Tablets with various screen sizes

In the first post in this series of “Which Tablet To Buy“, we saw the various features of the Operating Systems and compared the Apple iOS with Google’s Android. We even got to know a little bit more about the newly announced MicroSoft Surface and how the BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 is better than it’s initial version. In this post, I would like to concentrate on the various screen sizes and internal memory capabilities of these different tablets. In addition to this, maybe we can also review the display properties of the new iPAD3, the so called Retina Display.

Size & Internal Memory

This might be a major decision making factor when one is trying to search around for the pros and cons of every tablet. While Apple provides it’s iPAD (all the 3 versions) in a standard 10 inches, measured diagonally, it might prove to be a little too rigid for various users with different preferences. Samsung has captured this drawback and has its tablets in varying sizes, ranging from 7 inches to 10 inches, thus giving the user a choice as per the need.

When it comes to internal storage capacity, the more the merrier!!! With millions of apps being released every day, video and music files being downloaded directly onto the tablets, the need for more memory has been well addressed by all the tablet manufacturers. So, depending on your need, each tablet that we have seen in the market is available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. It is left to the consumer to make the choice.

While we are discussing such aesthetic factors, let us not forget the screen resolution. Apple is leading the market with an unbeatable 2,048-by-1,536-pixel Retina display, the sharpest you’ll find. If you are shopping for Android, look for a minimum of 1280-by-800-pixel display resolution to get the best picture quality.

iPad Retina Display

iPAD 3 has considerably improved the display properties with more pixels than a regular 50 inch television. Imagine watching a blu-ray movie on a 50 inch TV, now, compress it to fit into a 9.7 inch display of the iPAD, and again increase the pixels to 2048*1536. That is how clear and crisp the image looks. The iPADs retina display will make all your other tablet displays look like a pix-elated clip-art of some sort. Some critics have also said that looking at such crisp images even hurts their eyes to an extent!!!!!

Cons of the Retina Display – 

So what can possibly be a drawback of such wonderful display property of the iPAD?? Believe me, there are graphic designers out there who are already voicing their concerns over this high resolution display feature.

  • Existing Low Quality Images – These will have to be discarded and replaced with a much better ones. Some of the businesses like for eg: fabric business, relies on the image quality that is hosted online. Customers can now clearly make out the differences in fabrics, seams, texture and garment quality.
  • Text which are NOT Text – What does this mean….these are the texts which are converted as images like the Button text or the text on a navigation bar. These look horrible in the new display. Designers might have thought this was much easier to create and would have looked pretty decent in a less resolution monitor, but now the design flaw comes out in the open.
  • Buttons look lousy – Take any e-commerce site, and buttons are somewhat like the pillars of strength in every one of them. There are buttons for Navigation, Add, Delete, Edit, Help etc and when these look lousy on the retina display, it really cause a major concern to the graphic designers. Even the Amazon’s 1 click Add To Cart looks grainy and blur.

Microsoft Surface with blue key pad

Microsoft Surface –

Let us now see how Microsoft designed their brand new tablet and what are the specifications. Surface comes in 2 version, the Windows 8 RT which carries an Nvidia chip and the Windows 8 Pro which has an Intel Core i5 processor. Both these tablet versions have a standard size of 10.6 inches diagonal and they have designed for wide-viewing mode (16*9). But during the announcement, all that came to light about the display properties is

“A combination of a very specific pixel geometry, render, and an optical bonding process, that together create the effect that your eye can’t distinguish between the individual pixels at normal viewing distances.”

We do know that Microsoft has developed what is known as “Clear Type Display” and that is what has been implemented on the Surface tablets. Read more about what is Clear-Type display here.

Blackberry Playbook

BlackBerry PlayBook –

The PlayBook features a 7inch display with a 1024 X 600 pixel resolution which is pretty neat for a smaller display like that, packing a pixel density of 170 pixels per inch as compared to 132 ppi on the iPAD. Photos and HD videos look awesome on the playbook and they are crisp and bright. The overall touchscreen functions on the new OS 2.0 are pretty neat and improved a ton when compared to it’s initial version. As with the other tablets, the playbook also comes in the 16GB, 32 GB and 64GB versions.

Over To You –

What are your personal preferences when it comes to memory and screen sizes? Are you into a lot of music and videos and need more memory to store them, or you want to use your tablet for browsing and blogging? Have you experienced the Retina Display, and what do you think about it? Do share your thoughts with others and we can learn from your experiences. If you have any specific feature worth mentioning in my future posts regarding the tablets, do leave a comment below and I will surely give it a though. Thanks for reading.

3 thoughts on “Which Tablet To Buy – Part 2

  • June 30, 2012 at 12:20 am

    I would like to add one more con to iPad 3 retina display.
    You know now that retina is slowly becoming standard on Apple Devices, like iPad 3 and Mac Book Pro, one of the biggest issue we are going to face is bandwidth.
    Think about graphics heavy website today has each webpage 1 MB. To support resolution level of Retina they have to increase the image resolution and page can become 2 MB or even more. Developers has to design pages compliant to retina devices which means more testing and more compliance work 🙁

    It is really important to mention that Surface has keyboard in cover. Microsoft is trying to pitch that Surface sits between Laptop and Tablet and you get two devices for cost of one. Above all you get connectivity with Exchange and services and Microsoft Office tools and application designed for windows run without changing much.

    Blackberry Playbook with proprietary OS may not last longer in competitive world of iOS and Android. One of the reason we buy Maruti and Hyudai cars in India because you get mechanics to repair easily and spares parts are easily available & affordable. Blackberry will be seriously hit because of Apps market.

    • July 4, 2012 at 9:04 am

      Deepak – Thanks for adding more value to this post by mentioning this awesome points.

      It is always nice to read such well thought out comments about a post which shows actually how well the article has reached the reader.

      The cons of the retina display have been increasing with every developer and graphics designer coming back with their specific issues to support existing apps and websites. This can negatively impact Apple’s high expectations of the superb quality imaging and display they have provided.

      Glad you could relate to this article and provide your thoughts.

      • July 5, 2012 at 12:47 am

        You Know Apple is very Smart. What I was mentioning about is only the web experience.
        As far as the user experience goes, Retina display is stunning, and some of the books, videos and 3D animation experiences are incomparable.
        From a app programmer perspective, you really don’t need to think about multiple form factors. You still use the same 1024×768 pixels while doing programming or while creating the Book for iPad. Nothing breaks if you use low resolution images, it is just if you wish to provide higher quality you have opportunity to use high resolution images for Retina.
        I think Retina Display is the best feature Apple can provide without changing the packaging and increasing cost much. They released Retina Displays for Mac Book Pro, Now you’ll soon hear about Retina for Apple Desktops 🙂


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