builder in hardhat with a stormwater inspection tablets at a construction

The addition software can bring tremendous value to your stormwater program. The act of digitizing workflows and creating digital data for the first time leaves your staff and program with a feeling of empowerment that is unattainable in the manual, paper and pen world. To complete the move to digital, you must empower your team with great software and capable mobile devices that can effectively capture necessary data. Taking advantage of software capabilities such as BMP scoring, auto-populating forms, action-item tracking, and route scheduling contributes to a productive data collection experience. Today’s inspectors still prefer utilizing a tablet for these activities, but with so many options out there, the question is: Which tablet is right for you? Below we provide 5 key evaluation criteria for evaluating and purchasing a tablet for stormwater data-collection and inspections.

Tablet Icon

Display Size and Portability

When determining which tablet will work for you, it is important to take into account the display size and portability. Smaller displays can be easier to carry but may limit visibility of the screen. Larger displays can provide better viewing but may be more inconvenient for traveling. Selecting tablets with displays sizes of 8” or larger will ensure websites are easy to read, and apps perform accurately without any visual constraints. A larger screen is also more conducive for reading text and navigating buttons while out on construction sites and industrial facilities, with various weather conditions.


It is impossible for a site inspector to capture all the necessary information without using photos as a form of documentation. Camera quality is another important element to consider when selecting a tablet. High-quality photos will improve the inspection process by providing further detail and information to the inspection reports.


With cloud computing becoming the norm, storage is less of a problem for inspectors working in the field. The recommended storage capacity for a tablet used by an environmental inspector is no less than 8GB. This will store nearly 2,000 12-megapixel photos and nearly 2,800 8-megapixel photos. The only time we recommend increasing your storage is when you plan to follow your latest shows and movies on your lunch break; in that case, 16GB to 32GB is a safer choice.

Processor Size

The size of the processor determines the speed of the device and the number of applications
it can handle at one time.Tablets should have at least a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor in order to meet the needs of an environmental inspector. This minimum level of computing power will ensure the inspection software does not freeze or crash during site inspections.

Battery Life

The battery life of a device is important as it directly impacts the inspector’s efficiency and productivity during inspections. It is crucial to invest in a tablet with sufficient battery life that can support several applications used during an inspections. Battery life may drop significantly with the use of GPS and bluetooth, or searching for signal. And having to charge a table while out at the site is largely disruptive and impractical. Offline inspection software can help reduce battery life issues and ensure maximum tablet utilization for your inspection team.

Here are the 2018 top 4 CloudCompli tablet recommendations for site Inspectors:

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iPad Pro

Price: $649.00 – $1,279.00
Operating System: iOS 11
Display Size: 10.5 inch / 12.9-inch
Front Camera: 7-megapixels
Rear Camera: 12-megapixels
Storage Capacity (GB): 64/256/512
Battery Life: 10hrs
Processor: A10X Fusion chip
4G compatible: Yes
Top Rugged Case Brands: Inspector’s Choice

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

Price: $549.99
Operating System: Android 7.0
Display Size: 9.7 inch
Front Camera: 5-megapixels
Rear Camera: 13-megapixels
Storage Capacity (GB): 32
External Memory/microSD: microSD up to 400GB

Battery Life: 8hrs
Processor: Snapdragon 820 quad-core
Top Rugged Case Brands: Inspector’s Choice

iPad Mini 4

Price: $399.99
Operating System: iOS 11
Display Size: 7.9 inch
Front Camera: 1.2-megapixels
Rear Camera: 8-megapixels
Storage Capacity (GB): 128
Battery Life: 10hrs
Processor: A8 chip
Top Rugged Case Brands: Inspector’s Choice

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Price: $799.00
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
Display Size: 11.5 inch
Front Camera: 5-megapixels
Rear Camera: 8-megapixels
Storage Capacity (GB): 128/ 256/ 512/ or 1TB
Battery Life: 13hrs
Processor: Intel 7th Gen Core m3, i5, or i7
Top Rugged Case Brands: Inspector’s Choice

Once you have your new tablet, learn about all the bells and whistles, don’t forget to look up about the benefits of implementing an inspection software. Not sure about inspection software? No problem. We have an expert ready to answer questions you might have. If you want to do a little more research on your own, review our 8 Essential Elements of Environmental Compliance.