As a road retard, living and traveling in the hearts of Kuala Lumpur is a complete nightmare, miss one turn and you’re doomed to at least 30 minutes of traffic jam and to make matters worst, if you still haven’t figured out where exactly you should turn, you’ll miss it again and be stuck on the same stretch of road; GPS is one of the most important accessory in my everyday life. We were recently given two GPS devices from TomTom – the TomTom VIA 260 and TomTom Go 2050.
Both GPS are pretty much more or less the same – they come with the same TomTom interface and everything the company has to offer, they are equipped with Bluetooth to enable hand’s free calling, pre-installed maps to 7 Sourtheast Asia countries including Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Macau, and my personal favorite Advanced Land Guidance which helps drivers safely navigate busy intersections by offering photo-realistic images of upcoming junctions.
Hit the break to find out more.
So how does it feel traveling with the TomTom GPS devices and leaving them to direct you around the buzy town of KL? Not as smooth as I expected though to be fair, I’m used to Google Map and Garmin GPS so switching to a completely new experience is quite a challenge. One thing I don’t quite like about TomTom GPS interface is if you wish to navigate to a new destination, you will have to drill down in the menu before you can proceed whereas in Google Maps (which sucks because it doesn’t have navigation here in Malaysia), you can just type your destination without choosing whether you wish to travel to home, work or a POI near the city or near you.
Both devices perform equally well when navigating however, there is a default feature which can be quite annoying is how it always asks if you wish to travel on a road with toll in it. Making me decide before navigating can be rather frustrating because it feels like if I pick to NOT avoid toll roads, it’ll purposely bring me to roads with toll even if it means it’s much, much further. The feature can be turned off of course, all you need to do is drill through the very detailed menu.
A feature I love about both devices is its Bluetooth connectivity which allows for hands-free calling. All you need to do is pair your phone with the GPS and each time you activate it to navigate, it’ll automatically connect. However, do note that if you’re driving your mum out the next time, for instance, do switch it off because you wouldn’t want her to listen in to your conversations.
While the TomTom Via 260 may seem like a lower end device compared to the Go 2050, what I like about it is its compact size and an integrated mount to make it much more portable; leaving your GPS device attached on your car windscreen is never a good idea so I like the ability to easily remove it and hide it away; there’ll be no mount on the windscreen either so thieves won’t decide to break into the car just to dig through my dashboard.
TomTom Go 2050 on the other hand is a premium GPS unit that features the company’s sophisticated new design and innovative features. What I like about the Go 2050 over the Via series is its 5” Fluid Touch screen, also known as capacitive touch screen so you do not need to press hard on the display and it allows you to pinch to zoom in and out of the map. It also come with a relatively larger speaker for outstanding audio output, a plus especially if you travel during peak hours with all the honks and noisy exhausts surrounding your car. There is also a Go 2050 World model that comes pre-installed with 59 maps, a perfect companion for those who are always out and about.
The TomTom Via 260 retails at RM599 and the TomTom Go 2050 retails at RM999; if you ask me which one I would pick, the cheaper one would be an obvious choice. They are both packed with the latest offerings from TomTom but if I had the money, I would gladly pick the Go 2050 just for the Fluid Touch screen because it’s much easier to operate especially when you’re in a hurry or maybe when you’re driving. If you prefer the Go 2050 for its larger 5” display, the Via series – Via 280 comes with a 5” display which goes for RM699.
Just a word of reminder, the first thing you MUST do if you decide to get a TomTom device is connect it to a computer and get started at www.tomtom.com/getstarted. Unlike your phone or tablet, you must connect the GPS to your computer first to get the latest maps. At the rate our roads are changing, please get it updated, unless of course, you fancy getting lost or traveling a longer route before realizing that the turn might get you to drive off a mountain.
The Via series has three units while the Go series have two:
TomTom Via 220 – RM499
TomTom Via 260 – RM599
TomTom Via 280 – RM699
TomTom Go 2050 – RM999
TomTom Go 2050 World – RM1249