TomTom Start 10 review: TomTom Start 10

Typical Price: $179.00

TomTom Start 10

(Part #: CNETTomTom Start 10)
4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Price. Folds up compactly. Lane guidance for most streets. Junction view.

The Bad Speaker completely encased, sounds hollow and cheap. On-screen typing may be tedious for some.

The Bottom Line Simple, cheap and capable of getting you from A to B, the Start 10 does what it sets out to do. The inclusion of junction view and lane guidance improves things quite considerably.

8.0 Overall

Design

In almost all facets the new TomTom Start 10 is identical to its predecessor, the Start that goes sans appellation. The Start 10 has a 3.5-inch resistive touchscreen, which is adequate for displaying all the information contained on the typical TomTom map screen.

The lack of diagonal inches, though, does make destination entry a bit problematic for those blessed with fat fingers or less than perfect hand-eye coordination; at least TomTom doesn't cripple the Start 10 with a non-QWERTY keyboard. In our experience, ripping the unit off the windscreen and using our fingertips is the best bet.

Its small screen and compact built-in windscreen mount allows the Start 10 to easily be relocated to even the most cramped glovebox or hidey hole in one's car. As far as the interface goes, the Start 10 uses a simplified version of the regular TomTom layout. The main menu has been cut down to two large icons (Plan Route, Browse Map) underscored by a line of five smaller buttons (Mute, Day/Night, Help, Options and Done).

Features

Sitting at the base of TomTom's range, the Start 10 is naturally never going to be the most fully specced GPS on the market. Top-end inclusions like Bluetooth hands-free, FM transmission, MP3 playback, traffic messaging, automatic day/night mode and voice recognition are all absentees from the features list.

Text-to-speech that allows for street names to be spoken as part of the unit's verbal instructions generally works well, but it does get tripped up by some names, particularly those of Aboriginal origin. The holes in the faux speaker grille on the Start 10's detachable, flip-able windscreen mount are all boarded up, meaning that the sound from the unit's speaker has a rather hollow, far away and cheap sound to it.

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