TomTom GO 510
The TomTom 510 currently sits in the middle of TomTom’s lineup, above the ONE and below the 910. The most striking difference between this lineup and the previous TomTom lineup is the addition of a widescreen display. The screen is 4 inches and comes at a resolution of 480×272 making it bigger than the standard GPS display. So what else do you get with the GO 510?
Like most GPS devices, the maps come pre-installed. The base maps allow you to navigate through the USA and Canada, and the maps come from Tele Atlas. They are stored on a 1GB SD card. If you are planning on worldly travels, you can purchase additional maps on SD cards to load into the 510.
Bluetooth is included in the 510. However it goes beyond the Bluetooth capabilities found in the ONE which only serves to connect to TomTom PLUS services. In the TomTom 510 Bluetooth can also be used for hands free calling. So when you are searching for a restaurant or a hotel, you can also call ahead and make a reservation when heading towards the POI.
While the 510 cannot play MP3 music files (the 910 can) it will allow you to connect to an iPod and play music from the iPod. While the speaker system in the new TomTom line is much better than most GPS devices, it likely won’t match the quality of the speaker system in your vehicle. There is however, an FM transmitter available which will allow you to send music and the voice guided directions to your car stereo for much better sound quality.
Another omission in the 510 is text-to-speech. This is found on the 910 and would enable the device to say not just “In 500 feet, turn right” but to be more verbose and say “In 500 feet, turn right on High Street”. Many people can get by without this option, but if you want it, it is not included in the TomTom 510.
TomTom’s Itinerary Planning feature is found in the 510, like the other TomTom devices. This allows you to create a single route with several destinations. Many other brands of GPS devices will only allow you to enter the starting location and final destination, or will only allow one “via” point. This function will allow people making multiple stops in one day to load up all of the destinations into one route and get a summary of the entire trip.
As for the hardware, the TomTom 510 does come with a widescreen display, however it is not a “slim” device. If you want something highly portable you might want to consider something smaller like the ONE. However it does come with the legendary SiRFstarIII chipset which will provide fast signal acquisition times and hold a signal in areas sometimes challenging for GPS devices.
In the end, the TomTom 510 is a solid GPS device. It comes with many great features like Itinerary Planning, the iPod connector, and hands free calling thanks to Bluetooth. If you don’t need hands free calling and want a smaller size, consider the TomTom ONE. If you want text-to-speech and to play MP3 music, look to the TomTom 910. If you want to look to another brand entirely, check out the Garmin StreetPilot c530. But for many people, the 510 hits a good sweet-spot of functions and is a great value.