Sunday, May 25, 2008

TomTom plans a new $300 midrange GPS

At a holiday CE show in NYC yesterday, BetaNews learned TomTom is readying a mid-range GPS device called the XL 330 that will offer most of the features of its high-end GO 930, at a much lower list price of $299.95.

NEW YORK CITY (BetaNews) -- IQ Routes and European maps are just about the only features of the GO 930 -- which sells for around $500 -- that won't appear in the XL 330, said Tasia Hurt, a TomTom in a meeting with BetaNews at this week's Holiday Gift Guide Show.

IQ Routes is aimed at advising drivers on the "smartest route to take based on actual average road speeds," BetaNews was told. Although the XL 330 won't offer European maps, maps will be included for the US and Canada.

The $299.95 navigation system will also come with a number of capabilities not incorporated into TomTom's $200-or-so entry-level ONE 130 system, including Voice Address Input for entering destination information verbally, and TomTom Map Share for modifying street maps and directions on your device.

Like the GO 930, the XL 330 will feature a 4.3-inch color touchscreen, according to product spec sheets. Weighing in at 0.41 lbs, the XL 330 will measure 3.27 x 4.65 x 0.98 inches.

Compatible with Windows and Mac X 10.3 and above, the new device will come with EasyPort mount, mini-USB and RDS-TMC connectivity, an internal lithium-ion battery for up to three hours of operation; a car charger, an enhanced TomTom speaker system, QuickGPSfix, automatic day/night mode, and password protection.

A text-to-speech model, the XL 330 S, will be priced at about $50 more. TomTom has also added text-to-speech capabilities in its upgraded ONE I30-S, which is already shipping for around $250.

TomTom already offers a pricier mid-range system dubbed the GO 730. But although the GO 730 also lacks European maps, it does include IQ Routes.

TomTom's upcoming XL 330 is now available for pre-ordering on a number of Web sites, including ABT, Tiger GPS, and J&R.

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