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back to article iPad Mini vs Nexus 7: inch makes all the difference, says Apple CEO

To Apple CEO Tim Cook, an inch is everything. Apple’s iPad Mini has an 8in display - its closest Android-based rivals all have 7in screens. A big difference, says Cook. "We would not make a 7in tablet," he told financial analysts and journalist eavesdroppers during a conference call last night. "We don't think they're good …

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Not sure it's a good analogy

"I suppose you could design a car that flies and floats"

Personally I think a car that did that would be pretty innovative and amazing.

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Anonymous Coward

Apple are right tho, it does make a difference.

They are also right in the 4:3 aspect ratio being much better for tablets than 16:9.

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Coat

Re: Not sure it's a good analogy

If only Ted Kennedy had an aquatic car, he would have been president. (*)

(*) This comment copyrighted by Harvard Lampoon

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Most tablets (that aren't iPads) aren't 16:9 - they are 16:10.

The Surface is 16:9, and I can't see this being particular usable in portrait, but the N7 at 16:10 is very much like a paper back book and the aspect ratio is better suited for video than 4:3.

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Yup

I've had two 16:10 tablets, the current one is the Asus Transformer Infinity. This is a far superior format than 4:3... but I think I know why Apple keeps 4:3. It's their skeuomorphic interface.

Take eBooks. There is no reason in the world why you need large margins on an eBook. Sure, leave a place to add a note or something, but this is a computer -- make it an unlimited, pop-up space. Apple, on the other hand, needs to make virtual things seem like real ones, regardless of how horrible an idea that usually is. So eBooks have to waste space for margins. That's going to be kind of an issue on narrower displays.

I discovered this with my own "book". I have a PDF file with hundreds of songs + chords for guitar. Back when I printed this out, I needed margins -- a place for a 3-holes punched for the binder, some white space on the outside to keep fingerprints off the text, etc. But moving this to my first Android tablet, I basically nixed large margins, and the same text fit perfectly.

Same with the video... Apple's emulating your old analog TV when they play a video. So it's got to have those same gigantic letterbox bars that your old TV had. Why not impersonate an HDTV? Not analog enough for the people at Apple. Same reason their iCal looks so goofy. I mean, they could have made the calendar look like any old established professional looking Day-Timer. But NOOOOO... they had to have wild west looking faux leather, complete with stitching. Honestly, I've never seen a real calendar that looks that hideous, but it's nice to know that, somewhere in Cupertino, there's a manager or designer in love with that sort of thing.

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jai
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Seems a bit stupid to be asking CEOs of companies about their own products, of course they're going to big them up, or about other companies products, of course they're going to diss them.

El Reginald seems full of articles this morning that aren't telling us anything that we wouldn't have expected

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Anonymous Coward

"Seems a bit stupid to be asking CEOs of companies about their own products, of course they're going to big them up, or about other companies products, of course they're going to diss them."

Well, quite. He's hardly going to say "yeah, it's a bit pants, that- we failed to spot the market for pocketable tablers for ages"

(I do find that I take my Nexus 7 for the commute in preference to my iPad 3, which is far too clunky to use one-handed, FWIW)

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Pint

> (I do find that I take my Nexus 7 for the commute in preference to my iPad 3, which is far too clunky to use one-handed, FWIW)

The iPad 3 was never designed as a commute friendly device. It's that middle ground between a mobile phone and laptop. The 7/8" design does bridge that gaps and my thinking is that it took Apple this long (regardless of Jobs' claims - he knew they'd release one when it was light enough and they had a tech combo that made the launch worth it) to make it uber portable.

All these claims that it's crap as it doesnt go in a pocket are crap. When you have your keys/wallet/change in your pocket, where else is there space to put it? Ahhhhh, fandroids where combat trousers. I wonder how I can spot you on the transport systems.

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Missing the point?

There is no ideal size for a tablet. At home bigger screen size is good, on the move pocketable is good. And Cook may be right that soon tablets will outnumber PCs. And how many of us have just one PC? A desktop is just that. Many of us have a netbook or a laptop - or all three.

