TomTom 920T Review

Overall Score

TomTom needs no introduction really as I am sure most of you will know their name. The TomTom Go 920T was their flagship unit at the time that I had it, and indeed was the highest specification  Satellite navigation system available at that time in normal high street retail. It has since been superseded by the 930T, but the majority of the specifications are much the same. The spec list honestly amazes me, and I will list it here before I delve into the classy black retail box of the TomTom 920T.

 

  • 4.3′ widescreen 16:9 format LCD (WQVGA: 480*272 pixels)
  • CPU 400 MHz, 64MB RAM
  • 4GB internal flash memory
  • SD card socket compatible with SD and MMC cards
  • High sensitivity GPS receiver
  • RDS-TMC traffic information receiver
  • Integrated FM transmitter
  • Bluetooth®
  • Battery lithium-polymer (up to 5 hours operation)
  • Optimised integrated microphones and speaker for high quality hands-free functionality
  • Dimensions: 118x83x24mm
  • Weight: 220 grams

 

[timg]tomtom1.jpg[/timg]

What’s in the box?

Upon opening the box I found the 920T in pride of place behind a plastic window, with the rest of the accessories tucked away neatly in the rest of the packaging.

[timg]tomtom2.jpg[/timg]

The above image shows all of the accessories that come with the UK version of the 920T, including a USB cradle and a TMC traffic module.
This unit does not, unfortunately, contain a home charger. However, you can purchased one from TomTom as an accessory and there are also cheaper third party options available.

First impressions

I found this unit relatively easy to use, although the menus are a little disorienting at times and there seems to be too many options (this can be reduced via an option that removes the majority of menu options most users wont regularly need). Honestly, with so many options I feel that regular users may become easily confused.

I found the TomTom 920T to be relatively quick at calculating routes and tested it with a few "to" places such as Stockholm, Sweden. All tested addresses were accurate and it never once calculated an incorrect route while I drove with it. Unfortunately I did not go on any long journeys due to my limited time using the device in a vehicle.

The unit is quite weighty, but this is not surprising as it contains a lot of components that would usually be separate dongles on other units. Also, the amount of memory in this unit is quite large adding to the weight further. This is not a problem unless you use it while on foot though.

An interesting function of this satnav is that if it loses signal, it will guess your route using the last known direction of travel and speed until it can find signal. This also helps it to find signal quicker once the obstruction has passed. Avionic satellite navigation units have used this method for a while now, but it is interesting to see that it has filtered down into satnavs for road use.

Ergonomics

I’ve had a few weeks with this unit now and have used it on several occasions at night and during the day. I noted that during the day the screen was very hard to see. Compared to the units I have used in the past (Garmin nuvi 200, 310D, 760 and Zumo 400) the screen seemed to be dimmer and reflect more light. I also attempted to give my impressions on the inbuilt TMC traffic updates, but unfortunately could not as it never connected to the network, even after about 40minutes of driving. I do not know if this was a temporary problem or a problem with my unit. The windscreen suction mount was adequate, but I would prefer if it came with a locking lever on the suction cup as I did have the unit fall off a few times over speed bumps.

Conclusion

The 920T is by no means a state-of-the-art device. However, you reach a point of diminishing returns with these navigation units. In terms of $:value ratio, the 920T is a strong device and recommended for those value-seekers that want the functionality without paying an arm and a leg (figuratively speaking of course!).

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