TomTom pushed the envelope of GPS innovation with its ultraportable and easy-to-use TomTom GO, and it continues the tradition with its TomTom GO 910. The GO 910 is the world's first device to offer maps of the United States, Canada, and Europe preinstalled on its hard drive. In addition, it's loaded with the latest features, such as text-to-speech capability, Bluetooth integration, traffic services, and even iPod compatibility. We found it to be an accurate navigator, but the points-of-interest database is a bit outdated, and the windshield mount leaves much to be desired. Also, if you don't travel to Europe much, there's no reason to fork over the $799 for it; instead, we'd recommend you take a look at the TomTom GO 510, while the GO 910 is best for gadget hounds and world travelers who want the latest and greatest in portable nav systems.
In keeping with the rest of the company's line of GPS units, the TomTom GO 910 features a nice, compact form factor (4.2 by 3.1 by 2.5 inches; 12 ounces) that's easily transportable from car to car. The GO 910 also keeps things simple, with minimal controls. Aside from an indicator LED, a light sensor, a microphone, and a vehicle-mount release key, the only other control is a power button on top of the device. The rest of the system's functions are entered via the GO 910's responsive touch screen. And talk about a beauty--this screen is sharp and colorful.
TomTom gets a leg up on the competition by incorporating a larger 4-inch LCD on the GO 910, while the rest offer only 3.5-inch screens. It displays 64,000 colors at a resolution of 480x272 pixels, and there are a number of screen-customization options at your disposal. You can change the map colors, switch between day and night mode, and adjust the brightness. Unfortunately, the GO 910's screen suffers the same fate as the TomTom GO 300 in that it's difficult to read in sunlight.
The TomTom GO 910 is ready to use right out of the box, and its interface is intuitive. We had no problem navigating the menus, but we will say that all the choices can be a bit overwhelming. This is understandable, considering the number of features that are packed into the GO 910, and thankfully, there is a setting in the Preferences menu to show fewer menu options.
TomTom is extragenerous with the included accessories. You get a remote control; a carrying case; a home dock that you can use with a PC or Mac; a USB cable; an AC adapter; a car charger; a windshield mount; an external microphone for optimizing your voice for hands-free calls; audio cables for connecting the GO to your car stereo; and reference material. The windshield mount was a disappointment. While it was easy to install, we had trouble keeping the mount's arm in place; it's as if it couldn't support the weight of the device. The apparatus is equipped, however, with ports for audio-out, an external antenna, a microphone, and a charger.
As we mentioned earlier, the TomTom GO 910 is the first portable in-car GPS to offer detailed maps of Europe and North America preinstalled on its 20GB hard drive. It's perfect for those who frequently travel overseas; just throw it in your suitcase, install it in your rental car, and go. The GO 910 offers all your basic navigation features and more. You get text- and voice-guided turn-by-turn directions, and you can choose to receive those voice prompts in one of 36 languages and 50 different voices, making this a truly international device. The unit also supports the latest text-to-speech functionality, which means it will say the actual name of the street instead of a generic direction, such as "Turn left in 100 feet." This is a nice feature, since it lets you keep your eye on the road instead of having to check the system's screen for street names. We should note, however, that the text-to-speech capability is available only if you use one of the computer voices and not a recorded human voice; a screen prompt will alert you to this restriction if you're trying to use a recorded human voice.