So whilst I currently have a 10" tablet - and love it - it now being fondled more than any of my other computing devices - I could be tempted to buy a smaller tablet. My 3.5" smartphone is useful but doesn't cut it for comfortable browsing or emailing. Even Samsung's 4+ jobbies can't do that. But a 7" certainly can (having loved my old EEEPC 701). Maybe the extra .8" may make the experience marginally better - but can never touch a 10". Its fitting into my bag or pocket or being able to use it on a crowded train that will make the difference.

Which is 7" would be a better form factor for me. YMMV

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Re: Missing the point?

> Maybe the extra .8" may make the experience marginally better - but can never touch a 10". Its fitting into my bag or pocket or being able to use it on a crowded train that will make the difference.

I think the 16:9 is just too skinny as a desktop unless you have a ridiculour DPI screen on a 10" screen. 1024 x 768 offers that balance as most pages are still designed within the 800 x 600 / 1024 x 768 arena. That will change at some point as old screens depreciate and newer ones become more common. And Google need to do something about plonking pointless buttons on all apps that reduce the screen area usable, especally when it has the extra 32 pixels in width (or height in landscape mode).

No doubt the iPad Mini 2 will become even more feature rich, but as a 'testing the water' product in that segment; it'll be interesting how it goes against the Nexus and other 7" rivals in the next 6 months.

Last statement - No phone should be wider than iPhone models and the SIII/Note want to give you arthritis as an extra feature. Wide phones don't offer anything extra other than that.

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My playbook and nexus fit inside my coat pocket, keys and wallet etc go in other pockets. The wonky aspect ratio of the ipad mini + the bigger screen means it often won't fit in a coat pocket. If I need a bag to take it then it's not coming.

BTW no one "where's" combat trousers, though on occasion I've been known to wear some.

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Re: Missing the point?

Blimey the-it-slayer, you'd better tell me what colour car I should buy as well as what type of toppings on my pizza since you clearly have all the answers.

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"No phone should be wider than iPhone models"

So when Apple produce a "wider" phone, it will of course be perfectly acceptal because it still fits the "No phone should be wider than iPhone models" mantra! :)

Personally, I'll happily type this from my Retina MBP and read any responses from my equally gorgeous Samsung Galaxy Note II which I've no problem using whatsoever!

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Happy

Re: "No phone should be wider than iPhone models"

I genuinely believe in that as any phone should be usable with one hand. Anyone who thinks the SII or SIII size is good either has big enough hands or are clearly too stupid to realise you can't use the damn thing with one hand if you have average or smaller sized hands. Clearly, manufacturers of the Asian kind must we too stupid to see that.

Good for you Dave. I'm typing this response away with my two hands on a desktop with a physical qwerty keyboard quite happily as it's fit for purpose like your Retina MBP :). I dare you to type one back with one hand. Pretty much impossible unless you're 6ft+ tall.

To everyone else, keep smiling.

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FAIL

Re: "No phone should be wider than iPhone models"

Firstly the Note(s) can be configured for one-handed operation, which does work perfectly well, but I don't feel the need to use it (and I'm 5'8", and have regular sized hands) in order to make and receive calls!

That being said, anyone who thinks of the SII or SIII (or the Note/Note II) as just a phone is clearly too stupid to realise that the phone is probably the least part of its function these days. ;)

I use my Note II as my primary media consumption device for web, video, and music. It also happens to be a phone, but I make and receive calls less than I use the device media consumption. Given the primary interface for media consumption is the screen, a larger sized screen makes perfect sense.

Large devices like the Note(s) are not for everyone, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't exist. I find it rather bizarre when you read reviews of the Note(s) and the reviewer lists the physical size as a "con" when that is one of the USP's of the devices! It's a bit like someone reviewing a Ferrari and listing the fact that it's fast as a "con".

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@it slayer

I beg to differ on the commute friendly statement. When it came out, all the advertisements showed people using it all over the place. On a train, on a plane, etc. That sure seems commuter oriented to me.

Huh. I can stuff my Nexus into my jeans pocket quite easily. makes for easy transport from my desk to a meeting at work. Or if I just want to be descrete about having it on my person.... I know thats hard for Apple fanbois to understand....

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Happy

Fair enough. It does show people in wide open spaces though. Try using any 10" device on a packed tube train in London unless you're sitting down. That's why all the books/e-books come out to play. They're light and small enough to use on the go.

