Oct 13 AT 8:44 PM Taylor Wimberly 71 Comments

Do you want a 7 or 10 inch tablet? Googler weighs in on the debate

I’m still not completely sold on the idea of buying an Android tablet, but starting next month the carriers will begin to push them and I could be swayed into picking one up. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab might be our only choice this year for a tablet with the Android Market, but starting in 2011 we should have a variety of options that come in all shapes and sizes.

Originally I thought a 10 inch tablet would fit me best because it seemed like the larger display would be ideal for browsing the web and watching movies. However after spending some brief time with a couple prototypes I found it was awkward to hold with both hands and type on the virtual keyboard with both my thumbs. When I got to go hands on with the Galaxy Tab, I think I was most impressed at how natural typing felt on the 7 inch display.

Typing on a tablet is just one factor of many and I’m going to need to spend a lot more time with several other devices before I figure out what design works best for me.

If you feel like you might be in the market for a tablet coming up, I suggest you ready Ten Theses on Tablets from Android advocate Tim Bray who has spent the last month carrying around the Tab and comparing it with the larger iPad. For sustained use he think a 7 inch tablet is the most comfortable, but the larger 10 inch tablets work best for sharing content with friends.

Which size tablet do you see yourself wanting to use? Or do you still think tablets are all hype and there will never be a reason to own one?

Source: Tim Bray

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • http://Website Tito!

    If the larger in the pic above is a 10 .
    Its too big!
    Either that, or width needs to be evened out.

    • http://Website xwatchmanx

      hey, nothing would please me more than to have an android option that finally eliminates my need to buy ANY apple product. since i will have my android phone w/ me all the time, size for me will be more important than mobility, so i’d rather go w/ the 10 inch… will it have swype? Lack of swype is the only thing that would keep me from buying it. otherwise, typing would be much faster on my phone.

      • Ken

        I have a 10 in. Xoom and swype works without any problems, I have not had any issues with any other apps I’ve install either.

  • http://Website Rick Low

    I think tablets is becoming a trend now n forget about the 2 inch thick tablets as they were super duper heavy! For a tablet that can be easily hold, slip into a pocket (very important unless those who loves to carry a man bag running around) n able to make calls, I think it really suites for business execs. I go for the 7 inch n no smaller than that…

  • http://Website Ryan

    At first, I really saw no real purpose for tablets, however now I feel that’s the direction we’re headed. Computing, TV,music, communicating… it’s all becoming so integrated and I feel like the only way to really facilitate that is to gravitate towards tablets. I honestly think they are going to begin replacing laptop computers in the near future. With all the software (“apps”) coming out, the power behind the hardware, and the accessories like keyboards available, it justs seems like the natural progression.

    • http://Website Bill Nye

      I still have the same feelings towards tablets. Other than the much larger screen, I seriously can’t figure out why I’d want to purchase an Android tablet that’ll simply do the same exact things my Evo can do. A tablet running Windows, OSX, or Linux is understandable, but why Android or iOS? If you go on a trip, you’re always going to have your phone on you, so why would you take an Android tablet along that only duplicates the capabilities of your phone versus a regular old netbook/laptop that may not do GPS, but it will do anything else the tablet could do, plus much more?

      • http://Website B2L

        I couldn’t agree more. I absolutely love android, but whats the point in carrying 2 devices that do exactly the same thing. The only tablets I am really interested in are the windows 7 slates.

        • http://Website Kenny

          I agree.

      • http://Website GuardianAli

        A number of reasons,

        1) the tablets generally have longer battery life
        2) even though a laptop is “portable”, its something you have to put on a flat surface. A tablet u can hold.
        3) tablets wont burn ur lap if you put it on it
        4) most tablet users like easy to use applets. Cooking..netflix..pandora..but unlike a phone want the bigger screen size to enjoy. I have an evo, but id love a home tablet..that i can carry room to room. The bigger screen will make it a cinch to look at steps for recipes in the kitchen, or watch a movie in bed, read magazine on the toilet, play a game on the couch..without having to lug around a laptop. And unless you need to do a lot of typing and need Office or something..a tablet is much more ideal for traveling.

        there many more reasons i can think of

        • http://Website dave

          2) even though a laptop is “portable”, its something you have to put on a flat surface. A tablet u can hold.

          You’ve got it backwards. A tablet you *have* to hold, a laptop you can put down – ie rest on your body so you watch tv in bed.

