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Old 31-07-2013, 07:43   #1
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which tablet?

I would appreciate some ideas of which tablet to purchase to cover the following:

big screen - say 10"
Wifi - for emailing/Skype etc
cellphone capability
camera
long battery life
GPS (however have heard that internal real GPS drains battery quickly so
Bluetooth or other way of connecting GPS
Need to be able to use navigation app. with no internet connection
12V charging

Is there so a tablet out there?
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Old 31-07-2013, 08:00   #2
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Re: which tablet?

I use A Google Nexus 7. Nav app is navionics. Battery life at least two days. Not ten inch screen but quite legible. Android phones and tabs have demonstrated better position accuracy imoh. Use anchor watch pro to watch for dragging. Wife has iPad. We usually leave it at home. Too bulky for our boat.

Todd
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Old 31-07-2013, 10:42   #3
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Re: which tablet?

Nexus 7 using MX Mariner for day sailing in SF Bay. With wifi and gps turned on I wouldn't trust the battery life for over one day. Battery life is also very inconsistent. I think the battery saver algorithm doesn't always turn off unused hardware when in sleep mode.

The 7 inch screen is adequate but I've never had a 10 inch screen to compare it with while sailing so I can't recommend one over the other.

I purchased a Proporta Aquapac to protect it. Touch screen works when in the pouch.

Just remember turning on any accessories whether it is bluetooth, 3g, 4g, gps, or wifi will effect battery life but I have no info on which services use the most power.

Seriously consider wireless charging in your purchase but I have no idea if it will work through the waterproof Proporta Aquapac or if they make a 12v charger which would be ideal.
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Old 31-07-2013, 11:19   #4
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Re: which tablet?

While it requires a bit more effort than simply downloading MxMariner or navionics to your device, you'll find instructions for installing linux and OpenCPN on an android tablet here: Building on Motorola Xoom | Official OpenCPN Homepage Please read completely before deciding to buy a tablet for this purpose.

Additional instructions for using Linux Deploy to install linux to the tablet is here: How to use Linux Deploy installing OpenCPN on androids.

Instructions for getting all varients of gps working with OpenCPN in the linux chroot environment is here GPS Working with OpenCPN on Androids

Some folks will opine it is "hard", but if one adheres to the instructions - that are very much copy and paste - you'll find it is not that difficult to do. The android application used to install linux makes doing so easy. A vnc viewer connects to the linux desktop where OpenCPN is started and is simple to use.

You must 'jailbreak' or 'root' your device. The method used for this varies between android devices and for most people - since it voids your warranty - is a stumbling block.

But, for warranty purposes the device can be restored to it's original state by unrooting. And, if you have installed a custom ROM at some point your device's stock ROM can be restored from a 'nandroid backup'.

Help is available by simply posting your problem here: OpenCpn Install on Android Tablets Easier Now.

Be aware that failing to follow instructions or ask for assistance immediately can lead to failure and frustration.

Besides being able to use OpenCPN on your tablet you will also learn about linux, something you may not have otherwise considered doing.
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Old 31-07-2013, 11:44   #5
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Re: which tablet?

I will jump in on the Apple side. We recently switch to an iPad4 with Retna Display for navigation. Couldn't be happier.

The iPad has great visibility in direct sunlight. If you get the 4GLTE model it has the GPS built in. The unit will last about 7 hours on battery while using the navigation software and GPS running. We charge the iPad via 12 volt Blue Sea USB charger plug installed at our nav station.

For software, we use the Navionics application but have also heard good things about the iNavix application. My preference is for vector charts versus raster charts. Navionics works with vector charts and iNavix can work with both. Navionics also has a new autorouting add on that is supposed to be really good. I haven't tried it yet. Navionics also allows you to sync data over multiple units, so I have the same routes and tracks on my iPad and iPhone. This gives some nice redundancy. With either, you down load the charts while connected to the internet (either via cellular or wifi) and then can create routes and navigate without being connected to the internet.

Some have added an external GPS like a badelf unit. To me this depends on how you use your chart plotter and what area you are going to be sailing in. We are doing local cruising in the NE with plans to go down the east coast through the Caribbean. I have read from several cruisers out there right now that they have no problem with the internal GPS receiver in these areas. I have also read from a cruiser in Mexico who reports the same. I also don't use my chart plotter as my sole means of navigation. I will have paper charts, cruising guides, compass bearings and depth contours to assist in locating the boat. So if the GPS is off by 10-20 feet it would not result in me being in the wrong place because one of the other items would help get me in the correct area. I have found that the GPS on the iPad is very accurate, less than 10 feet, while the one on my iPhone is less accurate, less than 50 feet.

All of the other uses of the tablet can easily be satisfied by the iPad.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Fair winds,

Jesse
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Old 31-07-2013, 11:46   #6
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Re: which tablet?