To sacrafice screen space is a big no-no. Again it's the UI experience that plays foul on Android eating up unneccessary space. That's why the 4:3 7.8" size is probably perfect with the latest iOS version. These things have been thought up ahead in a proactive manner. I'll judge the device properly when I can get my hands on one in store. Still have reservations on the UI on this sized device, but having a slightly bigger res on a slightly bigger screen may work better than packing pixels on a skinny screen.

I know fandroid's are in the majority, but they're never right for common sense.

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FAIL

"I know fandroid's are in the majority, but they're never right for common sense"

Yeah - because fandroids are well known for camping outside stores for days on end in all weather in order to purchase the latest Android device.....

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Re: "I know fandroid's are in the majority, but they're never right for common sense"

Well, don't try to brush every Apple users a fanboi. Very easy to mistake. I quite like the warm state of flat than camping outside on day one. Even if they are stupid enough to do that, at least they have some common sense still. It's possible to have those two qualities at the same time.

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Linux

Well, don't try to brush every Apple users a fanboi.

You mean like labelling every Android user a fandroid? ;)

Personally, I wouldn't label all Apple users as fanboi's because I am an Apple user myself - just not an iOS user!

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Slow news day?

Apple CEO Shock! Bigs-up inferior mini tab vs. far cheaper main competitor!

Just as well that wasn't a bus, I'd be chewing tarmac...

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Thumb Up

Chewing tarmac

With the teeth you no longer have....

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Silver badge

Extremely Compelling

If you browse more than create.

“It is already extremely compelling for many customers to choose a tablet, in particular an iPad, over a PC,” he said. “When you look at the PC market, there is an enormous opportunity for Apple there.”

He means Mac Market converting to iPad, they have almost no growth at all.

They will release 13" & 17" or similar iPads with keyboards and call them Macs. As soon as they are cheaper to make as x86 ones and can be sold for same price as the x86 ones.

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Re: Extremely Compelling

I think you're confused. The iPhone and iPad are actually driving the Mac market. Now, sure, the Mac market hasn't been growing by large numbers... it was something like 4.5% of PC sales last year, internationally, and may hit 5.2% this year. Thing is, those are also the most expensive PCs sold, and the Windows PC market has been stagnant or shrinking for quite some time.

This is why Microsoft is worried -- people are buying tablets instead of PCs. But not instead of Mac, instead of Windows PCs. That makes sense. It's not even to suggest that you're buying a tablet and giving up your PC. But PCs are fast enough for most users these days. And tablets have been shown, to some anyway, as an alternative that's reasonably low cost. So I didn't bother with a laptop upgrade, I got a tablet that does most of what the laptop did well. I still keep my desktop, and will still upgrade it. Eventually. If I don't have to run Windows 8 on it.

So they're buying fewer PCs, and in some cases, switching off to Mac. But then, look at the numbers. According to at least one estimate, all versions of Windows are only about 69% of the installed base of user personal computers (eg, desktops, laptops, tablets, etc. ... not servers or embedded). Apple's close to 20%, when you add iOS and MacOS together. Android's most of what's left over. And those have been growing like crazy.

Microsoft has historically got most of their power by being able to push around OEMs and software vendors alike. Software companies didn't really have an alternative to support, hardware companies had to toe the line, support whatever Microsoft told them to support, or they didn't get their "Designed for Windows" logo. And they can't go into an OEM's PC, since Microsoft charges OEMs extra if they ship with any non-WHQL approved devices or drivers.. so they never do (and that's why you have to update drivers for any new device). Dropping global market share directly affects this... maybe that's why Ballmer is calling Microsoft a "Devices and Services" company these days. Go figure.

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V for Vendetta?

"I konw every inch of this cell and it knows every inch of me. Except one."

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WTF?

"I suppose you could design a car that flies and floats"

Honestly - either would be fine. If that's in their grasp why on earth are they mucking around with phones?

It's well into the 21st Century - I want my flying and / or floating car dammit.

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Happy

Re: WTF?

Well, you can always get one:

http://www.parajetautomotive.com/

http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/car-reviews/15790/gibbs-aquada

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Meh

More reality distortion by Apple IMO,

In the same way the iPhone always was the best size till they changed it and now its the best size for everyone, despite everyone having different sized hands, the size and resolution of the iPad mini isn't because its the best size physical for the consumer to carry or use, its because its the correct aspect ratio to scale apps correctly. If people wanted a larger screen they'd just buy an iPad, especially given 2 generations newer hardware for ~£100 more.

