With the arrival of the first iPad, the 10-inch tablet form factor became the industry standard. Since then, other tablet makers tried to start their own standard with some early 7 inch tablets (Samsung), but many all went back to the 10-inch form factor. Now, with the recently announced Kindle Fire and a plethora more to come within the Android camp, the 7-inch tablets are making a come back. Read on to see what we think and which one is right for you!
10-inch tablets. This is the standard form factor, used by Apple on the iPad 2 (9.7 inch), Samsung on the Galaxy Tab 10.1. For many tablet makers, this is the must-have form factor in their lineup. Included in this category, aside from the aforementioned iPad and Galaxy Tab, are the Asus Eee Pad, Acer Iconia A500, Toshiba Thrive and the Motorola Xoom, just to name a few.
What we think about it? We think that the 10/9-inch tablet form factor is how tablets are meant to be used, mobile but indoors. This size is perfect for those that are looking to replace their laptops in terms of consuming different media, especially videos and the web. The focus for us is indoor use, whether at home or at work, with easy transportation between locations. But we found that we don't really use our 10-inch tablets while we're out and on the move. Although we see some people busting out their iPad on the train home but we see more eReaders or their mobile phone. Part of the issue is the price tag that comes with this form factor, something about taking out our $500+ tablet out on a crowded train.
7-inch tablets. Although this is not a new form factor (Samsung's first Android tablet, the Galaxy Tab, is a 7-inch tableet), most major tablet makers followed Apple's lead and made 10-inch tablets. Recently, however, many are adding to their lineup with a 7-inch tablet. Aside from the recently announced Kindle Fire, other Android tablet makers have also announced their entries into this new form factor, such as Acer Iconia A100, HTC Flyer, Asus Eee Pad MeMo, and Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7.
What we think about it? We believe that this is the truly mobile tablet form factor. Ones that we are more likely to take out while we're on the train or even when we're walking. It's small enough to be taken out during our stroll and not look like it's all business, but it's also more comfortable for reading and browsing than on your phone. And with the Kindle Fire's pricing undercutting the competition, we see the 7-inch tablet as more of a secondary device. It's something that isn't going to replace your computer, but work along side it to keep you connected at all times.
So what do you think about the new smaller tablets? Which do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!