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Garmin nüvi Essentials
As TomTom's top-end model range, the latest generation Go series features a swag of high-stylin' design cues. On the back there's a machined metal cover that feels particularly upmarket, while the front is dominated by a glossy capacitive 4.3-inch touchscreen — the Go 1050 and Go 1050 World are mechanically identical, but feature a larger 5-inch capacitive touchscreen.
At 19mm thick and with a body primarily constructed out of plastic, the latest Go range can't quite match the sheer sex appeal of the Nuvi 3790T. Although the AU$50 saving over the Nuvi 3760 does make up for this slightly.and
The new compact mount design sticks firmly to a car windscreen, but while a windshield mount is a windshield mount is a windshield mount, TomTom has added a neat twist — the Go 1000 is held firmly in place by the power of magnetic attraction. This allows the device to be easily snapped on and off the cradle for destination entry.
Another neat touch is power charging set-up: the unit's proprietary connector cable ends in an everyday USB plug that fits into a 12V in-car USB power adapter that can also be used for charging other items, like, say, one's phone or MP3 player.
By using a capacitive screen, the Go 1000 is a fair whack more responsive than its resisitive screen bretheren. It also allows users to swipe through lists and menus, as well as pinch to zoom in and out of maps. While the glossy screen has more showroom appeal than the usual matte screen, the downside is that during the day reflections can be distracting in the extreme. Often we weren't able to find a viewing angle that could eliminate them completely.
The overall structure of TomTom's easy-to-use menus and interface have been left largely alone, but the company has given the graphical package a bit of spit and polish to bring it visually into 2010. Underneath it all is a completely rewritten code base that from 2011 will support widgets.
Despite the presence of a voice recognition system, we found using the traditional on-screen keyboard to be far simpler. Completely hands-free operation isn't possible, because unlike the Garmin 3790T the Go 1000 isn't always listening out for a keyphrase, rather it requires you to reach over and press an on-screen button — assuming, of course, that you've configured (via Settings > Make your own menu) the voice command system to have a map screen shortcut button.
Activate voice recognition on the Nuvi 3790T and a list of relevant voice commands appears on screen. The TomTom, unfortunately, forces you to remember all its commands off by heart. Compounding matters, there's no voice command to bring up the repertoire of understood words. For that, use your fingers to hit Help > Product Manuals > What can I say?.
In our buzzbox, the TomTom's comprehension rate ran at about 50 per cent or lower, significantly below the 80 to 90 per cent success rate we had with the Garmin Nuvi 3790T. Topping it all off, the Go 1000's voice recognition system regularly stopped functioning, requiring us to get our big mitts out to prod the destination entry process into the next phase.