The TomTom ONE has finally been phased out, now that the Start2 has taken over the entry-level position in TomTom's range. But the 3.5in non-widescreen used by both devices is a little small. If you fancy a larger view of the roads around you, but don't want to spend a fortune, TomTom's XL is still going strong, and now enters its second incarnation.
The XL2 looks similar to TomTom's premium GO 950 when viewed from the front, with a similar 4.3in widescreen and bezel. But the device itself is slightly slimmer. As with TomTom's other entry-level sat-navs, the screen mount is integrated into the body, so you can carry the two together more easily from car to car. However, the XL2 doesn't adopt the new attachment system of the Start2, instead using the more ungainly wire ring found on the previous TomTom XL and ONE. Unlike the Start2, there's no carry pouch included in the box, either – a strange omission considering the XL2 is intended to be the slightly more premium offering. A single mini-USB socket is used for PC data connection and car power, and it's heavily recessed into the unit so isn't that easy to attach.
Where the XL2 does differ from its predecessor is in its interface. This is now the same as the Start2, so much simplified compared to before. Instead of the busy array of icons found on most TomTom menus, the main screen has been reduced to just two large ones plus a strip of smaller ones along the bottom. The two main icons let you Plan a route or Browse the map of the local area. The latter also includes the option to display various categories of Points of Interest onscreen, so you can get a spatial idea of where the nearest petrol stations or cash machines are located. You can then select one and navigate towards it, if desired. However, we found that even with just a couple of POI categories shown onscreen, the map updates were quite slow when scrolling or zooming.
Choosing the Plan route option calls up a more familiar TomTom submenu, however. You can navigate to an address or Point of Interest. It's possible to save a Home location and a list of favourites, plus there's a handy record of the last few destinations you navigated towards. Otherwise, you can enter a full UK postcode or drill down from city to street and then house number. However, unlike some sat-navs, there's no option to search for an address by keyword, so you will need to have a clear idea of your location's full address, at least as far as the postcode or city where it's situated.
It is possible to search more generally for a Point of Interest, however. You can't find a keyword across an entire country, but you can search near your current or Home location, within a city, near your destination, or along your current route. The traditional category-based system is also available, if you're just looking for a restaurant or hotel, for example, with no particular need for a specific one.