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Tom Tom 910 review

Discussion in 'Other Toys/Hobbies' started by MR CHILLED, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Well not really a review as such, just my findings from using it for the last week and a bit :)

    Tom Tom 910 is an all in one satellite navigation system, or basically an in car map. You pin point a location and it will give you the best route there. That's it's main feature obviously. I decided to go for the 910 over the 710 because of the extra bluetooth and mp3 player functionality.

    It actually contains 20G of storage, with about 14G usable, so that's enough storage space for a reasonable collection. If you add further maps to the system, this decreases the storage space. Batteries have a 4 hour life, I found it to be a little longer depending on what you do.

    MP3 player: it's a reasonably proficient jukebox but doesn't have all the functionality of WinAmp and apps like that....but it does have the basic navigation functions, with the ability to sort based on artist, album, song and genre. You can also use playlists and download audiobooks for it. It has a built in speaker which of course isn't great for music but it has a line out to your stereo unit, so you can use that in wired or wireless mode. You can also connect it to your iPod.

    Photos: Has a photo gallery with which you can do slideshows and you are only limited by the storage space on the hard drive. All done with thumbnail viewing. With big pictures in there I found it a little slow to updates thumbnail screens.

    Weather: Has weather capability as well, but this would be through a wireless data connection.

    Navigation: You can navigate to either (a) Home location, (b) a favourite, (c) a physical address, (d) recent destination, (e) Point of Interest, (f) GPS position, (g) Point on map, (h) latitude longitude, (i) TomTom buddy or (j) last docked location. There is also TomTom traffic which I guess lets you get around congested areas, no idea how or if this would work in Aus <- it is accessible by setting up a wireless data connection. You can also do a demo of your route which shows you in 3d your entire route - and you can set the speed of the playback.

    The screen: The screen is portioned out into the following areas: (a) route information - bottom left, (b) upcoming road - bottom of screen, (c) navigation information such as current car speed, time to arrival, distance to arrival, current time, satellites strength - bottom right of screen, (d) main map screen with zoom in/out functions. The screen is physically 4"'s which I think is slightly larger than the TomTom700 (or 710, not sure).

    Maps: You can download maps from the net. In preferences you select which day time and night time maps you want to use. Some of the map colours are just awesome! There are plenty of Points of Interest that are selectable if you desire, such as Airports, atm's, safety cams, amusement parks, beaches, camping grounds, car dealerships, car repair places, casino's, cinema's, college's/universities, doctors, dentists, etc etc etc <- there are probably about 100+ to select from.

    Voices: You can change voices to suit, with both computer and non computer voices available. Computer voices allow the street names to be read aloud, non computer voices won't. Other voice packs are available such as John Cleese, Ozzy Osbourne, etc......I did a quick check and the John Cleese one was about $17Aus. There are some other free voices you can download, but these are just actors like surfee dude, sexy girl yada yada.

    Software: TomTom Home is the software that you connection to on your PC. It allows manipulation of the contents of the hard drive; pictures, maps, mp3's etc. Also connects to the net autmatically for software updates and other downloads like maps and voices. Everything is done through TomTom Home.

    Other: There are some other features such as Itinery planning, advanced planning, guided tours, but don't ask me how they work or what they do because I just haven't sussed them out yet.

    Preferences: plenty of these such as: use night colours, turn off 3d display, safety preferences, disable/enable poi's, turn off sound, volume preferences, manage favourites, change home location, manage maps, manage poi's, status bar preferences, clock set, docking preferences, change map colours, brightness preferences, planning preferences, toll road preferences, compass preferences, change voice, change language, set units, operate left/right handed, keyboard preferences, owner preferences, show tips, set owner, speaker preferences, speech preferences, TomTom PLUS account features, start up preferences, bluetooth preferences, wireless data setup, arrival times preferences, reset factory settings.

    Pics:

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Now for the verdict. I have to say as much as I love the unit and what it does, it has not been without problems.

