The TomTom One 140 S builds on TomTom's successful One series of entry-level portable navigation devices (PNDs), with the addition of features that were once the hallmarks of TomTom's top-of-the-line models.
The diminutive PND gains advanced lane guidance, which details complex freeway interchanges for easier navigation, as well as downloadable (via subscription) daily gas prices to help users find the lowest-priced fuel in the area. IQ Routes and TomTom Map Share work together to constantly update the map data and route mapping algorithm, so, in theory, the device should get better with time.
While the details have changed slightly, the One 140 S doesn't stray too far from the tried-and-true PND formula.
The entire front of the devices is occupied by a 3.5-inch QVGA touch screen, while the back is dominated by a large and loud 2-inch speaker. The only physical control to be found is the power button on the unit's top edge. The only I/O port is the Mini-USB port on the bottom edge that also serves as the connection for the included 12-volt car charger.
Unlike the its primary competitor, the Garmin Nuvi, the One 140 S does not feature an SD or MicroSD card slot, so you 're stuck with the device's 2GB of onboard storage (most of which is occupied by map and voice data).
TomTom's clever EasyPort mount integrates the One'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. The twist-lock suction cup doesn't feel as secure as the Garmin's lever-actuated suction cup, but the TomTom's rotating mount offers a bit more flexibility with mounting angles. The integrated cradle adds considerable bulk to the One's profile, but also makes it easy to take the whole kit with your when you leave your vehicle, which is great for security.
Also included with the One 140 S are a 12-volt car charger, a USB connection cable, and an adhesive disk for attaching the One to your vehicle's dashboard, if windshield mounting is not permissible.
The newest feature to reach the TomTom One is advanced lane guidance, which 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 allows the One 140 S to announce street and POI names aloud. Users who don't need spoken names can step down to the One 140 (sans "S") and save a few bucks on the MSRP. The unit comes bundled with 14 English, French, and Spanish voices. More voices can be downloaded from the Web for a fee, including celebrity voices. (Our personal favorites are Mr. T and John Cleese!)
Using the free TomTom Map Share service allows users to make corrections to street names, directions, road speeds, POIs, etc. and upload those changes to be approved by 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 and only receive official TomTom updates.
IQ Routes is a feature that uses historical speed data gleaned from actual driving and other TomTom Map Share users to calculate the fastest route from points A to B. For example, if the unit learns that a certain road is typically congested, it will make an attempt to avoid it while routing.
Gaining access to map updates and other downloadable content is accomplished through the TomTom Home software that is embedded in the One's onboard memory. Simply connect the One to your computer via USB and the software prompts a quick installation, no CDs required. Once installed, the TomTom Home software allows users to download updates, back up data, plan routes, and even play with a virtual representation of their One 140 S.
Other optional features are downloadable fuel prices that can be had via subscription and an add-on RDS-TMS receiver that can keep you up to date on traffic incidents along your route.
We found that the TomTom One 140 S was quick to boot and satellite acquisition was fast, averaging just under a minute for cold starts with a clear sky.
The onscreen keypad can be configured in A-Z or QWERTY layouts. Our preferred layout, QWERTY, features much smaller keys than the alphabetical layout--thanks to the addition of a numeric row--and therefore they are more difficult to accurately hit. Users with big fingers may want to cross-shop the TomTom XL 340 S, with its larger, wide-screen format.
Destination entry is superspeedy, thanks to the One 140 S's intuitive autocomplete feature.
POIs can be searched by name or browsed by broad category (restaurant, gas station, lodging) but cannot be grouped by subcategory (for example, Mexican or Japanese restaurants).
However, when choosing a route, the TomTom One's speedy response slowed considerably, particularly if the vehicle was moving during routing. Upon closer inspection, we found that the device was still digesting the updated map data provided by the TomTom Map Share service during the last sync.
Subsequent destinations chosen from a stationary vehicle were routed in a matter of seconds.
The TomTom One 140 S sits in an interesting location: at the top TomTom's entry-level. Here, it is able to hit a sweet spot by offering fairly advanced features--such as advanced lane guidance, the always-useful text-to-speech function, and daily updates of local fuel prices--while keeping its price relatively affordable.
Users who are looking for a larger screen should check out the TomTom XL 340 S, which is identical for all intents, with the exception of a larger 4.3-inch-wide screen. Those who aren't fans of TomTom's interface should look to the Garmin Nuvi 1200, which features a similar feature set (swapping lane guidance and fuel prices for Eco Routes and multimedia features), for about the same MSRP.