The TomTom One 130 and TomTom One 130S mark a new beginning for the company's line of basic GPS. You still get TomTom's hallmark ease of use and community features, but the portable navigation systems now boast more compact designs as well as a new vehicle mount that can be easily and neatly stowed away with the device. The One 130S (the subject of this review), also includes text-to-speech functionality, which is nice to see in an entry-level device, and it's reasonably priced at $249.95. However, during our road tests, we discovered that the speaker volume on the One 130S is incredibly low and we could barely hear the voice prompts. And if you can't hear the directions, what's the point of the GPS? It's truly unfortunate since the TomTom One 130S is an otherwise solid navigation system for first-time buyers.
The TomTom One 130S marks a new look for the One series of portable navigation devices. Unlike the previous models, including the TomTom One 3rd Edition, the One 130S has a more bubbly design, and it's smaller and lighter at 3.6 inches wide by 3 inches tall by 0.9 inch deep and 5.2 ounces.
In addition, TomTom revamped the vehicle mount and made the foldable accessory small enough that you could fit the whole contraption in a coat pocket, even with it still attached. The mount consists of a circular ring that attaches to three clips on the back of the device, and then an adjustable arm with a suction cup mount at the end (dashboard disc included in package). There's also a twisting lock to ensure a tight seal with your windshield. The entire apparatus is, indeed, neat and compact and while we had some initial concerns about the vehicle mount, it actually did a good job of holding the unit in place. We traveled over some bumpy roads, and the GPS didn't budge and the suction cup kept a secure seal with our windshield.
On the front, there's a 3.5-inch, 64,000-color QVGA touch screen with a 320x240 pixel resolution. Admittedly, the screen size is a bit small, but maps and text looked vibrant and clear on the display, and we were able to see it in various lighting conditions. Like most GPS, the One 130S can automatically switch between day and night map colors, and you also get the option to choose from several color themes.
The One 130S doesn't have very many external controls (a sole power button on top and a mini USB port on the bottom), so most of the device's operations are handled through the touch screen. It's responsive but given the smaller screen size, the onboard keyboard is fairly cramped. We do appreciate that you can switch the format from alphabetical to QWERTY, and unlike the Sony NV-U83T, the One 130S has predictive entry, so as soon as you enter letters for a state, city, or street, it will automatically start to fill in the word and list possible search results, which is a huge time-saver. TomTom's user interface is intuitive enough that you can probably use the device right out of the box without cracking open the user's manual. There are two main menu pages, and the icons are large and clearly identified with their function.
The TomTom One 130S ships with just the basics, including the aforementioned vehicle mount, a car charger, a USB cable, and reference material.
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.