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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 it will allow you to connect to an iPod and play music from the iPod.

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.

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.

47 Responses

  1. […] RadioShack locations will soon receive the TomTom GO 510 and TomTom GO 910 GPS systems recently released. “The mass public is just now starting to catch on to the tremendous benefits offered by portable GPS devices, and the new TomTom GO line is a great example of innovative and easy-to-use products that enhance the lifestyles of today’s on-the-go families and individuals.” said Jim Hamilton, RadioShack’s executive vice president, merchandising and marketing. […]

  2. […] WishList products typically sell for 35-50% off which would make the 700 “go” for about the $350 – $425 range. Want a TomTom now? Check out the TomTom GO 510 or the TomTom GO 910. […]

  3. […] Just a quick note that if you own either a TomTom GO 510 or a TomTom GO 910, TomTom has released May Update 2006. Included in the update is a GPS firmware update for unspecified issues and a time clock software fix. […]

  4. The first TT510 I bought at BestBuy was DOA — it couldn’t read the flash card. I took it back and they tried the card from another unit, which worked, so it was a bad flash apparently. The unit itself works pretty well, but the windshield mount is worthless! I have been back to BB twice to try new mounts and a different unit, and they all have the same problem: the TT510 loses power and reboots, then the battery runs down and the unit goes off completely. One the unit loses power connection, I can’t get it to resume without completely stopping the car, remounting the windshield mount ,and futzing with it. Then it goes out again anyway in a few minutes. TT support acknowledges the problem and promised to ship me a new, redesigned mount “as soon as they come in.”

    A second issue is the lack of documentation for the traffic feature — they don’t explain in the manual how to use the traffic icons, how to route around traffic problems, or how to display them. No matter what I do, I get “no info” when trying to display a single traffic marker, although it shows me where on the road the incident is. TT support said they don’t know how to use it either, but promised to figure it out and email me revised docs.

    The final issue is that Mac support for this unit is ZERO. I tried the TomTom Home application to back up my unit, and it crashes. TT support said (after a week of silence) that they know about the crash and that I must back up by doing a manual disk copy. The only other feature in TT Home that works is the “Browse” option, which you can do anyway in the Finder. The TT Traffic Alert feaure says “Not supported in your country”, and TT support confirms this, but promises support in a month. And none of the functions for operating the TT itself from the computer are supported on the Mac. Thus TT Home has absolutely no function on the Mac.

    Other than those blunders, the TT510 interface is good, it’s voice navigation clear and understandable, and the routing useful. But the flaws make this an iffy purchase.

    Mel Beckman - May 30th, 2006
  5. I forgot to mention that the windshield mount is the ONLY WAY you can power the unit in a car. There is no direct power input on the unit — it gets its power from the mount. Also, the mount is the only way to attach a microphone (necessary for the bluetooth speakerphone feature), external speakers, or an external antenna (needed on one of my cars, since the windshield has an rf-shielding film over it). Thus for me the unit won’t be very useable intil they fix the mount.

    Mel Beckman - May 30th, 2006
  6. Sorry to hear about your troubles, Mel. Problems with the mount is something I’ve heard a few people complaining about with the new TomTom GO 510 and 910. Hopefully TomTom will revise the design.

    What country are you located in? I didn’t think the TomTom traffic services for the 510 and 910 had made it here in the USA yet. Or are you using some sort of a GPSR connection to download traffic information?

    GPS Review - May 30th, 2006
  7. I’m in California. TT x10 supports traffic in the U.S. if you’ve got an unlimited GPRS data connection via bluetooth. I have Cingular’s data service, and it appears to download traffic info just fine. Using that traffic info is another story. I’m looking forward to TT’s documentation of the traffic feature, which is virtualy undescribed in the manual.


    Mel Beckman - May 31st, 2006
  8. Thanks, Mel. I was wondering if perhaps some retailers had got ahold of the TomTom RDS/TMC Traffic Receiver yet.

    GPS Review - May 31st, 2006
  9. Just purchased the TT510 yesterday. I seem to be having the same mounting problem. The unit can easily stop charging with any slight movement even on the home charger. Also im not sure how to get the unit to lock a position. My screen just always faces down. Is there any trick to get this to work or is my unit defective?

    Chris - June 21st, 2006
  10. Chris,

    Apparently Your 510 suffers from the defective bracket problem that 910 users have been discussing. If you contact tech-support @ 1-866-486-6866 they’ll add you to their list of users who need a replacement. As soon as the new brackets are available they’ll send one at no charge.

