I’ll admit it, I’m a gadget guy. If it beeps, blinks, flashes, or performs some useful task that I may or may not use, I want it. When the boss-man and I began discussing our annual trek to Moab, which included a long road trip through the desolate southwestern deserts, we decided this would be the perfect time and place to test a navigation gadget. After seeing the TomTom in action during the Powersports Expo in Indianapolis earlier this year, we knew this would be the product to test. The TomTom “Go 700” model would be the model of our choice for its affordability, compact size and abundance of features.
With this pint-sized powerhouse now in hand and the instruction manual still safely nestled in its polymer cocoon, I decided to turn it on and get busy. TomTom obviously built this unit just for me – that guy who refuses to read any instructions – because as I started to click through its host of features, my head started to spin but I was saved by the “Guided Tour” button – the redeemer of the reading-challenged, the savior of the studyless.
This guided tour walked me through the features and functions of the TomTom GO 700, and within minutes I had my 11 hour trip from Tucson, AZ to Moab, UT fully planned, replete with way points, points of interest, bathroom breaks, gas station stops and a quick detour to see dinosaur tracks and the world’s largest collection of belly button lint. The GO 700 literally has millions of points of interest, and are listed based on the proximity to your current location – cool!
The Road Trip
With our project Jeep loaded on the trailer, our truck stuffed to the gills, and the TomTom GO 700 securely latched to the truck’s windshield with the suction-cup mount, I was on my way. The touch-screen worked very well, and paging through the various screens was quick and easily understood. I simply typed in “Moab, UT”, touched the “center of Town” button and the GO 700 created a route for me. TomTom chose the most efficient route to our final destination and routed us around heavy traffic areas and toll roads. Adding our stop to see that big ball of lint was easy enough too.
On the road and several hours into our trip, the TomTom GO 700 performed flawlessly, audibly reminding us well in advance of upcoming turns, which direction to head, and so forth. Being smack dab in the middle of, well, nowhere, we decided to throw TomTom a curve ball and we headed a different direction. Within a few seconds, TomTom recalculated my route based on where I was and quickly set me in the right direction.
The primary navigation screen can be displayed in a normal over head view (sky view) or in the moving 3-D mode (bird’s eye). While in motion, the bottom of the navigation screen displays the distance to destination, current time, countdown time to destination based on average speed, MPH, and distance to your next waypoint or intersection – very convenient. I spent 23 hours with the Tomtom GO 700 guiding me to and from Moab, and can honestly say I love it! The navigation is perfect, the voice-guided instructions are really helpful and the Bluetooth feature is great.
Of the heap of functions, my favorite has to be the built-in Bluetooth system which connects to nearly every major Bluetooth-enabled cell phone. Earlier this year, and lucky for me, we had a choice between a dental plan or a cool, new cell phone – I chose the latter as dental hygiene is vastly overrated. Linking my sporty new Bluetooth phone to the TomTom took less than a minute and I now had the option for the GO 700’s touch-screen dial pad. We could now outgoing calls without fumbling in our pockets for the phone while driving. It also features a caller ID function as well as a memory bank of outgoing calls, so if you need to keep calling Miss Cleo for your psychic readings, she is only 2 touches away on the screen.
I do have a few minor complaints about the GO 700 though, but certainly nothing overly severe. The built-in microphone for the hands free cell phone is OK at best. Listening on the built-in speaker to your incoming calls is crystal clear, but our boss threatened to confiscate our new cell phone and put us on the dental plan if we called back on it again. This problem can be corrected by purchasing the optional external microphone, which I’m assuming will correct the muddy sound. The other hindrance I had is that the screen is quite sensitive and a bit smaller than other nav units in the same category. Being that our 4-wheel drive, ¾ ton truck doesn’t have a luxury car ride, I found myself touching the wrong onscreen buttons and having to start over again more than once. Other than those two problems, the unit never had a glitch and always guided us exactly to our destination without failure. So, if you are looking for an easy to use GPS Navigation system loaded with features The Tomtom GO 700 should be at the very top of your list.
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