I got mine for $500 off of ebay. It was brand new sealed in box and I was really lucky cause these things are still selling for $700 avg. now on Ebay and more in stores!
Anyway It came with ALL the maps for USA, CANADA and I think MEXICO on CD and maps of the USA major roads and major cities and all highways and main streets in America (if you live in a small town in Idaho chances are there is no or little detail on your town, but If you live in a big city like NY there is full detail of the city) all on a 256 MB SD memory card. There is another TOM TOM GO lus edition that comes with All the CD info loaded on a 1 GB SD memeory card that sells for $900+. But I got my own 1 GB SD card for $69 and loaded all the MAPs for the USA and CANADA. Anyway out of the box everything is easy...loading the maps thru your computer and USB link was a breeze. Registering the product and the CD Software was uneccessary and tricky...but no biggie. Anyway once you got the MAps on the 1 GB SD card. I unhooked the TOM TOM unit, fully charged it with the desktop charger and hooked it onto my car. One note...The unit has a internal battery with about 4-5 hours of battery life; which is good because unlike other GPS devices and Radar Detector that feed off your cigarette lighter's 12V power, the TOM TOM GO doesnt leave your dash board and car's cockpit looking like an electronics lab with wires and shit going everywhere. Once suctioned into to the windshield, it looked clean and sharp in the BMW's interior and doesn't look cheepo or budget with the cords going to the Cigarette lighter or radio (for speakers). The unit powers itself and it has it's own speaker that rivals my radio's speaker (yes..its loud and clear). Most other GPS/NAv systems do not have internal power nor do they have independent speakers. So basically you'd spend everyday connecting wires from here to there and then you'd have conflicts of sharing you 12V cigarette lighter between your Cell Phone, PDA , Ipod, Radar Detector and GPS/NAv system. With the TOM TOM GO that problem is completely non-existant.
Now onto Performance; Compared to the Magellan 700 (that cab driver's use in NYC) and my girlfriend's father's 2004 M.Benz AMG s55 Nav system. The TOM TOM GO got a better signal, quicker and held it longer when going under tunnels. Also the TOM TOM GO is only Nav System on the market (to date) with a full 3 D system installed. This means that your route is constantly mapped via Cartesian 3-D coordinates as to your basic Euclidean 2-D coordinates that other inferior GPS/NAV systems share. I've seen both versions and the difference is night and day.
Anyway the display is clear and crisp and the touch screen is easy to use. I only wished the 3.5 inch screen was bigger. But still the screen and size of the unit looks great and tidy above the dash of my E36.
I found that the route calculation from the TOM TOM GO tend to choose main roads that are popular, or roads with traffic lights (over roads with stop signs or quiet side streets). This means that most of the time your led into traffic and congestion but your route will always be the most direct and quickest only via distance (which is not always quick due to traffic or lights). The good thing is you can always re-calculate your route as many times as you want or you can drive your own way and have the TOM TOM re-calculate the route automatically.
Even if you don't use the GPS for navigation you can leave it on in your car and it will always show you your position, mileage, nearby gas stations, restaurants, all the names of the streets in the radius around you, and your distance in time and miles from your "home base" (which is your home adress that you put in youself). So it works a multitude of ways. Everything is clear on the screen and you can have the voice prompt you at anytime on your status. There is also a program that enables you to navigate to the nearest gas station, chinese restaurant, McDonalds, Dennys, Chucky Cheeses, bodega, any place that sells food, condoms, cigarettes and potato chips, etc....In fact, it has all these places stored internally like a phone book. You can even put a in a preference for your favorite gas station or food type so as you drive, say if youre on an 2 day interstate road trip, the TOM TOM would let you know that your favorite hotel, gas station or restuarant is coming up on the road.
Bottom line: For $500 this device is worth it. for even $600-$900 you are getting a good deal beacause this device is far superior to other more pricey...the $1200 Magellan 700 or Naviman Series. The closet competitor, and I haven't seen this device myself, but read the specs and reviews from others, is the $1500-$1999 Pioneer AVIC-N1 ; Navigation/DVD/MP3/rear Camera view...etc...system. I only say this because the AVIC has 3-D view (though its not fully 3-D-only at turns and intersections it switches to 3-D) and tons of other crap to crowd your car...also it mounts directly to your radio hole in the dash and has a 5 inch flip out touch screen. But professional installation for the AVIC N1 is about $200-$400 depending on what feature you install. Anyway the TOM TOM Go surpasses the AVIC N1 in one respect..software stability and flexibily. The TOM TOM GO website is fun and easy to use and free map updates are always available and recent (as recent as Sept 2004 and will be updated tthis spring 2005). You can also download voice prompts with accents (southern, spanish, french, surfer dude voice, ghetto slang voice...etc...) for free from the TOM TOM GO website. You can also change the frame bezel around the front touch screen to a variety of colors from the silver it originally comes with.
One negative is the suction cup. Make sure it's sticking to you windshield or it will fall out a most likely damage your Tom Tom Go. Mines did as soon as I braked hard at a light and the Tom Tom Go came right off my windshield fell on my console and on the passenger side floor and got scratched on the plastic frame bezel
. It's tricky but play with the suction for a good 5 minutes or so to be sure. I found wetting the rubber suction cup made it stick better to glass. Also make sur ethe section of glass is void of all curvature and flat or the suction will come off.
5 outta 5 thumbs
PM me if you have questions!