Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Feature-filled Budget GPS System: The TomTom One 140-S

tomtom one 140-sThe new TomTom One 140-S has finally brought some competition to the entry-level GPS market. It has a multitude of features that makes it stand far above many people’s reigning budget GPS choice, the $249.99 Garmin nĂ¼vi 265T.

The first thing that will draw your attention to the TomTom is its sleek stylish appearance. Its features a glossy black case with chrome-accent trimming around the 3.5-inch touch screen. The whole GPS system measures 3.0 x 3.6 x 0.8 inches (HWD) and weighs a total of 6.8 ounces with the suction-cup mounting bracket. The Easyport mounting bracket is not exactly what you would call easy. To remove the GPS from the bracket, you must either pop the GPS out of the mounting systems or remove the entire apparatus itself from the windshield. The problem with just popping the GPS out is that it is very difficult to put back into the bracket, and the issue with removing the whole bracket is that it can be difficult to stick back on your windshield.

Although the TomTom One 140-S is very similar to its previous model, the 130-S, there have been some very exciting improvements to the system. The 140-S now sports a Quick Menu. This gives you the ability to choose up to six of your most used functions for easy access through onscreen shortcut icons. There are also new and improved maps on the 140-S and an expanded points-of-interest database that features over seven million entries that spread over all 50 states, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. The maps are pre-loaded on your internal memory, and with the TomTom’s Home application you can plot your trips and update your maps through your PC.

A disadvantage with the TomTom One 140-S is that it does not include live traffic capabilities. To solve this problem, you will have to purchase a USB RDS-TMC traffic receiver for $59.97. This does include a free subscription for the first year but will cost you about $60 per year after that.

One of the really cool features included in the 140-S is the IQ Routes. This technology will calculate your optimal routes based on previous knowledge of your average speed. These results will give a more accurate estimated time than speed-limit-only data. It takes a little longer to calculate your route, but it is obviously worth the wait for a more accurate prediction and quicker route.

Another important feature to discuss is the Advanced Lane Guidance of the 140-S. This allows you to clearly see which lane you should be in to accomplish any upcoming maneuvers and informs you of any road signs that you can expect to see. Lane Guidance is an excellent safety feature that is difficult to find in any budget GPS systems. The 140-S also includes itinerary planning, which can come in handy when taking a multi-segmented trip.

The TomTom One 140-S is easy to operate, like its predecessor the 130-S. The volume has definitely been improved on the 140-S though, which is a welcome change. The 140-S can get as loud as you could possibly need, and conveniently increases the volume automatically every time the car goes over 45 mph.
The TomTom One 140-S has so many outstanding features for its small price tag. For $199.95 you can possess a GPS system that features a Quick Menu, IQ Routes, Advanced Lane Guidance, itinerary planning, and so much more. I feel that this budget GPS is definitely the way to go. With all the features that can’t be found in any other budget GPS system’s, how could you possibly pass the it up. The TomTom One 140-S is definitely a breath of fresh air.

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