Bill Roth, Ulitzer Editor-at-Large

Bill Roth

Subscribe to Bill Roth: eMailAlertsEmail Alerts
Get Bill Roth via: homepageHomepage mobileMobile rssRSS facebookFacebook twitterTwitter linkedinLinkedIn

Related Topics: Ubuntu Linux Journal, SEO Journal, BlackBerry Breaking News

Blog Feed Post

Review of TomTom® GO 630 GPS Receiver

Radio Shack

Always find your way with the GO 630 by your side.

TomTom® GO 630 GPS Receiver

TomTom GO 630 Great!

BillRoth King Of Prussia, PA 4/2/2009



4 5

Pros: Compact, Large Screen, Easy To Set Up, Reliable Performance, Easy To Read, Easy Menus, Acquires Satellites Quickly

Cons: Short Battery Life

Best Uses: Urban Navigation, Faster Routes

Describe Yourself: Power User

How are you with directions: Bad w/Directions

I recently moved from San Jose, California, to a suburb of Philadelphia. As a result, I do not know where to find anything, and I get lost a lot. I had been using Google Maps on my phone, but holding the phone and driving caused too many near accidents.

So I bought a in-car GPS Navigator from RadioShack.com. I got a TomTom GO 630. I picked that one, since it has all the features I was looking for (and some I did not know I wanted) and it had good reviews.

The shipping experience was great, and it showed up in 2 days. They had a clearly defined return policy, which I am happy to say I did not have to use.

Now, I will admit to being a nerd, but I was attracted to the TomTom because of a couple of things. First of all, its a Linux device. It has its own version of Linux, which just amazes me. Second, it had a bunch of internet update features.

I should have tried one out first to see if the navigation was ok, but I got lucky. The GPS I have our family Hondy Odyssey is terrible. It makes mistakes, has roads that do not exist, etc. The TomTom maps are great, and what's more, you can edit them and share your edits with your friends and with TomTom.

Next is the voices.You can download a host of free voices, and you can actually record a voice as well. I downloaded the free Irish voices, and I recorded my own. I find it somehow comforting that I am giving myself directions. Raises my self confidence a bit. Its like multi-tasking without the work.

One feature I did not expect to like was the BlueTooth connectivity. It connected to my Blackberry Bold (with a small amount of effort, as the bold is not officially supported) and worked. The speakerphone is very good.

It also works with my phones data service so it can connect to deliver me weather info. You do have to signup for services, like live traffic and updated fuel prices.

It has a bunch of safety features which are good for a guy like me who will frequently get into trouble. These include turing the monitor off between directions, and making some of the buttons

It can also be a music player, and can control an iPod. I have not tried this yet, but my 13 year old daughter thinks its cool.

In some ways this is bad for the environment, because I find myself driving all over the Delaware Valley just to see how the GPS works. For instance, I looked up a pub in Horsham, PA, and drove there from King of Prussia. It got me right there. Only one problem: It was closed for remodelling, and the web site did not reflect this. Apparently they were making the pub into a Brazilian BBQ. A good idea, but I was just not in the mood. That said, it got me there with no problem, and even asked me if I wanted to avoid the toll-roads.

All in all, this is a great device.

Postscript: My wife recently bought a refurbed GO 720 from the Shack, and it also worked like a charm, though appeared to be somewhat faster.


Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bill Roth

Bill Roth is a Silicon Valley veteran with over 20 years in the industry. He has played numerous product marketing, product management and engineering roles at companies like BEA, Sun, Morgan Stanley, and EBay Enterprise. He was recently named one of the World's 30 Most Influential Cloud Bloggers.