          3) tablets wont burn ur lap if you put it on it

          On your lap you’re not going to be able to see the screen clearly because of the angle and reflections.

          4) most tablet users like easy to use applets.

          My laptop is easier to use than my phone.

          > there many more reasons i can think of

          Bring ‘em on.

          • http://www.spotontrades.com John

            I know your post is old but I have to respond. Following your logic, you shouldn’t even have a cell phone or computer. It sounds like you’re just arguing to argue. You’re reaching for reasons to not like the idea of a tablet. You’re probably the guy who didn’t like cell phones when they were invented because you could make calls from your home. Why do they make different size computer screens, different cell phones, different computers, different everything? Because everyone has different needs and different tastes. Why is that a problem with you?

      • Greeves

        Android, more or less, IS a Linux OS, root the thing and you can make it do pretty much what any other Linux machine can do.

  • http://Website Thorpeland

    For my use, 10 inch tablet would be the only thing that motivates me to buy.

  • djarnow

    10 inch sounds cool to me. I can see how 7 might be more hand friendly. It all depends on the design. I think Moto and Google will make a killer tablet. Could it be a Chrome OS TAB ?

  • http://Website Blah

    For the love of god, make it pen-enabled for us students/artists!!! There’s a reason why I still use my (very ailing) 7 year old tablet for class when I have a perfectly good brand new laptop that’s worthless for writing notes on that are more diagrams and formulas than anything else

    • Jake

      You do realize that they make styluses for capacitive screens don’t you?

  • wwJOSHdo

    easy one, 10 inch! I was so excited a few months ago to get an eee pc 701 but then it got annoying with the really weird resolution and scrolling EVERY where to read stuff that would be in plain sight on a normal screen. SO 10 INCHES! (that’s what she said. lol. I had to!)

    • http://Website Robin

      So true….

      I got annoyed really quickly with the 7″ netbook while on the other hand I still much enjoy the 9″

      However, if the resolution on a 7″ and 9″ tablet is the same this doesn´t matter much. (although with 7″ you will have to zoom sooner in order to read smaller texts)

      I would go for a 10″ tablet as 7″ is just too similar in screen size to my Android phone.

  • http://4colorrebellion.com Coffee4cr

    I’d go for 10 inches, it would become my platform for reading comics and watching Tv shows on the bus :)

  • http://Website BogartOfElCajon

    I’m buying my Mom a 10′ tablet from archos (when it comes out). From there I’ll see if I want the 10″ or 7″. I’m also waiting for Google’s Chrome OS powered tablet, but if it’s connected with verizon, I won’t hesitate to forget about it.

    Oh yeah, I’m also drooling about Notion Inks Adam tablet.

  • ShamusMcFamous

    In regards to the issue of typing with your thumbs on a tablet device… the galaxy tab has swype by default and I am sure most others will strike a deal with then as well.

    I for one am really looking forward to these devices to replace multiple devices in the car (movies and games for the kids, gps, satellite radio like xm etc. possibly the phone using voice) as well as an alternative to my laptop and netbooks for on the go computing. I think these devices will shine in these areas and as I said replace the need for may other devices in one fell swoop.

    • http://Website Rich

      I agree, a tablet will replace a lot of devices and it would be an amazing in car entertainment and navigation system, though the ability to use a tablet to make calls is also a must have feature (I’m talking to you Samsung U.S.A.). If I’m in the middle of using my tablet at school or in a coffee shop, I don’t want to have to put it down and pull out my phone to make or take calls. If you’re heading out and you’re already going to be carrying a tablet, there’s no reason to carry a phone as well. Sure, putting your ear to a 7 inch device seems pretty dumb but a simple bluetooth headset will keep you from looking like a jackass. If one day you don’t feel like lugging around a giant device, just pop out the SIM card and slide it into your smartphone of choice (Sprint and Verizon excluded).

      • Kelly

        This post is old; however, Rich’s comments compel me to write. I agree with Rich 100%. Plus, he’s funny.

  • http://Website Johnny chiam

    Of Course 7ins better to use whole day. It not only light & option of holding with one hand

  • http://Website Bill Collier

    I believe for portability a 5″ tablet is best of both worlds. If you need bigger, there is always a laptop.

  • http://Website David

    I’d say 10 inch. I’m using an iPad. Like the hardware, amazed at how limited it is vs my HTC Incredible.

