Planning to buy the best tablet for marine navigation purposes? You have come to the right place.
Many people want to know how to use a tablet for marine navigation. Tablets are very useful in this area of the world since they come with many features.
Tablets are also great tools for any fisherman looking to find new spots to try out. There are several apps that will let you check out maps of different areas.
These devices also have the advantage of being easily updated as new information becomes available, such as new aids to navigation or changes in marine regulations. So, with a tablet or notebook computer, you’ll always be able to navigate safely, even when on a long passage with no internet connection.
They can calculate distances and take your boat’s speed into consideration too so that you can easily find out where you’re going and whether you’ll be able to make it there in time.
Using these devices is also very helpful if there are bad weather conditions since they will alert you immediately when a storm is coming or when there is an upcoming risk of collision with another vessel.
This article will guide you through different steps that are necessary for buying the best tablet for marine navigation. If you do not want to get into the hassle of looking for every specific detail, then just simply move forward to the list of different tablets that we have compiled together after researching for hours.
Top iPads and Tablets for Marine Navigation
In marine navigation, these top iPads and Tabltes produce GPS data with electronic navigational chart(ENC) in chartplotter to locate boat and track positions of the craft.
How To Buy an iPad / Tablet for Marine Navigation?
There are three options available in the market as far as operating systems are considered.
IOS: This operating is very user-friendly and easy to use. Unfortunately, this operating system is only available on Apple devices. Though the responsiveness and speed of this operating system are way better than other operating systems and almost all the apps in the apple app store are optimized for this operating system. But this operating system also has some limitations. You cannot connect to other devices having other operating systems and installing 3rd party apps is also impossible until you jailbreak your device.
Usually, Apple iPad Pro and iPad Air are greatly encouraged for marine navigation tasks. In Marine navigation So, if you are an Apple lover and brand conscious, then you’ll certainly choose an iPad for Navionics in marine.
Android: Android is an open-source operating system but the most liked or used android is that of Google. Most mainstream companies use this operating system. Companies like Samsung, Lenovo, Amazon, and Sony. There is a large community of people who use tablets with this OS for the purpose of marine navigation. Mainly, these navigation tablets are Samsung Galaxy Tab 7, Fire HD 10, and Lenovo Tab M10 Plus.
The good thing about this operating system is that most of the devices available in the market use this operating system, so communicating between devices is very easy and another amazing feature about this operating system is that all 3rd party apps are supported and the play store installed on this operating system also has a wide variety of app collection. The bad thing about this OS is that as it is used by a wide variety of companies that’s why it is not optimized according to every device because of that you may feel some minor stutters here and there.
Windows: last on our list is the most powerful operating system. This operating system is very heavy and requires high-end hardware but at the same time, it also provides a lot of flexibility and smoothness. This operating system has everything that you will ever need. Here, we have included tablets from Microsoft i.e. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 and Surface Go Pro.
Display quality and size
The next thing to consider while buying the best tablet for marine navigation is the display size. The display size of the tablet is dependent on your requirement if you need more space on your screen then go for a tablet with a bigger display.
You will find two types of displays: AMOLED and IPS LED displays. Both of them are good but AMOLED can produce very dark blacks and other colors are also very vibrant. Some other display-related things that you should consider are the screen resolution of the display which should be at least 720 pixels, you should also consider a tablet with excellent viewing angles and high pixel density.
A good tablet should have enough RAM to be able to do multitasking and when you are navigating through different maps in marine day schedule it should be able to render every detail. A good tablet should have at least 4 GB RAM.
Processor and storage
The processor is another important thing that you should consider. Important things that you should look at when judging a tablet’s processor is its clock speed and the second thing you should consider is how many cores the processor has. On the other hand, you also select a tablet with enough storage so that you can store most of your data in it, some tablets also come with the support of an external SD card. So if you want removable storage then consider buying a tablet with SD card support.
A screen protector and a soft plastic case are usually provided by every company to make sure that you do not get any scratches or damage on your device. Also, consider a tablet with USB type C so that you can enjoy high data transfer. In the box of a tablet, you will also find a data cable and a charger so make sure that you get them with it.
GPS is the most important factor to consider in an iPad or tablet for marine navigation. In such situation, you may ask is how accurate is the GPS? The answer will shape your decision.
Some other features that you should consider are that the tablet you are buying should have a battery that can last for at least one whole day. WIFI should also be available in the tablet it could be both 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz and on the cellular side a good tablet should have both 3G and 4G connectivity, some modern tablets also have 5G connectivity.
These are all some important things that you should consider while buying a tablet. But if you do not want to get into these complexities then just simply move on to the list that we have compiled after hours of research.
