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Topic: In the market for a tablet - the electronic kind, Not Esbit or Aquamira< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 28 2014, 5:28 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm in the market for a tablet.

I am looking at this primarily for the following functions, in order of importance:

-Music Player
-GPS unit for hiking and geocaching
-E-reader
-Secondary camera
-Watch movies
-Other apps/games

This would see a lot of use outside of hiking, but I wanted to consider using it while backpacking, hiking and geocaching.

I would buy a case and screen protector(s) to protect against the elements.

I was also curious about battery life and external battery chargers.

I did a quick scan of previous threads but wanted to see if there were any current recommendations for tablet models and GPS apps.

Snarky comments also welcome about how I should leave my e-junk at home and enjoy nature, etc., et al., whatever  :D

Thanks in advance!


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 28 2014, 5:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd think that the GPS function would not be very good outside of cell range, but Tigger seems to have good luck using his phone as a GPS unit.

I will be watching this, not because I want it for the same reasons, but because I want one to replace my laptop.  Using it for normal email and web surfing.  I am partial to Macs, so my choice may already be made.  


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 28 2014, 5:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You can get a Google Nexus 7 tablet (get the 2013 version, not the older version) with the cell phone chip.  Without the cell phone chip you still have gps access but you won't be able to communicate away from a network for email or netflix.  works great as a reader including the amazon kindle app for android.

I have a nexus 7 without the cell chip.  It works great and isn't slowed or impeded with all then crapware samsung and others stick on their tablets (crapware that you can't delete unless you root the device.)  the nexus 7 is what is known as pure google device - it uses the latest android operating system from google without third party branded products.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 28 2014, 5:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I second the Nexus devices.
This or many of the Samsung Galaxy tablets of various sizes with cell communication chips would do well.
Samsung is producing some of the finest tablets on the market, if you're looking for the best.
If you want a budget, consider some ASUS tablets. They're great bang for the buck.

Side note, many apps will let you download and use maps offline, even if you have no service at all. GPS may not work outside of cell range, but you can still get to your maps if you think ahead.
Your compass will still work just fine :)
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 28 2014, 6:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Something with a gps chip that doesn't have the cost burden of the cellular data chip would be best from a price standpoint. Check that item specifically because most any tablet will give a map "location" even without a gps using WiFi location data: which, of course, totally fails once you're out of WiFi range,.... (apparently they can get a location ID off WiFi's they're not allowed to actually connect to).

Also a gps chip will always work outside of cellular data service range: cellular data is just used to augment the gps location, and mostly that means jumpstart the process of determining which of the gps satellites are within range and so what frequencies to search on. What you can't do is get additional map data downloaded from outside the device with no data signal.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2014, 10:51 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks all,

I've had several recommendations for the Google Nexus 7 now, and that confirms what I've seen with the online reviews.  

The other one I'm looking at is the "budget" version of the Nexus 7- the Asus MeMOPad HD7.

High_Sierra_Fan- good point about the GPS chip- I've made sure to note which devices specifically have a separate GPS chip and are not "assisted" GPS.  

Another question: anybody have specific experience stowing/using a tablet as a GPS while hiking?


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2014, 11:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(CampinCarl @ Apr. 29 2014, 7:51 am)
QUOTE
Thanks all,

I've had several recommendations for the Google Nexus 7 now, and that confirms what I've seen with the online reviews.  

The other one I'm looking at is the "budget" version of the Nexus 7- the Asus MeMOPad HD7.

High_Sierra_Fan- good point about the GPS chip- I've made sure to note which devices specifically have a separate GPS chip and are not "assisted" GPS.  

Another question: anybody have specific experience stowing/using a tablet as a GPS while hiking?

With my smartphone, I carry it in a ziplock baggie...inside of another ziplock baggie. My next smartphone will be water resistant at a minimum so I don't have to worry about that anymore.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2014, 11:13 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Tigger,
I thought of checking into smartphones but I'm planning on going WI-FI only for this device.  I'm happy with my dumb phone, since I pay beans for the monthly service and am just content to do my computing elsewhere :)


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2014, 12:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(CampinCarl @ Apr. 29 2014, 7:51 am)
QUOTE
Thanks all,

I've had several recommendations for the Google Nexus 7 now, and that confirms what I've seen with the online reviews.  

The other one I'm looking at is the "budget" version of the Nexus 7- the Asus MeMOPad HD7.

High_Sierra_Fan- good point about the GPS chip- I've made sure to note which devices specifically have a separate GPS chip and are not "assisted" GPS.  

Another question: anybody have specific experience stowing/using a tablet as a GPS while hiking?

