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Tom Tom Via 135 M Sat Nav - The M is important.
on 22 September 2013
Before I start I want to say that the M is important if you want the free Lifetime Updates, not to be confused with the Via 135.
I needed a new sat nav to replace my old Navman. I loved my Navman but I knew it was time for a new one when attending a conference for work, way out in the sticks and it took me to a lovely quiet spot down a cart track to a field full of cows! On eventually finding the conference hotel my colleagues had a good laugh at my expense and all said that their Tom Tom's had led them straight to the venue, so did those with a Garmin. However a Garmin was a no no, my husband has one and it drives me to distraction, amongst many other places with it's weird and not very wonderful routing system.
I did a bit of research into Tom Tom's and decided upon the 135 M with UK maps. I don't drive in Europe and we use my husbands sat nav for North America.
I was a little apprehensive having read some of the reviews on here which said that the software was a nightmare and that it took ages to set up and register for the free updates. I have to say that I had no such problems, I plugged it in, followed the easy instructions and off it went.
My Tom Tom account was easy to set up, the system updated in about 15 minutes (not the hours that some people have reported) and it registered easily for the free map updates, you are allowed four free per year apparently.
NOTE WHEN CONNECTING THE DEVICE
The important thing to remember is that this device is not meant to connect to TomTom Home, which is quite confusing, instead go to the website and download or connect to TomTom Drive and updating is easy peasy.
1 - I have to say that the Tom Tom does exactly what it says on the tin.
2 - The display is clear and easy to read
3 - The menu is easy and intuitive no problems accessing the settings and choosing map colours and which voice I prefer.
4 - So far the routing has been great, post codes in and it gets you there.
So why only three stars?
That brings me on to the cons.
1 - The sound is a bit tinny and not very loud, even when the volume is adjusted but it's OK.
2 - This is the big one for me and I would have given it a full five star rating if not for this. I absolutely hate the integral mounting system. It bulks up what would otherwise be a really excellent design. It is fiddly and really annoying having to mess around sticking it on and off the windscreen (I don't have very long arms so it's an issue) every single time I want to use it. Then I have to fiddle around taking it off.
Having messed around and taken it off, it feels just strange having the mounting still attached to what would otherwise be a lovely slim unit which would easily fit in my bag. It also makes a carry case more bulky and problematic.
It would be so much easier to have a separate detachable mount.
I know that this is a personal taste issue and if you aren't bothered about the mount then I would definitely recommend this system, it is otherwise brilliant.
EDIT 2nd March 2014
After living with this for a while I have learned that the mount does detach but it is quite fiddly to do and it is still a real horror getting it on the windscreen.
I have purchased a mount that fits in my CD player slot and that has made a big difference, I have reviewed this item if anyone is interested. This is very reasonably priced and has made a big difference.