Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Thursday, 15 January 2009

A rare plus for capitalism

On May 19 2005 I bought a Navman satnav (left) that could be transferred between cars. On January 5 this year, as a belated Christmas present, my wife bought me a similar device by TomTom (right). There’ve been major changes in the technology during the forty-four months between purchases.

Price. Since I wanted mainland European mapping I paid through the nose for the Navman: £691.86. The TomTom has this feature and cost £117.47 or 5.88 times cheaper.

Weight. The lighter the device the easier it is to install securely in the car. The Navman weighs 0.49 kg, the TomTom 0.27 kg.

Operating simplicity. The Navman has a four-way joystick button, two increase/decrease buttons and four other conventional buttons, several of them dual-function depending on the menu. The TomTom is accessed via six icons on a touch-screen.

Display simplicity. The full range of travelling info on the Navman requires the selection of six separate “pages”. Virtually all this appears on the main TomTom page.

Locking on to satellites. The Navman sometimes takes minutes; with the TomTom say three or four seconds.

Speed camera warning. Navman, no; TomTom, yes.

Strange lapse. Under Points of Interest (Places of worship) TomTom would have me believe Hereford lacks a cathedral. This may or may not be the case with the Navman POI system but its complexity has prevented me from finding out.


occasional speeder said...

But can the TomTom get round France avoiding Paris?

Barrett Bonden said...

SATNAV UPDATE (1) The West Arms at Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog (known locally as Llanarmon DC) is described by The Good Food Guide as "seriously remote". Last Wednesday I dined and stayed the night there with my two brothers and the TomTom got me there and back with one minor hiccough.

(2) Satnav's most important role is guiding me on France's D and C roads. As a preliminary test I put in the name of the village where we will stay this year: St-Jean-de-la-Blaquière. No go! Tragedy. I reflected a while then put in Saint-Jean-de... and Bingo!

Plutarch said...

Reading about satnavs makes me regret more than anything else, that I no longer possess a motor car. How much time and frustration one of them would have saved me in the days when I drove about the country on my journalistic business or through France on holiday! Ever a sucker for gadgets, I suppose that one day I might justify a pedestrian model on the grounds that I am losing my marbles and can no longer find my way home from the pub.

Barrett Bonden said...

Alternatively, not having a satnav may help you retain your marbles. My first experience (pre-dating the equipment mentioned above) was with a device built into the car. To say it was non-intuitive is to be very very kind. For one thing it had a real joystick, already by then an anachronism. Operating it was like using a Dark Ages computer, possibly powered by a water-wheel. Getting from A to B within the satnav itself required another, subsidiary satnav.