I got a TomTom GO 720 GPS for Christmas. After using it a few times, I love it, though it does have it’s quirks. It was the highest rated TomTom on CNet (both editors and readers), and since I trust them (though they seem to like Apple a little too much) I figured I’d ask for that one specifically. I decided on the TomTom since I couldn’t find anything about Magellan or Garmin products that said whether or not the maps could be updated. It seemed as if the pre-loaded maps were all you got. The TomTom can be updated through the TomTom community and perhaps even through updates from TomTom. The other thing I liked about it is that the price is a lot less than most others for the features it has. While I haven’t tried everything out (and I can’t try certain features out, like TomTom PLUS, which requires a wireless data plan that I don’t have), so far I really like it.
It sends you what it calculates as the fastest route, but you can easily make changes to routes if you want to avoid certain roads. It warns you about toll roads, HOV lanes, and unpaved roads (I have a little story about that one) when it calculates the route to give. It will also send feedback about the actual time certain sections of a route take versus the time they say it’ll take when you connect it to your computer. It’s very easy to use while on the road and very quick to re-calculate routes when you go off-course (well under a minute, within 10 seconds in most cases).
My little story about unpaved roads… I took it to find Mount Snow in West Dover, VT last week. The device asked if I wanted to avoid unpaved roads. Stupidly, I said no. My thinking was that some ski mountains have dirt roads to their parking lots and I didn’t want it to not get me there, not having been to Mount Snow before. It ended up taking us down this back road that turned into a dirt road and then told us to turn onto an even smaller back road with a sign that said “Road Closed for Season”. So we had to turn around and told it to avoid unpaved roads this time. We eventually got there following major roads and signs for the ski areas, but it still wanted us to take smaller back roads, which, in the snow, just weren’t appealing to us, so we stuck to major roads. For the most part, we follow it. It’s interesting to see how it takes us to various places we always go (like home). It’s not our usual routes, though those don’t take much longer, they’re just easier.
Anyway, unless it really starts screwing up on me, I have to say that I absolutely love it and am really glad with my choice for my first GPS. If you’re in the market for one, this is a good one. The hands free feature easily connected to my cell phone via Bluetooth.