And once everything is fired up and connected, with an address tapped in, the software does a good job of directing you to your destination. Even if you take the wrong turn it recalculates your route automatically without fuss, while audio directions provide a clear and accurate-enough guide that you don’t have to keep squinting at the screen.
I did find it out on a few occasions – often the audio didn’t quite match up with the visual directions – but as with any GPS system, you also need to use your common sense and checking with the visual directions always cleared things up.
But it’s not all good news. Apart from the usual hassles associated with in PDA-based navigation systems – having to keep two devices charged up, or two runs of cable trailing from the cigarette lighter socket – there are other issues.
My main gripe was that the software regularly needed ‘reminding’ to connect to the Bluetooth GPS receiver, which occurred after switching PDA and receiver off then on again. It should do this automatically – I don’t want to spend five minutes after I get in the car fiddling around with the settings before I can get going.
The interface also takes a little getting used to. Though easy enough to navigate around – the system uses nice big finger-sized buttons, instead of the normal Windows PDA-sized ones – menu items appear in odd places, often two or three layers of options deep, and sometimes change position. Also, the address entering screen features a non-qwerty keyboard for entering destination details, which is a bit weird.
The main problem with a TMC-enabled Destinator 6 system, however, is the cost. Once you factor in the price of adding a TMC receiver, it’s going to set you back at least £220. Buy a Bluetooth receiver/TMC module and you’ll be paying more like £320.
For that sort money, you can pick up a TomTom GO 510 – with TMC receiver included. It might be an extra box to carry around, but for my money at least, it’s still the more convenient option.