Mine is Bigger Than Yours: Why Tablet Size Matters



Another Piece in Tablet Wars

I was browsing through my Google+ Technology circle recently and saw a lot of buzz around the different tablets. The announcement of Google’s Nexus 7, Microsoft’s Surface tablet and the iPad has tech journalists and bloggers all in a tizzy about which has the brightest future. At one time, the argument was the apps and ecosystem. Now the argument revolves around the tablet size.

Image credit: iDesigntimes.com

Mike Elgan wrote that he believes the 7-inch tablet will prevail. That’s all and well, but what is this based on? There are several different variables and while I found Elgan’s points interesting, I decided to use the power of Google+ to start an open discussion. Which is better, a 10-inch tablet or a smaller tablet?

I received a lot of interesting feedback from aNewDomain.net readers and followers of my Google+ stream. Android fans, Apple fans and technology fans clearly voiced their opinions. But it wasn’t just the tech geeks and fanatics speaking out about my post, some typical consumers weighed in as well.

I enjoy the portability of a 7-inch tablet such as a Kindle Fire, but I also enjoy the screen real estate of a 10-inch tablet such as the iPad. Just as the cell phone market has different types of users, so does the tablet market. There are users who like large screens to view magazines, visual content and video streams from services such as Netflix. With video, the 10-inch tablet may be a bigger draw because of its size and high-resolution. Sure, a smaller tablet can handle video, but is it a better user experience? E-books and online magazines look just as good on a smaller tablet in my opinion. The portability of a smaller tablet can be attractive to tablet shoppers. Sure you can keep a grocery list on your 4-inch smartphone screen, but imagine checking off your items on a 7-inch screen.  In short, I would like a 10-inch tablet for video and light gaming with my family. On the other hand, I would enjoy having a smaller tablet that’s more portable, but yet big enough for my large hands to use as a geek utility in my current home entertainment and multimedia environment.

With Google announcing its 7-inch tablet with upgraded OS and features, it’s just a matter of time before Amazon and Apple come up with their answers to the Nexus 7. It’s rumored that Amazon is working on a redux of its Kindle Fire tablet offering higher screen resolution and a front-facing camera. Other rumors speculate Apple will soon have an iPad “Mini” device as a second option to its tablet line.

Here’s what our aNewDomain.net readers and followers said about this.

“Steve Jobs had a thing about 7-inchers, they just stuck in his craw and he didn’t want to compromise on the screen experience for books, magazines and videos. I agree that for pure tablets 7 inches is a more natural format — just much easier to tote and to hold for long periods of time,” says John Blossom.  I think John makes a great point.  The current Kindle Fire is doing really well.  Not because it’s a tablet, but because it’s a glorified e-reader.  That is all that matters to those users.  Is it safe to assume consumers are after a device that will allow them to first enjoy their e-books and web interactions second?

“Basically this isn’t a phone, and it’s not as big as a tablet, oh so it’s an iPod touch?” asks current iPad owner Jessica June.  Is it that Google and Amazon are only concerned with the smaller tablets for the market space? What is the strategy? E-books, music, and video consumption with occasional Angry Birds for kicks? I wonder if either camp will dive into the larger tablet market.  The updated Google Docs application just may be a hook for enterprise users to work with office documents they’re more accustomed to working with on a laptop in my opinion.

“Cheap ubiquitous tablets will become the norm, I think, and even if Apple never enters that market and stays with the iPad as is (considering the sales numbers, I don’t think there’s a whole lot of urgency to do something else) Amazon and Google will own the smaller-sized market, ” says 1938News’ Vincent Ferrari.

Our Carey Head thinks, “all phones will get slightly larger — to be as big and as practical for a pocket — and tablets in the 10-inch area will rule.”

What I can say for sure is the tablet wars will heat up in the coming months.  Which side are you on? I’m for any size that fits into my life.  Give me a device with ample CPU power to handle multiple tasks and decent gaming, but is also light for me to grab and go at a moment’s notice.  Leave me a comment below with your thoughts? Many thanks to those involved in the Google+ conversation.  The comments on the post were very interesting and insightful.  I’m Ant Pruitt and this is aNewDomain.net.

 

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  • http://profiles.google.com/lotyboy Joshua Barkdull

    Technology always moves smaller as time goes on. Computers, Cell Phones, Cameras, Stereos, there was even a time when the only headphones you could buy were those great big ones that covered your whole ear. Tablets will get smaller because they have too, cellphones are right on their heals as far as processing power is concerned.

    To stay relevant they have to either stay as convienent to carry as possible, or offer a completely different experience than what can be done on a phone. At the moment they do neither. So the question is whether consumers value physical real estate, as in our ability to carry these devices, over screen real estate.

    Unless tablets begin to offer something new and profound that cannot be done on a Smartphone, they will lose the war for pocket dominance.

    • Ant Pruitt

      Thanks for reading and your comment, Joshua. 

      If tech gets smaller in history, then why did the flip phone die out and the cell phone screens jumped from 3.5-inches to 4.7-inches in models today?  It’s a great debate, bro’. 

      -RAP, II

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