Giornale della Vela (07/2022)
On Test. SailProof SP08: the super-tablet for your boat

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SailProof SP08 is a tablet specifically designed for sailors. We have tested its waterproof, rugged and connectivity features

Giornale della Vela 07/2022 - test SailProof SP08 tablet

SailProof SP08, our on-board test

The Sailproof SP08 is an Android 10 super-tablet, perfect for sailors. It is IP67 waterproof, is extremely robust thanks to a shockproof shell and has a hydrophobic screen with opaque anti-reflection technology (third-generation Gorilla Glass) that allows it to be used with gloves on, even when wet, and readable even in full sunlight.

It has everything a yachtsman needs, a lithium battery with an excellent capacity of 9800mAh, a precision magnetic compass and GPS chip with GLONASS GALILEO, an 8core processor, capable of holding up well to several navigation apps running simultaneously, Wifi 2.4 and 5.8Ghz, Bluetooth 4.0, 4G SIM, microSD slot.

It has extraordinary connectivity, actually never seen on a conventional tablet. Protected by sturdy waterproof rubbers with o-rings on the shell, it includes: two USB ports, a USB-C that can also be used for charging, and a classic USB-A to connect an external HDD for data.

There is also a coaxial 5V input for the supplied power supply compatible with Europe, USA, UK and Austria. The SP08 can therefore be kept charging, keeping both USB ports free! There is a dedicated HDMI video output for connecting TV and projector directly, which allowed me to make weather briefing presentations and a post-race presentation to the club without using my laptop. 3.5mm audio jack and on the back, there are even screws for mounting on a wall mount. The 13MP rear camera and 5Mp front camera, torch, speaker, microphone, and light sensors are solidly mounted on the outer shell.

Sailproof SP08, performance on board

On-board testing confirms the SailProof SP08’s sturdiness and connectivity on the boat. After charging the battery and installing all the apps I needed, I purposely left the tablet on standby in the forward cabin without securing it, only to have it “slammed” on a weekend of intense tacking in a slightly rough sea.

On Monday I picked it up again and found it was working perfectly and the battery charge was 95%. I did everything I would never do to a conventional tablet: I watered it repeatedly with litres of fresh and salt water, I took it with me on the dinghy and left it in the sun on the beach, I kept GPS, Wifi, Bluetooth, screen at maximum brightness all day long.

The touchscreen is actually hydrophobic and usable when wet, just tilting it a few degrees is enough to make all the water droplets slide off, the feeling is unlike classical smooth glass screens, of a minimal roughness that makes it really easy to use even with wet fingers or gloves.

Despite litres of salt water, the SP08 tablet proved its water resistance.

I tried using it as a secondary screen to the main plotter, tried the navigation apps from inside the cabin and the GPS is fast and responsive, connected the depth gauge via bluetooth and tried the audio, took some photos and recorded a video, and plugged in the Sim4G to use it as a Wifi hotspot. After a day’s use I still had 55% battery life, just running it under the tap was enough to wash away the traces of saltiness. The screen is well visible even in bright sunlight, but, the only note, a few more candles of brightness would be useful when using the tablet to take photos in broad daylight.

Luigi Gallerani