looking for a GPS tablet

frankey

New member
Not happy with my garman, it will not let me do what I want. Does anyone know of an affordable tablet that will run GPS without internet or cellular.
 

plh

Explorer
I have a Zonko 10.1" android tablet, it works off-line for GPS, but it also has a 4G sim card slot (and wifi/bt etc...) if you want to go that route. Somewhere around $125 on Amazon - could be some Prime day deals out there.
 

Rallyroo

Expedition Leader
You may want to test out couple of your friends tablets to figure out which app you like. Then decide which platform to go with: Android based tablet or Apple iPad. Some apps are only built for one platform.
 

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Howard70

Adventurer
You may want to test out couple of your friends tablets to figure out which app you like. Then decide which platform to go with: Android based tablet or Apple iPad. Some apps are only built for one platform.
I agree completely with Rallyroo - decide what application you'll use and then find the operating system that supports it best and then look for the tablet that works with that OS. For instance you might decide you prefer AlpineQuest. In that case you'll need an Android tablet. On the other hand you might prefer PocketEarth. In that case you'll need an iOS tablet (iPad). Even with applications that support both operating systems, like GaiaGPS, some folks have found those provide better functionality on iOS or Android. It probably sounds like a PIA to do this before getting a tablet and hitting the two-tracks, but it might serve you better in the long run.

Howard Snell
 

frankey

New member
Thank you to those who offered their help. What I am looking for is a tablet for on road use. I do not have a plan that has a lot of data so I do not want a cellular GPS and can’t use wifi. I am looking for a tablet so I can expand and shrink maps to look at roads and routes and be large enough for my old eyes to see while driving. Any help would be appreciated
 

Joe917

Explorer
We run Maps.me (free) on a Samsung 10" tablet (Ram mount). Once you download the maps (openstreetmap,free). works offline, maps are very up to date and accurate, no issues from Alaska to Ushuaia. No Topo data but even the smallest roads and hiking trails are shown. The ability to quickly zoom in and out on a large screen is a great feature.
 

Howard70

Adventurer
Hello Frankey:

Here's what I currently use and am very happy with the set up:

Tablet - iPad 12.9" 3rd generation with 1 terrabyte storage (immense amount of room for downloaded maps - important if you don't want to use cell data and/or are out of cell coverage). Big bright screen (although not bright in direct sunlight), easy on the eyes. It is a cellular iPad and I do have a cell plan attached to it, but it runs fine without a cell plan also. If you go into the iPad world you need a cellular capable iPad simply to get an integrated GPS receiver. Again, you don't need the cellular capability to be activated with a cellular plan but the GPS is really helpful. You can get by with a separate gps receiver communicating with a non-gps iPad via bluetooth or possibly communicating location from your phone's gps to the iPad via bluetooth, but I personally like have the iPad with it's own GPS for simplicity and it always works. If you want to look at maps without having your actual location indicated on the map then you don't need gps at all. However, that misses a lot of the functionality of electronic mapping.

Application - before I went down the Apple rabbit hole, I ran Alpinequest on a Samsung phone and Samsung 10.5" tablet. Happy with Alpinequest, but not so much the hardware for reasons I've described in other posts. Now using GaiaGPS and am very happy with it. Important to note that not everyone likes Gaia for understandable reasons. Possible that more satisfied users are on the iOS side than on the Android side. We have Premium subscription to Gaia for the variety of maps available there.

This is not an inexpensive system, but after a couple decades of various GPS units, mobile devices with various applications, tracking and mapping for three vehicles, three motorcycles, three bicycles, a sailboat in South America and a decade of GIS mapping work it is the system we've settled on for the foreseeable future.

Good luck!

Howard Snell
 

Arishtat

New member
Thank you to those who offered their help. What I am looking for is a tablet for on road use. I do not have a plan that has a lot of data so I do not want a cellular GPS and can’t use wifi. I am looking for a tablet so I can expand and shrink maps to look at roads and routes and be large enough for my old eyes to see while driving. Any help would be appreciated
You're going to want a full size tablet such as an iPad 10" or larger for the screen real estate. At that point you can decide whether to buy one that has a SIM card slot that includes onboard GPS (I recommend this) or get a WiFi-only and use a GPS dongle on the Lightning port (kinda kludgy, but doable with a splitter cable and some creative wiring to put the GPS receiver in a spot with a clear view of the sky).

As for software I recommend Pocket Earth Pro or plain old Google Maps with offline maps pre-downloaded off WiFi.

I personally use an iPad Mini with onboard cellular and GPS, but I think that going forward I would like to replace the Mini with a full sized iPad.

IMG_0806.jpg

This is what it looks like in use.

IMG_1832.jpg

And this is my 'analog GPS' from a recent trip to the New River in West Virginia because I didn't have offline maps downloaded so I made do with one from the ranger station. It actually worked out better than expected.
 
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LandCruiserPhil

Expedition Leader
I went with Apple because it was the only screen I could see well while wearing my sunglasses.

AS for software, I think it depends on your needs. I run several mapping software apps because each offers something a little different.
 

Arishtat

New member
I went with Apple because it was the only screen I could see well while wearing my sunglasses.

AS for software, I think it depends on your needs. I run several mapping software apps because each offers something a little different.
Phil makes a very good point. Different packages are better at different things. Also you'll find that different places have their own 'pet' mapping application. That's the advantage a tablet has over say a Garmin, you can load and run more than one application. For example I really like Gaia for recording tracks, but find Pocket Map Pro better for acting like a digital map book. Also Pocket Map Pro is a one-time purchase whereas Gaia is a subscription for the more advanced features.

In addition to the above I also have:
- Avenza Maps (upload your own scaled PDF maps like those from the VT DOT)
- Maprika (used by some off road parks)
- MTB Project (more for riding than driving)
- Trailforks (biking and hiking)
 

86scotty

Explorer
After having several iterations of both OS's I'm back to a Samsung Galaxy tab, albeit a cell/wifi model. I use it on road for work and off road for play. Better battery life than previous iPads, better support of the apps I prefer. You can get decent GPS apps on either but you can get an Android tablet much cheaper than any iDevice.

The biggest thing is to get the newest (latest release) one you can afford for obvious reasons like screen resolution and improved battery life.
 

Howard70

Adventurer
The biggest thing is to get the newest (latest release) one you can afford for obvious reasons like screen resolution and improved battery life.
I'll second Scotty's advice about getting the latest release you can afford. Older models are often available for significant savings, but if you like to keep your hardware for many years you could find your physically fine older model out of OS support and then when your apps update features for newer OS versions, out of app support as well.

I'd also suggest the brightest, largest, highest resolution screen you can afford. If possible check the app you'd like to use and see if the text on the maps can be enlarged independently of zooming the map. Some apps are behind in handling high resolution screens such that their lines and text get really tiny at higher resolutions. Zooming the screen via the OS to see those fine lines and small text often moves functional buttons and other information off the screen.

Howard Snell
 
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