Everything you need: unbiased reviews, product specs and great deals.
TomTom GO 300 - 3.5 in. Car GPS Receiver
The TomTom Go 300 Portable Car Navigator delivers all of the convenience and ease of use that even the most discerning of consumers can... Read More
The TomTom Go 300 Portable Car Navigator delivers all of the convenience and ease of use that even the most discerning of consumers can appreciate. With built-in Bluetooth connection, get real time information on traffic congestions, weather conditions and extra downloads such as detailed city maps, additional voices, points of interest and much more. With phone control support, call a point of interest directly through the Go. Minimize
18 Reviews from Epinions.com
Jan 22, 2008
The Tom Tom Go 300 Will Get You To Where You Are Going
Pros: affordable, easy to use
Cons: just a "basic" GPS; no text to speech
The Bottom Line:
If looking in this price range, then I would recommend the Go 300. But for any buyer, I recommend that you consider a higher price range to get more features.
I was recently in the market for a budget-friendly GPS system for my husband. Neither one of us need a GPS system on a daily basis, but we felt it would be nice to have one for our occasional road trips. Two months before the holiday season, I purchased a Tom Tom Go 300 GPS for what I thought was a great price at the time ($219 with free shipping, and it was a brand new, not refurbished, unit). Perhaps it is a bit of buyers remorse now that the holidays have passed and GPS prices have fallen even further, or perhaps it is simply a bit of the adage that, You Get What You Pay For. No matter what you call it, I would say that while we are satisfied with the Tom Tom Go 300 GPS, we are not overly impressed with it. Basically, it will get you to where you want to go, but the Tom Tom Go 300 GPS is little more than a no-frills GPS unit.
What We Like About the Tom Tom Go 300 GPS
1. Plug and Play. You can basically take the Tom Tom Go 300 GPS out of the box and start using it right away (after an initial charge of the battery). There are no maps or other software to download from your computer; everything you need is pre-loaded into the unit.
2. User friendly. This GPS is very easy to use. I did not even read the instruction manual (my husband did), and I was able to pick up the unit and program in an address. From the main screen, you simply use the touch screen to select an address, and then start typing. To find an address, you start by typing in the city name. If you want Houston, TX, you can start by typing just a few letters. By the time you have typed Hou, the Tom Tom will have displayed a list of possible matches beginning with the sequence you entered. If there is more than one match (i.e. if there is a town called Houston in any state other than Texas, all of the matches will be shown). You can continue to type the city name, or just scroll down and select your match. You then do the same process for finding the street name. In smaller towns, I have typed as little as 2 letters and found the street name that I needed.
3. Pre-loaded points of interest. These were a feature not found on the competitors models in our price range at the time. I have not used them often yet, but I suspect that this summer we will take a few road trips and will appreciate this feature. With children in tow, you never know when you will need to know where the closest park is located. Granted, if this feature was not included I could have always looked up our destination on the computer and then simply programmed the street address into the Tom Tom, but it is nice to have the feature pre-loaded for a variety of sites.
4. Ability to select your route. The Tom Tom Go 300 GPS will ask you if you wish to avoid toll roads. You can also avoid a specific road if you wish. The Tom Tom Go 300 GPS does NOT have the capability to avoid roads based on accidents or traffic delays unless you pay for an expensive subscription service. I have found that I do not need this feature, however. All I do is listen to the radio if I suspect a traffic delay, and if I do need to plan an alternate route, I simply exit the road and allow the Tom Tom to re-route me. Alternatively, I could pull over and re-program the Tom Tom to avoid the road in question, but most of the time I am familiar enough with my driving routes that I can exit a road and drive in a direction that forces the Tom Tom to re-route me away from the road in question.
5. Ability to save destinations. You can name and save any destination to the Tom Tom Go 300 GPS. Therefore, no matter where I am in the United States, I can select my pre-programmed home destination, and the Tom Tom will start navigating me to my home.
