Gaming laptops are traditionally full of compromises.
TomTom GO 730 GPS unit
Latest GO unit featuring IQ Routes technology and advanced lane guidance.
- IQ Routes technology, advanced lane guidance, text-to-speech, Bluetooth, Map Share, Help Me menu
- No AC charger included, No EPT, voice address input is hit and miss
TomTom’s latest addition to the navigation market continues the company’s fine form when it comes to the user experience. The GO 730 adds some excellent software features to a package that we’ve come to know and love.
Price$ 549.00 (AUD)
A refresh rather than a completely new model, TomTom’s GO 730 takes everything we enjoyed about the GO 720 and adds a few excellent software features. The GO 730 is one of the first TomTom units to utilise the company’s new IQ Routes technology, and it also boasts advanced lane guidance and voice address input.
Aesthetically, TomTom has stuck to a winning formula and despite almost no changes to the design of the unit, there is little to complain about. The GO 730 is reasonably slim, pretty stylish and fairly light. TomTom continues to use just a single power button, with the rest of the unit controlled via a touch-screen interface.
The interface remains the same as previous models; most operations are accessed via the main menu, which is split into three pages of clearly labelled menu icons in a grid layout. The unit filters street names by suburbs, narrowing down search results to a manageable number. You can further narrow down your search by navigating to a city centre, specific street and house number, crossing or intersection and even via postcodes. The general navigational experience is superb, with highly detailed maps, clear voice instructions and quick rerouting times.
Voice address input is now an option when entering an address. You can choose a regular spoken address or a spoken address with the unit talking back to you (dialogue). Both are hit and miss affairs: although speaking aloud city and street names works reasonably well, it is a frustrating process with house numbers. Conveniently, when saying a city or street the GO 730 presents a list of closely matching options, so even if it doesn’t pick up your voice input completely correctly, it is usually close enough for your desired destination to appear in the search results.
Routes calculated by the GO 730 now utilise what TomTom has dubbed IQ Routes technology. This is based on real-life user data rather than the traditional maximum speed method. According to TomTom, the unit determines a route by considering all possible routes and then selecting the one that takes the least time. We did notice a few of the routes used frequently during testing have changed slightly.
The newest addition to the TomTom navigational experience is advanced lane guidance. On all multilane roads, an icon in the bottom left corner of the map screen highlights which lane you should be in, depending on your destination. At busy highway junctions this is enhanced by arrows indicating the lane direction combined with a static image of road signs. The road signs are the same colour as the ones displayed on the road, so it’s a pretty handy function.
We had no issues with the maps while testing, though keep in mind that this unit lacks Enhanced Positioning Technology (EPT). This means that when you are driving through a tunnel, for example, the GPS signal will be lost. EPT is only available on the top of the range GO 930.
The GO 730 has text-to-speech technology, which means that it can say street names as you approach them. The pronunciation is fairly accurate, though it can struggle with longer names. Bluetooth hands-free means you can make and receive calls as you drive, using the touch screen. There is a separate menu for your mobile phone and from here you can redial the last number, make a call, read and write messages and adjust preferences such as auto-answer. Conveniently, you can also copy your entire phone book to the GO 730's built-in memory and have the unit read aloud your SMS messages. For best voice quality you'll need an external microphone accessory; the microphone on the unit itself isn't that crash hot.
The GO 730 supports Map Share, allowing you to share and make adjustments to your maps. Each time you connect the unit to TomTom Home via your PC, you can choose to have the latest map adjustments made by users across Australia added to your unit. There is also a 'Help Me' safety feature. This displays information and allows you to navigate (either by car or on foot) to a multitude of services, including police stations, hospitals, mechanics, public transport and pharmacies. It includes first aid, traffic regulation, and repair and maintenance information in case of emergency.
Other features include a music player, iPod compatibility, an FM transmitter, an image viewer and a document reader. Keep in mind that the cable needed to connect the unit to your iPod isn't included and needs to be purchased separately.
Battery life is rated at up to five hours. TomTom disappointingly doesn't include an AC charger in the sales package, so you'll have to charge the unit via the USB cable or cigarette lighter adapter.
For compatibility with the SUNA Traffic Channel TomTom will offer the TomTom GO 730 Traffic for an RRP of $649. This includes a TMC antenna and lifetime subscription to SUNA in the sales package.
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