Monday, August 28, 2006

New Gadgets - T-Mobile Vario and TomTom One SatNav

I love gadgets. Especially when they are new and they belong to me. :-)

I have not bought any new ones for a while but this week I have had a bumper crop as two have made their way into my posession.

Firstly I signed up for a new mobile phone. I have been with Orange for years but these days they just can't seem to compete on tarrifs with companies like T-Mobile. They also annoyed me by offering to upgrade my phone for £99 or I could cancel my contract and have the same phone with the same tarrif for free.

I wanted another Smartphone as my SPV C550 has been excellent over the past 12 months. I especially love the Windows integration and how easy it is to sync it with Outlook both at work and at home. It is even convenient to charge as you can use a mini usb cable plugged into a PC.

Phil had recently acquired a T-Mobile Vario. This is a proper PDA smartphone. It has all the advantages of my old iPaq but it is smaller and also a phone. It has wireless, a reasonable speed processor and it runs the latest version of Windows Mobile. Phil also got a contract giving him unlimited data and £60 worth of calls/texts per month. It sounded good to me so I took the plunge.

I've had the phone for a week now and I am really pleased with it. I took it out of the box, put the battery in and switched it on. Within about 10 minutes I had synced it with Outlook, configured messenger and retrieved mails from my Exchange server at home. I can actually use Messenger and browse the web without worrying about data charges thanks to the great tarrif and typing emails or text messages is really easy thanks to the pull out keyboard. In fact when you pull the keyboard out the screen changed from portrait view to landscape, which makes web browsing even easier.

I have been on a client visit this week darn sarf to Londinium and this really gave the phone a test. I was sending/receiving email, making calls, using messenger etc all at the same time. It was brilliant. I can't recommend this phone enough.

As I said above, I was on a client visit this week down in London. When Phil bought his Vario he got a CoPilot SatNav system with it and as he was not using it this weekend he lent it to me.

I installed the software on my phone, put the bluetooth GPS receiver on the dashboard and off I went. It was great!! It took all the pain out of finding your hotel, finding the clients offices etc. I needed my own SatNav!!!

I was thinking of having the same one as Phil but then I thought that Victoria would never use it if I did as, firstly, it was on my phone which I always have with me, and secondly, there were some issues with the software not always finding the SD-Card or the GPS receiver. If this happened to Victoria she would class it as 'Rubbish' and never use it again.

After a little research I decided to buy the TomTom One. It gets rave reciews and now I have it I can see why.

I would never normally do this but I actually bought my TomTom from PC World. They have a special offer on at the moment which means it is cheaper than anywhere else. It also meant that I could have it now. :-)

The TomTom One is supposed to be really easy to use and I have to say they have done a great job on the interface. I took it out of the box, turned it on , entered my home address and within about a minute I was telling it where I wanted to go. The screen is excellent, the volume of the spoken instructions is perfect and Victoria can use it without having to channel her inner geek.

I went for a quick spin round the block to test it out, deliberatly making mistakes, and the route was recalculated perfectly in just a few seconds.

This is another gadget I can highly recommend. It is cheap (for a SatNav system), easy to use and it performs really well.

If you need SatNav, get a TomTom One.

It also has the advantage of having a male voice called 'Tim' which means that Victoria will now be calling Tim 'TimTim' from now on. :-)

3 comments:

OboeJane said...

My big problem with the satnav system I've seen is that when it shows you the alternative routes it has in mind for your journey, you can't really tell what each route is (e.g. is that around the north circular and then off at the A1? Or is it making you come off at the A40?). This is fine if you are somewhere you really don't know, but if you know an area a bit then it's just annoying.

Christian Briddon said...

I can see what you mean but the idea is that your route is calculated while you are driving. If you had to press buttons to decide which way to go or discuss with TimTim which route you wished to take you would probably crash!!

:-)

Christian Briddon said...

Oh yes, if you knew the area you would probably not be using SatNav.

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