By SUBASHINI SELVARATNAMintech@thestar.com.my
With the Go 750 by your side, you can hit the road knowing that you will not get lost.
THE TomTom Go 750 is not your typical GPS car navigation unit. It has a couple of interesting and fun features that you will not find in other models.
For a start, you can have your turn-by-turn voice guidance read by Darth Vader, Yoda and even Homer Simpson.
Unfortunately, the voice guidance is not free and each one will set you back $9.95 euro (RM42) per download.
However voice guidance in different languages such as French, Dutch, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese and Malayalam are free.
To download the voice guidance into the GPS, you will first have to install the TomTom Home software from the company's website.
Home also helps keep the GPS up to date with latest software and maps.
The Go 750 comes pre-installed with Tele Atlas maps for Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.
TomTom will update the map four times a year. However, only the first year is free. Tom Tom and its distributor Ingram Micro Malaysia Sdn Bhd have yet to announce the price for future updates.
You can also keep the maps updated by joining the TomTom Map Share community, which is always free.
Any changes to the map done by the community can be instantly downloaded to the GPS using the Home software.
Another interesting feature is QuickGPSfix which updates the GPS with the latest position of the satellites.
This helps the GPS get a satellite lock much faster.
With QuickGPSfix, the Go 750 takes mere seconds to get a satellite lock.
You can also customise the look and feel of the GPS' user interface. You can, for instance change the startup and shutdown images, and the Home icon.
You can personalise the GPS further by also changing the colour schemes for the maps.
Easy to use
The Go 750 has a pretty good windshield mount called the Active Dock. It attaches very securely to the windshield and I was never once worried that the Go 750 would fall off while I was driving.
There is also a car charger to keep the GPS charged for the duration of the drive.
The Go 750 has a 4.3in touchscreen with a resolution of 480 x 272-pixels. Whether you are travelling in broad daylight or at night, the display is sharp and bright enough to be viewed clearly.
It was easy to use the touchscreen using my thumb (and sometimes the index finger) to type the address or choosing an icon.
The touchscreen was amazingly responsive compared to other GPS units that I have reviewed.
My one complaint with the UI is that the menu screen doesn't have a back arrow. To get to the previous section of the menu you will have to cycle through all the other menu sections first.
This can be quite annoying especially when you are in a hurry.
You can search for the destination by street name, POI (points of interest), postcode and more.
However, searching by postcode doesn't produce accurate results. For example, if you enter 59100 (which is the postcode for Bangsar), it will list Section 51 in Sungai Buloh, Mukim 5 in Bukit Balik Pulau, etc.
I found the voice guidance funny because the pronunciation of the street names were awfully weird.
However, you can turn stop it from prouncing the street names.
The Go 750 gives you the option to find the fastest route, shortest route and even a route for making a journey on foot or bicycle.
You can even set the Go 750 to avoid a particular route. This is handy for avoiding routes that have a high traffic.
It would also prompt you whether you want to avoid toll charges. The GPS also displays an estimate of the time it would take for you to reach your destination. I found this handy because I know if I am running late for an appointment.
The Go 750 also features Advanced Lane Guidance, which lets you know which lane you should be in advance. It keeps me relaxed even though you are driving in complex intersections.
The GPS can also list the roads you have to take to reach your destination. I find this feature handy because I prefer to know how to get to a particular place in advance. If I am still not clear, I just run a simulation of the journey.
In case of an emergency, you'll find the Help Me feature really handy. This feature lists the nearest police stations, hospitals, car repair shops.
This feature is made even more useful because you can pair your phone to the GPS via Bluetooth. To call, say, the car repair shop, you just have the touch the name of the shop on the GPS and it will initiate the call on the phone.
The Help Me screen also has a useful First Aid Guide that gives you general tips on what to do if you are at the scene of an accident, for example.
The Where Am I option as the name says, shows where you are. If you are in a car accident, for instance, you could use it to find out the name of the street.
You can copy the phonebook from your mobile phone to the Go 750. By doing so, you can initiate a call from the Go 750.
The Go 750 is also supposed to be able to read SMSes. I was not able to try this feature because my smartphone was not compatible with the GPS. You can check if your phone is compatible with the GPS at bit.ly/ih9dyw.
The TomTom Go 750 has all the features that matter and some really cool ones.
The GPS is quick to get a satellite lock thanks to the QuickGPSfix feature and it is also equally fast to plot a course.
When paired with a smartphone via Bluetooth, the GPS has even more features to offer, like the ability to initiate calls.
Also, in case of an emergency, the Help Me functions will come in really handy
And having Darth Vader or Yoda give turn-by-turn voice instructions is a lot more fun than listening to a generic voice.
About the only thing not to like about the GPS is that TomTom will only offer four free updates and has yet to announce the pricing for extra updates.
Overall, the TomTom Go 750 is one of the better GPS units I have tested recently. There is a lot to like about it and it's worth checking out.
Pros: Easy to use; pairs with phone via Bluetooth; nice screen; can download amusing turn-by-turn voice guidance.
Cons: Only four free updates from TomTom; searching by postcode doesn't work; UI can be better.
GPS car navigation unit
GPS CHIPSET: NA
DISPLAY: 4.3in touchscreen (480 x 272-pixels)
STORAGE: Micro SD slot (up to 4GB supported)
OPERATING SYSTEM: NA
OTHER FEATURES: Bluetooth, car charger, windshield mount
DIMENSIONS (W x D x H): 127 x 85 x 23mm
Review unit courtesy of Ingram Micro Malaysia Sdn Bhd, (03) 7952-8188