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Tablet-pc for FSX Tools?!

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Hi guys,

 

I am genuinely considering buying a tablet-pc, but haven't too much knowledge about the system behind this hardware.

 

I want to use it for viewing charts (probably with the tool of navigraph, but I am not sure yet, whether to subscribe or not) and other stuff.

 

Do you know whether it's possible to run tools like:

  • PFPX
  • TOPCAT
  • Vpilot

 

on a tablet? I've read very good reputation on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4. This one wouldn't be that expensive either.

 

I think it would be worth considering buying a tablet, so you could use it for many different tasks.

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Hi

 

For those programs you would need windows 8 (don't know if that's a problem for you) on your tablet (don't know if it could be done on samsung galaxy tab 4).

Frooglesim made a review on a windows tablet, but it is more regarding the touch compatability of programs. You can use windows tablets with a mouse.

I don't realy know if it's going to be powerful enought tough.

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Having just bought a tablet for similar reasons, I should probably chip in  :ph34r:

 

The short answer:  Yes you can run most FS tools on a tablet, providing you buy a Windows 8 tablet (which rules out the Galaxy Tab 4 unless you want to do some serious bodging/tweaking, which I suspect you don't).  The biggest problem will not be performance, it will be using PC interfaces on the smaller screen.

 

The long answer:  Like every good answer, it starts with a question  :lol: Why does it need to be a tablet?  Are you going to use it more generally outside flight simming?  Do you not have space for a second desktop?  Do you just want a touch interface for charts?

 

If you just want a touch interface for charts, but have space for the second desktop, buy the desktop and a touchscreen monitor.  You will get a much better user experience than any tablet.

 

If you want a good quality tablet for more general use, a Surface Pro or similar high end Windows 8 tablet will work just fine (subject to my workflow comments below).You can get an iPad and use Air Display, the problem with that is it is that you are further loading up your main sim PC with extra tasks and will cost you a few FPS.  I'm not aware of any Android equivalent that is nearly as slick as Air Display, so I wouldn't recommend an Android tablet for this (though I'd take Android over iOS any day for general use....).

 

If you are space constrained and just want a tablet for sim use (like me), then you can look at the real bottom end of the Windows tablet market and it's now a question of "how low can you go".  Whilst I can't claim to have scrapped the bottom of the barrel, there are few cheaper options than Chinese generics: http://www.amazon.co.uk/IDream-32GB-Win8-Momo8W-8-0/dp/B00SSIURB8  Ployer MOMO8W.  8" screen, 32GB memory, 2GB ram, Windows 8 with Bing (which is identical to Windows 8 standard, the "with Bing" means the manufacturer can't install another browser before delivery, but the end user can).  It quite happily runs both ASN and Aivlasoft EFB without any performance problems.  I wouldn't go down to the 1GB ram version, nor would I want a smaller screen, but there are enough Chinese generics on the market that you shouldn't have to.

 

So, you've got your tablet, what bits can you reasonably run on it?  The Froogle video linked above makes some good points about usability, especially if you rely on annotating PDF charts.   Without attached mice/keyboard (which would defeat the point of having a tablet), you can't use detailed applications (such as PFPX and by extension TOPCAT, though that looks to be simpler in interface terms) easily, but you can happily browse charts or put a moving map EFB on there.  

 

So you need to think about what your workflow is and adjust it to use the best device for the job.  In my case, my P3D/PFPX/Aivlasoft EFB workflow is:

  • Start P3D and PFPX on the desktop and start ASN on the tablet.  Choose flight from PFPX schedule, set sim time accordingly and give ASN historical mode a few monents to sync up
  • Re-load weather and plan flight in PFPX on desktop
  • Export route to Prepar3D route folder and EFB route folder (both hosted as shares on the desktop)
  • Print OFP as PDF to EFB library folder (on desktop) and configure weights via aircraft control panel (Q400 only)
  • Start EFB data source on desktop and EFB display on tablet.
  • Configure EFB route on tablet and open OFP PDF from library
  • Return to P3D, configure weights (anything but Q400), configure FMS, close OFP on tablet and return to EFB and go fly

By following the above flow, I never have to use a tablet for anything that requires detailed mouse/keyboard input, I have my OFP to hand on the tablet and I gain the lovely moving maps/charts of the EFB.  I haven't moved vPilot over as I suspect it is more useable with the keyboard and isn't full screen.

