By Dan Cook | 28 May 2024

Guide to selecting EFB hardware for pilots

With the advancement of technology in aviation, selecting the right EFB hardware is crucial for optimizing flight operations and ensuring your airline stays future-proof! 

EFB hardware can significantly enhance a pilot's efficiency, accuracy, and overall flight safety.

Here’s a guide to help you navigate through the choices and make an informed decision for your operations...

Understanding EFB Hardware

An Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) is essentially a tablet that replaces traditional paper-based reference materials used by pilots. EFB devices store and display crucial flight data, including weather and route charts, flight manuals, flight phase data and much more.

The integration of EFB into the cockpit represents a shift towards a more digital and efficient aviation environment.

Key Considerations for Choosing EFB Hardware

      • Compatibility: Ensure that the tablet or device you choose is compatible with your specific EFB software. Compatibility is critical for seamless integration and functionality.
      • Battery Life: Long battery life is essential for extended flights. An EFB that can last through long hauls without regular recharging is ideal.
      • Reliability: The EFB tablet should be reliable when it comes to security, quality over time and functionality.
      • Display: The display should be easily readable in various lighting conditions, especially in direct sunlight, which is common in a cockpit environment.
      • Durability: The hardware should be robust enough to withstand the rigors of daily use in an aviation setting.
      • Processor Speed: A fast processor ensures that the device can handle complex applications smoothly, without lag, which is crucial during critical flight operations.

Our tablet recommendation for EFB Hardware

Apple iPad: We recommend the Apple iPad as our chosen hardware for an EFB, preferably an iPad Pro 11-inch. This is because it is known for its intuitive interface, its high reliability, ease of use, and security features; making it a preferred option for many pilots. 

An iPad Pro also provides higher specs in terms of storage, enhanced battery life and performance. Each iPad generation continues to surpass other makes and models in terms of being reliable and secure.

EFB Integration and Efficiency

Choosing the right EFB hardware is not just about the device itself, but also how well it integrates with your other data systems.

For instance, platforms like skybook are specifically designed to integrate seamlessly with the Apple iPad tablets.

Consolidating pilot charting apps, flight plans, Wx & NOTAMs, post-flight data and other operational data into a single data management system.

This ensures all necessary voyage information is easily accessible. Reducing manual errors and increasing flight safety awareness. Ensure your software is also reliable, we guarantee a software uptime of no less than 99.95%! 
efb consolidated flight data

Practical EFB Hardware Tips

          • Weight and Size: The device should be large enough to view charts, but compact enough so that it doesn’t get in the way. An 11-inch display is a popular choice.
          • Connectivity: Ensure the EFB device supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS capabilities for real-time data access and updates when there is a connection.
          • Accessories: Look for compatible mounts, cases such as the popular Pivot, and other accessories that can enhance the usability and protection of your EFB hardware.
          • Charging: Consider portable external battery packs / power banks as an extra backup to charging your EFB hardware.


EFB Hardware needs the best EFB software

We’ve discussed about how selecting the right EFB hardware involves several factors, such as: compatibility, battery life, display quality, durability, and processor speed; leading to safer and more efficient flights. 

If you are unsure on specific factors, always check with your aviation authorities in regards to the EFB regulations.

Now it’s time to combine that with the best EFB software, considering things such as: user experience, software reliability, support & training and full use of flight data; here’s an article all about the value of using EFB software.

You can learn more about the FAA’s guidance for the use of Electronic Flight Bags.


By Dan Cook | 28 May 2024

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About the Author

Dan Cook

Head of Marketing

Bytron Aviation Systems

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