1. Microsoft Surface Pro 7
First on our list of the best tablet for marine navigation is a tablet from Microsoft. The release of the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 was a big success. This tablet has a 12.3 inches display panel with a resolution of 2736 x 1824 pixels.
The display installed in this tablet can produce some fantastic and detailed images. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is powered by 10th generation processors. You can get this tablet with an intel core i3, core i5, and Core i7 processors. So the performance of this marine navigation tablet is dependends on the processor you select. But overall the smoothness and responsiveness of this tablet are unmatchable.
This tablet is compatible with a keyboard and touchpad combination from Microsoft and it also supports Microsoft pen. This can help you to be more productive and gives you more freedom to express your imagination. The operating system supported by this tablet is Windows 10. This tablet comes in a different configuration as far as RAM and storage are considered.
The available configurations are: 4 GB RAM/ 128 GB storage, 8 GB RAM/ 128 GB storage, 8 GB RAM/ 256 GB storage, 16 GB RAM/ 1 TB Storage, 16 GB RAM/ 256 GB storage and 16 GB RAM/ 512 GB Storage. You can select any one of them. But try to stick with such a tablet with enough RAM for getting efficiency in marine navigational activities.
The port selection on this device is also pretty good. It has a USB type C port, a USB Type-A port, an SD card port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
As far as the weight of this device is concerned it only weighs 1.70 pounds and the dimensions of this device are 12.74 x 9.09 x 1.91 inches. This tablet also comes with a rear camera of 8 MP. This tablet also has a pretty good battery life of 10.5 hours.
So, finally, we wrap up our short review about this best tablet for marine navigation.
2. New Microsoft Surface Go 2
Second on our list is a tablet from Microsoft for easy and convenient marine navigation. Microsoft Surface Go 2 has a 10.5 inches display with a max resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The display panel installed in this tablet can produce some amazing and detailed images.
Microsoft keyboard and pencil both are compatible with this device so you can be more productive and can also use this tablet in place of a laptop. This best tablet for marine navigation is greatly encouraged for taking into usage.
The processor is from Intel 8th generation. Multitasking and rendering is not an issue for this tablet. This tablet is available in different memory and storage configurations. You can either get this tablet with 4 GB Ram and 64 GB SSD or you can get it with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage.
The operating system installed in this tablet is windows 10 home. You will also get two cameras on this device one on the rear side and the other one on the front side. Both these cameras can capture decent pictures. The battery life of this device is also amazing. You will get up to 10 hours of battery life with moderate stress on the CPU.
Port selection on this device is also pretty good. This tablet has a USB type C port, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and an SD card port. As far as the weight of this device is concerned it only weighs 1.2 pounds and the dimensions of this tablet are 7.81 x 10.61 x 1.83 inches. Unfortunately, it is only available in silver color.
3. New Apple iPad Pro for Marine Navigation
Next on our list for best tablet for marine navigation, is a tablet from Apple. iPad Pro has a 12.9 inches screen with a resolution of 1080 pixels. This display also comes with a true tone feature. This display can produce some detailed and crisp pictures.
Apple also installed an A12Z bionic chipset in this tablet which is blazing fast, this processor has eight cores and is based on the latest technology. This processor is very smooth in its operation and it can run almost any application available. On the other hand, the camera configuration of this table is just amazing. This tablet has a 12 MP wide camera and a 10MP ultra-wide camera on the backside and it also has a 7 MP front-facing camera. All the cameras installed on this tablet can capture some amazing pictures.
The colors available in this tablet are space gray and silver. You can also get this tablet in different storage options of 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. This tablet has two stereo speakers on the bottom side. You can also attach a keyboard and a trackpad with it for more productivity. Apple pencil is also compatible with this tablet. As far as the weight of this device is concerned it only weighs 1.41 pounds and the dimensions of this tablet are 11.04 x 8.46 x 0.23 inches.
The battery life of this tablet is also pretty good and can last for long marine navigation. It can give you up to 10 hours of battery life on moderate usage. On the bottom side of this tablet, you will come across a USB type C port which can be used for charging this tablet and also for data transfer.
Apart from other exclusive features, this iPad also has an efficient GPS system for positioning and navigation in a marine.
4. New Apple iPad Air
iPad Air is an amazing product launched on 15th September 2020 suitable pick for navigation purposes, especially for marine. Like other Apple products, you can also get this device in many configurations. First of all, this iPad has a 10.9 inches’ retina display (resolution 2224 x 1668) which also comes with the technology of true tone. iPad Air is powered by an A14 Bionic chipset which is based on 64-bit architecture. As far as the storage capacity is concerned you have two options, a 64 GB option, and a 256 GB option.
