If you’ve been eying the new breed of connected personal navigation devices, but have been wary of buying from such a small vendors as Dash or TeleNav, GPS leader TomTom has finally broken into the U.S. market. The company debuted its GO 740 at this year’s CES, and judging by first impressions, it’s a beauty.
Like all devices in its class, the 740 uses an integrated GPRS modem to both push and pull data from the Internet. It can download information like restaurant ratings and fuel prices, and upload updates on traffic information to help TomTom build a cloud of up-to-date traffic data. Other neat tricks include TomTom buddies, which allows users of the device to link together and keep tabs on one another, weather updates, and QuickFixGPS, which uses the location of cell towers to help the GPS chip lock on to satellites faster.
From the look of it, TomTom has kept the rest of its clean and utilitarian interface intact on the software side, and as far as hardware goes, it’s a good looking device, too. The company kept dimensions slim by planting some electrical components in the active (powered) mount, and that all-in-important piece has also been revised with a ring around the suction cup that twists to lock it. TomTom reps claimed their testers had left the mount up for months in their own cars without it losing grip.
TomTom will drop the GO 740 in March for $500. Like all connected devices, you’ll have to pay a subscription fee to keep it active, but TomTom will include a year’s worth of connectivity with the purchase of the device. Though it hasn’t committed to a price per month after that, reps said that $9.95 was the most likely price point.