Where, Oh Where, is the 7-inch Tablet of My Dreams?

By  |  Friday, February 11, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Another day, another tablet with a 9- or 10-inch screen.

The latest rumor from Pocket-Lint is that Samsung is about to announce a 10.1-inch Android tablet, running Honeycomb. It’ll reportedly have a dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel camera — the usual stuff.

But what happened to Samsung’s appetite for smaller tablets? Was the Galaxy Tab sized at 7 inches simply due to the unavailability of proper tablet apps, and the relative ease of blowing up smartphone apps to a 7-inch screen?

When it comes to the new wave of tablet operating systems, hardware makers seem to be eschewing the 7-inch form in favor of tablets that are, well, more iPad-like. HP’s TouchPad has a 9.7-inch screen and nearly the same dimensions as Apple’s iPad. (A smaller version is rumored, but I wouldn’t count on it for a long time.) Motorola’s Xoom has a 10.1-inch widescreen. LG’s G-Slate is just a bit smaller, with an 8.9-inch display.

That leaves Research in Motion’s Blackberry Playbook. It’s a promising little 7-inch tablet, but it runs an entirely new operating system with no pre-existing app ecosystem. A lot could go wrong, and there’s no other 7-inch tablet to save the day.

Maybe hardware vendors were too easily persuaded by Steve Jobs’ anti-7-inch tirade, but I’m not. The iPad has been wonderful to me, but it’s not always the right tool for the job. Sometimes I want a tablet that fits comfortably in one hand for reading. Other times I want to play a video game in which two thumbs can cover the width of the touch screen.

I could be in the minority here. After all, the iPad has been a smashing success, and I can’t fault hardware makers for trying to follow Apple’s lead. But if tablets are really the future of personal computing, they can’t be one-size-fits-all.


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11 Comments For This Post

  1. Jim W Says:

    I have the Archos 70 and it is just what the doctor ordered. It does all the basic tablet functions well, is under $300 and fits in my back pocket. As far as I am concerned a $600 9-10 inch tablet is wasted $ and space.

  2. JaredNewman Says:

    I've considered something like the Archos, but I'd like to see a 7-inch tablet with a proper tablet OS, not just Android 2.2 blown up to a larger screen.

  3. armen aubar Says:

    you are completely right. I have an iPad and a Galaxy tab. The Samsung tablet is a very nice experience and is most convenient indeed. The 7' form should be at last the winner among the tablet universe in my opinion.

  4. David Says:

    Won't happen. It is too small. I think the 9.7" will rule the day.

  5. LSUFan Says:

    Get a Nook Color. It's easy to root, and you can also test the build of Honeycomb that's out there. Great little device for $250.

  6. ahow628 Says:

    I would love a 7-incher as well. Hopefully Sammy will update the Galaxy Tab with Honeycomb and some spec bumps.

  7. Dave Says:

    Rumor has it that RIM is making a Davlik wrapper so that the playbook can run Android apps.

  8. sriram Says:

    I recently bought the Galaxy Tab and absolutely adore it. It is light, fits snugly in my hand and has everything I need. In fact I no longer carry my bulkier laptop for trips less than two days long. I have not used the I pad so i do not know if I am missing anything?

  9. Teeni Says:

    I am on the same page as you. Sorry for the late comment, but I just found your blog post through an search. I have been waiting for the Asus Eeepad Memo to come out because I think it will do everything I want in a more manageable and portable size for my needs (I keep searching on 7 inch tablets so I can stay on top of when it is released and that is how I found your site). I also have an iPad which has a beautiful display but when it comes down to it, I find myself using it more for emails on the un, internet searches, and social networking while I am at work. I wrote a post similar to yours here if you are interested. http://www.vtroom.com/2011/03/13/my-argument-for-the-7-inch-tablet-pc-steve-jobs-please-read/

  10. Shoresurfer Says:

    I am waiting for a 7 inch tablet with a higher resolution screen. I did a little test when the Galaxy Tab just came out. I have an iPhone 4 with the retina display that I think is great. I loaded the Wall Street Journal on the iPhone 4, the Galaxy Tab and the IPad. Then I adjusted the size of the page on each device to where I could get the most text that I could comfortably read with my eyeglasses. The larger physical displays with lower resolution just did not contain enough additional info – 10% more with tab, 20% more with iPad roughly. Just not enough to justify a purchase for me. I think a 10 in would not be as portable as I would like although the iPad 2 is pretty sleek. I have big hands but found it was a stretch for me thumb typing on the iPad. So I am waiting for a 7 in with higher resolution display. A sleek light 7 in model from Apple would be nice.

  11. Pradeep Says:

    Yes I also think a 7 inch tab is more handy and useful then 10 inch. But we dont have i pad like tab in 7 inch