Originally Posted by Captain K
As a confessed computer nerd, I admit to being "fuzzy" at best on how to equip and configure my on-board laptop (Microsoft Windows 7) for use as a chartplotter. Step-by-step suggestions would be most appreciated.
You'll see from other posts that it's conceptually easy: software, GPS sensor, charts, E Voila
I'll only add a couple things about laptops in general: usually not daylight visible in all conditions of bright/direct sunlight, usually not particularly waterproof, and you'll probably want a system that can be self-sufficient (i.e., not internet dependent) while underway.
Also, if you have a built-in chartplotter (or two, one up, one down?) you may want a software/charting system that is seamlessly compatible with your built-ins. If such happens to exist, depending on you're starting position.
Finally... there are apps that seem to work to varying degrees on various tablet hardware... for cheap. If the hardware has built-in GPS (without regard to cellular or Wi-Fi connections), you may find those to be viable alternatives to a bigger laptop. (Although I'm assuming you already have that, give the opsys citation.)