Your TV is widescreen so why not your GPS unit? Well that's the thinking behind the TomTom One XL, a widescreen version of the TomTom One. So does the extra screen space make the difference? We get driving to find out.

Virtually identical to the TomTom One for an additional £50 on the price of the UK version of the TomTom One and only a tenner on top of the Europe version you'll get a 4.3-inch touchscreen and a sleek new design to compete with the Garmin Nuvi offering.

Aside from that widescreen, the TomTom ONE XL is also traffic ready, however before you get excited by the idea of skipping that 5 mile tailback on the M1, when TomTom says traffic ready, it means that you've got to by the traffic add on as it's not included in the box.

There are two options, either via an RDS-TMC Traffic Receiver accessory or a subscription to TomTom's mobile phone-based traffic update service.

So that's the difference, what about actually using it? Well the bigger screen certainly helps in built-up city areas as you can see more of your surroundings, however it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference if most of your driving is A roads or motorways as all you get is a screen of fields with the single road down the centre.

Other areas where the screen helps is when it comes to using the unit's on-screen keyboard and whether you've opted for an ABC or QWERTY keyboard approach, its very easy to type even if you've got big manly hands (read as fat).

Like the TomTom One the XL continues the design ethos of being easily pocketable, however this time around, because of the large screen, you've got to make sure you've got big pockets. Suit wearers will feel that the size and weight of the device will affect the cut of their gib over time. Combat trouser wearers however should be fine.

The small cradle fitted in our glove compartment easily and the unit in a bag or coat pocket without much notice.

While we were expecting the interface to be a considerably paired down offering of pervious models, we where hard pushed to notice much difference from previous outings from TomTom or its top of the range TomTom 910. The interface is easy to use and the maps clear and simple to understand when it came to following directions.

In use and the TomTom performed well in most situations. The Points of Interest were handy when we needed to find a nearby beach to enjoy the sun and even the restaurant listings, if you can find any that aren't McDonalds, KFC or Pizza Hut where again good.


At £249, the TomTom One XL offers you just a little bit more screen size on top of what is a fantastic entry-level solution that works and works well.

The main benefit and selling point, is that the software is easy to use and the build quality excellent, rather than the increased size and unless you do lots of city driving.

While good in the car, you should take into account the fact that you'll have to carry around a much larger unit that the TomTom One in your pocket, or Mrs Pocket-lint's handbag.

Good, but we personally prefer size out of the car to size in the car.