- Improved menu system
- Fast route calculation
- Live traffic
- Live traffic incurs an ongoing cost
- Review Price: £249.99
- Live traffic updates
- IQ Routes
TomTom’s LIVE services were the last big revelation in personal navigation devices. But a number of other manufacturers now offer similar services, even if none has surpassed the abilities of HD Traffic just yet. So TomTom needed something new to keep itself ahead of the competition, and here it is: the GO 1000 LIVE. TomTom promises the GO 1000 LIVE will be more reliable, faster and safer than ever before.
The GO 1000 LIVE certainly looks like a major innovation over the previous generation. The GO x50 series’ appearance still markedly resembled the x20 series and generations in between. But the GO 1000 is a flatter device with rounder-looking corners. It’s still a 4.3in widescreen sat-nav, and the version we were testing came with UK and Ireland maps.
The car mounting system has been completely overhauled, too. The mount used by the previous two generations was already easy to operate, as it contained the power connection so you didn’t need to attach this separately. The GO 1000 appears to take a step back, as power is on a separate cable again. However, both it and the mount itself are magnetic, in a similar fashion to current Apple MacBooks. So you leave the cable in place and the unit simply snaps into place and connects its own power when you bring it close enough into the mount.
This is a sleek system, and makes it quick to take the unit off the mount for easier use of the interface. As with most sat-navs, you may want to do this, since the new capacitive touchscreen can be a little fiddly to operate with just fingertips when the GO 1000 is in its mount.
This brings us to the other main design update over previous generations. The menu has been streamlined and simplified, and in our opinion, it’s about time too. If there was one thing that surprised us about TomTom sat-navs in the past, it was the flat, non-hierarchical nature of the menu system. Options were strewn across multiple screens in an almost random fashion, forcing you to scroll through pages to find what you were looking for, sometimes going full circle in the process.
Now, the main screen is just a single page with six options. These cover the most important categories, such as setting up a route from your current location, planning a route in advance, and accessing the LIVE services. Each one then drills down to successive menu levels, with a slider along the bottom telling you where you are when sub-menus have multiple pages. On a more minor level, the Done button now takes you right back to the map, rather than through the successive menu stages you traversed on the way to your current location.
Perhaps the biggest change with the GO 1000, however, is how it calculates its routes. The traditional system is to do this dynamically, trying out the options according to a pre-programmed algorithm until the fastest or shortest distance is found. Successive innovations provided options like avoiding motorways, and even routes providing the best petrol consumption. A number of companies, TomTom included, now take into account historic traffic data to provide the real average speed on roads, rather than the maximum possible or a percentage thereof. In TomTom’s case, this is called IQ Routes.
But all this data takes the processor in a sat-nav a significant time to mull over. Throw in live traffic updates as well and there’s even more delay in calculating your route. So the GO 1000 takes a different tack. It doesn’t calculate routes on the spot at all. Instead, it comes pre-programmed with every single route option between every point A to every point B on a country’s map. So, in theory, all it needs to do is look up your start and finish points in its database and the route will already be there. In theory, this should make route discovery nearly instantaneous whether you’re travelling 10 miles or 10 thousand.
In reality, we didn’t find the GO 1000 was quite that speedy, but it was noticeably quicker than other sat-navs we’ve tested at route discovery, taking just a few seconds where other models might take tens of seconds. Most impressively, it calculated a route from London to the centre of Edinburgh in less than 10 seconds. The quick calculation is even more noticeable when you leave the suggested route. Once the GO 1000 is sure you’ve veered off course, and it’s not just a GPS glitch, a new route is found very speedily indeed.
The rapid recalculation will be particularly handy when allied with TomTom’s HD Traffic system. The GO 1000 will be able to find alternative routes quickly as new traffic information is delivered. However, our test unit unfortunately was an early sample and didn’t have LIVE services enabled, so we haven’t been able to put this particular benefit to the test.
But the LIVE services haven’t changed significantly since their inception. They still consist of HD Traffic, Google Local Search, weather forecasts, fuel prices, and dynamically updated safety camera locations. The only difference is that the GO 1000 comes with a year of LIVE services out of the box, after which it’s £47.50 per annum, which is less than half that of previous generations. This pricing structure has also recently rolled out across TomTom’s existing LIVE range.
The GO 1000 has a more aesthetic map screen than previous TomToms, although the information it provides is essentially the same. There are icons along the left-hand side of the screen to take you directly to zoom functions, accessing a Bluetooth hands-free connection to your mobile phone, and LIVE services. The data strip along the bottom has now been divided into three sections, but tells you the same comprehensive range of facts about your journey, including current speed and prevailing limit, your next turning, plus ETA and time to destination.
The strip changes to a clear indication of the lane to be in at multi-carriageway junctions, and the full-screen graphic pops up at the most important motorway interchanges, although this has also been redesigned slightly for even greater clarity. The screen itself is clearer and brighter than previous GOs, making it easier to see in direct sunlight than before. There’s also an updated traffic view, which was already available in the TomTom iPhone app, although we weren’t able to test this due to the lack of LIVE services in our test unit.
As with its TomTom LIVE predecessors, the GO 1000 is not a cheap sat-nav and despite its abilities, if you’re only an occasional traveller it will be overkill. For those in this category, a more modest option would make better economic sense. But for those who make frequent journeys or just want the most advanced satellite navigation, the GO 1000 is the most capable device currently on the market. Yet again, TomTom has set the standard other satellite navigation devices will need to beat.
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