    As far as screen unit always facing down, are you sure you have it oriented correctly? I haven’t had that problem with my 910 at all. Regarding the charging problem, as a temporary fix try nudging your 510 forward an downward a bit until the green light stays on. Once I’ve done this it seems to maintain electrical contact with the bracket pretty well until I remove it. That’s about all I can suggest :-)

    Mike - June 21st, 2006
  11. Thanks for your help Mike. I called tomtom and waiting for level 2 to call me back. Do you know if they are making a new bracket or should i just go back to circuit city and ask for an exchange? Like i said even my home charger will uncharge with any slight movement so im not sure the problem is just on the windshield mount or specific to me.
    As for getting the screen to stay straight, is there a way to get it to lock? I didnt see anywhere to lock in a position.
    Please advise. Thanks in advance

    Chris - June 21st, 2006
  12. Chris,

    I don’t know if it applies to the 510 model but I believe there are in fact some 910’s packaged with good brackets. An exchange is going to be hit or miss but it’s certainly an option. When I spoke to the Level 2 tech-support person (2 weeks ago) I was told the brackets were expected to arrive in 2 – 3 weeks. I opted to wait it out but haven’t received anything to date.

    The home charger base doesn’t lock tightly (by design I think) however gravity tends to keep the unit in proper position while docked. As for the car bracket, you may have noticed there are 2 distinct positions as you twist the locking ring. The first position temporarily holds the GPS in place but allows you to make positioning adjustments. The 2nd twist locks the bracket firmly. Beyond that there are no other locking options. This has worked very well with my 910. My problem has been limited to the charging situation.

    Mike - June 21st, 2006
  13. Mike.. thanks for your help again.
    I just spoke to level 2.. they are sending me a new bracket and currently they dont know of any new mounts being made.. Im not sure what they told you, but I think you are going to be sent the same mount again. (hopefully one that works this time)
    I will check to see if i can lock my position in.. I havent had much time to play with it yet.

    chris - June 21st, 2006
  14. Chris, my understanding is that the replacement bracket is the same design but manufactured with greater precision for a proper fit. Hopefully this will be the case! I have the BestBuy 4 year service plan which I won’t hesitate to use if necessary. Apparently an optional mounting kit (with dashboard mounting capability) is also in the works for a proposed August release, or so I was told 😉

    Mike - June 21st, 2006
  15. I received a replacement bracket yesterday after a three-week wait. Alas, it’s even worse than the original bracket! The unit won’t charge at all through the window bracket unless I push down on it continuously. Worse, with or without power applied, the 510 reboots in a continuous loop if I plug in the external antenna, so I think this mount has new internal electrical problems.

    I am unable to reach TT by phone. I’ve called the 866-486-6866 and get “all agents are still busy — please continue to hold” for up to an hour before getting hung up on.

    Other than this bracket problem, the TT510 is wonderful. But it’s not very useful on a trip since the battery dies after a couple of hours.

    Mel Beckman - June 21st, 2006
  16. That’s REALLY disappointing news Mel. If I’m not mistaken, TomTom released this series in Europe some time ago. One would think the kinks could have be ironed out by now. It’s truly a shame!

    Mike - June 21st, 2006
  17. Mel – You should be able to get thru.. no problem. I called then a few times and a level 2 person called me back.
    They are sending me a bracket by next week. I would try calling them again and talking to another person.. it should not take 3 days to talk to them.

    Chris - June 22nd, 2006
  18. […] TomTom has released a firmware update for their GO 510 and GO 910 GPS navigation devices. Having power problems when there is a temporary loss of power while driving, possibly due to the mount? Read on… […]

  19. I purchased two tomtomgo navigators two years ago. Unfortunate one was dropped the first week and has never worked since. Ouch! The working model has had similar problems to the ones mentioned above. We had to have another bracket sent immediately upon arrival. The navigator has had problems powering out, rebooting mid-route, the bracket dropping and the navigator not holding position, and many of the routes not actually containing up-to-date freeways even when updating through the net. The route will often read as older highways. Now my remaining navigator has stopped working completely for no apparent reason. This is a great loss as they were a significant investment($700 + a piece). I am regretting this investment. It sounds as if they haven’t come that far in the newer versions either. Does anyone have any great ideas for repair? I’m not really interested in investing any significant money as I feel I’ve already wasted a great deal of money. If not I guess we’ll just have to try another brand. We rented a landrover from Hertz last month and it came with a Magellan. That seemed to work well.