    Issues:

    (1) Unit is connected via usb to your pc, with a power cord going from desk cradle to wall point. When I disconnected the unit by using the software to disconnect (ie doing it the correct way i thought) it just stayed on the main screen and froze. It would not turn on or shut off, it was unusable. I left it overnight so the batteries ran out and the next time I turned it on it was fine. I can replicate the problem every single time. I called support and he didn't know anything about it but was aware of the unit freezing for a few people. In email the next day he sent me a solution and what you need to do is when it is docked you need to unplug the usb connection from the PC FIRST, then undock it <- strange way to do things, but it did work.

    (2) Car docking unit: This isn't great, after a few days it started drooping down slowly, so I've mounted it against the dash so it can't drop. It won't hold it's position which is annoying. [THIS PROBLEM DOESN'T EXIST - I FINALLY LOOKED IN THE MANUAL AND FOUND OUT HOW TO MOUNT IT PROPERLY -> TWIST IT AROUND ONE FURTHER NOTCH, DOH!]

    (3) Software problems: Can't access anything that is currently on the unit....nothing shows up in TomTom Home. So can't delete pictures, music and maps. So I've still yet to resolve this one.

    (4) Navigation problem: One day I went to navigate to a certain address, there were two streets of the same name, in different suburbs, I selected the second one and pressed the button to plot a route. It kept plotting the route to the OTHER suburb. Came back a day or two later and it worked fine, so some sort of temporary software glitch that seems to be ok now.

    Those are the issues so far, none of which are insumountable but can be annoying on the odd occasion. Other than these issues the unit is brilliant does exactly what I want it to do.

    Chilled rating: 8/10 (-2 for the problems)
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2006
  2. cbb1935

    cbb1935 Guest

    Mr Chilled - mate I think you saved someones life with this review.

    Dad's had his TT910 for 4 days, and the thing locked up today solid (exactly the same issue as you had in #1).

    Lets just say he was slightly pissed and ready to head to the place of sale and tell someone where to stick it (yer he's like that :rolleyes: ).

    Reading your pointers on this sounds like the problem.

    Just wondering what the support number you called was? Was it in Australia at all?

    Seems to be a good little unit, the SMS reading out is a great idea, but the little things it misses, are major oversights.

    In particular the lack of a reset button on it, and the poor mounting mechanism.

    EDIT: Oh and Dad bought the John Cleese voice add-on.. its bloody hilarious. "You have arrived at your destination, and thats my job done, don't expect me to grab your bags"

    More on the SMS thing. If you have phone linked via Bluetooth and someone sends you a message it will speak out to you "Message from <sender>" and then read the sms message to you. It rocks :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2006
  3. OP
    OP
    MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    No probs, glad I can help.

    For the support number I firstly rang Harvey Norman to ask about the main problem of locking and they said ring TT to get an RMA number if I wanted to return it. Harvey Normal gave me: (02) 8875 1700 as the TT Support number. Sydney number I guess.
    There is a reset button. Don't think it is the tiny hole on the top front of the unit though! That is the microphone. The reset switch is located around the back just under the rubber mounting knob. There's a tiny hole there that you will need a paperclip to reset it. If you still can't find it let me know and I'll post a pic.

    Now the mounting cup is an issue, and googling it it seems a few people have had the issue......but before you do make doubly sure you are locking it in properly! The twist mechanism has three steps - open, closed (allows the suction cup to hold the windscreen but you can still move the unit until it is the right position for you), and locked (this locks both the suction cup AND the ball in place so neither will move at all). So yeah make sure you are twisting it to that third location which fully locks everything in place. I didn't do that and the unit kept drooping down. When locked fully in place it doesn't move at all now.

    I'm keen to buy the Cleese voice pack.....you can pay by credit card over the net?

    Also, is your dad having any problem with the software at all? Mine just will not detect the unit at all now. I've tried everything including uninstalling the software. Just can't get it to see the unit anymore which really sucks.

    PS: there was a software update today, so you can connect and download it now.

    PPS: I haven't tried any of the bluetooth or wireless stuuf yet, but from what you've described it sounds pretty cool!
     
  4. cbb1935

    cbb1935 Guest

    If you could that'd be great mate, or just point it out in your pictures above. I know the older models had one, but I couldnt see anything resembling one easily (unless its in stealth and not mentioned in the manual).

    Yeah dad had a play with it just before and got it locked on.

