October 6, 2009

TomTom Start GPS - New Entry Level GPS

tomtom_start.jpg
TomTom has announced a new entry level unit called the TomTom Start. Geared towards simplicity, the new device has a single button for power, and a simplified menu for ease of use. Presumably the simplicity also reduces some cost too. The unit has a 3.5" screen, voice commands (not text to speech), and comes with an easy to use menu.

The simplified menu displays a two button user interface, 'Plan route' and 'Browse map', which is eerily similar to Garmin's interface.

While the unit is entry level, it is not totally stripped down as it comes with IQ Routes, TomTom's data based decision engine on estimating accurate travel times during different times of the day based on other user's own travel experiences that they collected over the years. The TomTom Start also comes with MapShare capabilities too; see a problem on the map, fix it and share it back for TomTom to change.

The unit will be available in Europe for about $149 list prices with changeable covers for about $20 too. The covers come in a full range of colors. No word on US availability.

TomTom_startskins.jpg

Proving that quality, simplicity and style can mix, TomTom today introduces the TomTom Start in Europe. TomTom Start is an entry-level car navigation solution that represents the ultimate in easy-to-use, smart route planning.

The TomTom Start is specifically designed for occasional drivers and drivers who haven't had a chance to experience the benefits of car navigation.

The simplified menu displays a two button user interface, 'Plan route' and 'Browse map'. The device is lightweight, has a compact 3.5" screen and has a semi-fixed EasyPort™ mount, making the whole navigation package fit into a pocket, small bag or glove compartment.

"With the introduction of TomTom Start, we have taken another step in democratising navigation by making it easy to use, accessible and affordable, but without compromising on providing drivers with the fastest route," says Corinne Vigreux, Managing Director TomTom. "Available in six stylish colours, the TomTom Start is equipped with the unique innovative solutions IQ Routes™ and Map Share™ technology."

IQ Routes technology provides users with the fastest route any time of day with accurate travel times. TomTom has a database of over 800 billion speed profiles worldwide, which are included in the device's map so that users get smart route planning wherever they are. The device also comes with Map Share, TomTom's unique technology that allows users to make their own map changes, and benefit from thousands of free map corrections made by TomTom users every day - free of charge.

The simplified menu gives users easy access to the safety camera database and thousands of Points of Interest pre-installed into the device.

For further personalisation, users can go to TomTom HOME desktop software to download a wealth of content, including start-up screens and a range of fun voices.

Availability and pricing

The TomTom Start standard edition is available in black and white (EU map only), from retail stores at for Є129 for a regional map and Є149 for a European map.

TomTom Start will become available in the UK and Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway.

Changeable covers (StartSkins) are available via www.tomtom.com/startskins and retailers for only €14.95 per colour.

Notes for editors

TomTom Start standard key features include:

Easy to use

* Plug & Go - no installation needed; plug in and tap the touch screen.
* Simplified menu - two simple buttons 'Plan route' and 'Browse map'.
* Lightweight (128g) device with a 3.5" screen and Semi-fixed EasyPort™ mount folds neatly onto the back of the device, making the whole navigation package fit into pockets, small bags and glove compartment.
* Loud and clear voice instructions.

Best routing and maps

* IQ Routes technology - calculates the fastest route any time of day.
* Map Share technology - benefit from thousands of free map corrections made by TomTom users every day.
* Latest map guarantee.

Enhance safety

* Realistic visual instructions - replicated road signs, making them easier to follow.
* High quality speaker - get voice instructions at adjustable volume.
* Help menu - provides direct access to emergency numbers and directions to the nearest emergency providers.

Accessories - optional upgrades

* Changeable covers (StartSkins), including matching protective bags. StartSkins available in store: Flaming red, Ice blue, Electric green Deep purple. Sunburst yellow and Flaming orange are also available from www.tomtom.com. Priced at 14.95 euro per colour.
* Carry case, 19.95 euro
* USB home charger.
* USB car charger.

Read More in: TomTom GPS News

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Posted by Scott Martin at October 6, 2009 6:46 AM

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