We knew it was only a matter of time before the connected TomTom landed on these shores, having seen the HD Traffic earlier in the year. Finally the latest generation of TomTom devices has arrived, only about six months after the last iteration. But can the new 740 Live offer anything new to drivers?
That Live tag makes all the difference. The idea here is to give you near real time information on the traffic situation as you drive on your route. Okay, TMC has been in satnav devices for some time, often as an upgrade to a TomTom or through competitor devices, by adding the TMC antennae and paying a one-off price, usually around £40.
But there is a slight catch here, which is that after you pay out the not unsubstantial initial fee for the device itself, you’ll then have to pay £7.99 a month for the traffic service.
The device itself takes the normal form you’d expect from TomTom, a solidly built and quality looking 4.3-inch widescreen device, free from buttons, save for the power on/off on the top.
There is a speaker on the back, which gives you plenty of volume, as well as a mic on the front, so you can connect via Bluetooth and use this as your handsfree device, linked to your mobile phone, with advanced options like reading out messages and so on.
But besides normal navigation options you also get IQ Routes, which is TomTom’s way of selecting the best route harvested from real world data. It doesn’t just give you the shortest geographical route, or the fastest road types; it takes into account other factors, as would a local driver. A great way to test IQ Routes is to drive around areas you know very well, and you’ll find that TomTom takes you on back streets to miss often-congested areas or traffic lights – just as you normally would.
But although the TomTom GO 740 LIVE is expensive, there is no doubt you are paying for a premium product. The performance is exceptional, the best navigation and seamless integration of traffic around.