Another 1000 km with the TomTom GO 720T

by Volker Weber

tomtom 720

Last week I was able to clock another 1000 km on the TomTom 720T. Here is the good, the bad and the ugly:

The good: The device gets a fix in seconds after you switch it back on. It's very easy to set your destination, routing and re-routing is very quick. Driving instructions are timely and clear.

The bad: TMCpro was useless. The device warned me of a monster traffic jam with expected delays of seven hours. It was unable to select the "normal" route once it had the traffic data, even after removing the receiver. I switched if off, followed my usual route and the traffic jam had completely cleared when we got there. Actually, the road was almost deserted, most likely because other cars were routed elsewhere. On the way back the device also insisted on leaving the Autobahn at some point to take a side road only to re-enter the Autobahn some 20 km later; and that was without the TMCpro receiver. I also ignored this suggestion.

The ugly: Before going on this trip, I had updated my map and the device software. Then I decided to do the same for my neighbor, who has a TomTom ONE. The Mac software asked me whether I wanted to switch the device and then did not let me switch back to my TomTom GO, explaining that I can only do this once every six months. TomTom promised to resolve the matter, but they were unable to do so within one week. Simple solution: create another account. I now have three different accounts and I intend to create many more if I run into any of those DRM issues again.

Comments

Thank you for your information. Does the attachment stay on the window? I have the problem (TomTom One Europe) that the device falls of after about 2 hours driving.

Alper Iseri, 2008-02-17

The screen mount works very well. Best I have seen so far.

Volker Weber, 2008-02-17

I've also found that the mount falls off after a few hours driving and the maps are out of date in Ireland. Dublin and the east coast are mapped reasonably well but the rest of the country is moderate to poorly mapped. I mainly use it for it's juke box and fm capabilities.

Gary Cousins, 2008-02-18

TMC was a harsh disappointment for me to. "Pro" or "normal" do not seem to make a big difference (just in price), and the works/gets in your way ratio is... unsatisfactory. Chances are good that your monster 7 hour delay never really existed.

I owned a TomTom 520 but returned it, for this and other reasons. Completely deserted road works were classified as three hour jam, classification did not change within 24 hours. The "leave the Autobahn for 20 km" was on this device's agenda, too.

If I am to let a piece of technology do time-saving for me, it better saves me time - routing me through the countryside to avoid non-existent traffic jams does the opposite. Following TMC suggestions blindly could make you believe the whole thing works, though. ;-)

Martin Böhm, 2008-02-18

Martin, the traffic jam existed. We could see the aftermath of the accident that caused the traffic jam. However, I was unable to tell the TomTom to ignore the traffic data. There is no "do as I tell".

Volker Weber, 2008-02-18

I don't say they are making stuff up. Okay, TMCpro does in a way. ;-) During my testing nevertheless, scale was never quite accurate and proposed delay was always way off the mark. (I am not sure if the device calculates delay or if that is part of the message.) Updates came in so sluggishly that I felt listening to the radio would provide me with more accurate information. It's just... TMC is in it's 11th year in Germany, and still you cannot rely on it.

Martin Böhm, 2008-02-18

Interesting feedback.

TMC works extremely well in the UK, I have it built into my Lexus GPS navigation and I every time I have ignored it's redirect, I was wrong!

I'm current testing the new Nokia Maps 2.0 application beta ( Link ) on my E90 handset.

Using both Nokia and Lexus guidance concurrently on a journey gives very interesting results, but neither are perfect with turn-by-turn instructions.

Nokia Maps 2.0 is a big change from the previous application and traffic alert functions are now included, although users are advised not to test them without an unlimited data plan at this time as it's not been optimised for data traffic.

The new "walk" feature is of most interest to me as it gives directions for pedestrians.

Ben Rose, 2008-02-18

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