The TomTom GO 5000 provides turn-by-turn directions, road signage information and intersections across seven million kilometres of road infrastructure. As someone with a smartphone boasting navigation capabilities, my first impression when I got the TomTom GO 5000 personal navigation device (PND) was 'why would I need this gadget after all?' However, after hitting the road with device, I had second thoughts. Most will argue that in the smartphone era, PNDs are a thing of the past, just like the digital cameras, which are facing the same fate. This is mainly because there are now countless apps that can be downloaded, some even free, on smartphones and tablets, which serve the almost the same purpose. Satellite navigation has become a real necessity in the fast-paced world we are living in. No one wants to waste their time getting lost or even stuck in traffic congestion. TomTom's recent traffic data for SA shows that traffic congestion on secondary roads is worse than main roads, and commuters are spending an unbelievable average of 10 working days a year stuck in traffic. This is creating a new set of challenges for local authorities looking for solutions to the increasing traffic problem. Look and feel The TomTom GO 5000 is a five-inch (13-centimetre) PND. The device's touchscreen technology gives users the optimum view with the easiest control to make operating the device a pleasure. The screen is also quite responsive, something I found useful in instances where I needed to make some quick adjustments while on the road. The TomTom Go 5000's screen sports just 480 by 272 pixels and is so responsive you can just pinch it with the slightest of touches to zoom either in or out. The back part is made of plastic, something I felt was rather cheap but after dropping it several times while driving, this design made sense. It also comes with a holder with a suction cup base which firmly anchors it to a dashboard or windscreen. With this stand, you can easily turn it around to your preferred angle to view. Usability The TomTom GO 5000 provides turn-by-turn directions, road signage information and intersections across seven million kilometres of road infrastructure. The PND also includes Lifetime TomTom Traffic, which utilises TomTom's traffic information to pinpoint exactly where delays start and end, helping drivers reach their destinations faster. For example, it tips you off way in advance the exact spot where you will encounter traffic congestion and the amount of time you will spend in that congestion. It is also intelligent enough to suggest an alternative route to avoid such delays. Pros: Captive touchscreen, many featuresCons: PriceyScreen size: 5-inchesResolution: 480 x 272 pixelsPrice: R3 999Rating: 9/10In addition, the device offers easy access to the travel information drivers need via the high-resolution, capacitive touch screen. An interactive map responds and scales to touch, so drivers can simply zoom in and out to find places on the map with their fingertips, or tap on the map to get an instant route to a destination. Map updates are incorporated via TomTom's MapShare service, which enables users to report road changes directly to TomTom, of which over 3 000 are reported every month, according to the company. In addition, the TomTom map carries both old and new street names, for roads that have changed over time, making it easier for people to locate their exact destination by name. For a place like Pretoria, which recently had a whole lot of street name changes, this becomes quite useful, as the device allows the driver to look up any address using either the old or new street name. Features TomTom's live traffic technology enables users to bypass traffic, even on small secondary roads, with live traffic information being fed back to their device every few minutes. TomTom Lifetime Traffic Services is offered for the lifetime of the device. Buildings and landmarks are brought to life in 3D, so drivers know exactly where they are. Essential traffic and travel information at a glance, the Route Bar shows precise traffic and speed camera information on the road ahead. In essence, it also warns the driver if there are any speed camera ahead. For South African users, this means you won't necessarily need to follow "Pig Spotter" on Twitter to know about such. Drivers can drive in a more relaxed way, as these timely warnings increase drivers' awareness of local speed limits and help to save money on speeding fines.
With TomTom GO 5000, drivers can see their favourite locations on the map and personalise their map with My Places. With Quick Search, drivers can find their destination faster with intuitive search results. Quick Search starts finding destinations as soon as the driver starts typing. Drivers can see their favourite locations on the map and personalise their map with My Places. This makes it easier to find and navigate to favourite locations again and again. Conclusion TomTom GO 5000 will set you back R3 999 and it comes with a built-in live SIM card that allows the device to link to the TomTom Live Traffic Services. The GO400 and GO500 have the ability to do this too, but only through pairing the devices to a 3G-enabled smartphone for their Internet connection. That said, cost, to me, seems to be the only notable con for this device since there is now a plethora of devices that do almost the same thing. But for those who need to drive in a more relaxed way, TomTom GO 5000 is the way to go.