The TomTom One 130S delivers a great feature set for first-time buyers and minimalists--the most essential navigation tools and nothing else. The system comes preloaded with maps of the United States and Canada, and you can enter your destination by address, city center, zip code, or intersection. Alternatively, you can choose a location from your Favorites or Recent destination lists and automatically route home from your current location by touching the Home icon. The One 130S is capable of calculating directions in numerous ways, including quickest or shortest route, with or without toll roads, and so forth. There are also pedestrian and bicycle modes. If at any time you want to avoid a part of your route, you can tap the Find Alternative icon to get new directions. The system also supports automatic route recalculations. The GPS can handle multidestination trips as well, so you can plan trips with multiple stops along your route.
The One 130S has a database of 5 million points of interest (POI) with all the major categories, including ATMs, gas stations, and lodging. Sadly, you can't search for restaurants by cuisine type. If you have more specialized interests, the catalog also features entries for beaches, campgrounds, cultural centers, and more. There are various ways to plot to POI; you can search for them along your route, near your destination, or near home.
You can view maps in 2D or 3D mode. A status bar at the bottom of the screen displays useful information, such as the distance and direction of your next turn, remaining distance, and estimated time of arrival. Tapping the left half of the status bar (where your next instruction is displayed) will repeat the voice directions and give you access to the volume control. There are also two icons in the upper-right and upper-left corners that let you zoom in and out of maps.
In addition to the visual cues, the TomTom One 130S offers voice-guided turn-by-turn directions with text-to-speech functionality. This means you'll hear actual street names instead of more general instructions (for example,"turn right in 100 feet"). We're big fans of this capability since the specific directions allow you to pay more attention to the road instead of the GPS screen, and we're happy to see it in an entry-level device like this.
While the above are the core functions of the TomTom One 130S, there are some additional goodies. Like the most recent TomTom GPS, the One 130S includes the "Help Me!" safety feature, which gives you access to a number of tools and information in case of an emergency. For example, there's a "Where am I?" function that will give you your current location, longitude and latitude, and nearest intersections. In addition, you can find the nearest police station, hospital, car repair shop, and other services with just a tap of the screen. It's very handy and gives you a bit of peace of mind if you're in a spot, especially in unfamiliar territory.
The One 130S also has the Map Share feature that first debuted in the TomTom GO 720. Map Share allows you to make adjustments to your maps (such as noting blocked roads, updating POI, adding new streets, and so on) and then share the information with other drivers. You can make the changes right on the device, save them, and then upload and share them with other users via the TomTom Home desktop companion. You can also download changes made by other TomTom users. At last check, Map Share had more than 1.5 million users, but if you prefer, you can opt to only download data verified by TomTom experts. Finally, you can get traffic updates on the One 130s, but you will have to purchase the RDS-TMC traffic receiver, which goes for around $130.
We tested the TomTom One 130S in San Francisco, and from a cold start, it took the unit about 3 minutes to get a fix on our location under clear skies, while subsequent starts took about a minute or less. While driving around the city on everyday errands, the system did an accurate job of tracking our location and didn't lag behind, unlike some other GPS we've tested.
As usual, we also entered our standard trip from the Marina district to CNET's downtown headquarters. Having just reviewed the Sony NV-U83T, where we struggled with the slow trip-planning process, the One 130S was a welcome relief with its predictive entry and overall seamless process. After entering all the information, the One 130S quickly calculated a route. Before setting off, we reviewed the text-based directions and found the directions to be accurate. Once on the road, we missed several turns to test the route recalculation rate, which was swift and got us back on track. However, we ran into a problem during our testing, and it was a big one--we could barely hear the voice prompts. We turned off our radio, rolled up our windows, and cranked the volume to its highest level, but even then, it was a struggle. The One 130S is even supposed to have an enhanced speaker system, but we certainly didn't see it. Sadly, this makes an otherwise solid GPS almost useless.