TomTom's latest GPS navigator, the GO 600 comes with free lifetime map updates and lifetime TomTom Traffic service.
Set-up is straightforward. The GO 600 unit comes bundled with an Easy Click Mount, USB cable and a car charger with a USB port.
The device is an oblong slab with curvy sides and back. Its 6-inch (800 x 480 pixel) touchscreen display dominates the front. A thin power switch is sited at the top right. At the bottom is a connector port that is for docking with the Easy Click Mount.
On the mount is a suction cup and a docking point for the device. This is probably the easiest mounting for such devices that I have tried. Attach the cup to the windscreen, turn the knob to tighten, then attach the GO 600 to the dock.
Many navigating devices use mini-USB ports. Conveniently, the GO 600 uses a micro-USB port. So, you can use the same USB cable to charge your Android devices.
Link the USB cable from the car charger to the back of the Easy Click Mount and the GO 600 will power up. This takes 2sec or so. Turn off the ignition and the device shuts down automatically within 10sec.
In an open area, it was able to lock on to my location in less than 2sec. And the whole display shows the map of your location.
A small Menu button sits at the bottom left corner. Tap it to bring up more options. The first panel offers Search, Current Route, Voice Control, Report Speed Camera and My Places. Swipe right and you get My Routes, Parking, Petrol Station and Traffic & Speed Cameras.
TomTom Traffic is the device's biggest selling point. It is meant to provide real-time traffic information on such things as congestion points, alternative routes options and more accurate estimation of arrival time.
In order to activate TomTom Traffic, you will need an Internet connection. Use your Apple iPhone or Android smartphone's Wi-Fi hot spot with Bluetooth tethering and pair the device with the GO 600.
This is quite seamless. Once the devices are paired, some roads should show up in red, indicating traffic jams, but I have yet to see roadworks being thus reflected.
The touted Quick Search function works as advertised. Tap a few letters and you will get suggestions to save time on finding your destination. The big display allows easy typing.
Voice Control, however, allows only limited commands. Perhaps my car was too noisy or the device does not appreciate my Singapore accent.
When navigating, the maps show 3-D buildings and landmarks whose orientation will shift as you turn. A Route Bar on the right side of the screen shows upcoming jams and speed camera alerts.
While it needs an Internet connection for real-time traffic information, TomTom GO 600 is a fast GPS navigator with a responsive large touchscreen display that will guide you to where you want to go.
Value for money 3/5
This article was published on Sept 10 in Digital Life, The Straits Times.
Get a copy of Digital Life, The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.