    The 10 inch size seems nice for typing. Almost full size keyboard. Fits between the laptop and phone. 7 inch without significantly different software seems more like a big phone. I’d rather have an EVO or a 4-4.5 inch screen phone.

  • http://Website Jeff Shultz

    10″ – I read (and contribute to) an e-magazine that publishes in Acrobat Landscape – and my 10″ Netbook screen is about the smallest thing I can imagine reading the text on while seeing the whole page.

  • http://Website erlend

    a 10″ would be best

  • http://Website gad

    10″ for sure. Don’t see any difference btw a 4.3″ and a 7″. So i’d rather a 10″. Would have gone for the Archos but it hasn’t got the Android Market. So am looking forward to what HTC has got.Motorola rarely caters for markets outside the US, so not going to hold my breathe and are terrible with updates.

    • http://Website Robin

      The community already added the google apps (including the market) on the 8th archos series.

  • http://Website Jarl

    7″, 10″ is too big and heavy. would love a 7″ tegra 2 android 2.2 tablet!

  • http://www.jedimoose.org mrben

    10″. 7″ is basically just a big phone…. if I already have a 3.5″ smartphone in my pocket, then my next device needs to offer something significantly more. 10″ is better as an ereader or for watching of longer video.

  • countstex

    Would you really try to type on a 10″ tablet with thumbs? I’d always imagined cradling it on one arm, gripped by that arms hand and typing with the other hand ala “Tomorrow Never Dies” but I’ve not attempted this so just speculation.
    Given what I would use a tablet for I’m not sure I need the portability, it would be instead of a laptop for browsing, and socially networking on the sofa whilst watching TV it wouldn’t need to ‘go everywhere’, that’s what my Desire is for…

  • http://Website JayMonster

    I suspect those that are voting 7″ either never had or failed to learn the lessons of the early edition Netbooks. The prices were incredible, but they were such a pain to enjoy content on due to constant scrolling around.

    • http://Website slbailey1

      I have a Kindle 3 and the length and width of it matches almost exactly the length and width of the Blackberry Playbook.. Actually the length is a perfect match; the width on the Playbook is slightly bigger. The Kindle fits nicely in my hand (landscape). I have no problem with the 6″ screen on the Kindle so a 7″ will be better.

      So for me, a 7″ tablet is perfect.

    • http://Website Daniel

      The scrolling was more about bad UI (for the device) than screen size. People were (and still are) using netbooks with a ridiculous amount of vertical space wasted on title bars, menu bars, toolbars, tab bars, status bars, task bars and whatnot. A zoom-centered interface with minimal crap on screen, like Android’s or iOS’s, changes this significantly.

  • http://skandalouz.ro Skandalouz

    definitely 10inch

  • http://www.androidappreviewsource.com Android App Reviews

    A 10 inch tablet is more for a “portable computer” than a 7 inch tablet.

  • http://Website Brian from Texas

    I didn’t see the point of a tablet 6 months ago. But the idea of moving around the house, and sitting where you want, while having access to the web is growing on me. Screen size is a big deal and so is portability. Typing is also important because of text messaging, emaiI, commenting blogs ;) etc.

    With 4″ being ideal on a phone. I think 8″+ would be ideal for the house/car. That will avoid scrolling while still having the resolution to read easily.

    I haven’t used Swype much but can see that helping with typing.

    And all of this continually makes me think about WiFi teathering and using the cellular network as the backbone. Also, I want my tablet to dock in my car dashboard.

  • http://droidandroidgames.com/ AndroidGames

    7 inch widescreen tablet, like galaxy tab, but its price point is just killing me,
    as for 10 inches, I would only go for it if its aspect is 4:3 like iPad, otherwise, just like you said, awkward typing, awkward holding…

  • http://Website Tim

    I think it all depends on the persons purpose for having one. Primarily movies then 10in is probably better but if you are going to be using it a lot on the go 7in would probably be better for ease of holding like people have said. I personally don’t have a use for one. I have an ipod touch, a nexus one and a netbook so no need for another thing. Although they are cool.

  • scottric

    I personally am looking at picking up the Archos 10.1 tablet when it comes out. I want something that is mainly for leasurely purposes, that I can run ereaders on, surf the web, check my email, play games with the kiddos, without lugging out my 17″ laptop for the screen real estate.