There are two cameras installed in this tablet, on the rear side of the tablet you will find a 12 MP camera that is capable of recording in 1080p. On the front side, there is a 7 MP camera. This iPad is also compatible with a smart keyboard or a Bluetooth keyboard and you can also use an apple pencil with it. This iPad is available in green, rose gold, silver, sky blue, and space gray.
This iPad is pretty sleek and slim; it also looks very stylish in hand. the dimensions of this device are 10.2 x 7.4 x 1.97 inches and it only weighs exactly one pound. On the bottom side of this product, you will observe a USB type C port and two speakers. When you attach the smart keyboard with it, this also looks pretty good for audiophiles and music production.
It is quite a trusty iPad tablet for navigation in marine and other boats. It enables boat owners to monitor their GPS location and movements of their craft. As you know it is powered by an A14 bionic processor which simply is a powerhouse. As a result of this processor, this tablet is smooth in daily use and it is a beast when it comes to heavy work. On the other hand, this chipset is not just powerful but also very power efficient which provides this device longer battery life.
The battery life of this laptop is also very good. You can get up to 10 hours of battery life if you just stream YouTube or Netflix on it. It probably will last less if you do graphics-intensive work on it.
5. Samsung Electronics Galaxy Tab S7
Samsung Galaxy Tablet s7 is a brilliant option for marine navigation and chartplotter. This tablet comes with an 11 inches TFT display that can generate some amazing pictures. The installed display has very minimal bezels and some amazing viewing angles. On the performance side, it has an Octa-core processor and the cores of these processors are clocked up to 3.09 GHz.
Samsung also advertises this tablet as more powerful than a PC. As far as storage and memory of this tablet are concerned it comes in different configurations. You get this tablet in either 6 GB RAM or 8 GB RAM and on the storage side, you can get it in 128, 256, or 512 GB storage. Make sure to stick with a tablet with more RAM needed for navigation tasks in marine and also good for Chartplotter integration. Tablet’s GPS data with an electronic navigational chart (NVC) will be used Chartplotter device.
You can also use an S Pen with this device to be more creative and can portray your imagination. An external keyboard is also compatible with this device.
As far as the weight of this device is concerned it only weighs 1.7 pounds and the dimensions of this device are 0.25 x 6.51 x 9.99 inches. You will also come across a 14 MP rear camera on this device which can produce some amazing pictures. You will also come across a front-facing camera which can also produce decent images. The operating system installed on this tablet is Android 10.0. The battery life of this is around 15 hours.
Another amazing thing about this marine navigation tablet is that it has a USB type C port which can be used for both data transfer and charging this device. Galaxy Tab S7 is available in three colors: bronze, black, and silver.
6. Fire HD 10 Tablet
Next on our list is a tablet from Fire. This tablet has large set of specifications in queue helpful for marine navigation. Fire HD 10 tablet has a 10.1 inches display panel with a resolution of 1080 pixels. The provided panel can generate detailed and clear images. On the other hand, this tablet is also very powerful and can easily handle multitasking and rendering heavy games. It is our best tablet on budget for marine navigation.
The installed processor in this table has eight cores with a max frequency of 2.0 GHz. You will come across two cameras on this table. Both of them are of 2 MP and can record video up to 720 pixels. The operating system installed on this tablet is Android. Unfortunately, you do not get the support of an external keyboard or an external pen for more connectivity. RAM installed on this device is 2 GB and on the storage side, you can get this tablet either with 32 GB storage or with 64 GB storage.
You can also expand its storage up to 512 GB with the help of an SD card. For connectivity, there is a USB type C port available on the bottom side of this tablet. This port can be used for both connectivity and charging the device.
As far as the weight of this device is concerned it only weighs 504 grams and the dimensions of this device are 7.6 x 4.5 x 0.4 inches or 192 x 115 x 9.6 mm. The battery life of this tablet is around 12 hours. Colors Available in this device are black, twilight blue, plum, and white. This device also comes with 90 days of replacement warranty..
7. Apple iPad Mini
Apple released this product on the 18th of March 2019. In total two variants of this device were released. You can choose any one of them according to your budget and style. iPad mini comes with a bright and vibrant 7.9-inch retina display with true tone technology. Secondly, this device is powered by a fantastic CPU known as A12 bionic which is also based on 64-bit architecture like other apple devices. Because of the great performance, this iPad will efficiently track your boat’s GPS location while marine navigation.
Its GPS readings will help the boat owner to navigate his craft in relation to the surrounding, both above and below the water. This data would also help Chartplotter.
