TomTom and SatNav

TomTom and SatNav

Todays post guys is not about a Segway butler that can bring you a Jack and Coke on request, it’s about personal satellite navigation systems, known to us (mostly) as TomToms. Where would we be these days with one of them? Most people I know I have one, whether it’s one stuck on their dashboard or it’s on the latest mobile phone you have purchased. The mobile phone versions are becoming pretty good these days, but the dedicated machines still rule the roost at the moment, due to how often they are upgraded and how accurate they are. Some of the latest models now can locate you to within a metre. That’s pretty impressive! However it’s still not accurate for my wife when she is trying to listen to where to go, but that’s worth another entry in itself so I’ll leave it at that!


There are a lot of “satnavs” available on the market at the moment, but it’s really only two companies that have the monopoly over it. TomTom and Garmin. Some people prefer Garmin and some people prefer TomTom, it really can just be a matter of taste, how it looks even, because to split the two is pretty difficult.

TomTom and Garmin 

I have had a go though recently as I have the latest TomTom and a friend of mine the latest Garmin, so we thought we would play tech geeks and review the models against one another. TomTom have been around the longest and they are the name that many associate with satnavs, so Garmin have done very well just to become a competitor. Most of my friends think satnavs are called “TomToms”.


So my latest purchase was the TomTom Go 5100. The 5100 has something to do with the size of the screen, as the TomTom’s screen is 5 inches. I like TomTom over Garmin personally because they try not to make things that are too complicated. There are too many features for me, but that is exactly why my friend likes his Garmin. The speed camera and updates of traffic features are excellent and will be updated for life, for free.


My friend has the Garmin Nuvicam LMT-D. He loves it because of the “dash cam” feature, and so do some insurance companies, because you can often get cheaper premiums if you have a dash cam installed. The cam is 1080p also, so it is no slouch at all! The Garmin has great integration with most smartphones, and a lot of people place it above the TomTom Go 5100 because of that. It’s not a necessity to me and just makes it a bit more fiddly to use.


As far as a road test goes, we really couldn’t split either model. Both gave us multiple routes which negotiated traffic information and gave us directions that were super fast and very easy to follow. So as I said before, it’s just a bit of personal taste. I think from a “n00b” point of view it would be much easier to use a TomTom, so if I was going to go with one, then that would be it… But there are other options.

Second-Hand TomTom 

Both of these models are not cheap, so if you are looking at a cheaper option then you can either look at buying a second-hand TomTom or go for a cheaper option, if you don’t want to use your phone of course. The second-hand market, like most other tech markets these days is very competitive and you are sure to find a bargain if you look hard enough. The website that I have linked to just above has a great selection of cheap second-hand models, some that were the best on the market only one or two years ago. Take your time and spend a few days, perhaps a week to see what is on offer and then go for the best one.


For less than £170 you can purchase a TomTom Go 61, or a Garmin Nuvi 2699. Both of these models will do a very good job of getting you to your destiniation, just so long as you aren’t too bothered about any frilly bits. They are no-nonsense satnavs but they do provide the essentials you need to find that place in the countryside that everyone keeps telling you about.