Tom Tom Start 20

Tom Tom Start 20I will soon be trading in the sleepy coastal town of Durban for “big city” life in Johannesburg. The prospect of having to navigate around Joburg often gives me cold shivers. You see being from Durban I am a relative country boy when it comes to navigation – the sea is on my right I am travelling north, on the left south. Can’t see the sea? I must be heading inland.

To better prepare myself I have been pursuing the GPS aisles in the local shopping centre trying to figure out which GPS would best suit me.

Luckily for me before I committed to buying a GPS off the shelf, because let’s be honest aren’t they all just digital map books, TOM TOM was kind enough to lend me their Start 20 model for a test run.

Whilst I have had experience with built-in GPS units in new cars I was surprised to find the Start 20’s display was superior to most of the car manufacturer’s standard built-in GPS options.

The screen is large enough to allow the driver a quick glance without having to squint to see the screen. The screen resolution boasts 480 x 272 pixels which is not bad considering you’re not going to be watching Avatar on your GPS screen.

The Start also features advanced lane guidance which shows which lane to take at junctions so you don’t miss your turning. On the most difficult highway intersections, realistic 3D representation of the junction keeps the driver informed.

Technical specs

Battery Battery Life Up to 2 hours autonomous operation
Connectivity Bluetooth® for hands-free calling No
Internal memory 2GB internal flash memory
SD Slot Yes*
* Will be enabled via Software Update in Summer 2011
Screen size 4.3″ (11 cm)
Screen type 16:9 LCD widescreen
Screen resolution 480 x 272 pixels
Size 119 X 80 X 25 mm
Weight 181 grams


The Start 20 range is not the cheapest offered by TOM TOM but it is well worth the few extra bob when you consider the added benefits.

I can say I will definitely be looking to the Start 20 to be my wingman on those big ol’ city roads.

Justin Stephenson

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