The new TomTom ONE 125 comes to the market at a time of intense competition and high expectations for the major GPS makers as they vie to marketshare and the attention of the millions of shoppers who are discovering the wonders of not getting lost and actually getting to where you want to go without stopping, backtracking or imagine that, asking for directions at a gas station. It also comes to market at a time when shoppers are starting to parade out to stores with cash in hand for holiday shopping.
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TomTom ONE 125 vs. ONE 130
The TomTom ONE 125 brings a special edition that may or may not be around after the holiday push. The only difference between the TomTom ONE 130 and the TomTom ONE 125 is that the TomTom ONE 125 has US maps, and not the full North American maps like the TomTom ONE 130. Not a big sacrifice for people who may never venture north to Canada. The TomTom ONE 125 continues the slimmed down design with an ultra thin look, and an innovative mount, dubbed the EasyPort. Fold flat profile and a twist to adhere suction mount make the EasyPort different in the GPS world.
Design - Thin and Easy[port]
It's all right here, right? Big changes are in the design department with this new generation, and the TomTom ONE 125 is definitely a nice modernization of the TomTom ONE design. Thin and more modern looks, the units melt away the extra frame around the screen, shrinking the overall unit size and offering the look of the screen floating in space. Overall the unit is very thin, with the speaker mount protruding from the back to accept the EasyPort onto the unit. Maybe it's because I have been dealing with so many widescreen units lately, or maybe it's the ultra thin design, but the TomTom ONE 125 is like a little toy, floating on the windshield. It's too bad the unit needs a power cord, because it looks great hanging in space.
The top of the TomTom ONE 125 has a flush mounted power button, that is barely perceptible. The bottom of the unit has a mini-USB input for power, through a cord that has a 90 degree turn to it so the unit can sit flush on the dash. I like the casing on the cord because its very flexible and unlike some stiffer cords, doesn't have a mind of its own as to where it wants to lie, poke or stand in the way. No other buttons, inputs or anything to clutter the look.
The EasyPort is comprised of two basic parts, the bezel based suction cup and the ring that mounts to the GPS with a snap. There are three spring loaded tabs on the side of the speaker to lock onto that ring when you snap it onto the back of the unit. The EasyPort can rotate on the back of the unit as these tabs slide long a channel giving you the ability to position the TomTom ONE in almost any position on the windshield or dash-based mounting system.
Mounting the EasyPort requires a quarter turn to the bezel, clockwise to mount, counter clockwise to dismount. When you do turn to dismount, the unit doesn't fall off the windshield; instead you need to grab the suction cup tabs on the left or right of the mount to break the suction and get the unit off.
In practice, the EasyPort takes a bit to get used to. It's not immediately obvious which way to turn to get it off, and then still needing to pull the tabs on the side to break the suction doesn't reinforce the idea that the unit is ready to dismount. I also would have liked a tactile signal to let me know which way is mounted and which way is dismounted; perhaps a click at the end of the turn when it's fully engaged?
With this said, it is not hard to get used to, and mounting the unit and dismounting the unit become easy practice. I tend not to fold and stow the TomTom 125 when stuffing it under my seat to hide it from thieves, but leave the EasyPort close to the proper angle for use. Mounting and dismounting is a two handed operation, as most mounts are.
Navigating with the TomTom is easy, and continues to demonstrate its ability to get you to where you need to go in short order and with confidence. Buyers often go through several stages of confidence building with GPS units, and unfortunately some units fall off and don't ever really make it to "Trusted Status". While up to date maps help, there is some mojo-magic in the navigation algorithm that TomTom has and lower tier brands don't.
Entry of your destination is easy and the keyboards are configurable; ABC, QWERTY, and Large or Small. By setting the keyboard to small, you get to see more of the results that are displayed and its easier to pick where you are going from a list of these results. With the standard 3.5-inch screen size of the TomTom ONE 125, things get pretty small when you want to get a QWERTY keyboard set to small; I would not recommend it. In the image to the right, you can see that one side is the QWERTY keyboard, while the other is the "ABC" keyboard layout. Jamming in the QWERTY keyboard shrinks the keys and makes them very small. I recommend the ABC style; a little tougher to input text, but better accuracy when tapping. This is one trade-off that you make when opting for the standard size screen unit.
TomTom allows you to choose your destinations in several ways:
- "Home" - You program in your home address and you navigate there at the touch of a button
- Favorites of yours that you save for easy access
- A Street Address
- A recent destination
- A Point of Interest (POI)
- Point on a Map - browse on the map and pick out where you want to go.
- Latitude and Longitude - yea, go ahead and laugh, you'll be thankful you have this someday. I use this method a few times a year, and am glad GPS makers see fit to add this option.
- Position of Last Stop - helpful when you shut the unit off, park the car and then take the unit with you. You can turn it on and navigate back to where you parked.
Another way to navigate in a way is the pre-planning feature of navigating from "A --> B". This is often found in higher end units, but finds its way to the entry level TomTom's. This allows you to sit in the departure gate of an airport, and pre-plan a route for when you land in your destination city; from the airport to your final destination. Saves time and allows you to figure out how long the trip will take. Very helpful.
The TomTom ONE 125 has a variety of pre-loaded non-text to speech voices to choose from. The TomTom ONE 125 has the same variety of non-text to speech voices too; in several english accents for fun if you like. They are clear and easy to hear, with plenty of volume. I saw a volume issue on my original TomTom ONE 130 that I reviewed, but trust me on this one, the TomTom ONE 125 that I just picked up is just fine and can potentially blow you out the window with its volume.
The new TomTom entry level ONE 125 comes with the new design that allows for easy stowage and easy packing. The EasyPort mount is overall pretty good; nice design. At first the Mounting and Dismounting is tough, but once you see how the mount works, it's pretty easy, and the net of it is that it's a plus. Navigation and operating system on the TomTom is solid.