    Miriam - August 8th, 2006
  20. […] TomTom has posted information about the mounting problems some TomTom 510 and TomTom 910 owners have been experiencing with the suction cup mount. While it seems obvious there was a problem with some of the early mounts as evidenced by the redesigned mounts, they also recommend you make sure you are mounting it correctly by following these steps. […]

  21. I just ordered a 510 about two hours ago, I ran accross this web site later. Is TomTom stuff really that bad? After reading the above reviews, it sounds like I should send it back via return mail. Also, whats the differance between the 510 and the 910? Larry

    Larry - September 17th, 2006
  22. Larry, The vast majority of people I’ve talked to who have purchased the TomTom 510 have been very happy with it. It isn’t as often that people come back here and post “everything worked great and as expected”.

    The TomTom 910 comes with maps of Europe in addition to North America. The maps are loaded on a hard drive rather than SD card, it includes an MP3 player, text-to-speech for speaking street names, and includes a remote control.

    GPS Review - September 17th, 2006
  23. TomTom has publicly started to address the dock issues many people have been having with their TomTom 910 and TomTom 510 mounts. They are offering a free replacement mount to those who have experienced the problem. TomTom is even paying for the shipping. All you need is your serial number and a new mount will be sent to you. You can get a replacement dock by visiting this page.

    GPS Review - September 21st, 2006
  24. Glad to hear about the mount replacement program– I think it will make many a 510 and 910 users very happy!

    Conchshells - October 6th, 2006
  25. Does anybody know if it’s possible to add “text-to-speech” to the tomtom 510?

    Matthew - October 29th, 2006
  26. No, it isn’t possible to add it later Matthew.

    Tim - October 29th, 2006
  27. […] Through the TomTom HOME application, TomTom has added a new feature for TomTom 510 and TomTom 910 owners, QuickGPSfix. This feature allows your GPS to more quickly acquire a GPS signal. How does it work? […]

    TomTom QuickGPSfix GPS Review - November 28th, 2006
  28. I have a TomTom Go 510. I thought it was going to be awesome. iPod integration, bluetooth, this is going to be great. I hate the thing. It’s currently for sale on craigslist so I can get a nuvi 200.

    The latest software update was the last straw. High school students in a computer programming class could design better software.

    Smittie - February 1st, 2008
  29. I just purchased a refurbished 510, It powered up, I answered the questions entered my address then it went to Terms agreement and no further, then the screen went blank but the back light seemed to be on for approx 2 hours. Then it powered off by itself, I again turned it on, it powered up but without sound, went to select country, won’t move from English UK??? it then goes back to a blank screen with the back light on and starts to reboot only to get stuck again at the country page!!! It did this cycle for 1 hour!!! It’s back in its box, I emailed TOM TOM and am waiting for a response as to if I can get credit towards a current new model or will they at least replace it? Anyone got any similar stories and advice??? I’m not a happy camper at all!!!

    David - February 8th, 2008
  30. David – I’d return/exchange it at the place you purchased it from. That will be faster than a TomTom return/repair.

    Tim - February 8th, 2008
  31. Tim,
    Thanks for the Advice.
    I purchased it via a EBay on line store, Tom Tom do list them as a dealer but I fear returning it there will be a long drawn out procedure, I do have both Tom Tom and the Ebay Dealer phone number, I intend to call both on Monday.

    David - February 9th, 2008
  32. Tim/Anyone,
    I received a reply from Tom Tom support, they advised me to reset my 510, I did this it now powers on asks the questions again? country? left, right hand, adjust time etc, do you need to answer these everytime? It then gets as far as the legal screen, I tap I Accept and then nothing, I’ve never seen the black and white driving view display nor has it ever located my position and changed into a color driving display? I turn it off and then back on and it goes to question time again! Not quite what I expected as it should work “straight out of the box” Does this sound like a defective unit to anyone else?

    David - February 10th, 2008
  33. David, it sounds defective.

    Tim - February 10th, 2008
  34. Thanks Tim, I sent the refurbished 510 unit back per your advice.
    I’ve just ordered a Tom Tom 1 XL.S I hope I have better luck with it!

    David - February 19th, 2008
  35. I am having problem with Tomtom 510. It does not charge the unit when mounted (in car or doc.) even with the green light is on. Also on hold for more than 30 min.with the 1 866 #.