The only thing that's ever impressed me about 7" tablets is the ability to fit it inside a jacket pocket, same with the kindle, I don't see this form factor being small enough to fit or big enough not to go full iPad.

... and Mr Jobs himself said they'd never made a 7" tablet, but 7.8" that's completely different! /s .

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Anonymous Coward

Nooooo....

> More reality distortion by Apple IMO,

In the same way the iPhone always was the best size till they changed it and now its the best size for everyone, despite everyone having different sized hands, the size and resolution of the iPad mini isn't because its the best size physical for the consumer to carry or use, its because its the correct aspect ratio to scale apps correctly. If people wanted a larger screen they'd just buy an iPad, especially given 2 generations newer hardware for ~£100 more.

You're putting reality distortion on yourself as you're clearly being anti-Apple. The width hasn't changed and fits perfect for all hands to use as a one-handed device. Get it right first.

Pockets... Just get a small back-pack. Having a 7" tablet in a trouser pocket clearly means you're trying to make up for something.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nooooo....

"You're putting reality distortion on yourself as you're clearly being anti-Apple. The width hasn't changed and fits perfect for all hands to use as a one-handed device. Get it right first."

The width doesn't need to change for it to no longer fit smaller hands, as is demonstrated by Gizmodo's article showing the reason the iPhone screen will never be more than 3.5 inches:

http://gizmodo.com/5847981/this-is-why-the-iphones-screen-will-always-be-35-inches

Just bring the S2's width to the green semi-circle, it still has much less "reach" areas at the top/bottom right. At 3.5 inches, the top/bottom right corners are a stretch, at 4" (same width or not) they are now even more of a stretch.

This is of course because ones thumb is the same length as the radius of the semi-circle*, which is where this all fails spectacularly. Claiming one (or two) sizes fits all is retarded and very short sighted.

* Within the Reality Distortion Field

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Re: Re: Nooooo....

That gizmodo article is kind of enlightening; I tried it with my Galaxy S3, and I could reach the whole screen when I held it with thumb in center (as the article shows), or all except an icon's size on the upper right if I held it in a natural way. That explains why the iphone feels so awkward for me; it is too small for my hands. I must have the hands of a 7ft human (according to the article); I use my phone one handed all the time.

I guess it just goes to show: there is no one right size for everyone, a variety of sizes and price ranges is better for the consumer than a very limited one, who woulda thought the economists were ever right?

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Usual guff.

That inch does make all the difference, it's made his product too expensive and yet again Apple are relying on the fanboys to buy this crap rather than really innovating and pushing the envelope for consumers.

I notice they are already saying stock will be limited, seriously how long before people see through this total charade.

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Stop

They would say that, wouldn't they...

Apple had no choice but to do with "fat" 4:3 ratio, as that's what the iPad2 ratio is. Anything else, and it would need all new apps (fragmentation anyone...).

SO that's WHY the iPad Mini format looks shite.

Android apps, of course just deal with all this....

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Re: They would say that, wouldn't they...

While I think the variety of devices has been instrumental to the success of Android there is nothing worse as a developer than writing layouts that look good in different aspect ratios and different DPIs, not just in one orientation but two. It normally means decomposing a view down into fragments of layouts with name hints that allow Android to compose the right layout according to the screen its going on. It's a pain in the arse quite frankly. The payoff when you get it right though is very satisfying.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: They would say that, wouldn't they...

Yeah, some developers have cited this consistency as being the reason they developed for iDevices before considering other phones and tablets.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: They would say that, wouldn't they...

"Yeah, some lazy developers have cited this consistency as being the reason they developed for iDevices before considering other phones and tablets."

Fixed it for you..

As clearly if you are a proper developer, you know how to use fragments and layouts properly to work on all Android devices. Infact even if you are a LAZY developer, there are enough samples in the SDK that you can rip off when making your fart apps.

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Re: They would say that, wouldn't they...

Wrong.

They could have done 1136x640 like the iPhone 5 if they want to dispense with the 4:3 ratio. So they clearly decided that having the extra square inches of screen was more important than making the form factor fit Youtube without black bars.

