Originally Posted by mrlee
...I need some easy help with this stuff. ..... all the jargon ......
iPad and Android are two competing technologies that provide similar functions ... a flat screen
you hold in the hand, and use your fingers on the screen
rather than a keyboard and mouse. They function just like a PC, but usually run more basic applications. Most mobile phones now are just smaller versions of these tablets.
Android is an operating system (think Windows), and many manufacturers produce tablets for this platform. iPad
is Apple only and it has its own operating system.
You can buy a tablet and then buy charting software with charts. Navionics Mobile is popular software and gets my recommendation due to low price
and easy to use. The total cost of tablet and charting would be from around $250 - still quite a cheap
solution. Check that the tablet model has GPS
inbuilt ... most do. An exception is Apple which is dearer anyway, and does not have GPS
unless you buy one that takes a SIM card.
But your post suggests you may already have a laptop. If so, this is a cheaper and better option. My recommendation for the software would be OpenCPN
which is free .... see the dedicated forum on this site.
For charts, it depends what part of the world you want. Many countries including US provide free chart downloads. If your country does not have free charts, the next best would be CM93 charts. There are a few threads about CM93 and where to download them on this forum. As far as I know, the latest version of CM93 charts that OpenCPN
will read is 2010.
To see where you are on the chart you will need to buy a GPS to connect to the laptop. If you already have a handheld GPS you may need a Serial
to USB connverter. The OpenCPN site and Help provides more information about options here.
Without a GPS, you could still download OpenCPN and charts and start experimenting and looking.