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Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) - Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is a "Tablet PC?"

  • A tablet PC is a personal computer which runs all the programs your home PC does, the difference is the size.
  • Tablet PC's can accept inputs just like a desktop via keyboard and/or mouse. Tablet PC's also accept input on screen via a digitizer pen which is included with the tablet PC.
  • Tablet PC's are ultra portable devices that allow for computing on the go and are an ideal size for use in the aircraft or wherever life may take you!

What is the deal with 10,000ft MSL & Solid State Drives?

  • Solid State Drives (SSD's) are here! No longer are high capacity tablets limited to spinning hard drives!
  • Regular hard drives utilize a record player like mechanism which relies on a small cushion of air to run dependably. The lower pressure at altitudes above 10,000 feet may present major reliability issues.
  • There is nothing written that says that 10K is the magic number when it comes to crashing a hard drive. 10K is simply the upper limit of the manufacturers testing envelope. That means 10,000 for one drive and maybe 15,000 for another.
  • If you operate a pressurized aircraft, spinning hard drives will function normally inside your correctly maintained pressure vessel. In the event of a pressurization loss you will lose the hard drive in your EFB unless you have an SSD
  • Moderate or greater turbulence also has the potential to disrupt the operation of a standard drive
  • SSD's do not have these issues because there are no moving parts inside of the hard drive itself. Therefore, the device will work as high as your aircraft can fly!
  • SSD's have better performance than standard drives, almost 30% faster! SSD's also gives longer battery life, 15-20% in our tests!
  • SSD's run cooler than standard drives which increases performance and reliability throughout your operations!
  • Think of SSD this way: Would you go jogging with a CD player that skips and jumps as you bounce along or a solid state drive MP3 player?

Which System is right for me?

  • The one that most efficiently accomplishes the mission with comprehensive and intuitive software.
  • The one that is a true EFB first and foremost, not an overpriced, uncertified Primary Flight Display (PFD) or Multifunction Display (MFD).
  • The one that can grow with your flying needs, from a company with a proven history as a leader in advanced aviation technology and outstanding customer support.
  • The "Best Pick" from Aviation Consumer Magazine, that was also highly rated by: AOPA and Plane and Pilot Magazine.

Lets talk hardware:


Tablet or PDA? Tablet PC's have the ability to run ALL of your home PC applications and the most complete EFB software available today. PDA's are getting better, but memory capacity and limited view capabilities do not allow these machines to compete with the abilities of a tablet PC. Therefore, if you are looking for what the FAA calls an EFB, and uses for their own EFB's, a tablet is the right equipment for the job.

What About the Garmin® 296/396/496/696? vs.

The Garmin® 2-696 are good portable GPS units. Some can show XM Weather, and play music from XM Radio. However, most of the Garmin's® are not EFB's. The 695/6 can be used as an EFB only for Approach Plates and the 696 plates do not have you position displayed like the FlightPrep EFB solutions do. For a lower initial and renewal cost than many other portable systems FlightPrep can outfit you with a complete EFB system tailored for your specific needs. Remember, FlightPrep systems offer so much more with a much larger screen! (8.9" for the smallest ChartBook® versus 7" for the largest Garmin®) For a side by side comparison of the 696 and the ChartBook® please follow this link.

Which tablet is right for me?

Tablets are everywhere these days and ChartCase® software will work on any running Windows. All of our programs will work on any windows based PC, desktop, laptop, whatever you have or want to get. Our programs are also Microsoft Windows Vista® Compliant. We have thoroughly flight tested the units featured and are confident that they are the best all around units available today when considering price, value, features, and ability to upgrade.
Read the opinions of Aviation Consumer here.


So is all of this automation and paperless flying legal?

Well, as in much of aviation this question depends on your type of operation. If you are flying part 91 (vast majority of GA and business operations) you most likely will be able to fly with electronic charts only. Part 135 and 121 may also be able to fly paperless after meeting special FAA requirements. Please feel free to call or email us for clarification and please review Our Paperless Flight Learning Center.

Have a question that is not answered here? Please feel free to call, or e-mail us and we'll gladly assist you.

Buy Online, Call 503-678-4360, email: sales@flightprep.com