TomTom XL 250 (2013) review: TomTom XL 250 (2013)

CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Pricing Unavailable

The Good Simple map layout. Small size means it's very portable.

The Bad Very slow to get GPS lock. Very slow to re-route. Screen reflectivity is an issue in bright light. No lifetime maps.

The Bottom Line TomTom's budget GPS offers simple navigation if that's what you're after, but you'll need a bit of patience to go with it.

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The TomTom XL 250 sits at the bottom of the pile these days when it comes to TomTom's GPS offerings, and it's rather obvious at a glance. When we first encountered the XL 250 in 2010, it was a nice, simplified GPS product , but it has now shifted down the ranks to become TomTom's entry-tier product. There's the 4.3-inch 480x272-pixel-resistive touchscreen that displays the older TomTom navigation system, although not that well in bright sunlight.

The XL 250 is connected up to a flat disc that serves as the XL 250's screen mount. It's a mixed offering; on the one hand, we can appreciate how it makes stowing the XL 250 away when you're done with it easier. On the other hand, attaching it to your car windscreen can be a definite chore, and one fraught with the peril of it coming unstuck while you're hurtling along at 110kph. That's not a desirable activity for a GPS unit, all things considered.


The first time we switched on the TomTom XL 250 we waited for it to get its first taste of a GPS signal.

Then we waited some more.

Waiting, waiting, waiting. Finally, after a longer-than-usual seven minutes, it announced it had found enough satellites to actually start navigating. It's normal for a system to have some issues with GPS lock the first time it powers up, but that kind of experience was par for the course throughout our testing time with the XL 250.

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Where to Buy

TomTom XL 250 (2013)

Part Number: CNETTomTom XL 250 (2013)

Typical Price: $119.00

See manufacturer website for availability.