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Old 02-09-2011, 06:08   #1
noelex 77's Avatar

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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Full time cruising. Currently in the Med.
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USB Dongle and Tablets

I want to get a tablet (or netbook if the tablet will not work) to supplement my computer for on board use.
The main aim is to
Reduce power consumption
To have a screen thatís readable in the shade under the boom tent.

I tried a friends Ipad on board and it worked well, but with no USB port or adapter I was not able to connect to the internet. My internet source is a USB 3G stick which are available in most of the countries I have visited.

Is it going to be possible to connect to the USB stick to the internet with
  • An Ipad (with some form of adaptor)
  • An Android tablet with USB port.

Is the software compatible?
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:23   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Stuart, FL
Boat: Wauquiez Hood 38, S/V Invictus
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Re: USB Dongle and tablets.

I have had several tabs, two Android and now an iPad2. As you found the iPad does not have any USB connectivity, a major pain...but that is Apple.

Some android tabs have full sized USB ports, some do not. Some of the full sized ports do function in host mode, some do not. It is completely variable across the board. And then....if you wanted to use a 3G cell dongle, you would need a tab that could support that function.

You might check the new Archos G9 tabs that are coming out later this month. I hasten to note...I never actually liked Archos and do not have any connection to the company, but their new line has some very interesting specs, including a claim that they will allow the use of a 3G dongle.


There are actually quite a number of new high end tabs out now from a lot of mainstream computer firms. Most are $500. You should be able to look at them in stores and then google info online about using a 3G dongle.

Now, all this said, ever though I like tabs a lot, but they are not as useful as a full computer running Win7 (or an apple OS). A netbook that you could buy for under $300 would be more useful and would be able to use all the same drivers that a full sized notebook computer uses, since they use the Win 7 OS. You will find it easier to find and install navigation software etc. Batt time is close to 10 hrs on most of them.

I use a combination of two laptops, an Android phone and an iPad2 to work online. Need all of those because I am very mobile and need to be connected full time.

Hope this helps

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Old 02-09-2011, 06:25   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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Re: USB Dongle and tablets.

I do not believe you can get a 3G USB stick to work with an iPad...

If you do not want to spend the extra money to get a 3G enabled tablet then the easiest way is probably to buy one of those 3G Routers that you can plug your USB stick into and it will give you a local hot-spot.

The advantage would be that you would have internet access to both your tablet AND netbook without having to move the stick around. Also you would not have that irritating thing sticking out of you computer/tablet all the time...
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