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TomTom Go Live 1000 review

Verdict

TomTom moves the standalone satnav forward another stride, but you pay for that luxury

Review Date: 16 Nov 2010

Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray

Price when reviewed: £182 (£214 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
6 stars out of 6

Value for Money
3 stars out of 6

Performance
6 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

TomTom's satnavs have long been a favourite at PC Pro, but with hot competition from cheap apps on the iPhone and free satnav on other smartphone platforms, it's facing a difficult task to convince people to pay top dollar. The Go Live 1000 is its latest top-end offering, and as usual it's an evolution rather than a ground-up redesign.

Two aspects of the design of the 1000 immediately catch the eye, and the first is the new mount system. Initially, we were sceptical, but it turns out to be an improvement: a strong magnet, rather than a mechanical clip, now holds the main unit in the cradle and, in a nod to Apple's design engineers, the charging cable is also magnetic. If you're the type who chucks the whole lot in the glove box, it's a big improvement - just slap everything together and the magnets do the rest.

The Go Live 1000 boasts a slightly thinner design than before, but more significant is the inclusion of a capacitive multitouch display. It's been too long coming but it's here now, and it makes a big difference to usability. Pushing onscreen buttons is no longer an effort, and you can zoom into route or traffic overview screens with a pinch. The panel itself is brighter too, making it easier to read in sunny conditions, although the 4.3in size and 480 x 272 resolution remain unchanged.

TomTom Go Live 1000

TomTom follows up the redesign with an interface overhaul. On the main map screen, the dowdy blue Info Bar has finally been retired in favour of a translucent graphic strip, allowing you to see more map onscreen. The Lane Assistance instructions are as easy to follow as ever, as are the Next Turn icons and ETA graphics.

Behind the scenes, the Options screens have been reorganised to be more logical. A new 500MHz ARM processor and improved algorithms allegedly speed up route calculation. It's certainly quick, but if TomTom hadn't told us about the improvement, we probably wouldn't have noticed; route-finding and recalculation speeds were excellent before and they still are.

Elsewhere, the Go Live 1000 is as before, which means to say it's a great satnav. TomTom's IQ Routes feature uses analysis of user journeys going back over time to determine the quickest route, depending on the time and day of the week. You also get a year of TomTom's Live services, which use an embedded SIM card to provide Google Local search and live traffic information. The latter remains the most effective system we've used in any satnav. These Live services are cheaper than before too, costing £47.50 per year thereafter.

The touches that have always marked TomTom satnavs out as top quality are still in place: the speaker is loud and automatic volume adjustment ensures you can always hear instructions, no matter how loud the kids are. Plus, there's a wide variety of downloadable voices, as usual.

It's clear the Go Live 1000 is a very good product, and it replaces the 550/750 as our favourite standalone satnav. But the high price means it remains a device primarily for those who do a lot of driving as part of their work. For casual satnav duties, there are other, far more cost-effective ways of getting from A to B.

Author: Jonathan Bray

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User comments

Unfinished?

The reviews on Amazon are very worrying - could you please comment on them? And ideally get TomTom's official comment. Their customer service is non existent so I cannot afford to buy something which isn't 100% working.

By spacefrogjam on 16 Nov 2010

I would never buy tomtom again

The last A listed TomTom was an absolute nightmare to use, and when the maps updated the device didn’t have enough memory to hold the map! This meant having to ring TomTom (when they bothered to answer the phone) every time a new map came out to have them talk you through all the old files which could be deleted without losing too many of the features. The maps and extra services which other manufacturers give away also cost more than the unit itself over a couple of years. I think a review over a few hours can be misleading and some of the everyday products need to be long term tested before going on the A list. I would never but another TomTom device. After owning this product for 2 years it wouldn’t even make my D list!

By GlidemanUK on 16 Nov 2010

Battery life??

Does it last longer than ten minutes without power? That would be an advance on my GO530

By petercobrin on 16 Nov 2010

Video

I was reading a review of a TomTom yesterday and it was criticised for being very basic, and not even having an MP3 player. I chortled to myself, because I'd find an MP3 player in a satnav to be an encumbrance, not a benefit.

Then I thought, what about a video camera in a satnav? A satnav is in an ideal position to video your journey, just like the cameras in police cars. Surely it could film a typical journey without running out of memory?

I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of this, and there might even be one on the marketplace?

By revsorg on 18 Nov 2010

limonar

I went for the XXL with the 5 inch screen,i update and plan everything from my laptop, the latest updates always available,just plug in and use the Tom Tom interface no problems at all, we drive all over europe and up to now its never been wrong,as for the memory problem when you update Tom Tom supply you with smaller maps, that is to say they have split all europe up into smaller map areas but with much more detail, eastern or western europe etc, the download deletes the original big map and you download whats best for you, you can change your maps free of charge, i have western europe and 500+mb storage free, bought mine at Currys, 158 pounds sterling incl.

By limonar on 23 Nov 2010

is this really a review?

It saddens me that so many of these articles are basically just a re-written press release. Has this reviewer actually been out and about with this for days or weeks, let alone months? This is not exactly an incisive review, is it?

Hint: Number of comments about...

- personalised Points of Information - none!

- configurable screen colours - none!

- reflective screen - none!

etc...

By Space_1999 on 23 Jan 2011

what about a toptenlist like http://gpsbest.co.uk

By storm311 on 20 Jul 2011

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