Assisted GPS would be okay, that just means the device uses cellular tower data to speed up the gps chip's identifying which of the satellites signals to concentrate on. That's why handheld gps units can take pushing 15 minutes to lock onto the satellites when you fly cross country: poor thing has to randomly run through looking for each and every satellite in orbit because it doesn't "know" which ones are in the new sky. Next time you wake it up it assumes the sky is relatively the same so it goes right for the "usual suspects".  With assisted gps the device grabs a general location off the cell towers and so once again knows which subset of satellites to look for amongst all the possible;e signal frequencies.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2014, 4:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tigger @ Apr. 29 2014, 11:01 am)
QUOTE

(CampinCarl @ Apr. 29 2014, 7:51 am)
QUOTE
Thanks all,

I've had several recommendations for the Google Nexus 7 now, and that confirms what I've seen with the online reviews.  

The other one I'm looking at is the "budget" version of the Nexus 7- the Asus MeMOPad HD7.

High_Sierra_Fan- good point about the GPS chip- I've made sure to note which devices specifically have a separate GPS chip and are not "assisted" GPS.  

Another question: anybody have specific experience stowing/using a tablet as a GPS while hiking?

With my smartphone, I carry it in a ziplock baggie...inside of another ziplock baggie. My next smartphone will be water resistant at a minimum so I don't have to worry about that anymore.

I've seen waterproof cases for iPhones.  Ever seen them for other phones?

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2014, 4:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TDale @ Apr. 29 2014, 1:02 pm)
QUOTE

(Tigger @ Apr. 29 2014, 11:01 am)
QUOTE

(CampinCarl @ Apr. 29 2014, 7:51 am)
QUOTE
Thanks all,

I've had several recommendations for the Google Nexus 7 now, and that confirms what I've seen with the online reviews.  

The other one I'm looking at is the "budget" version of the Nexus 7- the Asus MeMOPad HD7.

High_Sierra_Fan- good point about the GPS chip- I've made sure to note which devices specifically have a separate GPS chip and are not "assisted" GPS.  

Another question: anybody have specific experience stowing/using a tablet as a GPS while hiking?

With my smartphone, I carry it in a ziplock baggie...inside of another ziplock baggie. My next smartphone will be water resistant at a minimum so I don't have to worry about that anymore.

I've seen waterproof cases for iPhones.  Ever seen them for other phones?

Yes, but I've not had good luck with them. I would consider trying them out again...but the ziplock trick works fine, weighs less...and I'll be getting a new phone soon enough anyway.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2014, 4:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TDale @ Apr. 29 2014, 1:02 pm)
QUOTE

(Tigger @ Apr. 29 2014, 11:01 am)
QUOTE

(CampinCarl @ Apr. 29 2014, 7:51 am)
QUOTE
Thanks all,

I've had several recommendations for the Google Nexus 7 now, and that confirms what I've seen with the online reviews.  

The other one I'm looking at is the "budget" version of the Nexus 7- the Asus MeMOPad HD7.

High_Sierra_Fan- good point about the GPS chip- I've made sure to note which devices specifically have a separate GPS chip and are not "assisted" GPS.  

Another question: anybody have specific experience stowing/using a tablet as a GPS while hiking?

With my smartphone, I carry it in a ziplock baggie...inside of another ziplock baggie. My next smartphone will be water resistant at a minimum so I don't have to worry about that anymore.

I've seen waterproof cases for iPhones.  Ever seen them for other phones?

Ecase- By Cascade Designs (MSR, Thermarest, ETC). I have one for my Samsung Tab2Plus that I use nightly in my hot tub (for reading and streming music).
http://www.cascadedesigns.com/search.....tphones

Sea2Summit- I have been using one of these for my phone at the beach and kayaking.
http://www.seatosummit.com/products/cat/17


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2014, 11:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For two years now I have used iPad lls with a Verizon internal SIMM without activation for doing wilderness inventory on BLM land (2012) and roadless inventory in the Bighorn NF Wyoming. About half of the time was back country and the battery life was fairly horrific. Shooting about twenty way points a day, with photos and filling out PDF forms, I could two days, or one bag night, before plugging back into the vehicle power.
I used GPX-Motion X app, Goggle Drive,  iPhoto, and a PDF form app...often all at the same time. I carried an Garmin eTrex 10 and pocket camera with paper forms for back up.
I really like Otter Box cases if they are available for the device. I did have some heat issues with the iPads and the screens on the ll's are horrific in the direct sunlight. I have not had the chance to use another current generation iOS device with the new screens.
When shopping, I would strongly suggest testing a device in the broad daylight with some complicated graphic or Google maps.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2014, 9:41 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I know this is about tablets and all, but I, like Tigger use a cell as back up GPS.  If you can find a tablet with a stand alone GPS chip I recommend Backcountry Navigator as a great little GPS program for downloading TOPO's and tracking your self.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2014, 10:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Great input everyone, I appreciate the recommendations.

Blue_sage- thanks for the insight on use load and battery life- I can see that would be a major limitation in my idea of consolidating devices.  Also, I appreciate the comment on using a tablet in sunlight, that would be a consideration if relying heavily on it as a GPS.

