Who's geocaching with a tablet/netbook/laptop?
Ok...since these android powered devices have came out, I've been interested in them to see if they would work in the cache mobile to get you to and from caches easier, look up info while en-route on a screen big enough to easily read, and to have a variety of map options.
I swung by best buy and played with some just to see and it looks like once you navigate around an area with it's built in wi-fi, it will "cache" the area for google maps to use when you don't have a internet connection. Most models have built in GPS chips which will allow it to be used as a gps navigation tool. I looked on the android market and there are several apps some free some 10 bucks or less that have good reviews for mapping and map navigation.
We use a Magellan GC at the moment and it shows roads, streets, trails, etc, but once you zoom out to .25 or more you loose all the road detail. and it's like using our old Garmin gpsmap GC with just a basemap.
In addition to 7", 8" to 10.1" tablets, the older toughbooks by panasonice have been popping up on ebay and I've seen them go for less than $50 bucks. Now these are OLD computers, but for the task of riding around in a vehicle, getting wet, etc they would be perfect. Some have built in GPS but most would need the USB add on that you see all over ebay as well. Some the screen can "flip" on and turn it into a tablet and touch screen. Most look like they come from ebay with windows XP Pro on them, but who knows how slow that is on 512MB of mem and a 1.2ghz processor.
I'm just asking if you have any success or have tried it and if you liked it or not for it's limited use. We'll still use our Magellan GC for outside the rig because it's tough.
Here is a website I found that discusses this and if you go to the groundspeak forums it's all over there.
I use my android powered Samsung Galaxy SII Skyrocket frequently for caching and it's awesome. I can do turn by turn directions to the cache, and then use a compass or radar interface to get me to the actual cache location. It's got a huge screen (for a phone, anyway) and works just great for caching.
I have previously used a laptop for navigation with a GPS dongle, but the performance was sub-par. I'm really really REALLY happy with the performance of my phone, though.
I had a tablet for a little bit, but the issue I always had was that the thing was so heavy and once both sides of the thing were chiseled out, I had to get a new one. Plus it took a while to log my finds.
Just my $0.02.
I still haven't got the money to buy a real GPSr and I have found all 825 caches(and counting) with my HTC 4G phone from sprint with the geocaching app from geocaching.com.(or before my HTC I had a blackberry which wasn't near as good) It has a large screen that has a good map that can zoom in close. It has turn by turn directions. It allows me to post field notes so that I can log them when I get home, and I don't even have to plug my phone into my computer it sends it wirelesly from in the field. The only problem I have with it is it doesnt work real good under heavy tree cover. And sometimes when I want to find a nearby cache and I'm out in the middle of nowhere I don't have enough cell coverage to bring it up. I want a real GPSr but I can't complain to much about my phone.