In The Desert
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Tablets, APP's, Accessories
These are the choices we made at In the Desert and you may decide on other options, but at least you'll know what to expect with these. Also be aware that it won't matter if you go with a Google Nexus tablet or a Samsung Galaxy tablet, very little difference, except price, with the Samung being about $80 cheaper. The accessories will be the same for both tablets.
The total cost for this rig was just under $300. Less than a good quality GPS, but with a larger screen and so much more. So what did we get for that? Here's a list of everything. That price does not include any APP's like BackCountry Navigator.
Tablet 12 V Charger Amazon Store HERE
Critter Map-BackCountry Navigator at the Google Play Store HERE
Nexus 7 Tablet at Google HERE
Make sure that the 12 volt charger/plug-in is 2.1 amps to keep your tablet battery charged. Around $5.
If you look at the enlarged view at the top you'll notice that the track ( in RED ) is larger and that the position ( red arrow ) is also larger. You can adjust them to whatever size or color you'd like to see on the map. You can import or export .gpx files. This makes it convenient to put the files on your computer, in Drop Box or elsewhere to share. You can import them to view or visit someone else's trip location. All easy to accomplish.
We still haven't found a matte film we really like that applies easily, so we didn't list one here. Otherwise we've been more than satisfied with the Samsung tablet and the accessories. I'm sure you'd feel the same way with a Google Nexus 7.
In your vehicle, which GPS would you rather look at?
Your choices may not be the same. You may, for instance, opt for a Nexus 7 inch, 32 gig tablet, which will work great. Also not listed above is the Critter Map- BackCountry Navigator GPS ( BCN ) application. Both are linked below. BCN is one of a few we looked into and it is by far the most user friendly with a lot of map and aerial map options. Really nice software. Cost around $10
We bought an extra charging USB cord ( link above ) so we can keep one in the house and one in our vehicle. This cord costs less than $6. On trips we keep it plugged in and the tablet battery stays full.
We bought an extra charging USB cord so we can keep one in the house and one in our vehicle. This cord costs less than $6
The next two items are optional. A 16 gig flash drive and a mini-USB to USB cable ( very short cable ). This is for transferring files and loading photos or tracks onto the flashdrive to transfer them to the tablet. Also good to use for showing off photos without transferring them. This way you won't use up your memory in the tablet. Also good for putting links on the flashdrive to easily access different sites on the Internet. Or even to load passwords for easy access on the tablet. A lot of different convenient uses without using up your tablets memory.
The Otterbox Case cost a lot more than any of the other cases for a 7 inch tablet. But it makes the tablet nearly indestructible and dust proof. For the desert we thought this was a must have.
The iOttie Dashboard Mount shown above was our choice and may not work for you because of dashboard shape. It works great on a curved dash like ours, your's may differ. It does hold the tablet very firmly.
There are a lot of 12 volt chargers to choose from, all have different prices and are shaped differently. We chose this one as it has two outlets, with one being a 2.1 amp USB outlet. It works fine and takes up very little space.
Listed in the order shown above.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7 is working just fine. It takes time to get use to working on a tablet but once you do, well this one works great. It has many other uses besides a large screen GPS, like free phone APP's, video calls, surfing and more.
You could buy all this from other retailers or Internet stores, but please be careful and understand what their return policy is. We had to return the first dashboard mount as the tablet in the Otterbox case wouldn't fit in it. With Amazon it was a simple matter to make a swap. Almost all their shipping is free ( except on returns ) and it's also tax-free. The links above are for your convenience.
The SanDisk 32 gig Micro SD card to add memory to the tablet. This bring the total memory to 40 gigs. A lot of files, like maps and tracks, are stored on the EX Micro SD card, so this is a must have. Nice that you can remove it to delete files too.
The SanDisk Cruzer is a 16 gig flash drive that works great on the PC and with the tablet. Around $13.
Cable Adapter 30 pin to Female USH for the Samsung tablet, for the flash drive shown above. Less than $4.
iOttie Universal Easy Grip Dashboard Mount. This mount will handle a tablet in a case and hold it securely. Nice mount for around $30.
Otterbox Defender Series Case wtih a stand. It is a pain to get it apart and back together, but it does work and we leave the case on all the time. Works great. Around $48.
SanDish microSDHC Flash Memory Card to plug into the tablet to add memory. Around $22.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 ( 7 inch Wi-Fi ) tablet. With the Android Jelly Bean 4.1.1 operting system. Around $169
Samsung Galazy Tab 2 7 inch tablet. HERE
SanDisk microSDHC Flash Memory Card HERE
Otterbox Defender Series Case HERE
iOttie Universal Easy Grip Dashboard Mount HERE
Samsung OEM charging cable HERE
SanDisk Cruzer 16 GB Flash Drive HERE
Cable adapter to use the flash drive above HERE