Sunday, February 19, 2006

I need to have Sat Nav

I make quite a few business trips and have wasted many hours of my life printing out maps from Streetmap and routes from The AA. Whilst these work well enough I have often pondered how safe it is to drive down a motorway at 90mph 70mph whilst reading a map. As a result, I have been looking into getting a Satellite Navigation system for the last couple of years. I have totally rejected the built in offerings since BMW wanted to charge me a couple of grand when I ordered my last company car (and I'm not exaggerating - £1,970 to be precise).

So which to pick out of the plethora of alternatives? Gaimen, TomTom, Globalsat, Tibo, Navigon - there are loads of them. On top of that there is getting software for your PDA. Well I dismissed the PDA option because I didn't want to have a separate GPS thingy and I don't have a PDA. I kinda liked the TomTom Go but it was a bit bulky and there are many reports on the Interweb that it doesn't work very well through a BMW windscreen without an additional ariel.

But as luck would have it, my frolleague Darren has just taken the plunge and purchased a TomTom One. It's like a TomTom Go but less chunky, less money and more modern. The gushing write up on his web site was still not quite enough to make me flash the cash, but I had a quick Sametime chat with him that assuaged my remaining concerns - not least that it would work on my Beemer since it works fine on his.

So I am now a proud owner. It works brilliantly well and I can't wait for my next customer visit when I just have to tap in the post code to find my way. I have also downloaded all the Safety Camera (you may remember when they were called filthy speed cameras) locations for free (TomTom wanted to charge me E70 the cheeky clog bothering Dutch reprobates). The only down side is having to take it off the screen and put it in the locked glove box after every journey because of the despicable little scrotes who will smash a window to nick them. Why didn't I get a Hummer?


Anonymous said...

I have to confess to using the TomTom ONE even if I know where I'm going (e.g. home to Lotus Park). Yes folks, the novelty value hasn't worn off yet.

How long will it be before we ask people for their co-ordinates as well as their street address.

- Darren (51.34° N, 0.71° W)

Mr Ports said...

I'm very much the same. In fact it found a new route for me to get to Lotus Park. I'm not convinced that it is better then my existing route but I will be timing them both to see it the box of tricks is right.

Anonymous said...

I've had mine over a year now and the novelty value has still not worn off. I bet my TomTom Navigator (on the PDA) each time that Junction 8 off the M62 is a quicker route than Junction 9. it wins every time. Bah.

Even though I know where I'm going (sometimes), I'll still have my TomTom - it's helped me out a couple of times when there's been a traffic jam or an accident on the motorway.

Oh, and the safety camera database - this month is the last of the free ones, I believe.