TomTom Go 700

Even though it can be an expensive habit I’ve always been a sucker for gadgets (hey I’m a nerd !).

I recently bought a TomTom Go 700 GPS System for my car.

The TomTom Go 700 is a pretty small (about 4 x 5 inches) box that’s reminiscent of an old TV (pretty curvy). Although the box is bulbous it uses an LCD Screen – most of the box is taken up by a decent quality loudspeaker, the GPS antenna and the electronics (including a 2.5GB hard driver for map data). It uses a suction cup and bracket to attach to the windscreen of a vehicle, though permanent mount kits are available too.


In addition to GPS navigation the device also supports bluetooth for hands free phone and also online updates, weather and traffic info (more on that in a bit).

Things I like :

  • The GPS reception is amazing ! It even gets a signal in my kitchen ! Something my handheld Garmin eTrex Legend never does. It’s also very quick at acquring the satellites (again much quicker than my handheld).
  • The route finding mechanism is pretty straightforward, selecting city, then street then house number. I agree with other’s that finding specific points of interest (a peets coffee for example) isn’t too straightforward if you have to search specifically by ‘category’ – is peets a coffee shop, or business. However it does provide a pretty slick ‘best guess’ list of nearby POI’s that you can scroll through to find something.
  • It give’s directions clearly (with lots of customizable voices). The directions are given early and in my brief tests were accurate. It was also smart about adjusting the route to accomodate a changing situation (turning on to a street too early for example).

A thing I don’t like :

  • The Bluetooth mechanism doesn’t really work at all well with my Treo 650 and Cingular service. It took a lot of fiddling including an ‘unpublished’ software update on the Go 700 to get it to successfully pair with the Treo and even then it’s only for the online data services (and it still requires a ‘separate’ GPRS account). I cannot get the handsfree feature to work. To be honest I don’t think this is TomTom’s fault – I’ve become more and more aware that the Bluetooth implementation on the Treo 650 is just plain ‘weird’. I can only imagine that’s because it’s confused about being both a phone and a PDA, and that the bluetooth is really there for the PDA and not the phone. I’ll keep trying things and see if I can get something to go and perhaps a Treo update will improve things.

Posted under Personal

This post was written by awk on November 6, 2005

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