I'm partial to Apple hardware
. Over the years I've had the occasional spill and they've managed to shrug it off. Even my first-gen iPhone
ended up catching a bit of saltwater once and was largely unaffected. I still put my iPad in a waterproof case though.
Have a plan for shade. You wouldn't leave your binoculars sitting in the sun, so why do it with a tablet?
Between the iPad models I don't have strong preferences. The cellular models are required if you want GPS, of course. An external GPS may help with battery
, but it's one more device to worry about. In normal use I'd just pull from the boat's GPS.
If you're planning to load massive amounts of movies and photos you might care about the storage
capacity. If you're planning to mount it somewhere, cut out a piece of cardboard the same size and do some test-fits to see what feels comfortable. The larger models (12-13") are nice for working with down below, but can be unwieldy in the cockpit
(particularly if not mounted).
Look for a NMEA
to wifi adapter so you can get boat
data to the iPad. Raymarine
/might/ talk to Navionics, but my observation is that it's not a "real" NMEA
stream that other apps can make use of. You can even get GPS data that way, but if your intent is to use the pad as a backup then you'll want GPS hardware
in the tablet as well.
Use "site:cruisersforum.com tablet" or some variation to search the forums
; this topic has been hashed out many times over.