I’ve been thinking about buying a new satnav ever since Dash cut away most of its employees and decided to, shall we say, hibernate. So, I've been mulling over my options and TomTom’s Go 740 Live had looked tempting — after all, it’s a GPRS-connected GPS with live data, just like the Dash Express.
Then I came across this review of the Go 740 Live on Gizmodo; they weren’t exactly raving about it:
The main screen is still a mess, mainly too much unnecessary clutter: Satellite signal strength? Minutes till turn and distance till turn and time at turn, plus time at destination? Traffic alert icons even when there are no traffic alerts? The road graphics still look horrible, and the refresh isn’t always fast enough to tell you where you are. […]
Youch. I enjoy a well-designed interface as much as the next guy (such as with OS X or my TiVo), but it sounds like TomTom is pretty much going in the opposite direction on this. Disappointingly, it appears that many of Gizmodo’s gripes fall across the TomTom line and don’t necessarily afflict this model in particular. I guess I’ll have to keep looking.
Update — May 13: Reading over GPSReview.net, I came across this rebuttal to that Gizmodo review, going over many of the items point-by-point. In fairness, I thought I should include the portion that addresses the bit that I excerpted above:
Minutes until turn? I don’t even see that as an option to turn on in the preferences. The same goes for “time at turn”. (Both of which don’t even exist.) If you don’t like the clutter, use the ‘Status Bar Preferences’ screen to turn things off you don’t use such as time to destination. […]
Well, that certainly paints a different picture. And, while I’d like to be able to say that this gives the TomTom Go 740 Live a clean slate, I’m still wary (irrationally so?) of a GPS unit that has sub-optimal interaction design by default (though, to be sure, an interaction design that is configurable toward better arrangements). In all, I don’t think I’ll cross this one off my list, but it’s decidedly not a slam-dunk for me.