TomTom GO 600

TomTom's premium GPS has an all-new and very clear interface that makes searching for locations a charm.


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You certainly can't miss the TomTom Go 600. With a 6-inch capacitive display, it stands out even on large vehicle dashboards. Indeed, we'd suggest that for many cars, 6 inches is perhaps a little too large and distracting, although TomTom has you covered there with the cheaper TomTom Go 500, a 5-inch variant with otherwise identical specifications.

Still, the GO 600 is a large chunk of GPS to carry around with you. It would still be unwise to leave it prominently on a car dashboard, despite the lowering costs of replacement GPS devices. The design features a rounded plastic chassis that magnetically snaps into the screen mount and power supply.

Unlike many GPS devices, the GO 600 doesn't use mini USB but instead micro USB, which means it should be possible to charge it from your mobile phone adaptor, unless you're an iPhone user.

TomTom's interface was one that the company hadn't really refreshed ever, so the very first time you power up the GO 600 it may be a little startling to simply see a map screen and very few other buttons. TomTom has implemented a new user interface that they describe as map-centric; anything that displays on-screen is meant to be secondary to displaying the location instead.

The display graphics themselves have also been freshened up. TomTom's older UI, which you'll still find on its smartphone GPS applications for some time to come, was functional but blocky. The new UI takes the same visual elements and essentially gives them a high-definition makeover, with crisp and clean road lines, names and directions on-screen. The UI still displays the core information you're likely to want as a driver — current speed, distance to destination, distance to next turn and so on — but at the sides of the main map display, which means you're never in doubt as to where you are.

Performance

We hit one minor problem when starting up the GO 600 and that's the power button. It's a small strip at the top right of the GPS screen, and it's rather indistinct when you're trying to tap it in a hurry. Previous TomTom units have had nicely contoured buttons, and we can't figure out why the GO 600 wasn't designed that way.

The map-centric approach of the GO 600 means that instead of the standard address entry or POI entry that's dominated GPS thinking historically, you get a single search bar that interprets as you type and presents options as you complete your typing. This worked very well indeed in our testing, once we got used to tapping on the ellipses to bring up the search options. Route calculation was quick, and recalculation, if we went off course, was exceptionally fast and generally quite intelligent to boot.

The GO 600 uses both GPS and GLONASS satellites to discern your location. In our tests, this meant that it very rarely had to wait to get a lock-on signal or suffered from signal loss save for some very built-up areas where GPS units often struggle. It doesn't have fancy landmark names in the way that Navman and to a lesser extent Garmin's GPS offerings manage, but the spoken voice for the GO 600 manages its own rare trick because it's capable (or at least was in our tests) of managing Australian street names with a minimum of vocal mangling.

TomTom uses Sensis for its maps data and, like every other manufacturer, promises "lifetime" maps updates for the GO 600. We've said it before and we'll say it again: there is no single "perfect" maps data supplier in Australia, and the GO 600 was no different; we found a few spots where it predicted incorrect turns or didn't know small local road rules quite accurately, but that's no different to any other GPS we've ever tested. It's still quite important to keep your eyes on the road and your brain out of neutral when using a GPS.

Conclusion

The GO 600 is a great GPS that works simply. TomTom's improvements to its UI at first appear to be mere window dressing, but with extended use, it quickly becomes apparent how clever they are. They're good for quick searching and choosing locations while getting out of the way in an unobtrusive manner, leaving you looking at the road ahead, which is where your eyes should be.

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jack939 Facebook
8
Rating
 

"Beautiful device, beautiful UI, but no practical advantage over the Go 500"

jack939 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:By far the best user interface design I've come across on a GPS unit

The Bad:Large screen with tiny fonts makes no sense at all, traffic requires phone tether

The simplicity and elegance of the user interface is to me, the main selling point of this device.

I think a (very) poor design decision was to make the text so small. I would have thought the main advantage of all this screen estate was to accommodate larger text. Or at least make it customisable so the user can choose.

The higher resolution of the Go 600 compared to the 500 is a nice touch, sure, but without that translating to significantly more legible text, I think taking the 600 over the 500 makes no sense.

In hindsight, I would have gotten the 500 instead of the 600, even if they were both the same price. The added awkwardness of the larger device is NOT significantly offset by greater screen legibility, as I had hoped. Indeed, I don't see how it is more legible than that of my very old 4.3" TomTom.

To conclude, the Go 600 is a great device, and if you're into beautiful large graphics and hi-resolution displays, go for it. But for me, I had hoped for increased legibility with a larger screen and it doesn't deliver on that.

 

GerryG posted a comment   

Just purchased GO600 Harvey Norman was advised automatically updated no mention the need to register..
Am I crazy when driving normally the indicator goes from Top of screen to Bottom I find this annoying as all previous went in opposite direction.
Gerry

PeterY1 Facebook
4
Rating
 

"Good looking unit, but maps sadly lacking in location detail"

PeterY1 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Big Screen; Fast Lock on signal;Tap screen to choose destination

The Bad:Missing Streets on maps; Incorrect speed limits;No Voice Command;No Hands Free Mobile Answering Ability

Just bought a TomTom GO600 a week ago. I found the Sensis Map lacking in street details when I tried to program the GPS to take me to the street that my friend lives in Port Macquarie. My friend who moved to Port Macquarie has lived in that street for over 3 years but that street was not even on the Sensis map. I ended up driving to Port Macquarie with the GPS turned off and rang my friend to escort me to his place as I could not find it on the TomTom. Not impressed!

I have to drive to Dubbo last weekend to attend a party hosted by a client of our company and was given an address to go to. I keyed the address into the TomTom GO600 and...yes, you guessed it...the darn thing could not find the street in Dubbo. It showed the same street name in various other locations in NSW..except Dubbo!! So much for the Sensis map! You will be better off buying a copy of a printed Gregorys map and locating where you need to go from it.




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User Reviews / Comments  TomTom GO 600

  • jack939

    jack939

    Rating8

    "The simplicity and elegance of the user interface is to me, the main selling point of this device.

    I think a (very) poor design decision was to make the text so small. I would have th..."

  • GerryG

    GerryG

    "Just purchased GO600 Harvey Norman was advised automatically updated no mention the need to register..
    Am I crazy when driving normally the indicator goes from Top of screen to Bottom I find ..."

  • PeterY1

    PeterY1

    Rating4

    "Just bought a TomTom GO600 a week ago. I found the Sensis Map lacking in street details when I tried to program the GPS to take me to the street that my friend lives in Port Macquarie. My friend wh..."

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