The TomTom XL Live Europe (£220 inc. VAT) is a mid-range sat nav device that's crammed with features.
With access to TomTom's Live services, the company intends this device to be used regularly, and not just when you're going somewhere new. The most impressive feature Live offers is real-time traffic updates, with each of the units featuring integrated Vodafone SIM cards and reporting traffic conditions and average road speeds back to TomTom.
With updates occurring immediately, in theory you should never have to sit in a traffic jam again. Unlike most other manufacturers, TomTom also uses average speeds at different times of the day, so you'll be informed of different journey lengths, depending on when you travel.
The device itself features a 4.3-inch touchscreen display and is just about compact enough to fit into a pocket. The cradle to attach it to your windscreen clips neatly on to the rear. It's pocket-sized and the best solution we've seen to date.
Destinations can be selected via a number of different means, including full addresses, towns, post codes and from millions of Points of Interest. The onscreen keyboard is easy to use and the menus are a model of simplicity.
We also found the directions and mapping easy to follow, with accurate guidance and simple verbal directions. When we took a wrong turning, the unit was quick to re-route. Sadly, if you live in busy cities, it's inevitable that you'll get stuck in traffic anyway, but the XL Live may help you to avoid the worst.
Unfortunately the Live package is only provided free for three months, after which you'll have to pay £8 per month or £80 annually. If you're a frequent driver, then the ability to avoid congestion will pay for itself but, for most users, the extra features probably won't be fully appreciated.
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