TomTom XXL 540TM, 540M, 540T, 540S LIVE: REVIEW

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TomTom XXL 540 SeriesIf the typical screen size of vehicle GPS units still leaves you squinting, TomTom’s XXL 540 series repackages the features of its successful and highly-rated XL 340 series into an eye-pleasing unit with an ample 5″ (diagonal) screen at a competitive price for a unit i this size class.TomTom brings all of the features from the XL 340 series into the XXL 540 series, including its Advanced Lane Guidance feature. The new XXL540 series includes a built-in receiver for TomTom’s LIVE Services, including live traffic, weather, fuel prices and Google Local Search. According to MacWorld,”The XXL 540S has the same easy-to-use interface and menu system that virtually all other TomTom products do, but it’s easier to see on a bigger screen.”


Ratings Summary
Includes ratings for TomTom XXL 540S, 540M, 540T, 540TM
XXL 540TM
Owner Reviews
XXL 540TM World Traveler
Owner Reviews
XXL 540M
Owner Reviews
XXL 540T
Owner Reviews
XXL 540S
Owner Reviews
Our Rating: 4 Stars

Like the XL 340 series, the XXL 540 series includes TomTom’s Advanced Lane Guidance feature. Though GPS systems are terrific at guiding you down the highway, when it comes time to exit, it’s not always clear what lane you should be in. The TomTom’s Advanced Lane Guidance feature clearly shows you what lane you should be in for upcoming turns. Also notable is the inclusion of maps for all of North America, including Canada and Mexico. Coverage of Mexico is not yet complete, but for those considering road travel there, the inclusion of this map set represents a significant value. The XXL 540TM World Traveler Edition also includes maps of Europe.

Like its predecessors, the XXL 540 series includes its clever EasyPort™ windshield mounting system. The mount is integrated into the unit — simply fold it out and it attaches easily and securely to the windshield. When folded into the unit the GPS remains quite portable is quite slim, but the 5″ screen means it’s not going to be “pocketable” or as portable as standard size GPS models. Though the mount adds some bulk, the unit still easily fits into a purse, briefcase. The mount addresses the problem of leaving the mount attached to the windshield, potentially attracting the attention of thieves — you take the GPS and its mount with you. For air travelers, it’s one less thing to worry about packing.

The XXL 540 series includes automatic day/night display modes, optional automatically-adjusting speaker volume depending on background volume.

TomTom’s route preview feature displays an overall view of your route and allows you to select alternatives.TomTom’s “Help me!” safety feature allows you to find the location of the nearest hospital, police station, vet, dentist, pharmacy, etc. at the push of a button. The unit will also guide you if you want to “Drive to Help” or “Walk to Help.” Press “Where am I” and the unit will indicate your current position. TomTom has thoughtfully also included an electronic first aid guide as part of it’s “Help me!” feature.

A welcome feature not found in the XL 340 series is Bluetooth for connecting with your mobile phone. Like the XL 340 series, however, there is no MP3 player, card slot, or FM transmitter.

Pro
Con

Large, easy-to-read screen

Easy operation, fast, capable

Integrated EasyPort™ mount great for security, portability

Competitively priced

“Help Me!” safety feature

Lane Guidance feature usually found on more expensive units

Some owners report that mount can be a bit tricky to operate

TomTom’s “Map Share” feature allows you to make corrections and additions to your maps (e.g., blocked roads, updated information for points of interest, new streets or points of interest, etc.). You can make changes right on your portable GPS device and later upload and share them with other users using the TomTom HOME desktop companion software on your computer. There is no charge for this feature. Yet another example of TomTom’s clever innovativeness.

The integrated EasyPort mount folds out for quick windshield mounting

Models numbers bearing the letter “T” (XXL 540T, 540TM) include a lifetime subscription for TomTom LIVE Services. LIVE Services is a bundle of the following services: LIVE Traffic; Local Search with Google (find local shops and businesses); Fuel Prices (get directions to the gas station with the lowest prices); QuickGPSfix (speeds up the time it takes to fix your GPS position); Weather forecasts. (Other models are capable of LIVE Services and real-time traffic monitoring and avoidance, but require the additional purchase of an RDS-TMC Traffic Receiver and a subscription to the over-the-air traffic service.)

Models bearing the letter “M” (XXL 540M, 540TM) include a lifetime subscription for TomTom map updates. Overall, another solid and competitively-priced offering from TomTom. [© 2010 Rated4Stars.com]

VIDEO: TomTom Advanced Lane Guidance

Key Features at a Glance
Feature
XXL 540TM
XXL 540M
XXL 540T
XXL 540S
Ready to Use Out of the Box/Preloaded Maps?


North America, Canada, Mexico (& Europe on World Traveler Edition)

Lifetime Map Updates


North America, Canada, Mexico

Lifetime Map Updates


North America, Canada, Mexico

North America, Canada, Mexico
Spoken, Turn-by-Turn Directions?
Text-to-Speech? (Announces Street Names)
Voice Recognition?
Multi-Destination Routing?
Bluetooth?
MP3/Audio Player?
Live Traffic/Weather?

TomTom LIVE Services Receiver & Lifetime Traffic Updates Included

Optional FM TMC Receiver & Subscription Required

TomTom LIVE Services Receiver & Lifetime Traffic Updates Included

Optional FM TMC Receiver & Subscription Required
Speed Limit Indicator?
Lane Guidance?
Suitable for Offroad Use?
Limited map coverage
Limited map coverage
Limited map coverage
Limited map coverage
Portable?
(internal battery)
Wide-Screen Display?
Other Features:
“Help Me!” Safety Feature
“Help Me!” Safety Feature
“Help Me!” Safety Feature
“Help Me!” Safety Feature


Accessories & Related Products


Additional Specifications
Weight 9 ounces (with mount attached)
Dimensions 0.9 x 5.2 x 3.5 inches
Screen Screen size 5 “; Screen type 16:9 LCD widescreen
Chipset High sensitivity GPS chipset
In the Box TomTom GPS navigator with integrated EasyPort™ mount, USB Car Charger, USB cable, Documentation
Warranty One Year Limited Warranty
uSell

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