iPad with ForeFlight:
Criticism: The version 4.7 update seems to have deleted the Starred Airports list (yet you can still star them on the airport pages). It would be nice to have that back. It's not a huge deal, though.
Update: They fixed this in the last update (4.7.2), which I just downloaded 27.Sep.12 at 2015EDT.
iPad - $499-699
ForeFlight - $74.95 per year (or $149.99 for geo-referenced approach plates)
Optional: Stratus ADS-B - $799
It's basically the normal Garmin GLO with a few extra accessories, which includes a non-slip pad which clings to anything so you don't have to worry about mounting it, or having it slide around during the flight. It boots quickly, locates satellites quickly, and is really easy to connect via Bluetooth. Worth every penny.
Criticism: None from me, but some have reported issues with satellite reception with heated windscreens. Others say it's too easy to bump the power button and turn it on accidentally, but a little care in placing it in your flight bag solves that issue.
Garmin GLO for Aviation - $120
The Full Review: ForeFlight, iPad and GLO
As technology gets more and more convenient, powerful, and compact, it starts to branch out into more and more of our lives. If you asked me if I'd ever use a touchscreen half-laptop to view charts back when I started flying, my response would have been "yeah, eventually, but not any time soon."
It wasn't until 2010 that the first generation iPad came out, and even then the idea that you could use it for that purpose was still just a dream. It's crazy to me that the iPad was released just over two years ago, yet it has already come quite a long way. I jumped at the opportunity to get one earlier this year and ended up putting ForeFlight on that night. I'm no Apple fanatic, but I have to admit that at least two of their products have revolutionized my life, and this is one of them (the other being the iPod).
|Note the "No Fix"|
Weather is, of course, important to keep on top of both before and during your flight, and ForeFlight is just as capable there as any of the weather sources you may frequent. Graphical AIRMETs, SIGMETs, turbulence, icing, Doppler radar loops, outlooks and significant weather outlooks, PIREPs, prog charts, satellite imagery and winds aloft are all at your fingertips. Limited data is also available for Mexico and Canada. If you're looking for weather during your flight, you can always enable the weather overlays in map view with the Stratus ADS-B receiver, which costs a pretty penny, but has some nice capabilities. If you fly in the mid-west, though, make sure to check the coverage map as ADS-B receivers haven't fully covered the country.
Here are a few more screenshots of the ForeFlight interface:
The left screen is the altitude selection page. Note the inclusion of the wind data to help you in your selection. The right screen is the settings page, where you can set default units, among other options. You can even change the position symbol on the map from a high wing, low wing, jet, fighter, or helicopter.
The whole setup really makes working in the cramped space of most smaller planes a breeze. It also helps add in some situational awareness when compared to following along on a paper chart, or even certain moving-map GPS units. If you're looking at the various EFBs available on the market, you should definitely consider it. Some of the other EFBs are aimed more at the corporate setting, which you can see in the way they structure their pricing. I'm not saying that they aren't useful to the GA pilot, rather I'm just attempting to point out that the target market might not be you in all cases. Jepp does have their own version using Jepp charts instead of NACO for a comparable $76, and is aimed at the private and corporate pilot group. Most of them have trial periods as well, so you don't have to worry about risking anything until you try it and like it.
Hopefully this helped you in your decision. If you have questions, the best spot is the blog twitter account @TheLifeOfAPilot.