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TomTom Start

Made for map lovers, apparently...

Road works aside - the problem with no Live support - we were correctly informed about speed limits and speed camera locations. Pragmatic as ever, the Start succeeded in getting us home by what we know to be the best route.

TomTom Start

Multicoloured casing swap shop

Start is nothing if not prosaic, and that's perhaps what TomTom has forgotten when it goes on about maps. Maps are visual guides as much as a list of roads and places, and until TomTom kit can project a chart up onto the windscreen - while you're parked, of course - its satnavs won't replace maps.

The Start's built-in battery is good for about an hour and a quarter, so you'll need to keep the bundled USB charger cable handy on long trips. As we said, the mount is removable, and so is the device's casing, so you can replace it with a colour more to your taste - for a small consideration, of course.

The Start itself isn't especially cheap - £120 for the UK and Ireland version - but at half the price it's still way more expensive than, say, the AA's AA Big Road Atlas, which is yours for less than a tenner. Yes, you have to update it once a year, perhaps, but that's true of the Start. TomTom wants an extra £27.80 to keep the Start's maps updated during a 12-month period.

User-provided map tweaks can be downloaded for free, and TomTom's Home app also allowed us to grab a gratis list of English Heritage sites so we will be able to navigate straight to Wrest Park next time. We still think it should be in the box, though. It would be, if we'd bought a map.

Verdict

Don't get us wrong, we liked using the Start, and it's cut-to-what-matters approach is an step forward for its satnav UI. It does its job and it does it well, albeit for the casual driver rather than folk who spend their lives behind the wheel, who will want the updates Live support brings. Our only real complaint: it's the wrong side of £100. Reduce the price and quit making quips about map reading, TomTom, and we could happily find a place for the Start in our car. ®

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TomTom Start

TomTom Start

The 'get me from A to B' focused Start does the job and does it well, but it's pricey and lacks the features some frequent drivers will need.
Price: £120 (UK and Ireland) £140 (Western Europe) RRP