A car mount is supplied that attaches via suction to the windscreen. If the ambient temperature is too low the mount tends to be reluctant to fix on, but once attached it will stay on firmly. However, after some weeks it did eventually fall off narrowly missing the gear stick. This could have caused irreparable damage to the screen so as a precaution I moved it over to the right hand side of the dashboard in the corner. This proved to be a better location as the mount received support from the dashboard and also made the GO easier to reach. This was important as the TomTom GO is touch screen operated. You touch the screen to enter routes and change preferences and it all proved nice and responsive. Unfortunately the screen does tend to pick up fingerprints fairly rapidly, but a cleaning cloth is included as a low-tech solution to this problem.
Once you’ve taken the GO out of the box the first thing you have to do is to choose the voice you wish it to hear instructions in. Most European languages are catered for, and you can choose between a male or female voice. I went for the default, the sultry sounding English lass, Jane.
To plot a route the TomTom GO needs to have a clear view of the sky to get a fix on at least four satellites. Generally the GO obtained a fix in around a minute, though sometimes it took as long as five. Where it might have trouble getting a fix is if you have a heated or coated windscreen. Performance also proved patchy in areas with tall buildings and narrow streets, such as when driving through Soho in central London. This was a shame as this was precisely where I could have really done with the assistance. To lessen the impact of this problem, TomTom offers an external aerial, available separately for around £50.
When the signal does drop out, the map turns grey but can continue to indicate your position. It does this by using Assisted Satellite Navigation (ASN), to guess your location based on your current speed and the direction traveled. As long as the interruption isn’t too prolonged, the GO smoothly resumes once the signal is regained. As the signal to the TomTom GO has to travel a long way from the satellites, the screen update tends to lag slightly behind your present location. This only proved a problem if I was taking an unfamiliar roundabout too fast, as I sometimes mistook the exit indicated due to the delay. Simply driving a little less hastily is the answer to this issue however.
In terms of map accuracy, TomTom proved excellent and after weeks of use, I felt very confident in relying on the GO. The only clear mistake it made during testing was an instruction to make a right turn when in fact the road merely veered to the right.
Plotting a route is simply a matter of touching the ‘Navigate to’ icon and then entering an address or choosing a previously setup favourite location. The first address screen invites you to enter a city, but you can also just enter a street name or a post code, though only up to the first five digits. However, this should normally be enough to pinpoint where you need to GO, especially if you can have a street number or know the nearest crossing. Additionally, you can perform an A-B plan of your route in advance, even indoors, enabling you to arrange your journey ahead of time.
A six digit post code search system would be preferable, but I suspect that it would mean paying for a full licence, which would push up the price. It would also take up much more space on the SD card and require additional processing power.