TomTom Go 930 Traffic review
When it comes to satellite navigation systems TomTom is top dog. Its Go 720 had been sitting pretty atop our A List for nine months when we set out to knock it off its perch in our satnavs Labs last month, and it’s still there, having beaten the competition hands down once again.
All good things must eventually come to an end, however, and in the case of the 720 it’s finally being quietly retired, unbeaten, and replaced by a newer, snazzier range. Its direct replacement – the 730 – unfortunately wasn’t available at the time of review but we have been test driving the top-of-the-range Go 930 Traffic to see if TomTom can maintain its grip on the premium end of the market.
At first glance, there’s nothing significant that’s changed with the 930 Traffic over the previous models. Its chassis retains the same pronounced curve to its rear, build quality is absolutely first class and the soft-touch plastics all-round lend it a quality feel that’s absent from most of its rivals. The 930 Traffic has had a colour change from dull grey to smart, sharp black, but all else remains identical – down to the positioning of the ports on the lower edge and the short, stubby windscreen mount.
Turn the 930 Traffic on, and the theme continues. It has the same 480 x 272 resolution screen as the Go 720 and nary a pixel has changed on the interface. Not that this is all bad – there was little wrong with the way the 720 and other previous models did things – but considering the one big difference is the price, which for this 930 Traffic is a whopping £365 – a hard-to-swallow £175 difference – it’s more than a little disappointing not to see more of a hardware upgrade.
The justification for the high price of the 930 Traffic is that it includes maps of the USA and Russia in addition to the whole of Europe, a Bluetooth remote control and TMC traffic information as standard. The 730 is cheaper but will still cost you £260 when it hits the shelves, a full £70 to £80 more than the price of the outgoing 720.
So what exactly are you getting for your extra cash? The most significant upgrade to the new range is TomTom’s new route-finding ability – dubbed IQ Routes. What this means is that the 930T, along with the rest of the new “x30” range, calculates routes not using the speed limit data alone, but also by taking into account the average speed of real-world traffic on those roads.
The information comes from TomTom users who have agreed to have that information recorded, tracked and uploaded to TomTom’s servers via the excellent TomTom Home PC software.
The idea is that, rather than sending you down roads that are routinely gummed up with traffic, the 930T is able to build some intelligence into the route-finding process; it even takes into account whether you’re travelling at the weekend or not.
It’s hard to gauge how successful this has been until we’ve spent serious time with the device – we’ve only driven a couple of hundred miles with it so far – but what we can say is that, on several test routes, the 930 Traffic chose significantly different routes to other satnavs we’ve tested. Importantly, while some of those routes were unusual, none turned out to be poor choices.
TomTom has also added lane assistance to the new range. It’s a minor addition but a typically polished one. Here you’re given more precise next-turn icons to indicate which lane you need to be in at complicated motorway junctions – and it’s by far the best implantation we’ve seen in any satnav, including not just major motorway intersections, but most minor two- and three-lane A-roads as well.
|GPS recommended use||In-car|
|Maps supplied||Western Europe|
|Map data provider||Tele Atlas|
|Resolution||480 x 272|
|In-car mount type||Windscreen|
|External GPS antenna included?||no|
|Front panel memory card reader||yes|
|Sync via cable?||no|
|Sync via cradle?||yes|
|Traffic information||Via TMC or GPRS|
|Software supplied||TomTom Home|
|Dimensions||118 x 83 x 24mm (WDH)|
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