TomTom GO 740 Live Review

The GO 740 Live is the first TomTom with built-in internet capabilities.  The unit boasts a number of Live Services, such as Weather, TomTom Traffic, Fuel Price and Local Search powered by the Google search engine.  These services are certainly useful, but at an additional $10 per month for each one, this unit might be a hard sale for some users.  Let’s see if the GO 740 Live lives up to expectations.

Look and Feel

TomTom hardware consistently ranks among the best in terms of elegance and portability, and it should be no surprise that the 740 Live is good looking unit.  Unlike the larger, clunky Dash Express GPS device, which also offered built-in internet connectivity, the GO 740 has an internal GPRS cellular modem that adds on virtually no additional size or weight.  The unit measures just under 1-inch thick, featuring a 4.3-inch WQVGA color touchscreen display framed by an appealing curved black frame that rests comfortably right in the palm of your hand.  From a physical aspect, the GO 740 looks similar to other TomTom GPS receivers, which is definitely a benefit.

Key Features and Functionality

What truly distinguishes the GO 740 Live from other TomTom units is the addition of Live Services.  Its built-in GPRS receiver allows you to automatically download traffic information and weather locate nearby TomTom Buddies and search for many places using the powerfully accurate Google search engine.  Thanks to internal wireless connectivity, traffic information can be obtained within a matter of seconds of powering on the unit.  When heading to your destination, if the GO 740 Live gets a traffic alert that will possibly delay the planned route, the device can automatically calculate a new route and avoid that problematic area.  Another perk of the GO 740 Live is the ability to view information on local fuel prices, ultimately allowing you to find the cheapest gas in your area.

Perhaps the greatest Live Service feature is TomTom Local Search.  Having the power to perform searches with Google directly from your GPS device essentially gives you access to a POI database that is virtually unlimited.  With Local Search, you can search for businesses by name, or even use generic terms such as “Grocery Store” or “Mexican Food.”  The integration of GPS technology and Google delivers tremendous potential, but the GO 740 Live isn’t perfect.  For example, searches can be slow at times, even in areas where the cellular reception is particularly strong.  Additionally, Google doesn’t offer help for misspelled or mistyped keywords like it does on the full version on the internet.

Conclusion

The TomTom GO 740 Live offers more configurable options and features than most GPS devices, but unfortunately, it does so at the expense of simplicity.  The interface presents a seemingly endless maze of menu options which can be somewhat overwhelming to the beginner.  If ease of use is what you need, the GO 740 may not be the best option.  However, if you’re familiar with TomToms or don’t mind reading the instructional manual from start to finish, you can become familiar with the unit and enjoy all it has to offer in a relatively short amount of time.

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