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TECH: The Perfect Tablet: Small, Medium, Large?
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altAs people continue to become more mobile and technology infiltrates further into our daily life, more and more people have shifted away from traditional computers, both desktop and laptop, and added a tablet computer to their technology stockpile. However, with the continued growth of this sector, more options continue to become available for consumers, and the market in the near future will see even more sizes of tablets released to fulfill the needs or wants of people.

The iPad is considered the standard for tablet computers. Dominating the market, the iPad is slightly smaller than a piece of A4 paper, and as some would suggest, almost as light. At the insistence of Steve Jobs, the iPad was only made available in one size, as he claimed a smaller screen would be, “too small to express the software.” Other manufacturers have gladly moved into these other areas so as not to directly compete with the iPad in a head to head battle. Which one of these choices might be perfect for you?

Tablets in the small category are roughly 20% smaller than an iPad, and contain a 7.7 inch screen. The two major tablets of this size are the Kindle Fire and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7. Even at this smaller size, there is still a large amount of variety available. Toshiba has recently announced a new line-up of tablets called the “Excite” which will feature an entry in each size category to further broaden the choices available to consumers. The Kindle Fire has become the most popular by far of this group with sales already in the millions. To do this, however, the Kindle Fire took a different tack to challenge the iPad, and competed on price. Most small tablets will still be very near in price to entry level medium tablets, and this has hindered their success.

Medium tablets are currently considered the “standard” size tablet for users, as the majority of tablets sold are in this category. The iPad is clearly the dominant tablet of this group, but the next best option, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, provides users with a great alternative if they don’t wish to be confined by Apple’s AppStore or iTunes. At this size, touchscreens become much easier to use, while the tablet doesn’t become clunky or burdensome to carry throughout the day. The extra space also gives companies the ability to pack on the features, something lacking in many of the smaller market entries. Expect this segment of the market to continue to grow as competitors hope to take advantage of the untimely demise of the iPad’s champion.

altCurrently, 10 inches diagonally is the largest size available for tablet computers. Toshiba is following the maxim that bigger is better, and has recently announced a 13 inch tablet to be made available later this summer. Similar to tablets from the other two size categories, this monster of a tablet looks to have no other features besides a higher resolution, 1600×900, and a larger screen. Toshiba has, remarkably been able to keep the weight of the tablet down, so there’s no real guess as to how sales will be once product becomes available. Don’t expect to see a rush from other companies to supersize their current line-up, as it is highly likely this larger size will be unsuccessful due to the loss of portability.
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