A solid and easy to use sat-nav device that removes some of the hassles associated with sat-navs due to the large screen
Integrated suction cup
Good signal strength
No expansion slots
Can be slow to locate a signal
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When it comes to sat nav in the UK, TomTom is the market leader, offering more devices at a wider range of price points than just about any other company. The XL Traffic Europe 22 is aimed at the mid-range market, hence the £150 price tag.
The design is fairly bulky, but it's clearly designed for in-car use, as it comes with an integrated suction cup already built in. When folded up, the suction cup helps protect the rather impressive speaker on the back of the device that provides clear road instructions.
The screen is the same 4.3-inch size as the Garmin nuvi, but due to a larger bezel looks smaller. Switch on the device and you'll find it's very easy to read, largely due to the 480 x 272-pixel resolution, but also as it is a very bright display.
TomTom uses the same interface across its range, and does so with style. The icons are clear and you can use the QWERTY keyboard or the seven or eight-digit postcode finder. We found this latter method simple to use, and the turn-byturn voice directions are sharp and clear at all times.
There are no expansion slots on this device, but it comes pre-installed with maps for all of Europe, so you won't need to add to the initial setup. You can connect the device to your laptop for updates and also use TomTom's MapShare, which allows users to update maps and give traffic alerts.
The TomTom XL Traffic Europe 22 may lack the visual appeal of the Garmin nuvi, but it is an effective and user-friendly device.
The maps are quick to load and, while it was slow to locate a signal, once locked in, it maintained its signal strength for a long period.
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