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TomTom GO 740 Live review:

TomTom GO 740 Live

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Text-to-speech, Bluetooth hands-free calling, and voice command round out the GO 740 Live's impressive collection of technologies.

From a cold start, the unit boots in about 4 seconds and achieves a satellite lock in about 49 seconds in a moderately dense urban area.

Like the other TomTom units we've recently tested, routing can be a bit sluggish, particularly if the vehicle is moving past streets while the calculation is taking place. However, when you consider that traffic, map-share data, and IQ Routes processing are all happening at once, we're willing to deal with the extra second or two it takes to choose a route because it potentially saves us an extra minute or so.

Once the route is locked in, the GO 740 Live handles subsequent recalculations surprisingly quickly. We like that the TomTom actually recalculates the route rather than simply attempting to get you back to the preselected one.

We were amazed at how the simple addition of a wireless data connection creates a quantum leap in the GO's level of functionality and utility. Traffic data is visualized as color overlaid on the map, while live fuel prices are called up at the touch of a button.

Google search is something that you'll want to do from a stopped vehicle, as entering search strings can require more attention than should be surrendered while driving.

In sum
The GO 740 Live's primary competition is going to be our previous Editors' Choice winner, the Garmin Nuvi 880. Both units feature live, connected, data services for traffic and points-of-interest search. While the Garmin's interface is slightly more polished and easy to navigate, the GO 740 Live's superior connected services give the TomTom user a bit more information about what's happening on the road.

However, TomTom's menu structure continues to leave something to be desired. While the icons are bright and easily read, they're oddly organized. For example, canceling a route requires five button presses from the map screen, assuming that you already know where to find it. On a Garmin, that same action requires two presses. Additionally, the TomTom kicks you back to the map screen when you attempt to back up through the menu structure, which makes learning the menu's organization difficult because you're always starting over.

Both units have equally useful and responsive voice controls, but the Garmin comes packaged with a steering-wheel remote, which is either a huge convenience or yet another part to lose, depending on how you look at it.

Overall, we were more than satisfied with the TomTom's performance and found it to be slightly superior to the Garmin 880, which is why we're picking the TomTom GO 740 as our Editors' Choice.

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