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What do you want a satellite navigation system for ?
I used to ask myself that question, and at the time I could only reply - to find my way to places I'm unfamiliar with. Now, however, I would list a lot more - especially if you look at the additional functions provided by the TomTom GO700.
You can, for example: - Find the nearest cashpoint/petrol station/hotel/restaurant.... - Receive traffic updates and re-route accordingly - Be warned when approaching speed cameras
And to save additional expense, while keeping you road-legal, the TomTom GO700 even links to bluetooth mobile phones and allows handsfree calling.....in whatever car you choose to take it into (the GO700 is completely portable)
But what about the basic stuff ?
Take the GO700 from it's box, mount it on your winscreen with the practical suction cup mount, turn it on and you'll be using it immediately. Tap the touch sensitive screen once (or use the remote), then select 'Navigate to' and you can proceed to enter a destination via a number of options: - UK or Netherlands postcode - Address - By pointing at a spot on the map - By selecting one of the pre-programmed 'points of interest', e.g. the Eiffel Tower
The GO700 will then plan an appropriate route (if you want to get picky you can ask it to avoid motorways, take the shortest route or take the fastest route) and immediately start giving route advice both verbally and via a graphical display of the route. You can then set off and needn't touch the unit again until you arrive and switch it off. Quick and easy.
Pardon ? Didn't you hear that last direction ? A single tap of the screen will repeat it.
Miss your turn ? The GO700 immediately replans - either requesting that you make a U-turn, or more usually selecting an alternative turning.
Worried about traffic enroute ? A subscription service is available which will connect to TomTom via your mobile phone and download traffic updates - the GO700 can then ask whether you want to reroute, or automatically take you via the best route.
I've found this to be a great feature, as long as you appreciate that there is no substitute for local knowledge. Small local routes do not tend to have traffic information available and so may either be congested or offer a better/faster route to your destination. I use this feature to commute daily into London from the west, where I have a choice between the M40 or M4 - I now let the GO700 decide for me.
Having sung the praises of the great features present in the GO700 (I upgraded to a GO700 from a TomTom GO Classic after suggesting one to my father in law, his GO700 was an immediate success with him, and I decided that an upgrade was fully justified for me), some downsides:
- as noted already, the traffic service is not foolproof and is subscription only - the map data is at least 2 years old in some areas, meaning some new roads are omitted and others have changed traffic rules (e.g. now one-way). This is a relatively rare occurence though. - although a GO700 is MUCH cheaper than a factory fitted, fully installed satnav, it is still quite pricey. The bluetooth phone function makes up for this to some extent.
There are, however, a number of reasons why I am still recommending the TomTom GO to all and sundry: - the design and ease of use cant be beat - you can take it from car to car - you can update and customise many features via your PC - if you choose to use traffic, it will save a lot of frustration
Great Review--I'm on the lookout for one. Any advice on where to mget the best bargain?
Vheissu 05.04.2006 12:18
never seen the fascination with these to be honest - my dad wants one along these lines, but having just read something about a SatNav sending drivers up a 100ft cliff in Yorkshire, I seriously doubt whether it's a good idea or not. Alex
awooga 22.03.2006 20:20
Thanks for the review - I'm in the market at the moment so it's great getting a proper user perspective.