device.

 

When installing TomTom Navigator 2, you will be asked to activate your copy with the supplied key.  This then locks the software to your Pocket PC and keeps the key permanently on the PC you installed from (and you are unable to remove it).  The license agreement does state that you can use Navigator 2 on multiple devices providing it's only installed once.  TomTom will allow you to re-install Navigator 2 to the same Pocket PC countless times providing the activation code hasn't been erased which is stored in the registry and on the PC you install from.  If this has been erased or you have replaced your Pocket PC with a repaired or new one, you can install TomTom Navigator 2 onto this device but only 7 days after the initial install.  After this you will have to wait 183 days (6 months) before you can install to another device.

 

If you do experience problems with activation, perhaps you are behind a firewall, you can go to www.ttcode.com or you can contact TomTom Technical Support and they will assist in aiding you to rectify any problems experienced.  This feature really is there to stop mass software piracy, and TomTom like other companies are having to try and combat piracy in varying ways.

 

Planning Routes Offline

One thing that everyone has cried out for is to be able to plan the route without having a GPS connected, and then to drive that route using the Demo mode.  Thankfully TomTom have included this into TomTom Navigator 2 and it really is a great feature!

 

Third Party Support

There really is quite a lot of third party application support for TomTom Navigator 2.  TomTom in December 2002 released their first SDK (Software Development Kit) for TomTom Navigator allowing third party companies to open up Navigator to their own programs, or to allow add-in support to enrich TomTom Navigator even further.  Although this was mainly targeted for TomTom Navigator 1, all of these features are compatible with TomTom Navigator 2.

 

From left to right, top to bottom, there is GPSAssist, POI-Warner, UK Safety Camera Database and TrafCam. 

 

All can be found to plug into TomTom Navigator 2

 

See below for the relevant reviews:-

 

GPSAssist

POI-Warner

Pocket GPS UK Safety Cameras

TrafCam

CheckPOInt Website

 

Allowing third party companies to create add-in support makes a product grow exponentially.

 

This allows a product to branch out into other product arenas like Speed Camera Detection Systems, and giving support for multi-routing algorithms

 

Which Pocket PC's will the TomTom Navigator Hardware work with ?

TomTom ship by default the Leadtek GPS Mouse which is the same GPS mouse that many other GPS companies ship with their products.  This receiver is completely tried and tested and works well in-car.  Currently as of writing this review the following devices are supported:-

  • Compaq iPAQ 3630, 3650, 3670, 3750, 3835, 3850, 3870, 3950, 3970, 5450, 5450

  • O2 XDA

  • Fujitsu-Siemens Pocket Loox

  • Jornada 525, 540, 545, 548, 565, 568

  • Cassiopeia E115, E125, E200, EM500

  • Toshiba E330, E740

  • Dell Axim X5

  • Packard Bell Pocket Gear 2030, 2060

  • Proximus QTEK 1010

  • T-Mobile MDA

 

Known Problems and Faults

Although we haven't witnessed any faults per se, many readers have started to complain of problems with TomTom Navigator.  One of the main problems were frequent lockups either when starting TomTom Navigator 2, commencing a journey, planning a journey or storing favourites from the map.  TomTom Navigator 2 users who have been experiencing this problem have been very vocal in their response to TomTom, and although TomTom haven't kept users up to date since the release of trying to resolve this problem, TomTom do now have a fix (TomTom Navigator 2.01) which can be downloaded from their website.  This addresses ths problem, and several others noticed.

 

The second problem found is apparently due to a corrupted CD which makes Swedish users drive on the wrong side of the road and the wrong way around roundabouts.  TomTom will be asking for people to return their CD's, and this will affect the distribution of the European Map CD's.

 

To keep abreast of these problems, read messages in our TomTom Navigator 2 Forum which help log these problems. 

 

Several users have commented on Map and Database errors already found in TomTom Navigator 2, and these can be found here

  • Various Map errors

  • Various Database errors.  Many towns and city names either not in database or listed incorrectly

  • Swedish maps tell you to drive on the wrong side of the road and the wrong way around roundabouts and joining motorways the wrong side.

  • Postcode shortcuts are non-existent

 

 

Summary

TomTom have been hard at work improving Navigator 1, and some of the features do make Navigator 2 better than the previous version.  It does seem like Navigator 2 was rushed to the market before testing had completed due to the amount of problems seen, especially the lock-up problem.  Problems will be found in all products, it's a way of life it would seem, but any large scale problems need to be addressed quickly, and this has been achieved.

 

Problems with PostCode short-cuts being non-existent (still to be rectified), and European maps does still mean that TomTom really do have their work cut out in fixing these remaining problems, but hopefully they will be rectified shortly. 

 

 

Conclusion

Manufacturers Website

http://www.tomtom.com

Pocket GPS Reviewer

Dave Burrows

Pocket GPS Reviewer Website

Dave Burrows.com

Rating

 

Durability

Windscreen Suction Mount Strength

Air Vent Mount Strength

Car Power Cable Quality

Ability to plot route and follow

Voice Navigation Quality

Re-routing Quality

Map Detail

Overall Rating 87%

How did we achieve these ratings ?

Review Ratings

 

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