    Sure can, thats how dad got it.

    Now THIS is interesting, because tonight before it borked itself dad commented he couldnt get the device to come up in Windows. I didnt get a chance to have a look before he removed it from the cradle and it locked up. Apparently it occured after attempting to do a software update.

    I'm in two minds about these software updates, as it seems there are mixed opinions on them causing more problems then they are fixing.

    Yeah BT stuff is great. Calls are incredibly clear, and dad found out today you can use a tape > audio jack (if your car has a tape deck and cd player), to output the mp3 sound to the car stereo. It won't work for route guidance though.

    But the phone call side of thing works excellent. Clarity is brilliant and I love how it advises you via voice of incoming callers, etc etc.

    BTW you are the only person amongst heaps of web searching thats solved the locking up issue!. But the support seems pretty poor online.

    I wouldnt mind better sooner or later will come speech to text, and voice rec for the tomtom, so you can control it hands free.
     
  5. cbb1935

    cbb1935 Guest

    UPDATE: Found the reset button

    Near the gold connector.

    The bad news: Sounds like the latest software update has stuffed it well and truly. It now fires up, and sits at the TomTom screen with an unresponsive touchscreen, and fails to shut down.

    Its a pity its not like my iRiver and can be blown away and factory reset.
     
  6. technqiue

    technqiue Member

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    ah cool to read this, my brother-in-law works for tomtom and has developed alot of the pc software for the go910. He's currently visiting and brought one 'for testing purposes' along with him, pretty cool gadget.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Can't take all the credit......support guy said he would get back to me with the solution and he did :thumbup: Weird that it isn't in the manual which leads me to think this is some sort of workaround, because really you shouldn't have to unplug the cable from the PC.
    And you've tried the reset button? If that doesn't work I'd *definitely* be taking it back.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Factory reset can be done from the menu's once you are in the menu's.

    The online support isn't the best (just gives the basic info) but the over the phone support seemed pretty reasonable.
     
  9. cbb1935

    cbb1935 Guest

    Get him to read this thread/show it to him :)

    Mr Chilled.. cheers for all the info. Dad's taking it back to place of purchase tomorrow to get it replaced.

    Unsure if the softwares stuffed it up, but it makes me wonder, once its out of warranty what if it occurs, you are stuffed.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Yep, you are on your own! But I'm sure they can fix it for you......for a price.

    I managed to get an extended 3 year warranty thrown in for free basically - value $150. So that takes the warranty to 5 years total. I thought it was worth getting considering it was a reasonably expensive toy.

    When you get it up and working again try downloading some of the free day and night maps - some of them looks awesome.

    PS: software update worked fine for me, except I still can't access the unit <- it didn't fix that part of it unfortunately.
    I think you may have to phone TT support to get an RMA number? Not too sure....
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2006
  11. cbb1935

    cbb1935 Guest

    UPDATE:

    I found the problem. It appears that the hard drive in the TomTom has said goodbye and goodnight.

    If you are familiar with laptops, when the hard drive dies, it boots to a certain degree, then freezes.

    The TomTom would have some vital info on a BIOS chip, and the rest on the hard drive. The splash screen comes up (BIOS), but locks thereafter, indicating a drive issue.

    The final nail in the coffin is this. When the TomTom is connected it automatically checks the hard drive status. Under his Storage\Voices directory 218 .CHK files, and in Event Manager Bad Block errors on TomTom device.

    I'll check out the Day/Night maps when he gets it back.

    All in all its a great little device and will sell well if they can sort out the minor little issues.

    ALSO: Being a hard drive, you'd need to Safely Remove Hardware when removing it from docking, else it could lead to drive corruption (perhaps that is what has happened).
     
  12. Drnrg

    Drnrg Member

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    i played with the 710 for about a week, excellent imo, no hd in this model (less problems as it would seem - you get an sd card instead) also has bluetooth so you can make calls and sms etc... great unit. mounting kit for the car isnt flash hot, didnt get a chance to dock it either
     
  13. OP
    OP
    MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Hmmmm, not so sure this would be the problem, because normally problems with corruption occur when the device is read/writing.......otherwise just unplugging it should be fine I would have thought.

