Which is the best tablet for navionics ? The use of the tablet in navigation has become popular in recent years. More generally, we see more and more boaters reluctant to replace their old Chartplotter with a newer model. A tablet, we bought one when the product first appeared, was all the rage. Since then, sales have plummeted in the face of ever more powerful smartphones with ever-larger screens or ultraportables that are more practical in everyday use. However, several niches arise in which the tablet has undeniable advantages. Navigation is doubtless one.
However, there is no typical use of the tablet in navigation: if a minority of navigators today see it as the first cartographic tool, aided by paper maps, for example, many have made it a backup in case their baseline equipment, the plotter, or the PC, for example, fails.
Read more: best e ink tablet for note taking
What are the criteria for choosing Best Tablet for Navionics?
What matters least in your case are prices or brands. What matters is that your tablet does not fail after setting sail. If you want a device as autonomous as possible, you have to rely on it in all circumstances. Then it will be necessary to choose a waterproof tablet or equip it with a quality waterproof case.
Ideally, the brightness should exceed 750 cd/m2. We can be satisfied. To be non-navigation equipment is enough with 500 to 600 cd/m2, like the latest iPad Pro or certain Samsung tablets.
As for the size, some bet on tablets of at least 10 inches; others prefer 8 inches. Because “it fits in your pocket.” We will not have the same perspective depending on whether we are sailing a 24 or a 40-footer. Remember: most of the chart plotters on our boats are between 5 and 9 inches long.
As for the battery, it is simple. The more powerful it is, the longer you can count on it.
The autonomy will also depend on tablet usage. But also on the system: a recent Android, 9 or 10, manages consumption much better than an older version. Today, mid-range tablets have a battery of +/- 5000 mAh. We can see more high-end models reaching 7500 to 10000 mAh, which will allow long day-long browsing without fear of the tablet shutting down on landing.
If you don’t want to constantly transfer files from your tablet to an external storage source, choose a model with a large enough size. It is also helpful to have the ability to add one via an external memory card. This way, you will store all the files you want to take on board.
The processor of your new tablet is crucial if you use it as your mapping assistant, as the performance and speed of the device depend on it. It will be enough to opt for a device with a 4-core or 8-core processor, as in both options, you will have a sufficiently high performance.
Finally, check out the presence and quality of a GPS chip. It is often absent on low-end Android tablets. But also the iPad WiFi (without cellular connection) because their GPS and cellular modules are on the same chip. If GPS function is present, we can find chips with very different accuracy. Some, in particular, if they use the Galileo network in addition to the usual GPS and GLONASS, can reach an accuracy of 1 meter outdoors. Others will settle for 3 to 5 meters. Inside the boat, accuracy can decrease drastically until, for example, the tablet is unusable with an anchor alarm application.
Without further ado, choose the device you will use from any location to start planning the sailing routes and make the calculations to prepare for the voyage.
Best Tablets for Navionics
1. Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2021)
Although Apple didn’t change the design for 2021, the iPad Pro 12.9 still looks nice. If you haven’t upgraded your iPad for a while or have never owned an iPad Pro, the square edges with their rounded edges will feel very different from previous generations.
The frame is thinner. The entire tablet is much smaller than the first and second-generation 12.9 models. The screen, however, is still the same size.
The iPad Pro 12.9 currently ships with iPadOS 14.6, but Apple has announced the iPad 15 update with an improved home screen and file management system. iPadOS 15 is available now.
Thanks to the fast M1 SoC, the iPad Pro 12.9 will continue to receive updates for a long time to come; only Windows-based tablets can compete with Apple’s devices in this regard. In contrast, the update status of Android tablets tends to be dismal after a few years.
- The screen is up to the task. The experience is up to scratch in both display and touch response.
- The Apple M1 can handle it all.
- It is a versatile device above with Apple ecosystem and its accessories.
- iPadOS still brings us closer to a tablet than a computer.
- The location of the front camera is not the most convenient.
2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S8
Possibly most interesting is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor under the hood. It’s been just two months since Qualcomm introduced its latest flagship chip, and the Tab S8 series is the first tablet to take advantage of its extra power.
WiFi 6E and 5G support, fast charging (via USB-C) of up to 45W, quad stereo speakers, and an S Pen stylus are in the box. There have also been significant new features in terms of software.
All Tab S8s carry Android 12 out of the box. But Samsung has committed to offering “up to four years” of OS updates, plus an extra year of security updates. It makes it one of the most generous Android manufacturers in terms of software.
- The display is one of the largest in its class.
- S-Pen stylus included in the box
- Slim but still durable design
- Included accessories for added versatility
- The screen is too big for some
- Need a dual front camera on a tablet
3. Apple iPad Mini (2021)
Because of its size and features, the iPad Mini is a model that perfectly supports bright colors. We would have liked to find a slightly more varied range of colors, such as those offered for the 4th generation Air on the new iMacs with M1.
The redesign of the iPad Mini has not only served to update its aesthetics. Now it is possible to change its screen format and the layout of the control buttons with several new features.
The new model is compatible with the second-generation Apple Pencil. Features a magnetized charging area are on the right side. Since the Apple Pencil is about the same size as the iPad Mini, the volume buttons are to the top edge.
- Design and dimensions
- Quality display with true tone
- Apple’s latest hardware
- USB C and 5G connectivity
- No fast or wireless charging
- No 120 Hz ProMotion display
- Limited Apple Pencil 2 support
- Everything is mini except the price
4. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
At less than 6 millimeters thick, it is thinner than the cell phones we have seen in recent years, and its 420 grams make it one of the lightest tablets on the market. This feature, plus the glass front with reduced frames and aluminum edges and back, makes us feel like getting a top product.
From the front, there is not much to tell. We have the screen with bezels of 8 millimeters, rounded screen edges, and the camera located at the top, if we hold the tablet as a mobile, on one of the sides to have it landscape. It has facial recognition with the Android photo. We must say that it works both vertically and horizontally.
Two antennas surrounded the aluminum unibody. The signal is more than correct at all times. If we move to the back, we begin to see novelties compared to other tablets’ previous generation of Galaxy Tab. There is a dual camera on one of the sides to achieve the depth effect.
- Spectacular screen
- S-Pen included
- DeX lacks polish
- Keyboard connection
- No headphone port or adapter
- Dual camera dispensable
5. Apple iPad Air
One of the first differences we see in the iPad Air concerning the iPad Pro – with which they share an appearance – is that here we only have one size, a 10.9-inch screen. On the iPad Pro, we can also choose a larger 12.9-inch model. But, it should only be for those who need more screen space for their work as illustrators, those who move around huge planes. The production team of Temptation Island put images on the couples who don’t need to get so close to the screen to see them.
The iPad Air only has a 10.9″ screen size: perfect for just about everyone for day-to-day use, even on a professional level. 10.9″ is the size for just about everything, whether you design in 3D, play games, or use it to read digital magazines. Especially for the latter, it’s a delight to use an iPad Air like the one in our hands. Weight: 458g. Perfectly sustainable with one hand, similar to a hardcover-bound book of equivalent size.
- First iPad tablet to go for dual cameras
- Two variants to meet all your needs
- Best keyboard built into a tablet to date
- An operating system designed for multitasking
- Battery life sufficient for a full day
- May bend under certain pressure
- No headphone output
- No SD card support
- Lacks fast charging technology