Oh, one other thing I would add. I would not even consider anything that doesn't have a LifeProof case available. Best case for anything I have ever owned.
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Old 31-07-2013, 12:45   #7
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Re: which tablet?

Most of the tablets won't have cell phone capabilities. If that's not going to be a primary use, I'd suggest trying to find the most suitable tablet with just WiFi, and then getting a "mifi" mobile hotspot device to use when you want it to be a cell phone. They range from free to $150, are available from all carriers (and each only works with specific carriers) and the one mifi gizmo with one cellular plan allows you to connect five or more devices up at the same time.

Not a bad way to go if the device isn't going to need cellular access all day every day.
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Old 31-07-2013, 13:00   #8
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Re: which tablet?

I would go the iThing way. I am biased as I do not have an iThing (I have an Android tablet). This is so because it seems iThings have more and better nav apps.

I would go with an internal GPS. Pairing and using BT devices with Android tablets sucks big way.

Some Samsungs (and now I hear also new Asus Nexus 7 HD) use GLONASS along with GPS. Nice to have, maybe.

b.
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Old 31-07-2013, 13:13   #9
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Re: which tablet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I would go the iThing way. I am biased as I do not have an iThing (I have an Android tablet). This is so because it seems iThings have more and better nav apps.

I would go with an internal GPS. Pairing and using BT devices with Android tablets sucks big way.

Some Samsungs (and now I hear also new Asus Nexus 7 HD) use GLONASS along with GPS. Nice to have, maybe.

b.
Most folks do not use bluetooth gps, opting instead for usb or built in gps. Android applications exist to facilitate using both - even with OpenCPN running in linux alongside android in a chroot environment.

There are always choices.

b.,

Did you abandon the idea?
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Old 31-07-2013, 17:03   #10
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Re: which tablet?

I use iPad with a blue tooth gps unit and Garmin bluechart works flawlessly.
Lasts about 4-5 hours but I have it connected directly to dc.
I use it hand in hand with my Garmin 4212 to see if there and any glitches, and I am glad to stay that they track perfectly.
I have not yet connected it to the Garmin wifi system yet, but I was looking for another stand alone unit, and the combination work great.
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Old 31-07-2013, 17:12   #11
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Re: which tablet?

Any of the named tablets have visibility in sunlight?

(And Wrong, thanks for the tips on putting OpenCPN on an Android tablet. I may yet do this)
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Old 31-07-2013, 18:14   #12
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Re: which tablet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrong View Post
Most folks do not use bluetooth gps, opting instead for usb or built in gps. Android applications exist to facilitate using both - even with OpenCPN running in linux alongside android in a chroot environment.

There are always choices.

b.,

Did you abandon the idea?
Many Android tablets do not support any devices via USB ports, there are no Android USB drivers for many GPS devices. BT works, in a horrible way: you have to pair the devices, they must be discoverable, etc. huge waste of time. Wifi seems to work fine but requires a nmea to wifi source. Inbuilt GPS works best. It works with all Android apps I have tested this far. Wifi works with many, BT works with few. Go the built-in GPS way.

No, I have not abandoned, but I need a tablet to root. I am not rooting the one I have as any fiasco will deprive me of my back up device. So I need to get a tablet that I will not hesitate to root.

b.
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Old 31-07-2013, 18:50   #13
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I use navionics on an android tablet. It works great. I have heard navionics has more features with an ipad but I am not sure. I like my android tablet and prefer it over apple products.it is an asus and it takes lousy pictures but shoots Good video. My only complaint is the picture quality.
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Old 31-07-2013, 19:48   #14
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Re: which tablet?

iPad works for us. We use Garmin Blue charts mobile and Navionics.
Always on. Uses little power and does everything
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:21   #15
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Re: which tablet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IdoraKeeper View Post
I use A Google Nexus 7. Nav app is navionics. Battery life at least two days. Not ten inch screen but quite legible. Android phones and tabs have demonstrated better position accuracy imoh. Use anchor watch pro to watch for dragging. Wife has iPad. We usually leave it at home. Too bulky for our boat.

Todd

A Nexus 10" version is available.

Built-in GPS (as with the other Nexus platforms). Wi-Fi only, no cellular capability... although there is a way to use a separate cell phone to connect nexus to network. Also, not (to me) completely daylight visible, even though screen resolution is on par with iPad's "retina display"; not bad, not perfect, certainly not in the same class as a decent fixed chartplotter, but probably useable in an open cockpit if temporarily shaded when necessary.

Disclaimer: I haven't tried using either tablet or smartphone for navigation. FWIW, the ActiveCaptain folks just announced (yesterday) Plan2Nav, an Android app that uses C-Map charts. Haven't looked any further at that.

-Chris
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