As for the low resolution, higher resolution screens require more backlight and thus a bigger battery. They wanted to make the Mini significantly lighter than full sized tablets and they've done so. Despite having 30%+ more screen real estate than competing 7" tablets, it actually weighs less. That seems useful to me for something that's small enough some people will want to hold it one hand while reading.

The more transmissive Retina screens Sharp is working on for next year will solve the backlight issue and allow them to keep the same format in the Mini 2.

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Devil

"that extra inch means you can hold the thing comfortably in one hand!"

And also counterbalances the inch that is lacking from the thing you're holding in the other!

(I'd get my coat, but apparently you're not allowed to wear one while being evil.)

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An inch along the diagonal

In terms of screen area the iPad has about 36% more area so I think it's reasonable to say that it will appear larger in the flesh than a Nexus. On the flip side, it has 30% less pixels so browsing and reading books so it will look less sharp. The different aspect ratio also means the Nexus would be easier to stuff into a pocket because it is more narrow.

I therefore think it's pretty subjective whether the extra inch or the difference in aspect ratio is actually a good thing.

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Happy

Maybe I'm a sad geek...

... but I'm looking forward to fondling the iPad mini in PC World (or something similar) to compare it to my Nexus 7. I've been impressed with the Nexus, so the iPad mini will have to be pretty good to make me want one

(I really like the iPad 3 BTW, but it's too bloody expensive to perform the 'toy' function I'd use it for)

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This is getting silly....

I don't find my Nexus 7 at all inferior to my iPad 2. In fact, it's PPI, size and weight make it nicer for reading ebooks. The nice thing about Surface is it isn't trying to be both things at once; rather it is trying to be one thing or the the other, depending on what you want to do. A dual mode device? Who'd have thunk that?

As for the iPad Mini, it would be unwise to evaluate it sans ecosystem but at that price it really ought to have a retina display.

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Joke

It's not the size that counts...

It's how you use it.

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Childcatcher

Too wide

At 135mm wide, if you've got small hands like mine (no sniggering at the back) then the combination of aspect ratio and screen size will make the mini too big for single-handed edge grip. There's next-to-no edge bezel to make room for a thumb grip.

If you look at the photos that are all over the place, you can see that its either a one-handed fingers and ham balancing act in portrait mode or the usual two-handed controller grip in landscape mode (unless you're one of those octave-and-a-half freaks).

Apple obviously don't think of the children?

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Silver badge

Re: Too wide

>Apple obviously don't think of the children?

I can't think of who else the iPod Touch is aimed at, adults will already have a smartphone that performs the same functions and more.

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Anonymous Coward

iPods touch for children

...and adults.

I'm an adult (physically if not mentally) and have an iPod touch (yup...even apple haters like me can own an idevice). It's cheap and does stuff I want it to do (even if iTunes is the worst program in history) and yes you do need to jailbreak it to make it properly useful...but I knew this before buying it and but it does a job.

My phone on the other hand is reserved for making phone calls (with a battery that lasts for weeks without charge)....aaah..old nokias still have their advantages.

Not everyone needs (or wants) the functionality of both in one device...with the battery life of an old PDA. Each to their own.

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Anonymous Coward

An extra inch makes all the difference?

Well, I suppose it does if you take a regular arse pounding from Apple and their sub-par tablet/phone/mp3 products.

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Read many long, skinny books do you?

For reading most users prefer portrait mode, and 16:9 doesn't look good in portrait. It's the change in aspect ratio that gives you much more usable area when reading like this. The reduction in DPI has some effect on the crispness of the text, but most users will prefer this to trying to read tiny characters.

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Re: Read many long, skinny books do you?

"The reduction in DPI has some effect on the crispness of the text, but most users will prefer this to trying to read tiny characters."

I take it you do realise you can make the characters as big or as small as you like? As for 16:9 vs 4:3, I happily move between the two for reading; it's just not enough of a difference to matter,

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Boffin

Re: Read many long, skinny books do you?

Well, now, it's interesting you should raise that....

In the UK, most paperbacks come in one of three sizes, all of which are, pretty much, 16:10 aspect ratio (they vary a little around that, one format is exactly 16:10, one is 16.1:10, another is 15.3:10, but close enough). The Nexus 7 is 16:10.

So, do go on with your assertion as to how the iPad's 4:3 is perfect for reading on?

GJC

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