This curmudgeon knows who wants a 12-inch tablet

Last Updated on December 2, 2018 by Dave Farquhar

Ars Technica wrote last week about Samsung developing a 12-inch tablet, and asking who wants it?

I actually think a larger format tablet makes sense. Think of people in their 30s and 40s. They buy tablets. They like to read magazines on them, and have enough disposable income that they’re inclined to do both.And for reading a magazine, some would argue a 12-inch screen isn’t large enough. A 12-inch diagonal works out to 10.35″ × 6.47″, while a magazine page is closer to 8.5″× 11″. Here’s where I got those numbers. So it’s still a bit smaller than full-size. But it’s close enough that you can zoom in a bit and still see a large portion of the page.

When I read a magazine on my 7-inch tablet, I have to zoom and scroll quite a bit.

So, while I think a 7-inch tablet is ideal to carry around, I think for lounging around in the living room reading magazines, which for certain segments of the population is the killer app for tablets, a larger form factor is better. Especially for the over-35 crowd, who probably doesn’t want to read Family Handyman shrunk down to the size of TV Guide.

During the leadup to last Christmas, I saw that someone was selling a 13-inch tablet for around $150. I was intrigued. Then I looked into it, and the resolution was way too low–I think it may have only been 1024×600, which won’t look all that great on a 13-inch screen. I would have wanted at least a 720p screen on something that size. So I didn’t buy one, figuring usable screens in that size range had to be coming soon, because I can’t be the only one who wants one.

Got it? Good. Now, get off my lawn!

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One thought on “This curmudgeon knows who wants a 12-inch tablet

  • January 10, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    The downside of larger tablets is weight — batteries and glass and silicon weigh more than paper, and once you scale up a tablet to full magazine size, you’re going to have a comparatively heavy slab that’s uncomfortable to hold.

    On the other hand, you don’t need an 8.5×11″ screen to display documents full size if you can just teach the display software to cut off the margins and show only the text without the borders (which sadly the PDF display software on my Ipad currently does not do) — in which case you can get by with a 6.5×9″ screen, a wee bit less than 11″ diagonal.

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