    Murali Manohara - June 4th, 2008
  36. I’m not happy with the service (or lack thereof); how do I get in contact with a human being anywhere that understands the Tomtom; I have a 510 and enjoyed its use for two years but cannot update my map which is long out of date; I purchased an updated map but there is not enough memory on the SD card and not just any SD card will apparently do; I’m afraid to erase the US/Canada map on the card to make room for my update because I get these messages telling me my unit will not operate properly if I do????? Can anyone help me since I have no phone number of email address to contact these people; Bestbuy folks were not that helpful.

    Tom Jackson - September 7th, 2008
  37. TomTom support is at 866-486-6866.

    Tim - September 7th, 2008
  38. I love my Tom Tom 510. I received a refurbished one in April ’07, and it was one of the best gifts ever given to me. I use it all the time. The best feature is how quickly it updates your route if you’ve missed a turn (I guess all GPS devices do that). I’ve only had a few issues with the 510: 1) I’ve had to manually reset it on about 4 seperate occasions, 2) The POI’s aren’t great, but have gotten much better with the last map update, 3) A few times it’s steered to the wrong location. Technically, I’d say that was a problem with the map data and not the unit itself.

    Alan Farkas - October 12th, 2008
  39. Can anyone tell me how well the bluetooth handsfree works.

    Steve - October 29th, 2008
  40. It seems to come down to the phone… some work better than others. None will typically work as good as when used with a Bluetooth headset.

    Tim - October 29th, 2008
  41. i have a tomtom 510 all of a sudden it blanked out and shut off i turned it back on and the sd chip had a red cross mark on it it says to take it out and i did then i put it back in but it still wont read the sd chip i resetted the gps but it still has the same effect can anyone help

    Akeem - January 22nd, 2009
    • The red cross means that the device couldn’t find the application at startup. If you connect the device to your computer and use the TomTom HOME software you should be able to reinstall the application.

      Tim - January 22nd, 2009
  42. Bought my 510 December 2006. Spent 7 months on the road in an RV and had to send it back to the factory 3 times. Bought a second one thinking I just needed a spare to cover times the unit was in for repair. First unit was in the factory seven times, the second unit four times. Neither unit worked longer than a couple of months at a time. The 510 is absolutely the worst piece of electronics I ever purchased. Absolute crap! It isn’t cheap enough if it is free. I have a Gamin now and haven’t had a minutes trouble. Don’t ever ever buy anything from TomTom

    Sylvia - June 4th, 2009
  43. My Tom Tom Go 510 has been sent back to the factory 4 times for the same battery issue. My daughter and son in law both have the same unit as mine, and both of their units have the same issue that mine has. I just got off the phone after talking to Tom Tom support. They have informed me that they will not address this issue after the warranty runs out on the unit, even though they know that this issue still persists. They admitted that when you send it in for repairs they do not send you your original unit back, and that I am now just stuck with a navigation system that does not do what it originally promised it would do after just 2 years of sending it back to the factory where it spends more time than it does in my truck.

    Al Weltz - July 16th, 2009
    • I have the same battery problem. It will absolutely not take a charge now. Checking some FAQ on their website, it claims that the battery is not replaceable, which is stupid since a person pays damn near $500 for these things. I have sent e-mails to the support staff and have yet to hear back from them. So, in the meantime, tired of waiting on TomTom, I googled “how to replace battery in tomtom go 510″ and got some great instructions on how to replace the battery ( a little work involved, but worth it to me) and I also found places that do sell replacement extended life batterys. But you can bet, when my Go 510 finally goes to that fabulous GPS heaven in the sky, I will be going with a Garmin.

      John - November 25th, 2009
      • Almost every auto GPS comes with a non-replacable battery. I think there is one super-sized GPS designed for truckers from Garmin that uses a replaceable battery.

        Tim - November 27th, 2009
  44. I have two 510’s. My first one quit working three weeks after I purchased it and while I was living on the road in an RV. It was sent back for repair. Instead of sending the reapored unit to the RV park where I was waiting for it TomTom sent it my former home. I had included a large print note in the shipping box giving the address where it needed to be sent after repair. I called and was told oh, we never read anything included in the box. I needed a GPS and during a moment had a moment of complete stupidity I bought a second 510. One has been in for repair five times and the other three times. The repairs never lasted more that two weeks. It is difficult to believe any corporation can produce a product that is total crap and stay in existance. Whenever GPS comes up in conversation I make sure eveyone within earshot hears my story! I now have a Garmen and have not had a moments trouble with it. However I am sure any GPS would be better than TomTom….anything else!

    Sylvia Anderson - July 18th, 2009

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