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When we use iPad's in the field for mobile mapping, GIS, GPS and data collection, these are the specifications and accessories we go for and why. All in the setup as suggested is about $1100. The Lifepoof set up is submersible and waterproof, whereas the Otterbox is not. We've found them to be reasonably robust in the field so far.

  • iPad  Wi-FI + Cellular Model 64 GB ($829 Retail)
    • Third generation OR LATER - for the better display and faster processor.
    • Wi-Fi + 4G Cellular - THIS IS CRITICAL! Even if you don't subscribe to a cellular provider and use the iPad as a phone, you MUST have the 4G Cellular to get the on-board GPS and GLONASS Location Services (see here for specifications)
    • 64 GB - Although the 16 GB and 32 GB models are $100 and $200 cheaper respectively, the extra storage for the GIS applications is well worth the extra money
For accessories, we have had good luck with the following:
  • Pelican Case for protection during transport. We use the 1450 and it also fits the cables, charger, and other accessories.  (You can pick these up in Hyrum at QuickPro). We do not typically take the case with us during data collection, but in between sites and getting to the site (especially by boat) this is helpful ($116.50)
  • Otterbox Utility Series Latch
    ($49.95) -  For functionality and protection during data collection
    • Latch with adjustable hand strap: The Latch fits onto a tablet by itself and when it is protected by the Defender Series or Commuter Series cases. The padded strap is adjustable for a comfortable fit on all hand sizes.
    • Adjustable elastic strap:: This wide elastic strap with heavy duty Velcro secures the tablet to your leg while sitting or kneeling on one leg. It is also doubles as a fixture for strapping the tablet to the back of a car seat headrest.
    • Accessory storage bag: This versatile feature keeps all of your straps neatly stored in one place. It also doubles as a stand for the tablet.
    • Adjustable lanyard: The lanyard attaches to the corners on the back of the Latch and can be adjusted to your desired length to hang the tablet in either landscape or portrait orientation.
    • S-biner utility clip: Attach the clip to the loop strap on the back side of the Latch and then clip it to your belt to keep the tablet secure while you walk and maneuver between work sites.
    • Screen cover: This lightweight cover provides momentary protection from the elements. This shield is not waterproof, but provides quick coverage from unexpected weather.
  • LifeProof nüüd case - ($149.95) A waterproof, dustproof slick alternative to the Defender case!
  • Otterbox New iPad Series Defender Case ($89.95) -  This protects the iPad reasonably well while maintaining its functionality. A must for in the field. Note this does NOT make the iPad waterproof. 
  • Cleaning Cloth and Spray (e.g. Klear Screen iKlear iPod, iBook & PowerBook Cleaning Kit) - These screens get disgusting after a bit of use, keep them clean but NEVER spray any liquid directly on iPad. Spray on cloth and then wipe. Only use a soft, lint-free cloth. Abrasive cloths, towels, paper towels, and similar items may cause damage to the screen and ports.
  • Zagg invisible Shield - is a very nice anti-glare cover that fits underneath the Defender Case and cuts down glare considerably. If you use it on its own, its a good protector for the screen.