    (1) You pay for them. When you decide to buy them is up to you.....how often would roads change? How often would you update your home UBD guide? I update mine every 5 years or so. The cost of updating maps, ie the Australia pack is about $199Euro so not too bad if you span the cost out over 5 or 6 years.

    (2) TT910 (top of the range) gives you the 20G hard drive which will allow it to store maps, mp3's, pictures/backgrounds. It has no SDcard anymore, unlike the 710. Also has bluetooth/wireless data connections for updating of traffic, weather etc etc
    Answered above :)
    You have two choices: (a) you can manually enter speed camera locations as points of interest so the unit can alert you when you come close to one (not sure if this is really a valid option because speed cameras can be just about anywhere) and (b) you can subscribe for a year to "Tom Tom Safety Camera's" which is a paid subscription of $39.95Euro/year (unfortuntely this is not a valid option for us as yet, because it does not include Australia currently)
    Very easy, provided you buy an extra docking unit with power line. Of course that's only if you want to dock it; you don't need to dock it, you could carry it in your hand. Remember, battery life of the TT910 is about 4 hours depending on what you do.
    You have two choices (a) use a computer generated voice which will read out street names and points of interest (only the TT910 has the ability to read street names, TT710 doesn't) or (b) use the actors voices which will not read out street names, just directions.
    Very very easily. You go to the menus and select "browse to a point". You then get presented with a scale map with your current location in the center. There is also a cursor on screen that becomes your destination point. There is a zoom function on the right hand side of the screen so you can zoom out to State level right down to street level. To move the map you just move your finger around the screen and it scrolls up/down/side-to-side - the destination cursor follows. Then locate your street, hit the cursor icon on the status bar and the unit plots the route to your destination. What route it plots is dependant on your preferences ie, shortest route, quickest route etc etc. It's very very simple and intuitive to use.
    Not sure, this unit seems very very accurate, and the 4" screen helps slightly with accuracy.
     
  14. th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

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    For speed cameras and red light cameras check out Navman's website:

    http://www.navman.com/Navman/Templates/productinformation____46979.aspx

    for their info. Basically all it is a CSV file with (what I assume are) longitudes and latitudes of various cameras. These are uploaded to the unit as POI's then you just set it to tell you when you are within XXm of a camera.

    I have no idea about how the TomTom works, but maybe you can use this file as a basis for adding these cameras.
     
  15. vellanet

    vellanet Member

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    You can get better updated speed and red light camera POI's here:
    http://members.iinet.com.au/~cbbbdl/mixo.htm

    Also there is a zip floating around the net with stacks of voices if you know where to look :Pirate:

    The .chk files in the voices directory are normal
     
  16. OP
    OP
    MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Nice! Thanks guys :thumbup:

    With no SDCard I'm not sure how the software will go allowing me to upload it to the drive?

    And with my software unresponsive at the moment <- gotta get that sorted out today.
     
  17. Funkdafied

    Funkdafied Member

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    Thanks for all the help with my questions, MR CHILLED :)

    thats excellent.. And judging from this site, it shouldn't be hard to convert the Navman ones to the TomTom formatting as well.
     
  18. vellanet

    vellanet Member

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    Windows should detect the drive as a USB Mass Storage device. From there all you gotta do is work out what goes where, you don't really need the software at all except for upating to latest version easily and getting new ephermis files.

    POI's go in the same directory as you maps (The BMP and OV2 file), the raw voice files go in the voices dir (There are 2-3 files per voice, bmp, chk & vif).

    How to make your own voice files :D
    http://tomtom.graemelucas.co.uk/
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2006
  19. Kow

    Kow Member

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    the only thing that annoyed me is that you cant get a free update to the lastest map unless you bought after may 1 ... well i got mine in april ... so poop :(
     
  20. vinhsta

    vinhsta Member

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    I've had my 910 for a bit over a month now, the mount is crap, won't hold the unit no more keeps drooping, and yes I have locked it. I called tomtom and they are sending me a new one, other than the mount the unit is fantastic.

    btw: The mount wasn't always like that, just over time, the unit is quit heavy and I was expecting it to do that.

    Vinh
     

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