TomTom are a company who constantly raise the bar when they release a new satellite navigation system. Their brand is universally associated with GPS and sat nav and most people who want a new GPS system ask for TomTom. Their reputation is built on quality products, and with the GO 940 Live they hope once more to perpetuate their dominance as well as innovating and advancing the march of sat nav systems.
The GO 940 Live represents the high end of TomTom’s sat nav product range so we’re expecting spot on satellite navigation as well as the kinds of extras which will prove useful beyond basic path finding. The first thing to say about the GO 940 Live is that it’s a very pretty piece of kit in what can be an otherwise bland and uninspired market. It feels robust and well made and the 4.3 inch touch sensitive screen is bright enough for use in all light conditions without resulting in eye strain. The design is kept clutter free partly thanks to the touch screen but also to subtle placement of the power and reset button as well as the other gubbins like the speaker and the light detector, both of which hide at the side and back of the GO 940 Live, out of sight and mind. So overall the design of the GO 940 Live is one of its strong points and it will fit well into any modern car interior without overwhelming you with flashy colours or chrome.
Within the GO 940 Live lurks some interesting hardware that will help you find your way and much, much more. The 4GB of internal flash memory stores mapping for most European countries as well as the USA, Canada and Guam, and this exhaustive coverage should provide the latest road layouts of most of the civilised world, proving more than enough for most purposes. There’s even a MicroSD memory card slot into which you can add additional maps and other software as and when you need to, making the longevity and the expandability of the GO 940 Live’s capabilities a real selling point.
The range of GO products from TomTom has, as I’ve already said, been a seal for innovation, and the 940 introduces the LIVE services to the world. Basically there’s a SIM card installed in the GO 940 Live which uses Vodafone’s mobile telecommunications networks to stay constantly connected and offer a variety of services on the fly, downloadable by GPRS. This gives you access to a variety of applications like real time updates on safety camera locations, google search capabilities, access to petrol prices in your region so that you can get the best deal, and of course traffic information to keep journeys as smooth as possible. The GO 940 Live is a product designed for people who drive a lot as part of their work, and on top of the cost of the unit you’ll have to pay additional monthly charges for the LIVE service. If this is something you’ll seriously need to make the GO 940 Live worthwhile then great, but for those who don’t want a monthly commitment you’ll be glad to hear that this is an optional service and the GO 940 Live will still operate for satellite navigation without LIVE support.
Let’s get down to the meat of the GO 940 Live’s functionality, it’s navigation capabilities. We’ve already looked at the extensive mapping that’s included, but does it do the basic job it sets out to? Well thanks to the NavCore 8.2 software installed the interface for finding your way is attractive and functional, but the piece of software that will most interest frustrated drivers is TomTom’s IQ routes technology which has been a key feature of previous models. Rather than divining routes for you based on the speed limits and shortest distances between two points, the IQ software will make its calculations based on a number of factors like the time of day and the actual average speed for the roads which you’ll be using. This means that the GO 940 Live will intelligently guide you to your destination, avoiding trouble spots during the rush hour and thinking ahead for the smoothest route possible. From a critical point of view the IQ routes software, though useful, does slow down the overall time it takes for the GO 940 Live to calculate routes compared to previous TomTom sat nav systems, and whilst instant calculations aren’t everything they will certainly be important for people who often have to change their travel plans on the fly and won’t want the GO 940 Live lagging to catch up with them as they drive.
To sum up, the GO 940 Live is a great sat nav system with some powerful software, and with Bluetooth built in it can even double as a hands free speaker for your phone or an mp3 player. Though it’s not perfect and to get the best from it you’ll need to pay monthly, it’s easy to recommend the GO 940 Live to regular drivers