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Samsung exec: 'Tablets should be bigger than 7-inch'

Pocket-lint posted this story yesterday, and I almost missed it. Samsung announced the new Galaxy Tab on Sunday, and to the surprise of some it wasn’t a 7″ tablet. Now we know why. Samsung will be releasing several more tablets this year, but none of them will be 7″.

"Different people have different tastes in size,"said Dr Hong. "Other manufacturers may have other plans, but we think 10.1-inch is the best size for a tablet.

"Tablets should be bigger than 7-inch."

I’ve been saying that a 10″ was more useful than a 7″ for a long time now, and apparently Samsung came to the same conclusion. They’re not going to do any more 7″ tablets. Of course, they will be releasing at least one 5″ Galaxy tablet; it’s already been seen at MWC in Barcelona.

I think a 7″ tablet will go away for the same reason a 7″ netbook went away. It’s just not big enough to really get work done. But that’s just my opinion; what’s yours?

via Pocket-lint

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Mike Cane February 15, 2011 um 10:59 am

Ha! You will have to argue with everyone who wants something smaller to easily carry around — including me. James Kendrick has blogged how he leaves his iPad at home and carries his GTab. And I want that new WiFi-only 5″ one for eBooks and mobile blogging. Pocketable!

Andrys February 15, 2011 um 9:38 pm

Am with you. I already have a 10″ netbook with all the frills — and for a quick pick-up&carry for faster web browsing, email, and short-session reading, I pick up the NookColor and don’t want a 10″ for that.

We women have purses and the 7″ ones will fit. I can see a guy’s preference for a 5″ one but I’m PDF-heavy in reading so that’s a bit small…

willem February 15, 2011 um 11:02 am

One has to assume the actual sales to customers of the Galaxy Tab was disappointing…

Could you explain the reasoning behind your statement? Do you think 7″ is too small for certain tablet activities – video, games – and not others, say for reading? Or is it that you believe the form factor is neither fish nor fowl? What about mobility? Inquiring minds want to know!

I’m thinking of getting a (cheap) tablet and would hate to be stuck with a turkey.

By the way thanks for continuing to write on this blog, I for one appreciate your insights.

Nate the great February 15, 2011 um 11:22 am

I like a 5″ or a 9+. The smaller size is more portable than a 7″ tablet and the larger size is more usable than a 7″ tablet. I’ve had tablets with 5″, 7″, 9″ and 10″ screens, and I found the 7″ to be the least useful.

Mike Cane February 15, 2011 um 8:37 pm

Thing is, for something like Google Books PDFs, 7″ is ideal because book sizes were smaller then. On an iPad those small pages have a lot of white space margins, unlike on a 7″ screen.

Scott February 15, 2011 um 11:08 am

Actually I like the 7″ form factor. My wife bought me a Color Nook for Christmas and after I set it up as a tablet, I have been extremely happy with it. I have read seven books, using both the B&N reader and Aldiko (my favorite). The best part is that since it has a 16by9 type of design, it is narrow enough that I can stick in my inside coat pocket or in my jeans.

I met up with a friend who has an IPad and when I whipped out the nook and tethered it to my Evo, he was completely blown away. He said that too often he leaves his Ipad at home or in the car because it is to big to carry around with him.

I thought I would miss the lack of camera and/or GPS, but since I always have my phone with me that hasn’t been an issue.I will definitely check out the new tablets running the Tegra 2 processor. Now I need to get my old sony reader out and pass it on to someone in the family.

fjtorres February 15, 2011 um 11:47 am

If Samsung is talking solely about 16×9 aspect ratio, I could agree that 7in is suboptimal. But I would beg to differ when it comes to 4×3 aspect ratio displays. As far as I’m concerned the screen size is just one element of a proper design and it is just as easy to have a good 7incher as its possible to have a dreadful 10incher. And I woudn’t rely overmuch on the Netbook experience because the limiting factor on early netbook usability was the keyboard and screen resolution (VGA-level instead of the SVGA or better resolution on the better 7in tablets).

Along those lines, that ergonomic design is what matters:

– On eink readers I favor 5in screens, especially when the ergonomics are done right like the PB360 and Jetbook Mini.

– 6in readers I’ve found to be too big to be pocketable and not large enough for a hardcover reading experience. Mostly it is about the design philosophies in current use as I’ve seen att least one Korean reader that implements a 6in screen in an ergonomically correct design barely larger than a PB360.

– I find 7inchers in 4×3 ratio quite comfortable both for reading and surfing; it isn’t a format suitable for composing long messages or writing but for reading it is a comfortable hardcover analogue. And in the proper binder they are no larger than the current-gen 6in eink readers.

– I’ve long suspected there is a sweet spot at 8in and 16×10 aspect ratio but so far nobody has explored it. In a proper thin-bezel casing you would have something the size of a 6in eink reader with significant greater usable reading surface.

So let’s not overgeneralize from the current crop of poor 7in designs. (I’m looking at you, Sharper Image!)

Another Scott February 15, 2011 um 5:31 pm

Have you actually held a SGT Nate? I would suspect not.

Here is another personal opinion – just like yours. The 7″ form factor has a place. I sure as hell don’t want to do anything 'productive' on my SGT. I use it for occassional browsing when I don’t want (or need) to go to my desktop or laptop. I use it for my RSS feeds. I use it for music. I use it in a thousand ways that don’t require it to be bigger thn 7″.

I hate my the iPad I gave my wife. It’s heavy. It can’t display websites running flash properly. I hate the aspect ratio.

There, I could run a blog too. Samsung didn’t listen to you any more than they would have listened to Steve Jobs. Google is driving the car as far as the soon-to-be released Android tablets are concenred.

Alexander Inglis February 15, 2011 um 8:57 pm

I’ve been quite surprised by the number of folks I have seen using (yes, really using) the Galaxy Tab in its current 7″ form factor. The combination of portability and screen real estate (and screen quality) is a strong combination. Over time, it will also be a considerably cheaper entry option.

As much as I think I’d like a 10″ tablet, it does start to get heavier, and more to lug around. I’m still not seeing these as laptop replacements but they are strong connectivity tools with the plus of offering modest "standard" work applications.

Within the executive class, the RIM Playbook may surprise many in its rapid adoption. But, we shall see: the coming six to ten months should be fascinating. And, wither Apple iPad II?

Mike Cane February 16, 2011 um 12:43 pm

I should also add that a few weeks ago, I saw some guy walking off the feery while *reading* his damn GTab. Looked like he was peering into the email app. But that he could *walk* with it like that — as I’ve seen people do with Nooks and Kindles — impressed me.

See James Kendrick’s YouTube video:

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