A few years ago the future of the Sat Nav industry was in doubt and many people were questioning whether there was still a need for such devices. Today many car makers offer models with built-in navigation systems and the smartphone explosion means that almost everyone now has Sat Nav capability in their pocket. Market leaders Tom Tom have responded with continuing improvements and the Tom Tom GO 5100 premium model bears testimony to the fact that there is always room at the top.
This model is the direct replacement to the highly capable 5000 and is identical in appearance. The improvements are subtle but worthwhile. The 5 inch screen has a 480 x 272 pixel resolution and is in a 16:1 widescreen format. The “Click and Go” magnetic mount means that the device can quickly and easily be removed for security. It is powered by a conventional 12v plug and the internal battery also offers a 2 hour life.
In designing the GO 5100, Tom Tom have looked at any potential problems or minor niggles that users may have had with earlier models and tried to eliminate them. One of the most notable features of this model is the fact that lifetime updates of world maps, speed cameras and traffic information is included. This, and the fact that free updates and new features are also included, means that the GO 5100 should never become obsolete and is virtually future proof. This model comes complete with an operational SIM and all DATA is included. Updates for most earlier models have required a subscription payment of around £50 which suddenly makes the premium price tag seem rather more attractive.
Tom Tom’s “My Drive” app means that it is now possible to select a destination using a smartphone and send it to the GO before getting into the car. This feature will be appreciated by anyone who has had to enter a car on a hot summer’s day and then had to spend a couple of minutes programming the sat nav before setting off. The screen itself has been made as user friendly as possible and is fully interactive with pinch, zoom, swipe etc. and simple command icons. There is also the option for voice commands. It comes with a pre-installed regional map with the option to download further maps from around the world via My Drive Connect which involves connecting the device to a PC via USB. A huge range of maps is available which should be enough for most users. There is an 8GB internal memory which can be further expanded via a micro SD slot.
In use various features can be found some of which are very useful such as the advanced lane guidance which should eliminate the need for sudden lane changes at complex junctions and some which are less useful such as the showing of 3D images of landmarks. Some features such as the lifetime location of speed camera in many countries is a great idea but this even includes such unlikely speed traps as Andorra, Gibraltar, San Marino and the Vatican City which is probably just a little over the top!
In summary this is one of the best sat nav systems currently available. The reviewers at Auto Express gave it a five star rating and described it as “The best sat nav we’ve ever used.” Tom Tom customers currently using the earlier 5000 model will probably feel no need to upgrade as improvements are relatively minor but new buyers would do well to consider this model. The premium price does include that all-important SIM/DATA facility meaning that this should represent a good long term investment. Some drivers who have good long range vision but use reading glasses may prefer the 6 inch screen of the 6100 model but both are considered to be top of the range flagship models.