Earl is a rugged Android 4.1 Android Tablet with all you need for the outdoors including a 6″ E-ink display to be readable in all light conditions, GPS capability, and 20 hours of battery life. And if it’s not enough, you can also recharge this water-proof device with the built-in solar panel on your way to the mountain top.
Here are the specifications of this device:
- SoC – Freescale i.MX 6 DualLight Cortex A9 @ 1GHz + Vivante GC880 GPU
- System Memory – 1GB
- Storage – 16GB flash + microSD slot
- Display – Flexible 6″ E-ink screen (1024×768), with glove friendly IR touchscreen
- Connectivity – Wifi b/g/n, BT 4.0, ANT+, NFC, FRS/GMRS/MURS, and GPS + GLONASS
- Sensors – Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer, Temperature, Barometer, Humidity, and Anemometer
- Misc – Radio AM/FM/SW/LW + IR blaster
- Battery – 3000 mAh (20+ hour) rechargeable with solar panel or via the provided 20″ USB lanyard.
- Weight – 303 grams (10.8 oz)
- Dimensions – 183mm x 121mm x 15mm (7.2″ x 4.75″ x 0.6″)
- Certifications – IP67 rated, allowing full submersion in 3 feet of water for 30 mins. Reliable in temperatures between 0-50 °C, and altitudes up to 40,000 feet. FCC approval pending.
Software is optimized for outdoor use, and the user interface provides access to over 300,000 trails via everytrail, the ability to monitor your heart rate, pace and cadence (specific Bt or Ant+ devices required). Thanks to its many sensors, it can also monitor the weather, and alert you in case of changing weather conditions, and thanks to FRS/GMRS/MURS it can also be used as a two-way radio. In the first model, the maps and radio frequencies used are for North America, but European and Australia/New Zealand editions will be available towards the end of 2013.
If you trek and/or camp in remote locations frequently, you may start to think “just take my money”. And you can indeed throw $259 at it (+$20 shipping for international orders outside the US), but you’ll only get the device in August 2013. That’s because the tablet is still under development, and the company, Sqigle inc, is crowd-sourcing the project by themselves, so if you pledge your credit card will be debited immediately. You have until the 9th of June to participate, and if they don’t reach their funding target ($250,000 for 1,000 units), they’ll refund the money, and cancel the project. If the project is successful, and you prefer to play it safe, Earl will also be available for $359. Even though the tablet is not ready yet, you can see some ultra-short videos of the development showing the prototype board, the casing with solar panel, the flexible E-ink display, the tablet prototype itself, and follow other updates on their blog.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.