kvideo, I notice you inquire about pros and cons.
I've used the laptop as primary tool and also a Garmin
441s as primary at different times for weeks each. Still have both.
Trip planning, route
making is a breeze sitting at the dinette with a wireless mouse.
is tedious standing at the helm
Have not had a problem with the Mac in the marine environment
in 2011. Fulltime livaboard.
Gotta keep it dry though. I killed a 2010 MB Pro at the six month mark with a phantom water
leak above the settee. Just a few drops down the open screen
into the vent at the hinge area. Killed the keyboard controller chip on the mainboard just before the board died completely. Can't get the battery
out of a mac fast enough. That port has never leaked since. WTH.
Wouldn't let that stop me from the idea though. Just gotta be vigilent about placement of the machine.
I think I prefer the laptop over the plotter but not sure which is a backup to the other. Having used both equally I stay up to speed on both so maybe that's good.
I've often thought a mac mini built in securely and a dc powered display at the nav table would be a good option for me.