There's loads of threads out there about this, both on here and on SailboatOwners.
We are definitely in a new and unbelievable era of technology!
I'm a GIS person by trade
(digital mapping) so have watched the growth of tablets in the field first hand.
They have revolutionized the way we bring information to the 'field' so-to-speak.
I have plenty of experience with Nexus, Samsung and Apple devices and each has its pluses and minuses.
But for mapping, iPads are the clear winner. If you pair them with a BadElf GPS (irrespective of which iPad model you choose) then your reception
and precision will go way up. The Apps are also much more stable on Apple devices, for several reasons.
The big downside to them is obviously the cost. They force you to buy the cellular model to get onboard gps, and you have that annoying fixed storage
capacity. I love the ability of others with microSD inserts. At the end of a long day you can crack out a movie
or load up one of an infinite number of playlists you've stored in the card. SO handy!!
But, my Galaxy Tab 3 that I bought was an absolute piece of crap. All I had to do was boot it up and I was down 1%. Load my first app and I was down another. Then if you (or the kids) ever accidentally left it on and the batt hit zero?? Then you had to disassemble the unit, and unplug the battery from the motherboard to reset the tablet. Otherwise it wouldn't accept a charge. How does THAT ever get past QA? But... The price
makes it much more of a temptation in the harsh environ of our cockpits, etc.
But invest in a solid Lifeproof case and you take away much of that risk. Just make sure to get the one with no screen
protector. This helps keep the clarity up and every little spec of clarity counts if you're trying to read a tablet in full sun. That is the primary edge that chart plotters maintain. You can always see them. And again, you have to weigh the pluses and minuses. A Lifeproof case with no screen cover makes the unit more vulnerable to spray, scratching, etc!
You can circle the issues forever! In the end I went for the iPad, but a model older than current
to help with the price. That's the one I use with Navionics
as a 'backup' chart plotter. Still haven't given up completely in my original Standard Horizon unit, but that day is certainly coming. The charts have proven excellent in my area.
Then I use the aforementioned Tab 3 for movies, video capture, Google Earth
imagery for hiking, and to keep the kids
occupied on long transits.