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>> Antuan Goodwin: Did you watch our video review of the TomTom XL-340S last year and think to yourself, "That's cool, but I wish it had a bigger screen"? Well, ba-bam! You're in luck, because TomTom's just released the massive XXL-540S. And it's packing all of the features of its smaller sibling, but with much more touch screen real estate. I'm Antuan Goodwin. Let's take a first look and see if bigger really is better.
The XXL is built around a five-inch color touch screen, which makes it easily visible from about anywhere you can mount it in your car. At the top, we've got a power button, and on the bottom there's a mini-USB port for charging and synching, and that's about all the controls. TomTom units don't feature an SD card slot like the Garmins do, so you'll have to do all of your map upgrades over the USB using the TomTom's internal two-gigabyte memory, which is just fine by me.
On the back, surrounding the two-inch loudspeaker, we have TomTom's EasyPort connection, which is used to connect your XXL to your windshield or other mounting surface. Just adjust the suction cup and turn its dial a quarter turn to secure. The EasyPort on this particular XXL pops off while adjusting quite a bit, but since we haven't had this issue with any of the previous four or so EasyPort-equipped TomToms we've tested, I'm inclined to believe this is just an isolated incident.
Now, the huge screen and the thickness added by that EasyPort mount makes the XXL-540S less than ideal for users who wanna pocket their GPS devices when leaving the vehicle. Popping off the EasyPort somewhat alleviates this problem, but not much. However, for you who carry a bag or a purse, this really won't be too much of a con.
Fire up your XXL and you'll find the exact software that runs on the TomTom XL-340S and the 1-140S, which means you'll get advanced lane guidance that shows you a visual representation of highway interchanges, Map Share, which is a system of free user-generated corrections to the map data, and of course, the S in 540S stands for speech, indicating this model will read street names aloud using text-to-speech. You also get TomTom's IQ Route technology that takes historical time-based traffic data into account when routing. So the routes you get at 5:00 PM on a Monday may be different from the same route at 7:00 PM on a Saturday if the TomTom thinks that certain streets are usually congested at certain times. Check out our full review for even more information about this big boy. Until then, I'm Antuan Goodwin, and this has been your first look at the TomTom XXL-540S.
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