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True marine chartplotter tablet?

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I've used all the google-fu I know in an attempt to find out if any of the big manufactures are planning to offer a tablet chartplotter.

I just can't bring myself to use a iPad as a plotter but the convenience of having a tablet over a mounted cockpit plotter can't be denied. The ability to move around on deck with your plotter, take it with you vs. leaving it below to help prevent theft, not having to maintain corrosive prone connections on the binnacle and a large number of other benefits.

Are there any rumors, promises or information that a company like Furuno or Garmin is thinking about offering a proper marine chartplotter tablet?

14 Replies

  • iPad + navionics is one option
    iPad + MARSSA is another option
    MeeGo tablets will soon be hitting the marine industry also.

    check out out in San Fran next week:

    Basically tablets are on the way in, MFD's on the way out!

  • Thanks Zak.

    At first glance the MeeGo looks to be in direct competition with the iPad.

    I'm all for choice, however, what I'm after is a dedicated marine tablet. Something wx sealed with a long battery life, readable in all conditions and can tell me how many satellites I'm getting a fix from and their signal.

    Basically overgrown handheld GPS ala the Garmin 76CSx with a 8"-10" screen in tablet form.

  • Half way house is the Garmin GpsMap 620 5" flat touch screen with Li battery. IPX7. Use hand held or with their very clever quick mount which includes cable connections. I don't rate consumer tablets for primary nav, not one bit.

  • By my reading, Apple's "circular polarization" film serves a single purpose, to remove the back spots that arise from looking at the screen with polarized glasses. Not very exciting.

    Black magic coatings and voodoo glasses are a poor substitute for nits, and nits need power. Pixel qi's sunlight viewable monochrome screen is a far more functional solution, and available at a web site near you!

  • While that may alleviate a glare issue it doesn't help with the weatherization/ruggedness needed to use a tablet in the cockpit, satellite number/strength information and dedicated charts. Toughbook is coming out with a tablet but it is for all intents and purposes a weatherized windows machine with a price tag comparative to a 10 inch navnet 3D.

    It seems tablets are trying to be everything to everybody by adding modifications or applications. In time I'm confident a chartplotting tablet will be available but doesn't look to be anytime soon.

  • No its not the golden goose; its just a step in the right direction. I now have a screen I can see in the cockpit with the bimini packed away for sailing.

    Unfortunately its not as informative as my GPSmap, which loves a little rain now and then.

  • I'm also interested in using a tablet as a chartplotter. After doing some net searching, the Panasonic Toughbook Android Tablet has caught my eye. It is planned for release at the end of this year. It is being promoted as daylight readable, and durable even in extreme operating environments. I will be watching for user feedback and reviews when it is released.

  • Having used an iPad on board this season, my own personal conclusion is that it was of very limited use for navigation, but absolutely brilliant for on board Internet access using weather apps and offline tidal data, as well as general Internet access for email and web. It beats a laptop any day for lightness, portability and battery life. Even at 15 miles offshore we often had a good 3G signal, when the phones were either out of range or down to gsm signals. Great for informational apps, but for me not primary navigation. The tidal app 'TidesPlan11' was fantastic with port tidal heights and tidal stream diagrams, and it doesn't need Internet access.

  • This weekend Target Stores will advertise a Honeycomb (Android Version 3.1 or 3.2) 10.1" tablet for $400 with a $50 rebate. Unfortunately, it uses A-GPS which requires access to the internet for location and is less accurate than a true GPS.

  • I've learned that aGPS is not a defined standard and it can mean next to anything. The most common chip is manufactured by qualcom and comes in 4 flavors, so much is left to the manufacturer. The simple question is "Can I turn on my pad out of range of wifi or phone connections, and use a mapping app that preloads charts?" The universal answer is "Huh?" Barring some spiritual awakening among the Marketers (A class of human beings closely related to Lawyers and IRS auditors) it s up to the consumer to try each product and report.
    At the same moment as this awareness settled in, Woot has remanned Xooms for $350, barely under the threshold of pain in my stern quarter pocket

  • This spring I used an Ipad to sail from St Pete Florida to Baltimore. Worked perfectly with Navionics software and charts. Not a full feature chart plotter, but ok with me. Liked it so much, I am switching to iNavX software and charts (from Apple store) and just this weekend bought a wifi transmitter and a AIS class B transponder which accepts NMEA inputs. Next plan to buy wind instruments with NMEA output. The world is going to go to tablets for navigation.....too convenient, too inexpensive, and too versatile not to.

  • "The world is going to go to tablets for navigation.....too convenient, too inexpensive, and too versatile not to."

    Sorry, Jeff, I just don't see real evidence to support that theory. Tablets aren't designed for primary navigation -- too hard to see and control -- and there's no obvious way to get radar, fishfinding, side scanning, etc. directly to them.

    I think the Raymarine e7 is a good model for how tablets will get integrated into marine electronics. At almost zero extra cost or complication, an e7 can now pass routes and tracks back and forth between Navionics Mobile on an iPad. Plus the Raymarine app can stream e7 display to the pad, and Ray is committed to making the app two way. In other words, a e7 owner will be able to use a tablet as a second station.

    Standard Horizon has similar plans for integration of its CPN series with the C-Map chart app. And the CPN will have a Web browser and email client on a high bright screen with both touch and button/knob controls. What's the likelihood that Garmin, Navico, etc. are developing products like these?

  • That's unfortunate. While the interconnection between every navaid/system info onboard is nice, it doesn't have to be a requirement.

    I was hoping for a stand alone Garmin 76CSx-like device the size of a tablet. I don't need it to be everything, just a device that's primary purpose is navigation in all types of weather, not angry birds and a ziploc bag when rains.