Your iPad doesn’t mix well with the outdoors. Even if you keep it away from water and grit, you still have to contend with the lack of internet and electricity in the backcountry.
That’s where Earl comes in. This new backcountry survival Android tablet works where your smartphone or iPad would fail. The rugged tablet can forecast the weather, determine your location, elevation, and let you communicate with folks back home.
About the size of an iPad mini, Earl is one tough gadget. It’s waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and it will work in temperatures from 32 degrees to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. You can submerge it in three feet of water for up to 30 minutes with no ill effects.
Earl's GPS uses an internal magnetometer, accelerometer, and gyroscope to track your position. It’ll guide you even if you’re navigating dense vegetation or an urban jungle without a line of site. It also gives you access to more than 300,000 trails through the site everytrail.com and high-resolution topographical maps of North America. With Earl in your hand, you have no excuse to get (unintentionally) lost.
The little guy also has ANT+ and Bluetooth capabilities, so you can record heart rate, pace, and cadence. It comes with internal sensors—including a thermometer, a hygrometer to measure humidity, a barometer, and an anemometer to measure wind speed—to forecast the weather.
Earl’s two-way radio connects you with friends, family, and emergency services. It can access analog and digital radio frequencies up to 20 miles away, and send secure text via Walkie-Talkie to let emergency responders find you if you get in trouble. An internal radio tuner lets you listen to music and emergency radio.
The battery lasts for about 20 hours. And while Earl works worldwide, it currently only has North America maps. But Europeans, Aussies, and Kiwis need not worry—maps of Europe and the land down under will be available later this spring.
Earl goes on sale this March.