UKC

Which tablet for Viewranger or OS download maps?

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 abr1966 23 Nov 2020

Decided to go down this route for decent weather walking in UK.

Any recommendations for tablets....especially with decent battery life....

 abr1966 24 Nov 2020
In reply to abr1966:

Just bumping.....

 afx22 24 Nov 2020
In reply to abr1966:

Wouldn’t you just use a phone?  

It would be far less easy to break, possibly better battery life, easier to store in a rucksack or pocket, more rugged cases available and so on.

 Marek 24 Nov 2020
In reply to abr1966:

I'm guessing the lack of responses may be because people are a bit mystified by your 'decision'. A tablet will involve a lot of weird compromises depending on how you think you are going to use it (aka your 'usage model'). Is it to be you primary nav tool? Or just for occasional use in addition to a paper map?

If the former (assumed, since otherwise you wouldn't be too bothered about battery life), then a primary consideration is how you're going to carry it - pocket (then it can't be much bigger than a phone)? Map case round your neck (will tend to get banged around a bit with a high risk of cracking the screen). Some sort of dedicated protective (non-transparent) 'tablet-bag'?

I regularly use paper maps or phone for primary nav tools (depending of what I'm doing), but I'm struggling to imaging a situation where a tablet would be better than either. Perhaps I'm too set in my ways...

As for battery life - I don't think there's much difference between cheap tablets (I certainly wouldn't be packing an expensive one up the hills unless I really, really had a good reason), so the answer is likely to be an external powerbank.

 abr1966 24 Nov 2020
In reply to abr1966:

Thanks for the replies so far....just for clarity I will always have a map and am quite competent in navigation....I walk occasionally with a friend who has a progressive visual disorder and cannot see smaller screens such as my phone. He was a very keen walker, a Munro completer in fact but now needs close company on the hill but does like to be art of the whole process including map reading...

In reply to abr1966:

The best tablet for viewing maps is an iPad because the high resolution screen is perfect for them.  They also have good battery life.  However, it might be a bit expensive for taking up a hill and dropping in a puddle!

Might it make more sense to print maps out for him, zoomed in?

That said you can get waterproof iPad cases e.g. the following, which isn't cheap but is listed on a ship's chandlery website so is probably reputable!

https://www.force4.co.uk/item/4Smart/Waterproof-iPad-Case-iPad-97/B7H?utm_source=google&utm_medium=base&utm_campaign=base&stock=14525

Post edited at 16:42
 Marek 24 Nov 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

If the user has a progressive visual disorder which make small screens a problem, then retina resolution on an iPad is probably less important (almost by definition) than say contrast, brightness, anti-reflective coatings, etc. The flip side of that of course is that waterproof cases like the one you highlighted above are most likely only available for iPads, so if you want a case like that then your options are pretty limited.

An alternative might be something like Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 (or even Pro) since they're designed to be robust and outdoorsy. Not cheap (~£400, but no worse than iPads + case and probably more robust). Or perhaps get a cheap no-name Android tablet (£50-100) and accept that it might not last years?

 deepsoup 24 Nov 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Might it make more sense to print maps out for him, zoomed in?

I'd second that.

I've been doing some of the 'Peak Raid 2' diy print-your-own-map mini-MM type events this year*, and have been doing exactly that instead of faffing about with reading glasses or whatever.  (It's frustrating trying to manipulate reading specs, or a magnifying glass when you're hot and sweaty, and the weather is cold or wet.  The lenses are either wet or steamed up and you can't see a bloody thing.)

Viewranger isn't so good for just printing a map, but if you have a subscription the OS website allows you to print a 50k or 25k map at 12.5k or 10k instead to make a 'large print' version.  (Or print them at their 'correct' scale to pdf, and then enlarge it however you like when you subsequently print that on paper.)  It's much less fun, but maybe spend the 'tablet' budget on an A3 inkjet printer instead?

*These are the 'virtual' mini-MM things I mean: http://explorerevents.co.uk/map-run/
Poor guys tried to run an Autumn series of 'real' events as well this year, but had absolutely no luck at all - the only one of the four that Covid would have allowed to go ahead ended up being cancelled because of bad weather.

In reply to abr1966:

Have a look at the Doogee S80. Its a phone, not a tablet, but it has a big screen, very accurate GPS, is extremely rugged and waterproof, and has approx 5 day battery life. The downside is that it's heavy. I've had mine for a year, using on the hill in abysmal weather regularly and also for writing reports in an outdoor industrial environment at work, and it's still going strong.

In reply to Neil Williams:

> The best tablet for viewing maps is an iPad because the high resolution screen is perfect for them.

You also need to consider the resolution of the mapping imagery. Having a screen resolution massively greater than the source resolution might be overkill, although it does allow flexibility is zoom level, provided the zoom function applies a good resolution conversion filter.

Maps looked pretty good on the Hudl.


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