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TomTom ONE 140-S 3.5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator
Customer Reviews

Portable but not quite a best buy3
After a couple of long trips out into the country, and a lot of in-city driving, here are my conclusions (comparisons are to the Magellan 1440 and the Nuvi 660).

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What works well:
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1. In standard suburban driving, I never once lost a signal. It takes about 25-50 seconds to find a signal on a cold start, which is par for the course with other GPS units I've used.

2. The routing was pretty decent, and got me to where I was trying to go. It was able to recover fairly quickly when I went off course, and then re-plot a revised route fairly quickly.

3. The unit is tiny and literally fits in my front shirt pocket. I can see this as being a great walkabout unit.

4. You can charge the device from a computer or from a USB charger - a wonderful option when not using it in an automobile.

5. One touch volume change. Simply click and drag ... no need to click a separate OK button.

6. The coolest new feature with this device is its Demo mode. You simply input your target destination, and then have it simulate a drive to that location. This worked great when I had to show a friend how to get to a location.

7. A speed limit warning beeps at you when you go over either a set driving speed, or when you go over the speed limit for a highway. Unfortunately, I could only get it to warn me on the freeway (where the speed limits are mostly well known.) However, my Nuvi 660 works well even on most neighborhood streets.

8. There are a ton of safety features that can be turned on - such as audible warnings when you get near a school or place of worship. I'm not yet sure how useful this will turn out to be, but its definitely a fun feature.

9. It provides lots of color schemes for both day and night displays. I just went with the defaults, which were more than adequate. In particular, the night time view is very clear and easy to read.

10. POIs are editable. In fact a lot about this device is user editable (incl. speed limits on streets, street names, etc.) This works for the occasional edit or error correction.


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What doesn't work well:
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1. The screen real estate is just way too cramped. Once you factor in all the "avionics", the map display ends up being cramped. I much prefer the roomier 1440. Of course, I cannot slip the 1440 into a shirt pocket.

2. In my usage, I regularly rely on good voice prompts. The 140-S lets you pick from either a "human" or a "computer" voice. This choice is a problem for me since one voice can speak street names while the other cannot. It's hard to imagine why the engineers felt that this choice was relevant, especially since the text to speech feature loses it's value (at least to me) when street names cannot be spoken. Also, depending on the voice I chose, the units changed from feet (which I liked) to yards (which I had to mentally convert).

3. The speech is on par with my Nuvi 660, and not quite close to what the 1440 can do. The words often lose a syllable and sound clipped. This is slightly better than the 660.

4. The unit does not Power On the vehicle is turned on, or Power Off when the vehicle is turned off. This is a biggie.

5. The Magellan 1440's Lane Assist is much more informative. On my commute, there are at least 3 interchanges off of 494 to other highways. At each such major interchange it warns me about staying on the correct lane. The 140-S seems to do so only when it thinks there is potential for confusion. I'd much prefer the extra help, esp. when in an unfamiliar city.

6. The screen is difficult to see in direct sunlight, but its still slightly better than the Magellan 1440.

7. The mount folds neatly into the device, and is very low profile. However, when removing a GPS unit, I almost always just unhook the device itself rather than taking along the whole mount, I've yet to see why this may be a design advantage. In addition, the low profile actually makes it harder to position in my Bracketron mount.

8. The USB connector seats in snug, and then is really, really hard to unplug. I thought I was going to damage the connector before it finally came off.

9. The POI database is very incomplete. It couldn't find either the Best Buy, Walmart, or Sam's Club in Woodbury, MN. Even worse, it placed the Oakdale Best Buy right in the middle of I-94.

10. Strange terminology - a "roundabout" becomes a "rotary".

11. The keyboard does not default to QWERTY - and I found that a bit hard to get used to until I discovered a preference that sets this mode.

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Conclusion:
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The screen size is fairly minuscule when compared to the 4.5" 1440. A key deciding factor is which you value higher, portability or readability/usability. This wins on portability, but I'd recommend a larger screen otherwise.

The 1440 is my gold standard for data entry, voice prompts, and lane assist; and the 140-S doesn't compare as well on those counts.

(Note that while other reviewers have complained about issues when updating this device - I haven't yet connected it to my computer.)

Updated July 29:
I have noticed that I cannot "click and drag" to scroll the map. Each click takes me to the routing screen. This is a major downside for my specific usage behavior. The 1440, by contrast, scrolls like a dream.

Happy Driving!
-Damodar

Excellent routing!5
I have just replaced my TomTom One 130S with the 140S. The IQ Routes Technology dramatically improves the routing. I have owned Navman, Mio, and Garmin GPS units. This one has the best routing yet! This is an excellent value!

Edit: I just returned from a trip from Rochester, NY to Charleston, WV to Topsail, NC.

I was very impressed with my 140S. It never suggested a faulty or weird route. One route it suggested in West Virginia was far superior to the route I normally take.

The voice directions always seem to be spoken at exactly the right time.

"Reality views" of expressway interchanges popped up frequently. I have really come to appreciate the feature.

I love that you can set voice warnings for Rest Areas.

The only negative thing I have to report is that some POIs in the Topsail, NC area were shown in wrong locations. I also found this to be the case with my Garmin 260 last year.

A new section of interstate in North Carolina is in the latest map. My brother's Garmin (with the latest map) does not yet show the new road.

I have more confidence in the 140S than any GPS I have owned.

Makes Navigation Easy5
I upgraded from the TomTom One 130 to this TomTom One 140s for the advanced lane guidance and I absolutely love it.
The spoken street names are nice but no big deal (You have to select a computer voice to get street names. The natural voice can only say pre-recorded things). The names are probably helpful for people who do not want to take their eyes of the road. However, those people will miss the absolute greatest feature which is the advanced lane guidance. It is so nice to get advanced notice that there are multiple lanes coming up and being told very clearly by means of the multiple arrows which lane(s) you can choose. I live in the Seattle area and found that it will show those arrows for nearly all large intersections that have multiple turning lanes. On the freeway you not only get the guidance arrows at the bottom, but frequently a big computer generated picture that clearly depicts all lanes and on/off ramps with big arrows inside the lanes you can choose. It is actually quite shocking when it then switches back to the standard lines view. They feel like cave drawings by comparison. I think it is already technically possible to make this realistic picture view the (moving) permanent view (kind of like a video game). All they need to do is extend their database to include the number of lanes of a road.
Two other improvements over the 130 are that you can add your own Points Of Interest. Although the 130 already allowed you to download locations from Google Maps as Favorites, adding them as POIs will display them on the map just as any other POI and reduce the clutter in your Favorites. The other minor improvement is the ability to create an itinerary. The itinerary is basically a sequence of destinations (with some minor editing capabilities such as adding, removing and moving a destination up or down in the list) which you can save as an itinerary. Just like the 130, the 140s is accurate, quick to draw the screen and recalculate the directions if you stray off course. If you notice after a while that the satellite aquisition is taking longer, connect the TomTom to your PC and update it and the aquisition will be back to a few seconds. I updated my 130 about once a month.
So far I haven't noticed the IQ Routes giving me different routing suggestions than the 130, but I have only had it for a few days and my trips so far may not have required a special IQ re-route. If I notice any specially great or bad routing later, I will add it to this review.

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reviews no.: 00150@28/11/10 02:35 By: pron


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