The TomTom GO 5100 is said to be the most extensive and most advanced navigation device ever offered by the two world hands. It starts with the integrated SIM card (including unlimited roaming), continues with the infinitely update-capable world maps and the very clever suction cup holder. For 299 euros (RRP) there is an unbeatable mobile navigation device in the house?
The scope of delivery is very, very clear: navigation device, USB cable, 12V adapter and the suction cup holder. There is also a quick guide, but it really is superfluous. The start shows the map or the current position directly; a small icon at the bottom left of the screen takes you to the menu. If you want to play beforehand, you can try out the zoom function, either using the buttons or your fingers – like on a smartphone.
The menu as such is clearly different at first glance. Because there is no clear “Navigate to …” menu. This all works via the menu item “Search” (the arrangement can be changed, by the way). Simply type in wherever you want to go, including the complete address, and the device will search for suitable results. If you have GPS reception, you can quickly choose from numerous POIs in addition to the desired address. In theory, an entry such as “Restaurant Berlin” is also possible, but then you have to laboriously scroll through the countless results.
“My Places” can be set both in the device itself and via “TomTom MyDrive” in the network. With this interface, you can easily compose routes on your computer (or smartphone) and manage your own destinations. The items “parking” and “gas station” are probably self-explanatory. The device then automatically finds results for the respective query in a matter of seconds. The search grid can also be extended to the entire map, a city or along the route or near the destination.
The navigation itself is shaped by typical TomTom events. 99 percent of the permanently installed speed cameras are displayed correctly and all traffic is made visually clear. In this way, it can be seen immediately whether it is even worthwhile to use a federal highway. In general, the TomTom always navigates around a traffic jam that is worth avoiding. I would almost say I was never stuck in traffic when the TomTom GO 5100 was running. Well, we did stand up once, but that traffic jam cleared relatively quickly. Even in the no man’s land in the south of France, the traffic jam forecasts were correct and we arrived exactly as the arrival time at the start was predicted.
Before arriving in a traffic jam, the side bar shows that someone is coming in 10 kilometers. If you want, you can also click on the warning and find out more about it. Overall, it doesn’t get much better. Not to forget the numerous voices of the Star Wars characters, for example. If the five-inch device is not enough – in my opinion completely sufficient, also because it leaves more space on the windshield – you can rely on the six-inch GO 6100. The same technology is in there, only the visual is a little bigger.
What I’m missing, in addition to the rather unimportant information, such as the mail address of the tank attendant, is the current fuel prices. Unfortunately, the GO 5100 does not display this. And that although the access to the data through the built-in SIM card should not be a major problem.
In my opinion, the suction cup holder, on which the device is held by a magnetic connection, deserves special praise. The suction cup can be pressed onto the windshield as is known or attached to a smooth dashboard. But that’s not what deserves praise, but the mechanism of the suction cup itself. Press, turn, done. In my experience, it has never been so easy to attach a bracket. It couldn’t be easier to use, no annoying snap lock that might damage your finger. This is ergonomics at its best.
In summary, the TomTom GO 5100 is probably one of the best mobile navigation devices of our time. It should be noted that the 3D maps with the great POIs only work in large cities with such “sights”. In the fallow land, however, there is less to see in 3D. An all-in-one package for – apart from the RRP – a reasonable price.
Text / Photos: Fabian Meßner (Product Photos: TomTom)