Chartplotter VS Computer
I use a very small cube shaped computer I put together a couple years ago for my main computer. I believe the box and motherboard came from evergreen. I bought it from Tiger Computers. It has lots of ports (usb 1.1, usb 2, firewire, ps2, if, etc). I put in a cdrw-dvd plus a radio card and have a flat panel display which also has a tv tuner built in. Thus this is a whole entertainment center and computer combined. I like Matech Ocean navigator and have travled from New Jersey to the Bahamas with thier charts on this computer. I have a earthmate usb gps pluged into this which works very well. From this computer I download my charts on to a IPaq 3835 with a Navman gps sleeve and use this in the cockpit. The display is easy to see in day light and the refresh rate is very quick. If this ever goes south I think I would buy something like the xplore ix104 tablet pc. It should run Ocean Navigator and is surmergable.
I also have a dell 400 mhz laptop with a touch screen lcd in my pilot house. This works well (you don''t need a keyboard or mouse to use) but the lcd is hard to see in bright sunlight and 400 mhz isn''t fast enough to run the charts on - i.e. when I am calculating distances to bridges I want information in 10 seconds not 1 minute.