    • http://Website Todd

      How are you going to put reader software on it since everyone’s software is on the Market and Archos tablets don’t have the market?

      • http://Website bobby

        The market works you just have to putit on your sd card and install it yourself..and it comes preinstalld with the kindle app

  • http://Website jjsink

    Because of my Old eyes, I feel a 10″ tablet would be better suited for me. Sometimes I need two pair of reading glasses to see a website on a small screen.
    As far as typing goes, I got the Samsung Moment because of it’s slide-out keyboard;
    however, since the Android Graffiti app (emulates Palm OS grafitti 1 input) came out, I never use the hard keyboard anymore.
    So for me, it’s a 10 incher….. providing it will accomodate the Graffiti app.

    C’mon Notions Ink, I want the Adam NOW!

    (this was Not a paid political announcement, nor endorsed by Access Systems or Notions Ink)

  • http://Website Jim McP

    I’d like to be able to get a 7inch with phone abilities. I’m getting old and reading these 3-4 inch screens is getting harder! LOL

  • http://nitrogenlabs.com Nitrog7

    A 10 inch is great size for a tablet. The iPad is a 9 inch. 7 inch is too small, I’d rather carry around a 4.3 smartphone. I have a tablet so I can have a larger screen, still keeping portable.

  • http://thephonenerd.com The Phone Nerd

    10 inch, were I going to make a decision today. However, when it comes to tablets, I think I’m making the recommendation not to buy a tablet until Q1 or Q2 of 2011 – and Im not the only one –

  • http://pierceproductions.org/blog Brent Pierce

    I think a 10″. I have the EVO, which is over 4″. So why would I get a tablet that is not much bigger? You can view more and do more with 10″. And it’s not too big like 12″ would be. 7″ to me just seems like a VERY pointlessly oversized smartphone.

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/anakin78z anakin78z

    Both. 7 inches for portability, 10 inches for home use.

    7 inch tablet with data plan seems perfect to lug around without issue, read books, watch stuff, browse, etc.

    10 inches is probably nice to have at home on the couch. Heck, I’ll take a 12 incher for that.

    • http://Website Todd

      How about 15 for home use? Or even 18?

      I’ll definitely be getting the Tab when it comes out on T-Mobile next month. Maybe next year I’ll get another tablet to leave at my parents’ house, something 10inches or bigger.

  • http://Website joe

    not only it’s too big, but too heavy as well ( ipad ) 7″ is the perfect size imo.

  • http://Website Antonio Crocco

    I want a ten inch android tablet, gingerbread, front facing camera, rear camera with at least 5 mp’s, good speakers, pay as you go 3G, dual core, 1-2 gb ram, high resolution super-amoled display, 7-10 hours battery life, thin and no waste of retail space on front. In other words, HTC and google need to make a nexus 10 tablet and ill pay up to a grand for it.

  • http://androidandmh windried

    It doesn’t matter wich size it is. The real question is, afther a year, will flashplayer and froyo 2.2 keep people worldwide hostage by letting them wait for upgrading like they are doing with the first motorola droid????…you spent your money with a contract of 2 year and still waiting a crippled cellphone to be upgrade. Will that happen with the newest tablet??.. windows have always automatic update for everyone. So , please , if you sell something, keep updating it on time and don’t say ummmm….we are still evaluating..!!!.. because you will loose a lot of client. That’ my opinion.

  • http://Website Originalme8

    10″ or Bust!
    I have a phone already I want something with real estate. Tablets should be used to replace large laptops in my honest opinion. I can’t see buying a 7″, I want something I can work on.

  • SGB101

    10″ tablet, is the perfect device for media and browsing the web,

    As soon as the arches 101 is released I’m getting one for my wife, who at the moment is finding her laptop to heavy.

  • zerotiger

    I disagree. The 10″ vs 7″ doesn’t feel much different in use. Weight could be a factor, but it’s pretty small according to the specs on https://store.archos.com/archos-internet-tablet-p-5005.html & https://store.archos.com/archos-internet-tablet-p-5004.html you’re looking at 180 grams to upgrade to the 10″ screen. That’s less than 1/2 lb. I’m going to get the Archos 101 when it comes out. I hope they are still on schedule for a November release.

  • http://Website Kevin

    Between 7″ and 10″. 7 inches is to small, bigger than 10″ and yo might as well have a laptop.

  • http://Website Raptor

    7″, 10″? