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Old 23-05-2015, 17:08   #1
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Tablet for navigation

Since my old laptop (never used for navigation) has broken down I plan to buy a tablet able for nav. as back up to my GPS(no chart-plotter) and paper charts.
About 10" tablet with built in gps and good wi-fi reception. I don't need telephone, camera but small power consumption, 12VDC charged battery, memory 16-32gb.
I'm perplexed by amount of units available, so please someone recommend me something not expensive
Dziadek Jacek
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Old 23-05-2015, 17:12   #2
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Re: Tablet for navigation

The nexus I bought on sale for $110. Not sure what current price is. Works okay with navionics app but is a bit slow to open and come back from screen off mode.


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Old 23-05-2015, 19:06   #3
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Re: Tablet for navigation

Lots of new stuff coming out. The new Microsoft Surface 3 is a nice unit. Runs windows 8.1, gets good battery life. Will soon run windows 10. I am using an Asus T200 convertable tablet PC right now. 11hrs battery life, runs windows 8.1 soon to get win10. Costs only $430.00 US. Both excellent units. Of course you could get one of the Ipad's. I use one for work, good battery life. Software and hardware pretty good if you don't need to access the guts of the file system for anything you plan to do. I also have a Nexus 7 from Google. It's an early one and has given good service but the processor is less capable than the later models and the battery is beginning to fail.
In the sub $400 dollar range the Android tablets are the best. Google also has made sure that the GPS works well. Mine is as good as my Garmin plotter. The newer Nexus 7 has a faster processor and runs the latest Android release quite well.
Recently however I grew fatigued with the whole issue of the mobile browser and the larger internet. Intel has produced quad core atom chips that allow good battery life and can handle a more capable operating system. Ultimately its more effective to give the consumer a better, cheaper computer/ tablet than to expect all the worlds companies to rewrite their websites. This is one reason why Ipad and other mobile devices (not phones) are losing sales volume. In the end it depends on the exact nature of how you use your equipment. Its great however that prices are getting lower.
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Old 23-05-2015, 19:35   #4
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Re: Tablet for navigation

I am very pleased to say I haven't used a windows based app in more than 3 years. Version 3.2 was poorly done and it got worse as time went by.

The iPad is a great unit that doesn't have the vulnerabilities, the enormous operating system or the system maintenance requirements.

I used to have to work on my ladies computer 4 or 5 times a year. Those days are long gone.




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Old 23-05-2015, 20:34   #5
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Re: Tablet for navigation

I'm using an ipad, upper end Air 2 with the GPS and I believe 128 G.. probably way more than I need but compared to a new plotter, its cheep. Purchased it mainley for the charting programs but found I'm using it way more than I figured. charts are great so far, but still in the US. hopes they are as great in Mexico.
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Old 23-05-2015, 21:39   #6
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Re: Tablet for navigation

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.
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Old 24-05-2015, 01:27   #7
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Re: Tablet for navigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by FastCruiser View Post
I'm using an ipad, upper end Air 2 with the GPS and I believe 128 G.. probably way more than I need but compared to a new plotter, its cheep. Purchased it mainley for the charting programs but found I'm using it way more than I figured. charts are great so far, but still in the US. hopes they are as great in Mexico.

Same here, very happy with my iPad 2 and Lifeproof case ( without screen protector).
I switched from the Navionics to Garmin Blue Chart app, because it integrates with Active Captain. The charts for the UK and Western Europe were an eye-watering 80 though.
That fee includes two devices though, so I have the whole lot stored on the iPhone too, as a backup. I have no other chart plotter.

Chews more electrons than I thought though. With the Garmin app open, and auto-lock disabled (i.e. the chart up on the screen full time) the battery was down to 10% after 8 hours. Then using the special cig lighter charger, and still running the app, the battery % crept up only very slowly, up to only 30% after twenty four hours, while pulling 1.34 amps through the cig lighter outlet.
That means that for a longish sail you'll need to charge the unit while underway, and the hole in the Lifeproof case for the charging cord removes a good deal of the waterproof-ness of the unit.

Not a cheap solution either: the iPad, Lifeproof case, high-amp cig-lighter-USB charger, plus the charts add up to a decent amount of dosh.
No need for an external GPS receiver, the built-in one is accurate enough for me, plus my Mark I eyeballs.
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Old 24-05-2015, 01:36   #8
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Re: Tablet for navigation

iPad Air cellular with Internal GPS with the iNax or preferably the Nobeltec app is best. Nobeltec offers 3d plus satellite overlays. Go to YouTube and see for yourself. The best apps seem to be written for iPads right now.
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Old 24-05-2015, 08:39   #9
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Re: Tablet for navigation

Most any android 32Gig, 10" tablet, wireless or wireless/3G with an external SD slot will fill the bill. In order to maximize the choices you'll have in how you wish to use your tablet, a device with an android O.S. that pre-dates version 4.3 is recommended.

Android tablets unlike the Ipad and Windows products can be unlocked and 'rooted', giving you full control over system and user files. Custom ROMs with extra features and nightly updates are available, so you can be confident potential security holes and bugs are dealt with as found.

Once rooted, OpenCPN can be installed and used in a linux chroot environment. Or, you can download the android version of OpenCPN presently under development. See OpenCPN for Android Alpha test 4.1.427 to learn about and find a download link for the android version. Instructions for installing linux and OpenCPN are here: Building on Motorola Xoom | Official OpenCPN Homepage
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Old 25-05-2015, 21:23   #10
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Re: Tablet for navigation

The intuitive IPad can be operated by an infant in a short time. The casual adult user has no problem adding and running the apps.

A serious geek can get to all the bells and whistles.

I have long been a fan.


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Old 26-05-2015, 14:44   #11
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Re: Tablet for navigation

I use a Samsong Tab S, have to gps inside. For water proofing I use my Food saver vacuum bags, with zip lock, ea sd y to open and recharge. Love the GE2KAP CHARTS, give me lots more anchorage and details not on charts

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Old 28-05-2015, 20:27   #12
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Re: Tablet for navigation

iPad with LifeProof case with Navionics Boating app installed primarily. We also use Galaxy Android tablet with a gallon ziploc around it with Navionics Boating app installed. Both are great and work extremely well. They've never let us down!
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Old 28-05-2015, 20:40   #13
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Re: Tablet for navigation

Just curious how you folks see the ipad in the direct sunlight, plus how is the battery usage? Thx


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Old 29-05-2015, 00:36   #14
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Re: Tablet for navigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug4bass View Post
Just curious how you folks see the ipad in the direct sunlight, plus how is the battery usage? Thx


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I am not much of a sun worshiper so I use it in the shade.

I have mounted usb hubs in convenient areas but my iPad Air seems to have a pretty good battery.


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Old 29-05-2015, 05:18   #15
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Re: Tablet for navigation

I use an IPad but can't see it with polarized sunglasses :-(


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