 

In summary, if you want a simming tablet (and want to run applications rather than just browse PDFs), you don't need anything expensive, Windows 8, 2GB ram and preferably a minimum of an 8 inch screen, which should set you back no more than £100.  Would a Surface Pro give a better experience?  Yes, but at 6-10 times the price.

 

 

Edit: Wow.  That was a bit more of a wall of text than I was aiming for!  Hope that's helpful...

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Really detailed. Thanks for you reply!

 

Answer to the question :-D : I actually never have had intended to buy a tablet (is that grammatically correct, no idea if right tense), however when I noticed LIDO charts are going to be available that change my mindset. I know I would be able to use them on my desktop either, but it's more "as real as it gets" with a tablet. Another point is, I don't like to read PDF on my TFT. I mean it's ok, but I think it's more comfortable with a tablet, so you're not fixed to your computer and can sit somewhere and read stuff.

 

It would be a nice side effect to run applications like TOPCAT on a tablet but not a must have. Though it would increase the factor of "as real as it gets" tremendously. To the question with a second screen. I've had a second screen on my desk, but for some a reason it stopped working. Think, it is now quiet old and deserves to retire, has round about 10 years now.

 

In conclusion I only need a tablet for viewing charts and read PDF's as the FCOM and other stuff. I probably will buy a need laptop next year, so perhaps I will consider to buy one of those you can use as an tablet, too. For now a cheap tablet for PDF/Charts should be enough.

 

How to did you connect your tablet with your PC? So would it be possible to run vpilot on a tablet? That the only think that annoys me, and for that reason I miss my second screen.

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So it sounds like a cheap Chinese generic tablet for sim use is the way to go.  It will definitely do the PDF browsing, and a Windows tablet should easily handle the LIDO chart apps.

 

You can run TOPCAT and vPilot on a tablet, it's just not going to be as comfortable as on a desktop (e.g. typing messages to users in vPilot will be a pain without a keyboard).  The only thing I would actually write off is PFPX, it's just too complex, but I'm sure dispatchers don't do their jobs on tablets :lol:  and you shouldn't be using it after takeoff, just export the OFP as a PDF and you can browse it like a chart on your tablet.

 

As for connecting, that's a whole book in itself.  Fortunately using a Windows tablet makes it just like attaching another PC.  For PDFs/flight plans, I have shared folders on my main machine that the tablet can read and write in, for everything else it's SimConnect.  Of the ones you mention, only vPilot has specific instructions: 

 

If you have any other specific apps in mind I can try help, but you need a clear idea of what you want to run as it's generally app specific.

 

Cheers,

 

Jamie

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The video somebody linked above is for the Surface Pro 1 (Not the latest, 3). It's not really a tablet. It's more like a laptop hybrid with tablet.

 

 

 

For what you want, I highly suggest you get a cheap Windows 8 tablet, such as the Toshiba Encore 2 or Encore Mini. They're 7" or so, and run full Windows 8.1 which allows you to install those programs you use. I personally have a Dell Venue 8 Pro that cost $120, and it's incredibly useful when flying.

Edited by linux731

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The video somebody linked above is for the Surface Pro 1 (Not the latest, 3). It's not really a tablet. It's more like a laptop hybrid with tablet.

 

 

 

For what you want, I highly suggest you get a cheap Windows 8 tablet, such as the Toshiba Encore 2 or Encore Mini. They're 7" or so, and run full Windows 8.1 which allows you to install those programs you use. I personally have a Dell Venue 8 Pro that cost $120, and it's incredibly useful when flying.

 

Hell, if even the bloke with Linux in his username is recommending Windows, it's probably a good plan  :lol:

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Hell, if even the bloke with Linux in his username is recommending Windows, it's probably a good plan  :lol:

Well I don't use Linux, but regardless, I have never heard of a Linux tablet (Don't tell me Android is Linux).

Edited by linux731

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Well I don't use Linux, but regardless, I have never heard of a Linux tablet

 
Oh, you mean like Android?
 

 

(Don't tell me Android is Linux).

 

 

:p0816:

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