Gogo CM 310 review: Gogo CM 310

Roadshow Editors' Rating

5.8 Overall

The Good GPS Antennae doubles as a stand. Quick route recalculation. GPS "ears" double as signal indicators.

The Bad Touch screen is a touch insensitive. Poor screen mount. 3D maps omit street names.

The Bottom Line The Gogo CM 310 GPS system offers a nice range of features, but it's also plagued by some rather odd bugs, and doesn't compete particularly well in the low-cost GPS market.

Design
Right, before we start, we're going to let you get all the possible "GoGo" related puns out of your system first. Repeat these as many times as you need until they stop being funny:
"GoGoMobile"
"Wake me up before you GoGo"
"GoGo Gadget Arms!"
Are we all done? Good, we'll get on with the review proper.

The Tyco gogo CM 310 is a GPS system with a number of ancillary features. Unlike Windows Mobile enabled GPSes (such as the HP iPaq RX5300 or Mio P350) the gogo CM 310 uses a proprietary and startlingly orange touch screen interface. The3.5" LCD touch screen display is surrounded by four action buttons - screen on/off, menu, and zoom controls. The other startling aspect to the gogo CM 310's construction is that, on first glance, it appears to have ears. Nobody else has bothered to put ears on a GPS, so why did Tyco bother?

The answer is surprisingly clever; the "ears", which protrude out of each side of the GPS, are turn signal indicators. They're not big enough or bright enough for other drivers to see, but instead give you an additional level of navigational aid when driving at night. In direct sunlight, they're functionally invisible.
Aside from the gogo CM 310 unit itself, you'll also find an AC and car charger, along with headphones, a USB SD card reader and a soft carry case in the box. A 256MB SD card is supplied with the unit, and at the time of writing, Tyco was offering a free 1GB SD card to all registered gogo CM 310 users.

Features
Technical details on the gogo CM 310 are a little light on the ground, but we're unlikely to be going out on a limb to suggest that it may be running the same SiRFStar III chipset that every single other GPS on the market seems to . As the local Web Site (http://www.gogo-plus.com.au) is almost entirely devoid of actual technical detail - aside from mentioning that the mapping data comes via Sensis, in the same way that every other vendor does - it's just guesswork, however.

Aside from GPS functions, the gogo CM 310 also allows for playback of video, music and picture files, as well as acting as a world clock and simple calculator. Unlike a Windows Mobile device, these aren't applications that you can add to by uploading further applications; they're strictly embedded with not much hope of adding more.
The gogo CM310 also features something we've not seen on a GPS before - well, at least not one that's not running Windows mobile, anyway - it has an embedded videogame. Specifically, it's a computerized version of the classic Chinese game "Go". So clearly someone at Tyco has a sense of humour, although we would have scored them extra points in this regard if the CM310 actually said "Atari" at the right time.

Performance
As a portable media centre, the gogo CM 310 was passable but not particularly noteworthy. The touchscreen lacks sensitivity when using fingers, and the small stylus is inconveniently located at the top of the GPS. The very loud speakers do a decent job of in-car audio, but tend (as many small speakers do) to distort badly at the very top end of their volume range. Video was likewise watchable - just - as the gogo CM 310's display screen isn't particularly high resolution. It is theoretically possible to launch music and then go into the Destinator GPS application, but every time we did this, we found that the system would lock up after only a minute or two of playback. One nice aspect to the gogo CM 310's design is that the foldout GPS antennae doubles as a stand if you want the unit to sit on a desk and blare out music, video or pictures.

As a GPS the gogo CM 310 performed moderately well in our informal tests. GPS lock was achieved in around 1-2 minutes each time. We did grow tired of the voice repeatedly telling us that the GPS signal was low while waiting for a signal lock, but that was easily solved by turning the volume down. One thing that we couldn't solve as easily was the gogo CM 310's screen mount. It uses a set of retractable catches that lock in behind the fold-out antennae. That's fine in theory, but in practical application we found them hard to click on with any degree of security. The last thing you want when driving is for your GPS to fall into your lap, but that's a dilemma we faced all too often with the gogo CM 310.

It's also worth noting that the gogo CM 310 doesn't store any of its map data internally, so if you do switch to the 1GB card, you'll need to either omit GPS, or manually copy the mapping data across yourself.
Route recalculation was performed swiftly by the gogo CM 310, and it did an excellent job of tracking our exact on-road position. Our only caveat here is that the unit's 3D view omits all road name details instead. Switching to 2D solves this problem - but then you lose the predictive view of the 3D map.

Despite the fact that on paper the gogo CM 310 seems to have quite a wide feature set, it's ultimately let down by the fact that, GPS aside, it doesn't really perform any of its extra features particularly well. With an asking price of $599, it's worth considering. Bear in mind however, that the excellent and easy to use TomTom ONE can be had for $100 less, and the more PDA-centric Mio P350 also sits at that price point.

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