TomTom GO 540 LIVE Sat-Nav - TomTom GO 540 LIVE

By James Morris



Our Score:


The voice recognition system was already surprisingly effective in previous TomToms. Now it has also been given greater functionality with the x40 series TomToms, although you don't need to subscribe to LIVE to get this. Instead of just being available for entering addresses verbally, you can touch an on-screen icon once, then enter a host of operational commands. In fact, you can calculate an entire route without needing to touch the screen after the first time. However, we didn't find the voice commands quite as reliable as the address recognition. For example, the system misrecognised the all-important ‘Navigate to an address', regularly thinking we'd said ‘postcode' instead, and on one occasion that we wanted the nearest restaurant. It then keenly routed us to a nearby Pizza Hut.

The GO 540 now also has a screen cradle with a proprietary connection, called Active Dock. Garmin has a similar system in its higher-end devices. You plug this into the cigarette lighter power cable, so that placing the sat-nav on its cradle is all you need to do when heading out. It's a convenient way of sidestepping some of the mucking about involved with taking a sat-nav in and out of your car. On the downside, the PC docking station requires this same connection, instead of USB, so if you don't have this with you it won't be possible to access your TomTom Home account for updates.


The TomTom GO 530 wasn't exactly cheap when it was released, and the 540 is even more expensive. However, whilst the 530's new features didn't seem sufficient to buy it over its cheaper predecessor, the 540's LIVE capabilities are a revelation. TomTom is even giving away £30 of fuel with the 540, which probably isn't delivered along with the device itself. So long as you can stomach the £7.99 per month subscription, the TomTom GO 540 LIVE takes sat-nav technology to a new level.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Value 7
  • Features 10
  • Design 9

john kennedy

December 6, 2008, 2:59 am

Just got my go 540 live from Dixons on-line for 𧶮.76 including vat and delivery. I used a promotional code (vat3) and got 3% discount first road test was very good.


December 19, 2008, 11:40 pm

What is the difference between the 540 740 and 940, I cannot find a single website that gives a comparison on features? Looking at the 740 at the moment but not sure how often I would use the Europe maps with the Euro as it is at the moment.

James Morris

December 22, 2008, 3:00 am

The only real difference between the 540 and 740 is the latter has European maps. The 940 has North American (inclucing Canadian) maps too, plus a remote control. That is pretty much it.


January 22, 2009, 7:31 pm

Can I ask where is it stated that this can also receive RDS TMC traffic - I can't find this mentioned in any of the official specs?

james easdon

April 7, 2009, 4:00 pm

i have just got the 540 go live i must say not impressed with it its hard to use takes me a long way round to find addresses i had a cheap sat nav before and i must say it was better than this as for the blue tooth it wont stay connected my opinion its a load of junk so get a cheap sat nav not a tom tom unless you are a layer to try and understand how to work it i asked tom tom for support about 11 days as yet not heard a thing back from them

James Morris

April 17, 2009, 5:27 pm

@phil5743 The LIVE system doesn't receive RDS-TMC traffic directly - there is no FM receiver. The information is collated with the HD Traffic mobile phone data and delivered over the mobile data link.

@james easdon Each to their own. TomTom's interface is not the absolute best. IMHO Garmin is the easiest to use. But I'd hardly call it junk. Address entry has never given me any problems.

comments powered by Disqus