Navigational Assistance 

Image of author
When thinking about devices for providing navigational aids and other kinds of driving assistance, such as SatNav units, one name that immediately springs to mind is that of TomTom. This is a company that concentrates its expertise on the particular area of SatNav and has developed various ranges of products including the Start brand. One such offering is the TomTom Start 60 product, supplied by QVC for the purpose of this review.

tom tom start 60 GPS navigator
click image to enlarge

Unpacking the TomTom Start 60 product reveals the SatNav unit, a car lighter adapter plug that links to the supplied standard-to-micro USB lead and a User Manual booklet covering major European languages.  As the largest model in the Start range, this product has dimensions of 16.99 x 10.48 x 2.22cm (W x H x D).  The SatNav device is predominately black in colour apart from a grey band trimming the front of the unit and a silver TomTom logo.  Taking over the front of the unit is a 6-inch (15cm) resistive screen with an aspect ratio of 16:9.  This screen has a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels for displaying the 2D and 3D views available with this device.

A micro USB port is positioned on the rear of the SatNav.  Using the supplied lead and cigarette lighter adapter, you can charge the device’s internal battery from either a mains source within the home or an appropriate connection located in the car.  A fully charged battery should give you two hours of use for maybe a short car journey or on those occasions when you want to use the kit to provide a navigational aid for journeys that do not involve your car.  For longer journeys you can use the cigarette lighter connection.

Tucked away on the base of the Smart 60 is a microSD card slot.  As the Start 60 comes with the promise of free map updates for the life of the device, new and updated maps can be added via a microSD card using this slot.  For access to power, via the unit’s internal battery, there is an on/off button positioned in the top right corner of the unit.

Attached to the rear of the Start 60, via a ball socket, is a mount mechanism for fixing the SatNav device to a windscreen.  As the mount unit is positioned at the top of the Start 60, this does mean the unit hangs downwards rather than sits of a flat surface.  This might reduce positioning options as you would want an unobstructed view of the unit’s screen and the road ahead.  You also need to take into consideration the lead linking the SatNav to the car’s cigarette lighter socket for those lengthy journeys that would exceed the unit’s built-in battery two-hour capacity.

Whether selecting the start and end points for journeys, making alterations to suggested routes, searching for locations and other points of interest (POIs) plus checking out the available customisation settings, you need to interact with the unit’s screen.  By zooming into a map, you can pinpoint the start and end points of a journey with just your finger or opt for a search option which adjusts its findings the more information that is inputted using an on-screen keyboard.  Sometimes you do need a degree of patience while waiting for the screen to respond and adjust to pressure applied on an area of the screen or individual character on the keyboard.

With start and end points of a journey entered, routes are generally calculated quickly using options such as fastest, shortest and eco-friendly.  With a choice of voices, directional and other navigation advice, including street names, will be issues as the screen displays your choice of 2D or 3D views.  If, like me, you like to travel with background music then you will probably need to increase the default setting for the audio volume level otherwise this voice could be drowned out.  While you are provided with timing and mileage information regarding the current route, there is no option to run-through a journey on-screen prior to taking a trip.  This omission is a disappointment.

Information regarding your Home address details, routes, favourite and previous destinations will be saved for future use.  You can also access information regarding the location of petrol stations, parking sites and general points of interest such as restaurants and sporting venues.

Rather surprisingly, as this SatNav is the largest model available in this series, the unit’s main menu is laid out across the screen in such a way that all the available options can not fit on a single screen.  You have to scroll the screen sideways in order to access all the options of Search, Current Route, My Places, My Routes, Parking, Petrol Stations and Settings.  The same problem arises with the Settings menu with the available options not fitting on a single screen.  You will again have to scroll the screen to view and access options designated as Appearance, Voices, Maps, Route Planning, Sounds & Warnings, and Languages & Units.

While a little slow to respond sometimes, the TomTom Start 60 is capable of providing you will navigation information with speed camera warnings.  QVC is currently listing this product at £109.98.

Follow us on Twitter!!

add to Digg this review

Reviews by related category

Smiley Rating

Ease of use1
OverallTom Tom Start 60 rated 64 out of 100

If you like this article then why not link to it from your site!

Use a text link, or download an image


Our current Free Prizedraw!!

Why join GadgetSpeak?

Well - there are lots of reasons to join, depending on you and your interests :

  • Member prize-draws
  • Real reviews - by real people
  • Membership is free
  • Email summary of the weeks reviews
  • Share your product feedback with others
  • Keep in touch with all that's new in gadgets
  • Full of great ideas as the Christmas deadline looms!

Convinced? Come along and join in the fun!


Invite friends and family to GadgetSpeak

Why not invite friends or family to join in the fun?

Help us make GadgetSpeak the place to come for free and impartial reviews of the latest gadgets!

Start inviting your friends along!