Is there an "ultimate" tablet for Gaia/GPS?


As the title suggests... What is the best Tablet for overloading software currently available? You would think that this would be totally put to bed and there would be an answer on the forum, but no 2 people seem to align on their hardware. The world is full of tablets. The iPad is an absolute proven tablet, but sometimes doesn't appear to struggle with integration to Gaia and other apps out there. Android (I can't believe I am saying it) does seem to have the easy to integration and set up worked out for GPS. With that being said, the market is FULL of options and some that may not actually be as reliable as we would want for Offroad/overlanding adventures.

What are we looking for in a piece of GPS Tablet?

Durability (vibration, falling off mounts, possible water, etc.)
Dependability (good charging port, strong components that will always work)
Battery life (so you don't necessarily always have to leave it plugged in)
GPS antenna power (does this matter? or just integrate it with a Garmin inReach or external antenna?)
Cases and Mounts (needs to have good options out there in the market)

What do you think? What are you using? What do you wish you would have used? What is new in the market?


I have run Gaia on both android and iOS, and it runs far better on iOS. I specifically bought a 10" Samsung tablet for Gaia, but ended up using my 5" iPhone more as the experience was better on iOS. I am certain this is a Gaia problem not an OS problem, they seem to focus their development time on iOS.

Now I have a 13" iPad pro, and I have to say it is fantastic for mapping, so much so that I rarely break out the gazetteers any more. I use a inReach for GPS, but if you want to go all in, buy the cellular model.

Recommended books for Overlanding

Dreaming of Jupiter
by Ted Simon
From $15.36
Crossing the Congo: Over Land and Water in a Hard Place
by Mike Martin, Chloe Baker, Charlie Hatch-Barnwell
From $29.95


Will let you know I just did the iPad Pro 12.9 cell version and will be using it with Gaia and inreach in the van. need a new mount for now.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


Like Rando we struggled for a year to make GAIA work for us on our Samsung tablet and phones. We gave up and moved our GAIA work over to an iPad (12.9 3rd gen celluar) and iPhone (11 Pro). The difference was night and day. This is not a statement about iOS being better than Android (I don't believe that is true). It is an observation about one piece of software working better for us on iOS than on Android. Our success was not cheap - we maxed possible memory on all the devices but it worked. At nearly the same time we were moving to doing more of our photo and video editing on tablets with specific software so the move to iOS had other advantages as well

I asked a friend of mine who develops applications in both Android and iOS systems why some software works better on iOS while some works better on Android. He felt that it was sometimes easier to develop software for iOS if one was willing to play by the Apple rules because the environment was more controlled and the devices less diverse - thus a developer needed to test their product and updates on seven or eight phones and a similar number of tablets in the iOS domain. In the Android domain there could be 10 times those numbers. Makes sense to me, but I have no idea if it is true or not.

I'm sure there are mapping tools that work better in the Android environment, but the OP's query was specifically addressed at GAIA.



'Nother vote for IOS.

Android devices, not just tablets, struggle with Gaia

My 6 year old Iphone 6 runs it considerably better than the brand new Samsung TabA we picked up to try gaia on a tablet.
We have put up with it for a year or so now, but an Ipad Air is on the list....


Active member
iPad Mini 4 that I found at a pawn shop and Avenza here. Screen cracked when I dropped it in the garage, but it just works, so we keep it for now.


Active member
I run GaiaGps on iPhone XR and iPad Pro (earlier generation 9.7") and it works flawlessly. It is a cellular/wireless model but I often pair it with a DUAL external Gps. Battery life is extended by on board truck charging and I use two different types of RAM mounts. I am using a soft case whose brand name I don't recall.


New member
Interesting. Gaia has been running seamlessly on my Samsung tablet. It is pretty new and cellular enabled....but ya, it's been great so far. Maybe not as seamless as iOS but it gets the job done nicely for me.

I've been using Gaia on my iPad and iPhone for years and it runs flawlessly. I've never owned an Android device, so I can't speak to the performance on that platform.

Recommended books for Overlanding


Yep! I've been running Gaia on my 3rd gen iPad since 2012. The iPad is so old that Apple will not update the iOS. Gaia has been shutting down and freezing lately and some of my maps wouldn't load. Tried reloading Gaia and I got the same message. Time for new iPad.

When Gaia was running, I had no issues and I love some of the map overlays. Hunting, Public Lands, Wildfires, Cell coverage, etc. Not to mention all the Topo and a relative new one Mine and Mineral Resources overlays.


I've been running Gaia on all of my Android devices so I'm not familiar with IOS devices. It's plenty sufficient for my needs, bringing in/out layers as needed. My tablet is five years old and it's an Asus brand. I'm coming from the laptop world where all info nicely located on my hdd and didn't have to deal with downloads or paying for monthly subs. Still, the tablet cleans up the cab nicely and more room for the passenger.