TomTom GO 740 Live Europe 32 £350

1st Feb 2009 | 10:00

High-priced, but feature-packed and one of the best sat-nav devices we've seen

TechRadar rating:

4 stars

A good sat-nav but those wanting this device for the extras should be aware of the additional costs attached

Like:

Full maps of Europe; Large screen

Dislike:

LIVE features cost more;

If you're seeking something more advanced than a basic sat nav device, and want a sat-nav with all the bells and whistles, the TomTom GO 740 Live (£349 inc. VAT) is well worth a look.

With full European mapping that covers 32 countries, it is one of the most fully featured navigation models we've seen to date.

The device itself is stylish and well made, featuring soft-touch plastics and curved edges. The cradle that attaches it to your car's windscreen is also compact, sturdy and easy to adjust.

The front of the unit is dominated by a large 4.3-inch touchscreen display with a decent resolution of 480 x 272 pixels. We found it bright and easy to see in all weather conditions. It's also used to control all sat-nav functions other than turning the device on.

On the menu

The menu is a model of simplicity, with large and intuitive buttons split into an easy-to-access grid. The onscreen keyboard is big enough for those with large fingers to enter text, and you'll be able to enter destinations by postcodes, address or simply by picking a town by name.

The most clever and useful features come as part of TomTom's optional LIVE service, which includes the latest fuel prices and cheapest garages, as well as speed camera alerts and weather updates. Unfortunately, you'll only be able to use the service for three months after buying the device; after that you'll have to pay a subscription of £8 per month.

LIVE also includes HD Traffic, a feature that offers real-time traffic updates, using the 740's built-in GPRS connectivity and SIM card. It gathers information on the state of traffic from thousands of other TomTom users, helping you to plot the best route as traffic conditions change. We found it worked really well, but while it's essential for professional drivers, it's difficult to justify for those who only venture out occasionally.

Easy to use

Even without the optional services, the GO 740 is a great device. The Tele Atlas maps couldn't be easier to follow, and a lane guidance system informs you where to be on the road when you approach slip-roads and roundabouts.

IQ Routes is a useful inclusion, choosing your route depending on the average speeds, taken at different times of day. Bluetooth is also provided, to use with your phone as a hands-free kit.

Overall, the Go 740 is a fantastic device packed with great features. It's just a shame that the LIVE services cost extra after just three months, rendering the best features useless unless you can afford a subscription.

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