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July 14, 2008

TomTom GO 920T Review

GPSmagazine Rating: 3.5 of 5
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4. Installing the TomTom GO 920T in the Car

TomTom GO 920T, Mounted in the Car
Figure 19: TomTom GO 920T, Mounted in the Car

Mounting the GO 920T in the car is a simple process that requires no tools or professional installation, and take just a few minutes.

12v Cigarette Lighter Adapter, Connected
Figure 20: 12v Cigarette Lighter Adapter, Connected

Insert the 12v power adapter into your vehicle's cigarette lighter socket.

Windshield Mount, Attached to the Windshield
Figure 21: Windshield Mount, Attached to the Windshield

First you'll need to decide the best location on the windshield for the GO 920T. Most users will probably choose to mount the GPS somewhere in the middle of the glass, between the rear-view mirror and the dashboard, as shown above. You'll want to choose a spot that's easy to see from the driver's seat, but doesn't obstruct your view of the road or interfere with driving.

Windshield Mount, Left Side View
Figure 22: Windshield Mount, Left Side View

Once you've decided where to mount the GO 920T, press the windshield mount firmly against the glass. The design of TomTom's mount doesn't require any levers to be thrown, or knobs to be tightened; pressing the mount against the glass causes the flower-shaped plastic tabs to stretch the rubber disc, creating a suction-cup connection between the windshield and the mount.

Removing the Mount - Pull the Plastic Tab
Figure 23: Removing the Mount - Pull the Plastic Tab

Removing the windshield is even easier than installing it; simply pull on the rubber release tab and the mount breaks free from the windshield's glass.

Connecting the Power Adapter to the GO 920T
Figure 24: Connecting the Power Adapter to the GO 920T

The GO 920T has a shared USB port that is used both for power as well as exchanging data between the PC (using the included TomTom HOME application) and the GPS. Connect the 12v adapter to the TomTom before attaching the GPS to the mount.

Power Adapter, Connected to the GO 920T
Figure 25: Power Adapter, Connected to the GO 920T

The power cable connects directly to the GO 920T. A more elegant solution would have been to provide power to the GPS through the windshield mount, and connect the 12v power cable to the windshield mount instead of the GPS unit directly. A powered windshield mount means you don't have to connect/disconnect the power cable each time you want to dock or undock the GO 920T from the vehicle. Similarly priced GPS models from other companies provide powered windshield mounts.

Given the GO 920T's $500 suggested retail price, the lack of a powered windshield mount feels like an omission.

Connect the TMC Traffic Receiver
Figure 26: Connect the TMC Traffic Receiver

Plug the TMC receiver into the bottom of the GO 920T.

Attach the TMC Receiver to the Windshield
Figure 27: Attach the TMC Receiver to the Windshield

Press the transparent suction cup at the tip of the antenna firmly against the windshield glass.

TMC Traffic Receiver, Mounted to the Windshield
Figure 28: TMC Traffic Receiver, Mounted to the Windshield

The TMC Traffic Receiver should be installed vertically along the left or right side of the windshield.

Attaching the GO 920T to the Windshield Mount
Figure 29: Attaching the GO 920T to the Windshield Mount

To connect the GO 920T to the windshield mount, line-up the TomTom logos on the suction-cup mount with the logo on the back of the GO 920T, and slide the GO 920T down onto the mount until it clicks into place.

To release the GO 920T from the mount, simply slide the unit upward until it releases from the windshield mount.

TomTom GO 920T, Installed in the Car
Figure 30: TomTom GO 920T, Installed in the Car

Previous TomTom GPS units, such as the popular ONE XL, didn't have enough clearance between the mount and windshield glass, forcing you to angle the unit at about 45 degrees in order to avoid hitting the glass each time. Thankfully, TomTom has redesigned the GO 920T's mounting mechanism, and the result is a much improved windshield mount.

TomTom GO 920T, Installed in the Car
Figure 31: TomTom GO 920T, Installed in the Car

The GO 920T is now fully installed in the car. Overall, TomTom's mounting hardware is easy to install and works well. I would have preferred a powered windshield mount so you could connect the power cable and traffic antenna to the mount instead of the GPS, but the mount does manage to hold the GO 920T firmly in place when driving.

The TMC Traffic Receiver adds some clutter to the dashboard. GPS manufacturers like Magellan and Garmin have integrated the TMC traffic receiver into the windshield mount or 12v power adapter, making for a cleaner look on the dashboard.