On the other hand, in the camera department, it is also pretty good. On the rear side, you will find an 8 MP camera that can record a video up to 1080p. Similarly, a 7MP selfie shooter is installed on the front side of the device. The support of an external keyboard and apple pen is also available; though it will cost you way more if you opt for it. The battery installed in this device is also a pretty amazing one and it can easily last for a whole day.
iPad mini is very stylish in its looks and its futuristic design makes it a dream device to room around with. As far as weight and dimensions are concerned, it weighs only 0.66 pounds and the dimensions of this device are 8 x 5.3 x 0.24 inches. On the bottom side of this device, you will come across some speakers, a lightning port, and a home button.
This device is powered by a powerful chipset known as A12 bionic. Because of this chipset, it is a beast in multitasking and power-intensive work. The optimized operating system installed in this device also helps it to be smooth and snappy in daily use. As a result of this unbelievable combination of chipset and software this iPad also takes attention while searching for tablets for marine Navionics. iPad mini comes with a 3 cell lithium polymer battery which can last up to 10 hours on moderate use.
8. Lenovo Tab M10 Plus
Next on our list is a tablet from Lenovo. This tablet satisfies the basic requirements of navigation in marine, makes its place in our list.
This tablet has a 10.3 inches display with a max resolution of 1920 x 1200. M10 plus also has a powerful chipset from Media-Tek, processing cores of this processor are clocked up to 2.3 GHz. You will also come across two cameras on this tablet. The front-facing camera is 5 MP and on the rear side, it has an 8 MP camera. This table has two speakers on the bottom side and a micro USB port for charging and data transfer. The installed RAM on this tablet is 4 GB.
Besides marine navigation, you can use this tablet for easy pdf annotations. The use is not limited. Tablet is smaller in size and light in weight. It only weighs 1.5 pounds and the dimensions of this device are 9.61 x 6.04 x 0.32 inches. Based on these specifications, this tablet is easy to carry for travels, missions, offices, and other outdoor places you like.
On the other hand, the battery life of this tablet is around 10 hours. The operating system installed on this tablet is android 9. This tablet is available in three different configurations: 2 GB RAM with 32 GB storage, 4 GB RAM with 128 GB storage, and 4GB RAM with 64 GB storage.
The Tablet Apps for Marine Navigation: Must-Have Software
The Global Positioning System (GPS) plays a significant role in marine navigation. Having an iPad or Tablet PC with a GPS receiver enables your boat to pinpoint its exact location at all times. No matter where you are, you can get voice guidance from a marine navigation app to reach your destination.
Tablets and iPads along with marine apps use GPS systems for navigation. Marine apps perform several functions such as Chartplotter, radar, echosounder, and AIS receiver. These applications are designed to assist navigators on boats with information about their surroundings.
The number one app you should have is Navionics. It is specifically designed for marine navigation and comes with a lot of great features.
You can find out where you are at any time using the position indicator, see all of the boat lanes, DNR markers, and buoys all over the map, or even see rips and current lines. The app also has information on fishing spots, marinas, and places to stay along your route so you don’t get lost at night.
Once you purchase Navionics, they will give you access to two years worth of updates so all of the boat lanes, buoys, and other markers are up to date. If you want to use this app on your boat make sure your tablet is waterproofed before going out on the water.
This app turns your handheld device into a full-featured marine navigation tool. By tapping into tidal predictions from NOAA and including current information, it keeps you up to date with water conditions for more than 30,000 spots around the world.
In addition to tides and currents, iNavX includes harbor charts with details about thousands of harbors, ports, and anchorages. I
t can also connect to your Chartplotter or chart table through NMEA 0183 or Bluetooth connections with multiple units (if you have more than one) at once. If you want an app that will show you everything you need to know while on the water in one place, this is it.
The C-Map app is easy to use in our round-up, which is great for newbie or novice navigators. The app is extremely intuitive and easy to maneuver through menus, so even if you’re a first-time user it shouldn’t take you long to figure out how to use the app.
Because it’s so easy to use, the C-Map app has a lot of the same bells and whistles as other next-gen apps in this review.
You can plot courses using a touchscreen on the app’s display map or through voice commands. You can also use your smartphone’s GPS capabilities if you don’t have a built-in unit.
The user interface is incredibly clear and beautifully designed, making it easy to follow along as you plot your course.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Tablet is best for Marine Navigation?
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is our editor’s choice tablet for marine navigation. If you like to buy an iPad then buy the New Apple iPad Pro will be a great pick.
What is the best tablet for GPS navigation?
If higher prices do not affect you, then go for an iPad because they are secure and malware-proof. iPad Air is even better for sailboats and GPS navigations for marines.
From where to buy an iPad or Tablet for marine navigation?
You can order your preferred item online from Amazon, eBay, Flipkart. You can also buy from respective official websites.
All of the above-mentioned tablets for marine navigation are selected after months of research. So you can select any one of them according to your budget and preferences. These iPads and tablets are good for marine navigation tasks.