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New TomTom Go 730T - UK & European GPS In-Car Sat Nav

Lane Guidance, Bluetooth Hands-Free, Speed Camera Warnings, Free Map Updates, Voice Control... What More Can TomTom Offer!

TomTom Go 730Imagine the scene... you're driving along North along the A33, approaching the big round-about that takes you onto the M4.

Your Sat Nav says "Take the 4th Exit Onto The M4" .

You look at the road. There's five lanes, but you can't see the markings because there's too much traffic, and you just missed the sign. Which lane should you be in?

The TomTom Go 730 then politely displays a picture of the road, clearly showing which lane you need to be in. Perfect.

Here's another scenario. You've bought your daughter a TomTom Go 730 to use while she's away at University because she doesn't know the area. One night, while driving back to her digs she breaks down in the middle of nowhere.

She phones the AA, and they say "Where are you?", but she doesn't have a clue.

Your daughter simply presses the "Where Am I?" icon on the TomTom, and it says "You're on the A34, 1 mile North of Salisbury". Excellent.

How about this one. You've got to get to Birmingham for an important meeting, but you're worried about the traffic, you can't be late. Not only does the TomTom work out which route is the fastest based on actual traffic history's average speed, the included TMC aerial picks up congestion news and guides you around snarl-ups and road works. Superb

It's easy to dismiss the yearly updates that all the major GPS Sat Nav manufacturers seem to go through - is it just an excuse to bring out new models and increase the prices? Not in this case. With this years TomTom Go Updates, including the Go 730, Tom Tom have introduced some excellent new features, some we've been asking for, others that are a pleasant surprise.

Let's start off with some basic info. The Go 730t comes pre-installed with both UK and European Street-Level maps - with full Post-Code look-up. You can find your destination easily, via Post-Code, Address, Lat / Long, Town, Favorites, Recent's, or you can search for Points of Interest, such as Petrol Stations, Supermarkets, Cash-Points, etc.

Don't worry about taking the wrong turn. Unlike earlier models, the Go 730 T speaks out road names - "Turn Left onto London Rd", but if you have to miss a turn the unit will automatically work out a new route to get you back on track, seamlessly. The addition of Advanced Lane Guidance (as described above) means than complicated round-abouts and junctions are now a breeze.

The Go 730t is supplied with a TMC traffic aerial - it can pick up the RDS data transmitted on the FM frequency that gives it the info to reroute you around traffic jams. Tomtom have also loaded the 730t with the average speed history of thousands of roads - so it knows that the M25 is slow between the M3 and M4 - so will guide you around that area if appropriate.

A comprehensive Speed Camera database pre-installed also makes sure that you'll be warned when approaching the Govts new moneymaking machines. Remember that if you want to keep this info updated you'll have to subscribe to the service at Tomtom - but its only £35 a year - compare that to what it would cost if you lost your license...

It's illegal to use your phone in the car - so TomTom have included Bluetooth Hands-Free Support for Mobile / Cell Phones - but check TomTom's Phone Compatibility list to see if your phone is supported, and which features it can use.

A nice feature is the ability to use your cars speakers for voice instructions and playing mp3 files. Simply select the FM Modulator option, set the frequency, tune your car radio in, then you've got your TomTom as loud as you want - great for convertibles or noisy Commercials and Diesels.

Need to put in a different address while driving? The TomTom Go 730t has speech recognition. That's right, you just have to say the name of where you want to go, and it'll take you there. I've been very impressed with this - OK it doesn't work great if there's lots of other noises in the car, but it can get it right most of the time.

One of the concerns that buyers have is over map accuracy, and those maps going out of date. I've got experience of using loads of GPS Sat Nav's, and its important to keep in mind that updating every road in Europe is a massive task, one which the mapping companies take very seriously, but it takes them a good few years to do. You will find errors in the maps, guaranteed. You will find roads that have been closed for years, or houses on the wrong sides, or new motorways that are missing. That's the nature of these devices. But TomTom have come up with a great way of addressing this short-coming - Mapshare.

With Mapshare you can not only alter the maps on your own TomTom to reflect local changes, you can upload those changes to TomTom's servers on the Internet, and share them with others - and also download changes that other people have made. How cool is that? This only works for a year after registration, then they encourage you to buy a new map DVD, but its a selling point that the other GPS manufacturers just haven't got.

There are dozens of extra features in the Go 730 that I haven't got the space here to review - check out TomToms web site for the full specification, but trust me, it is an amazing unit.

Faults? The screen could be brighter and it would have been nice to see multiple address route sorting, like on the new Garmins, but they're minor points really. If you want a GPS Sat Nav that can get you where you want to go fast, by avoiding traffic jams, and you need European Maps and Hands free Capability, the Go 730t could be the unit for you. Recommended!

Buy a TomTom Go 730T from Amazon.co.uk (free shipping)

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