TomTom Go Live 1000 review
TomTom moves the standalone satnav forward another stride, but you pay for that luxury
TomTom's satnavs have long been a favourite at PC Pro, but with hot competition from cheap apps on the iPhone and free satnav on other smartphone platforms, it's facing a difficult task to convince people to pay top dollar. The Go Live 1000 is its latest top-end offering, and as usual it's an evolution rather than a ground-up redesign.
Two aspects of the design of the 1000 immediately catch the eye, and the first is the new mount system. Initially, we were sceptical, but it turns out to be an improvement: a strong magnet, rather than a mechanical clip, now holds the main unit in the cradle and, in a nod to Apple's design engineers, the charging cable is also magnetic. If you're the type who chucks the whole lot in the glove box, it's a big improvement - just slap everything together and the magnets do the rest.
The Go Live 1000 boasts a slightly thinner design than before, but more significant is the inclusion of a capacitive multitouch display. It's been too long coming but it's here now, and it makes a big difference to usability. Pushing onscreen buttons is no longer an effort, and you can zoom into route or traffic overview screens with a pinch. The panel itself is brighter too, making it easier to read in sunny conditions, although the 4.3in size and 480 x 272 resolution remain unchanged.
TomTom follows up the redesign with an interface overhaul. On the main map screen, the dowdy blue Info Bar has finally been retired in favour of a translucent graphic strip, allowing you to see more map onscreen. The Lane Assistance instructions are as easy to follow as ever, as are the Next Turn icons and ETA graphics.
Behind the scenes, the Options screens have been reorganised to be more logical. A new 500MHz ARM processor and improved algorithms allegedly speed up route calculation. It's certainly quick, but if TomTom hadn't told us about the improvement, we probably wouldn't have noticed; route-finding and recalculation speeds were excellent before and they still are.
Elsewhere, the Go Live 1000 is as before, which means to say it's a great satnav. TomTom's IQ Routes feature uses analysis of user journeys going back over time to determine the quickest route, depending on the time and day of the week. You also get a year of TomTom's Live services, which use an embedded SIM card to provide Google Local search and live traffic information. The latter remains the most effective system we've used in any satnav. These Live services are cheaper than before too, costing £47.50 per year thereafter.
The touches that have always marked TomTom satnavs out as top quality are still in place: the speaker is loud and automatic volume adjustment ensures you can always hear instructions, no matter how loud the kids are. Plus, there's a wide variety of downloadable voices, as usual.
It's clear the Go Live 1000 is a very good product, and it replaces the 550/750 as our favourite standalone satnav. But the high price means it remains a device primarily for those who do a lot of driving as part of their work. For casual satnav duties, there are other, far more cost-effective ways of getting from A to B.
|GPS recommended use||In-car|
|Maps supplied||UK and Ireland|
|Map data provider||Tele Atlas|
|Resolution||480 x 272|
|In-car mount type||Windscreen|
|External GPS antenna included?||no|
|Front panel memory card reader||no|
|Sync via cable?||yes|
|Sync via cradle?||no|
|Software supplied||TomTom Home|
|Dimensions||128 x 19 x 80mm (WDH)|