TomTom Start2 review
If the idea of programming a satnav fills you with dread, TomTom’s Start2 offers a simplified entry point. With a 3.5in, 320 x 240 touchscreen it’s similar in both size and features to the TomTom One, and you get UK and Ireland mapping pre-installed on the 2GB internal storage.
It’s certainly not a starter satnav in terms of what it can do. TomTom’s IQ Routes technology is present and correct, along with points of interest, speed camera alerts and advanced lane guidance. It’s all a little cramped on the small screen but it works well enough, and if you’re having trouble reading things, the Start2 will read street names aloud with reasonable accuracy.
But the main appeal of the Start2 is intended to be its easy menu, which contains just Plan Route and Browse Map options. For anyone who’s ever got lost in the menus of a satnav, this approach is refreshingly basic. It makes operation as simple as can be, but the interface does have its foibles.
The lack of consistency across onscreen keyboard layouts is particularly frustrating. Start by typing a road name, then tap the number toggle to enter a post code and you’ll find that toggle key to revert back to the main keyboard has inexplicably moved. Annoyances such as this aren’t deal breakers but they make operation in a hurry that bit more difficult.
The Start2 has a neat mount that sucks onto a windscreen and can tilt and rotate to a comfortable position. It comes with both a car charging kit and a straightforward USB cable, and TomTom’s Home software comes in the box to keep the Start2 up to date. It does also support RDS-TMC Traffic updates, although you’ll need to buy a receiver and a subscription, which rather goes against the point of such a beginner device.
If the simplicity appeals the Start2 isn’t a bad little satnav, but it’s hard not to see it as the TomTom One’s less effective little brother. That two-option menu removes the temptation to fiddle, which some may appreciate, but we’d rather have more functions than fewer. And the pricing just isn’t as low as the entry-level focus would suggest – in fact, the One costs just a few pounds more, so most PC Pro readers would be better of with that.
|GPS recommended use||In-car|
|Maps supplied||UK and Ireland|
|Navigation software||TomTom Navigator|
|Resolution||320 x 240|
|In-car mount type||Windscreen|
|External GPS antenna included?||no|
|Front panel memory card reader||no|
|Sync via cable?||yes|
|Software supplied||TomTom Home|
|Dimensions||94 x 20 x 81mm (WDH)|