Introduction of Tablets to replace Bridgemates

If you have played recently at other clubs in the region, you will have noticed that many clubs (including our close neighbours Waikanae and Kapi-Mana) have changed to use tablets rather than BridgePad or BridgeMate machines to collect results. After discussions with these clubs and a detailed investigation into the advantages of using tablets, the committee decided there were good reasons for our club to also change to use tablets (see Pros and Cons below).

Accordingly, an application was made to Pub Charity Ltd for a grant to cover the cost of purchasing 30 tablets (for a maximum of 24 tables plus 6 spare) and a mobile storage/charging cabinet. Our application was successful and we have begun the purchase process. All going well, we should be able to start using the tablets within the next few weeks. Although using the tablets is simple and intuitive, full initial support will be given at each session.

We also investigated the available scoring software for the tablets. There are two main options: BridgeTab and BridgePal. We chose BridgePal over BridgeTab for the following reasons:

  • BridgePal is free; BridgeTab requires an annual Licence Fee and a top-up fee for tournaments,
  • BridgePal communicates with our scoring program Compass easier and is recommended by Bob Fearn from Compass,
  • BridgePal is easier to set up,
  • BridgePal more closely follows the same process for recording the results as the BridgeMates.

 

Why change to Tablets? – Pros & Cons

PROS

  • Much bigger easy-to-see colour screens.
  • No training required. BridgePal is simple to use and intuitive – information is entered in the same sequence as for BridgeMates so screens will be familiar.
  • Brings our club into line with other clubs in the region – making use of available technology.
  • Relatively cheap to buy – tablet ~ $150 (or less with special offers) vs $250 for BridgeMates.
  • Not restricted to one supplier (as for Bridgemates) or even one make, so easy to replace locally – can take advantage of special offers.
  • Free Software (BridgePal) will run on any tablet (or even on phones).
  • Touch screen - not mechanical, no buttons to wear out or jam – tablets will last much longer than BridgeMates.
  • Less annual maintenance cost. Currently, 4-6 new BridgeMates need to be purchased each year at a cost of $1000+.

CONS

  • New Devices / Wary of Change
    • The process to enter scores on the BridgePal tablet is the same as on the Bridgemate so will be familiar.
  • Tablets need to be charged often.
    • The purpose-built storage/charging cabinet makes charging easy.
    • Tablets will last for 3 sessions before needing to be charged.
  • Club has invested in BridgeMates which are now obsolete
    • Offset by the Pub Charity Ltd grant so no cost to the club.
    • Possible credit if BridgeMates can be sold.
    • The BridgeMates incur an annual maintenance cost of $1000+.

Here's what the BridgePal Start screen looks like on the tablet.

BridgePal

What will it COST THE CLUB?

Grant received from Pub Charity ($7500) for purchase of:

  • 30 tablets (max 24 tables plus 6 spare):          $4800
  • Mobile Storage / Charging cabinet:                  $2700

Software Cost / Ongoing Licence Fees

NIL.

BridgePal Software for the tablets and the PC is free. There are no licence fees.

Tablet Replacement Cost

Could be as low as $100. Because we have 6 spare tablets and can choose any make of tablet, we can make substantial savings by purchasing when special offers arise.  

 

Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact Trevor Smith 021 904 232.