6. The price. Prices certainly have come down in recent times, and I was thrilled at the bargain I thought I got for a brand new (not refurbished) unit. However, since my purchase in October 2007, prices have dropped even further. I wish I waited to buy our GPS because I could have gotten an even better deal. Still, for the price we paid, it is so much cheaper than the option of having a GPS factory installed in your car, plus it is portable. It is almost like getting 2 or more GPS units for 1, as you can transfer the GPS from car to car in your household depending on who needs it.
Things About the Tom Tom Go 300 GPS to Which We Are Indifferent
1. We have read a lot of feedback regarding the pre-loaded maps on the Tom Tom Go 300 GPS and were concerned that we would have problems. Where we live in a suburban area of New Jersey, however, it is not a major problem. Most of the roads that we use have been around for decades, so we have not had a problem with the Tom Tom avoiding a road because it is not on the map. We did recently find some streets not included in the Tom Tom maps because they were part of a recently built community of new homes. We were looking at open houses, so to bypass this problem we just programmed in the main street that led to the new home community. Of course, other people in other situations may find this very frustrating, especially if unfamiliar with any other close by addresses. Therefore, I understand why the maps have been a point of frustration for many raters, but to us in our situation we are simply indifferent.
2. Battery life. The battery life on the Tom Tom Go 300 GPS is rather short, at about 4 hours or less. However, you can easily plug the charger into your cars cigarette lighter, so this is not a major concern for us. If I was still driving my previous car, which had no cigarette lighter, I would have much more criticism about the battery life as I would have been unable to charge this unit during long drives. But now, if the GPS unit starts to run low on battery I simply plug in and keep driving.
3. The voices. They are actually somewhat funny, but certainly not something I would pay extra for. You can program your Tom Tom to have a male or female voice in a variety of accents. We have ours set to an Australian accent, and it is pretty amusing. However, we do need to translate some of what we are told as a result. For instance, instead of telling us to Take the highway, we are now told to Take the motorway. Circles are now roundabouts. As an added option you can download celebrity voices for an added fee at the Tom Tom website.
Things We Wished We Considered Before Purchasing the Tom Tom Go 300 GPS
1. The size. The Tom Tom Go 300 GPS is 4.5 inches wide by 3.6 inches tall by 2.3 inches deep. While this allows the Tom Tom to have a nice LCD display of 3.5 inches, it is awkward to carry or store in the glove compartment of your car. I do not mind the length and width, but the depth is what is really awkward. I equate this unit to an old television set that you need to set back a foot from your wall, whereas there are other GPS models that are more of a flat screen type. The flat screen type models were not in my price range at the time of purchase, but I did wish I considered a more expensive model that would be more portable or easy to hide.
2. No text to speech. Text to speech is the feature whereby the GPS unit is able to speak street names. For instance, when coming up on a turn, the Tom Tom Go 300 GPS will say, Turn Right 100 feet, whereas a GPS model with text to speech may say, Turn Right 100 feet onto Spring Street. When considering this model, I decided that text to speech was not important as the GPS unit does display the street name on the screen. I assumed I could always just glance down if I needed to see the street name in question. But, in reality, it is not always easy to take your eyes off the road to read the GPS screen. In addition, sometimes streets are very close together, and it is difficult to determine which street is 100 feet ahead versus 150 feet ahead. A good example is when we took the Tom Tom Go 300 GPS into New York City, and we had to navigate to a left turn. The streets are very close together, and in the City it is very difficult to glance anywhere else besides the road. Therefore, as the passenger I had to read the street names for my husband as he drove. Without a passenger in the car, it would have been a more stressful drive for my husband.
Overall, we are happy with our purchase and thrilled to finally have a GPS in the family. But, given the recent drop in prices among all GPS units, we wish we had waited to get an even better model for the price we paid. I recently saw an advertisement for a competitors GPS model including text to speech for $250. Had I seen a similar ad when I was shopping for my Tom Tom, I probably would have opted to spend the extra money for this additional feature. But, given the fact that we barely spent over $200 on this GPS, we really should not complain. The Tom Tom Go 300 GPS will certainly get you to where you are going, even if it lacks all the bells and whistles of the more expensive models. If you are looking for a GPS unit within the price range of the Tom Tom Go 300 GPS, then I would recommend this model.
Back to all reviews