Starbreaker- I'll put Backcountry Navigator on the list for GPS apps.  Others to consider- Gaia GPS, Backpacker GPS Trails Pro?


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2014, 10:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(CampinCarl @ Apr. 30 2014, 10:01 am)
QUOTE
Great input everyone, I appreciate the recommendations.

Blue_sage- thanks for the insight on use load and battery life- I can see that would be a major limitation in my idea of consolidating devices.  Also, I appreciate the comment on using a tablet in sunlight, that would be a consideration if relying heavily on it as a GPS.

Starbreaker- I'll put Backcountry Navigator on the list for GPS apps.  Others to consider- Gaia GPS, Backpacker GPS Trails Pro?

Most have a trial period.  Play with as many as you can.  I chose Backcountry due to it's ease of use and free map downloads..  There are no "map packs" or anything like some company's.  Seriously though play with as many as you can get your hands on.  MY Cell has stand alone GPS with includes GLONASS from the pesky commies..
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2014, 11:00 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I just got an iPad mini for road trips - not backpacking.  But I did take it on some backpacks rather than leave it in the car.

(I did read on Backpacking Light some folks have used it backpacking, being very frugal with the battery, limited GPS use (and no other use?).  Except for maps though if you don't use it for anything but GPS what is the advantage over a GPS?)

I am not sure my insight will be that valid since it is limited, but I think battery life would be a major limit.  I was surprised how fast it recharged in the car , I did not time it but it seemed about as fast as my iPod nano.  I think some cases provide extra battery for the iPad.  My keyboard uses a battery, but I don't think it shares its power.  

Biking in Portland I used it with some fitness apps.  The tracking is very inaccurate, but I had it in a handle bar pack.(But that points to a problem using it backpacking - putting in a place where it gets good reception might be a problem)  On my road trip it seemed to want wifi to find my location allot of places. I did put Gaia GPS on it, but did not use it since I did not do that backpack that I had trouble finding maps for.

I did not buy one of those waterproof/impact resistant cases.  Partly because that would add more weight and bulk and because they don't fit in some keyboards, and I read they broke trying to take them in/out. One review said he broke his iPad while backpacking in one of the cases, and they don't warranty allot of situations. (They did have allot of positive reviews though and my sister uses one).  I did keep it in keyboard case while backpacking after all so probably as much or more weight.

The other thing I got was a plastic pouch which hangs around your neck. This would keep it dry in most situations (add a ziplock if you are doing something really wet?) and keep you from dropping it.  The touch screen worked well enough for short durations, such as looking at fitness apps.  

I might have bought the sony tablet if they made a mini , totally waterproof, if you don't go suba diving with it.

I would rather use my GPS,kindle, and iPod nano than the mini for backpacking if I even take all 3, though the maps on Gaia are very nice.  About 16 ozs. vs 22 ozs for the iPad mini in the keyboard. (13ozs without).  I did not count extra batteries for the GPS since I did not for the iPad mini.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2014, 11:19 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There's this one I'm kind of waiting for to hit the market. It was originally supposed to be end of 2013 but it apparently hit some snags.

Edit: I've been wanting a tablet, mostly for E-books, and ran across it last year. There are features I probably wouldn't use but considering all it supposed to do, it can't be beat for the  price.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2014, 5:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Montanalonewolf @ Apr. 30 2014, 11:19 am)
QUOTE
There's this one I'm kind of waiting for to hit the market. It was originally supposed to be end of 2013 but it apparently hit some snags.

Edit: I've been wanting a tablet, mostly for E-books, and ran across it last year. There are features I probably wouldn't use but considering all it supposed to do, it can't be beat for the  price.

Oh man...  That made my inner gadget nerd  wake up...
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(Montanalonewolf @ Apr. 30 2014, 8:19 am)
QUOTE
There's this one I'm kind of waiting for to hit the market. It was originally supposed to be end of 2013 but it apparently hit some snags.

Edit: I've been wanting a tablet, mostly for E-books, and ran across it last year. There are features I probably wouldn't use but considering all it supposed to do, it can't be beat for the  price.

Wow, that would be a fun toy to play with for sure!

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PostIcon Posted on: May 09 2014, 7:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Earl update.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 10 2014, 8:29 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I use my iPod Touch for all of those applications except GPS. I would not rely on a tablet for GPS unless I'm going to be in areas with reliable cell service.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 30 2014, 3:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

HSF just pointed out that my WiFi only iPad mini does not have GPS, (I thought they added that to the Retina ones, but can't find anything that says that now).

Anyway, there are several GPSs that can connect to an iPad, for the cost probably makes more sense to get the other iPad, but with a blue tooth one you could mount it and keep the tablet in a different place.  It might prolong the battery life of the iPad as well?  Besides cost their is the added weight (2oz) and bulk.

Garmin GLO Bluetooth GPS for iOS and Android

EDIT:
Some bad reviews on Amazon though
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