If you're in need of a honking big screen, you may be in luck. The TomTom XXL 540 S takes everything that we liked about theand the and expands the color touch screen to a massive 5-inch display, which may come in handy if you drive an RV or big truck that requires you mount your GPS device further away from the driver's seat.
Based on TomTom's successful XL series of wide-screen portable navigation devices, the XXL 540 S has an identical feature set, including TomTom Map Share and IQ Routes technologies, as well as advanced lane guidance. As an "S" designated model, the 540 S also features text-to-speech that reads aloud street and point-of-interest (POI) names for quicker recognition.
The 5-inch WQVGA wide-format touch screen occupies the front of the XXL 540 S, while a large, loud 2-inch speaker dominates its back. The only physical control to be found is the power button on the unit's top edge. The Mini-USB port on its bottom edge serves as the connection for the included 12-volt car charger for data connections.
Unlike its primary competitor, the Garmin Nuvi, the XXL 540 S does not have an SD or microSD card slot, so you'll have to make do with the device's 2GB of onboard storage, which is reasonable for map and voice data. All updates are done online via a USB connection.
TomTom's EasyPort mount integrates the XXL's cradle into the back of the unit. To attach the unit to your windshield, simply flip out the suction cup, place the device on the windshield, and twist the locking ring a quarter-turn. With a bit of practice, the TomTom's EasyPort mount becomes quite easy to place and remove from the windshield and offers a bit of flexibility of mounting angles. Our XXL's EasyPort was prone to popping off while adjusting. However, because we haven't had this issue with any of the other EasyPort equipped TomToms that we've previously tested, we're inclined to believe that our particular 540 S's connection was uncharacteristically loose.
The integrated cradle adds considerable bulk to the XXL's already mammoth size, more than doubling its thickness. Users who carry their TomTom in a bag or purse probably won't notice, but if you're planning on pocketing your XXL, you'll probably want to remove the EasyPort mount first or look for a smaller nav device. An additional bonus to the EasyPort mount is that there is no cradle left behind for would-be thieves to mistake for something of value, thus increasing vehicle security.
Also included with the XXL 540 S are a 12-volt car charger, a USB connection cable, and an adhesive disk for attaching the XXL to your vehicle's dashboard if windshield mounting is not permissible.
The TomTom XXL 540 features Advanced Lane Guidance, a new feature to the XL line that shows detailed illustrations of complex freeway interchanges, complete with lane information. Arrows overlaid on the illustration notify drivers of what lanes will keep them on the chosen route.
Text-to-speech functionality lets the XXL 540 S announce street and POI names aloud. The unit comes bundled with 14 English, French, and Spanish voices. More voices can be downloaded from the Web, including celebrity voices. (Our personal favorites are Mr. T and John Cleese!)
The XXL 540 S comes with TomTom's Latest Maps Guarantee, which allows users one free map update within 30-days of purchase. After that you'll have to pay for quarterly updates or use the free TomTom Map Share service. Map Share lets users make corrections to street names, directions, road speeds, POIs, and so on and upload those changes to be approved and shared with other TomTom Map Share users. If you don't trust the hive mind, you can choose to opt out of this service.