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Is there a future for 10" Android tablets?


Since its release, the iPad has dominated the tablet landscape, but that domination started to wane after Google and Asus released the original Nexus 7. Other tablets had been released with similar dimensions, but the price point that Google managed to hit along with the brand behind it made the tablet seem unique and piqued everyone's interest. Amazon's Kindle Fire, whilst similarly priced and the same basic size was not a fully general purpose tablet in quite the same way.

Since the Nexus 7's release, manufacturers have been focussing largely on the small tablet market and even Apple themselves released the iPad Mini. Samsung now have two more diminutive tablet screen sizes at 7 and 8 inches, LG are rumoured to be releasing an 8 inch tablet, Acer have done so and Asus themselves have had a number of tablets which clearly take advantage of their economy of scale at the 7 inch screen size.

Android apps for tablets are now more plentiful and of a fairly highly quality. Most of these apps are designed to work optimally on screen sizes of around 7 inches. Many phone apps also appear to have been designed to work well on the smaller tablets and I am always delighted when one of my favourite apps works well on both my phone and tablet.

So what of the larger Android tablets, the 10 inch devices? Well, there is no shortage of choice with the Nexus 10, Sony Xperia Tablet Z, new Toshiba tablets and the HP Slatebook X2 just to name a few. Many of these have astonishing screens with ultra high resolutions and powerful cutting edge processing capabilities. There seems to be less interest in these larger tablets, but why?

One of the problems with most Android 10 inch tablets is that they offer a widescreen resolution. This is great for watching videos but not so good for reading and browsing the web. Holding a larger tablet in landscape orientation is an uncomfortable affair too.

Ultimately I think it boils down to the fact that smaller tablets are easier to hold and use. So what of the original, the iPad? Well, the 4:3 aspect ratio of the device helps it feel less unwieldy and so many apps are designed well for the large iPad when so few are designed for large Android tablets that Apple don't quite have the same problems as Android tablet makers do.

It will be very interesting to see how well the new 10 inch tablets sell.

What do you think? Is there a future for 10 inch Android tablets?

About the author

James Norton's Photo
An aspiring tech journalist and a complete phone geek with a passion for all mobile technology. Vast experience of all mobile platforms and an evangelist for quality design no matter where it comes from.

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4 Comments

I think there is a place for them - as Netbook replacements that can also serve as a big tablet if you need that kind of functionality. You are right, the 10.1" Tablets are a little too unweildy for everyday tablet-ish use, but I absolutely adore the Netbook-like qualities of my Transformer and they wouldn't work nearly as well with a 7" Tablet. It's great for travel, as I can just sit at an airport, chat with friends, browse the web, look at videos, play games in Eumlators and pass the time easily and comfortably.

Additionally, Tablets like the Note 10.1 are great for artists... If only it wasn't so horrendously expensive and had some better apps for them. As it stands, artists really look at a Note 10.1 and see a device that is technically capable, but practically useless.
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Well the main issues in my opinion are :

1. The fact that the only decent 10 inch tablet is basically the Nexus 10, 90% of the others are garbage. Of course 10 inch tablets are still revlevant and of course people want them, but not when they are badly made, low res, filled with bloat and laggy as anything. Even the nexus 10 lags hard, especially with many widgets on the home screen.

2. Googles continued refusal to acknowledge tablet friendly apps in the play store (apart from in the charts/editors choice section) is in my opinion a blatant attempt to cover up the fact that android tablet apps are fewer and of worse quality than their iOS/iPad counterparts.

Google shoud man up and properly acknowledge a tablet section in the app store and try and get developers on board and stop deceiving customers by basically trying to claim that scaled up phone apps are acceptable on 10 inch tablets or even that they count as tablet apps. Weather the OS is scalable or not the fact remains an app needs a different layout to run on a 4/5 inch phone than on a 10 inch+ tablet and at the moment developers are not taking android tablets as seriously as android phones.
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I'm with Meister_Li.
I bought a Transformer Prime partly as a replacement for an old laptop.
When we go on trips, we take the Prime for the convenience of being able to keep up with emails, social media, and writing whenever we want - knowing that the battery life means we don't have to think about taking the charger with us. Fantastic on long train or plane journeys too.
I do prefer the Nexus 7 for general reading, carrying on days out, etc. so for me the 10" tablet is a slightly niche device
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the juggernaut
Aug 31 2013 12:40 PM
i think the future is in the 7" market to be brutally honest they are more portable and in all respects there is not an amazing difference between the two sizes for example i could watch youtube videos on my nexus 7 for many hours and move to my friends tf300 and not notice all that much difference, but it all boils down to portability like how i can carry my nexus 7 in my greatcoat pocket with no trouble at all
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