TomTom GO 750 GPS unit

TomTom's GO 750 GPS unit adds voice control to its list of features.

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TomTom GO 750
  • TomTom GO 750
  • TomTom GO 750
  • TomTom GO 750

Pros

  • Responsive touch screen, strong dock, voice control, excellent interface and map screen, advanced lane guidance, loud speaker, safety alerts

Cons

  • No Australian text-to-speech voice for street names, no traffic capabilities, voice control is hit and miss

Bottom Line

The TomTom GO 750 adds voice control to its collection of features. Although it's far from perfect, this is yet another excellent TomTom GPS. The lack of traffic capabilities is a little disappointing at this price, but users will appreciate TomTom's interface and the overall navigation experience.

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Touted by TomTom as the first GPS unit with voice control, the GO 750 also offers a slightly revamped interface and improved Bluetooth hands-free performance. However, traffic updates are a notable omission.

TomTom GPS units are known for their simplicity and the GO 750 is no exception, despite looking quite different to other models from the company. The key features remain the same — an interface that’s controlled entirely by a finger-operated touch screen and a button for power. A more curved shape, a silver border around the screen and metallic grey rear casing set the TomTom GO 750 apart from its predecessors. It has a more business-like feel than TomTom's entry-level models.

The TomTom GO 750 doesn't have the EasyPort mount used in cheaper models, but the "active dock" is just as convenient. The locking mechanism is strong, it's easy to clip off single-handedly and there is a built-in power connector via a standard mini-USB port. One limitation of the active dock's integrated power is the fact that you can't charge the GO 750 without it — this would have been handy if you wanted to charge your GPS in your house before setting off on your trip.

The look and feel of TomTom GO 750's user interface is similar to previous GO units. The changes seen in the TomTom Start — which has only two main icons (plan route and browse map) on the home screen — don't make an appearance. Instead, the main menu consists of three pages including 'Navigate to', 'Help me!' and preferences.

Searching for an address is a similar experience to the previous GO range, but with a twist — the TomTom GO 750 is one of the first GPS units to offer voice control. There are over 140 commands available; in addition to navigating to an address you can also avoid a roadblock, zoom in and out of the map, increase the volume, read traffic info aloud (if you purchase the optional TMC antenna) and add a location to your favourites. The voice command function is available by tapping the large microphone button on the home screen. Simply tap the button, say a command and the GO 750 will react. Like most voice recognition technology, it is far from perfect; it often struggled to understand our commands, and you need to speak relatively close to the built-in microphone on the unit.

In addition to an address, you can navigate to a recent destination, a point of interest (POI), a postcode, a crossing or intersection, a saved favourite, a point on the map or a city centre. For traditional address input you can choose between ABC, QWERTY and AZERTY keyboard layouts, and the large screen makes typing effortless.

Once you've selected a destination, the TomTom GO 750 displays the fastest route available using IQ Routes and allows you to alter it if necessary. Here you can avoid a roadblock, calculate an alternative route or travel via a waypoint. The IQ Routes technology used by TomTom is based on real-life user data rather than the traditional maximum speed method. It determines a route by considering all possible routes and then selecting the one that supposedly takes the least time, aiming to avoid main roads where necessary.

Like most other TomTom GPS units, the GO 750 still preferred to calculate routes using main roads rather than backstreets that are often slightly quicker. We also noticed route calculation is a little slower than other TomTom units — the GO 750 often takes up to eight seconds to recalculate a route, which can be troublesome if there are multiple turn-offs on the street you're driving on.

The TomTom GO 750 has text-to-speech technology, which means that it speaks the names of streets as you approach them. The unit tends to struggle with longer street names and can only speak them using its UK and US voices (there is an Australian voice but this doesn't announce street names). The voice is loud and clear and the GO 750's speaker is one of the loudest we've heard on a GPS unit — at full volume it even overpowered our car radio, which was set at half volume.

The TomTom GO 750 is a premium model so it’s a surprise that it lacks traffic notifications. TomTom plans to release a TMC antenna in early 2010 to enable traffic, but this will be sold as an optional accessory and not bundled with the unit.

Advanced lane guidance and Bluetooth hands-free technology are both included, as are fixed speed and red light camera alerts, school zone warnings and an over-speed alert. Lane guidance is very useful on freeways and motorways — an icon on the map screen highlights which lane you should be in, depending on your destination. At busy highway junctions this is enhanced by arrows indicating the lane direction combined with a static image of road signs. The signs are the same colour as the ones displayed on the road, in order to minimise confusion. The Bluetooth hands-free function has improved compared to previous models, with a louder speaker and better range for the microphone. You'll still get better sound quality from a dedicated Bluetooth speakerphone, however.

Like the rest of the TomTom range, the GO 750 includes TomTom's Map Share and the 'Help Me!' safety portal. In addition to corrections and improvements to the maps being uploaded every month by other TomTom users, Map Share allows you to make adjustments to maps through the unit itself. Users can add their own POIs, update road changes, edit phone numbers and add new streets. You can then share this information with other TomTom users, uploading the changes via the included TomTom HOME software. The Help Me! safety function displays information and allows you to navigate (either by car or on foot) to a multitude of services including police stations, hospitals, mechanics, public transport and pharmacies. It also has first aid, traffic regulation, and repair and maintenance guides.

Battery life is rated at up to three hours. TomTom disappointingly doesn't include an AC charger in the sales package, so you'll have to charge the GO 750 via the included USB cable or cigarette lighter adapter.

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