Choosing a Tablet PC
- Outdoor/Sunlight viewing screen.
- Not too big. 12" is nice, no bigger than 13.5". Big screens are nice for viewing, but lap space is limited under the yoke.
- Active digitizer screen with required stylus, or passive touch screen (you can use your finger, but changes can happen accidentally).
- RAM, Processor, Disk: The more the better, but don't compromise the above. Intel I3/I5/I7 are the newest HD video graphics.
- Integrated SD HC slot (Secure Digital High Capacity) is nice to have (not regular SD), but a USB SD HC reader is also easy to use.
- Have a spare battery, but long lasting batteries aren't important if plug into the planes power (cigarette lighter). Extended batteries can make the Tablet larger, but being untethered is nice too.
- ULV (Ultra Low Voltage processors) do last longer on batteries, and make for smaller, lighter, cooler systems. Newest I3/I5/I7 ULV will run XMap and HD Video.
- Integrated DVD - optional. Doesn't hurt, but makes for a larger tablet on your lap. DVDs are more likely used on the ground, not the air, and you can hook up an external drive.
- Convertable Tablet PCs provide the best of both worlds: Tablet in the plane, Laptop with Keyboard on the ground.
- Windows 7 professional is required. Don't get the home version
Several interesting models between $2000-2500 as of April 2010:
- Fujitsu 2020. Previous generation. Long Battery life and thin. Older ULV processor on't play Hi Def Video smoothly
- Fujitsu T900. A little thicker. 2nd internal battery should allow for enough battery life. Newest processors available
- HP 2740P. Thin and good processors. Not yet known if the battery will last a 4 hour mission. Must order over the phone to get outdoor screen
- Auto/Airline 12 volt adapter (I always connect the Tablet PC, but other ATGS prefer no wires and that does work).
- Inverter 12->120v. This can be used as a backup to the Airline adapter.
- Extra stylus if Active Digitizing Screen.
- 12 volt plug splitter.
- USB GPS and USB cable. Bluetooth wireless can be very convenient, but is more difficult to setup and operate.
- Extra batteries.
- External DVD drive if needed.
Remember: Always keep the laptop wires out of the way for quick exit of the airplane
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