GPS provider Tomtom’s local range began with two entry level models in 2007, but the latest addition — the Go 730 — brings the total to six, with the mid-range and high-end now covered.
The Go 730 is a spruced up version of its predecessor, the Go 720, and sits below the premium Go 930.
Prices for Tomtom’s lineup range from $399 to $999.
At $649, the Go 730 has two main selling points over the 720 – IQ Routes and a slimmed down windscreen mount.
IQ Routes is enabled in the Planning Preferences menu, and is designed to tell you the fastest way to your destination based on average speed data Tomtom has collected from users traversing the nation’s roads at different times of the day.
Users feed this information to Tomtom through its Home desktop software.
The Go 730 generally passed the test by not recommending roads that typically get clogged in Auckland at peak hour, although one major motorway feeder which does couldn’t seem to be avoided.
The unit will also ask if you need to reach your destination at a particular time. This is especially useful for time-constrained trips to places such as the airport.
The new mount, first introduced on the refreshed entry level One and One XL units, makes a real difference. The fixed stalk on the end of the suction cup is gone, with a new slot that can be folded flat and swivelled for better positioning once attached to the windscreen. The new design means the 730 can be more easily put in your pocket or handbag without removing the mount.
There are some features Tomtom and/or mapping partner Geosmart have yet to introduce on the Go 730 here, such as live traffic and weather information, lane guidance and voice input for destinations.
You also won’t get the range of country maps on this model that are loaded on the 930 (which has 45 country maps in total).
The 730’s looks are closer to the 930 than the 720 – with the 4.3 inch widescreen now surrounded by a black bezel rather than silver. It retains a black rubber casing across the back and silver metal highlights.
Specifications haven’t changed either with the same 400MHz processor, 64MB of RAM, a high-sensitivity receiver and SD/MMC card slot.
The 730 weighs 220 grams (quite a bit heavier than Tomtom’s entry level units) and its lithium polymer battery is rated for five hours’ continuous use.
Multimedia features are also unchanged from the Go 720, with an FM transmitter, iPod connectivity via an additional cable, bluetooth to pair the device with your phone for handsfree functionality and content sharing, along with a photo and document viewer.
The interface is identical to previous Tomtom models, therefore this unit is just as intuitive to use.
As usual, the Home software allows users to customise the device with extra voices and wallpapers, and to download the latest New Zealand map updates.
The Go 730, like the 720 and 930, comes with a desktop cradle with a USB connection to charge the unit via your computer and to download extras.
Tomtom lists the Go 720 and Go 730 at the same $649 price, even though some retailers are offering the 720 at about $100 cheaper now it has been in the market for about a year. If you’re using the Go 730 on trips to destinations where you’re less familiar with where the traffic jams occur, the IQ Routes functionality will be useful, and the more portable mount is worth having. Otherwise, the Go 720 is just as capable.