Tablets in S, M, L: size comparison

Tablets in S, M, L: size comparison

The tablet wave is about to hitthe market in its full force very soon and with all the upcomingslates you might have gotten dizzy just trying to compare the specs.It seems that in this ocean of tablets it is hard to tell thedifference between many – they all have dual-core CPUs andmost have the fancy new Honeycomb OS, but what about the reallook and feel? After all, it is your hand that will hold that weightfor hours and whatever hardware there is inside, it won't matter muchif you get a jumbo slate that feels too heavy and bulky for yourtaste. So just like clothes, tablets nowadays come in differentsizes starting with the small 7-inch ones like the SamsungGalaxy Tab, then the medium 8.9-inch ones like the T-MobileG-Slate and finally the large size for folks with bigmultimedia needs represented by the ubiquitous 9.7-inch iPad and mostrecently the 10.1-inch Motorola XOOM. Which is the right size foryou? Read on to find out.

  • Size L: The jumbo slates

Our first comparison puts the biggestslates side to side so you can see just how they compare to eachother and to the currently dominant iPad. The Motorola XOOM, thefirst true rival to iPad's reign on the tablet market, is finallyhere and in the flesh! It offers a noticeably thinnerbezel and long narrow screen, with aspect ratio of 16:10,ideal for watching movies. It is also one of the narrowest out thereat 6.61 inches.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 issimilar to the XOOM when it comes to the screen, with almostidentical narrow widescreen look, but the build on the Tab 10.1 feelsa tiny bit plasticky and overall cheaper. If you've seen the original7-inch Galaxy Tab and its plastic body, then the Tab 10.1 will remindyou of an oversized Galaxy Tab. This however comes with the benefitof light weight as Sammy's 10.1-inch tablet weighs a mere21.13 oz (599 g) and is one of the thinnest tablets out thereat only .43 inches (10.9 mm). Excited? The Tab 10.1 is coming thisMarch, so hang tight and wait up a few more weeks.

Finally, the HP TouchPad. Ifthere is one tablet that stands truly unique – that is the HPTouchPad. The whole webOS experience looks gorgeous on the 9.7inch screen, sized exactly like the iPad. HP's tablet wasinitially rumored for a Summer release, but some sources hintthat it might hit shelves even earlier, in April. All in all, the bigtablets have the screen estate to offer indisputably the best mediaexperience. Actually, many people would pick a tablet instead of anotebook since most of the basic functionality is covered. The onlydowners for jumbo slates are their weight and thefact they may not turn out as portable as you'd want. So ifpocketability is what you value most, read on!

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  • Size M: The truth lies somewhere inthe middle

The T-Mobile G-Slate, aka the LGOptimus Pad, falls right in the middle between the jumbo tablets andsmaller, more pocketable ones. It reaches middle ground with its8.9-inch screen, which LG claims is perfect for typing andholding. Dimension-wise the slate is the perfect companion forthose long reading/browsing/movie sessions you might have planned.Its advertised weight of just 22 oz (630 grams)might also be an advantage when compared to the bigger25.75-ounce (730-gram) slates like the iPad or the XOOM.If you're not screen-greedy, this will be the perfect balance point,expect to see it available in late March/early April.

  • Size S: Almost pocketable

Back at CES, Samsung's own JK Shin tookout a Galaxy Tab from the pocket of his coat and just this simpleaction was welcomed with a round of applause. That's right, folks,pocketability matters and that's what you get with the 7 inchtablet variety. That is if you have large pockets, of course. The bigname here is the Galaxy Tab – it might run Froyo, but it has nearlyfour-month head.

The BlackBerry PlayBook is a bit largerthan the Tab, but it compensates with a thinner body. Thebusiness-oriented tablet is expected in late March/early Aprilwhen the tablet wars will be raging at full power.

Finally, we have the HTC Flyer.Our third choice is the bulkiest of them all weighing 14.8 ounces.The Flyer also stands out with its design and stylus support. Thetablet is already up for pre-order on some sites, so we expect to seeit as early as March.

  • Size XS: Tabletphones?

Bridging the gap between tablets andphones, 5-inch slates like the Dell Streak are neither small enoughfor your pockets, nor big enough for a full-fledged tabletexperience. But nevertheless, they fit an important niche – that ofextra small tabletphones, if you will. While the Streak feels morelike a tablet (and has the looks of it), the recently announced Acer ICONIA Smart is much more of a phone with its sleek narrow body. Somuch variety seems almost excessive, but when it comes to choosing –you have plenty of options. It is the year of the tablet after all.

And it seems that next month will heat up things even more fortablets. With so many offerings out on the market, it is just about every major consumer electronics producer with an argument why you should choose their tablet. But truth is born of arguments, right?

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