The M400 also offers a much broader database of POIs via the Mio Connect menu option. This works in tandem with the MioMore Desktop 2008 software’s Mio Connect tab. Here, you can gain access to the Infobel Local Search, providing a much wider range of POIs than are available on the device itself.
During a search, adding locations you find to the list uploads them to the M400, allowing you to select them as destinations on the device. However, the information only includes name, address and location, not telephone number as with TomTom Live’s Google Local Search. The search is also tied to a host desktop PC with Internet connectivity, although it will still be very useful when planning a lengthy trip such as a holiday. You can also upload NavPix images, which have GPS tagging information embedded so they can be navigated to. You can also import Custom POIs from CSV database files, as well as performing the usual map update-related activities.
The other new addition to the interface is the Trip Recorder, which lets you keep track of the distance you travel on the current trip or all trips, and you can also log sections. Log files can be imported into the MioMore software’s Mileage Reporter. This will be handy for anyone needing to keep track of business mileage for expense claims. You need to turn on trip recording in the Route Options section of Preferences to enable the full range of logging features, however.
The M400’s map interface is also essentially the same as pre-Spirit Navmans. It’s relatively clear, with the next turning illustrated in the top left and its road name along the top. The current road is listed at the bottom. The top right hosts a small informational panel, which can show your choice of current time, estimated time of arrival, and remaining distance. This is useful and very clear, but TomTom manages to fit all of the information at once in a bar along the bottom of its interface.
The map screen also lacks some of the latest widgets. The M400 doesn’t include the 3D landmark system introduced into the most recent version of Navman’s S30, which we have to admit is not going to be a feature most people will miss. A more lamentable omission is the full-screen lane guidance now provided with most sat-navs. The next turning icon in the top left corner does offer lane assistance at complex junctions, illustrating which carriageway to be in. It’s not quite as clear as a quasi-realistic full-screen graphic, as this usually illustrates the road signs to look out for as well, but is still very beneficial.
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.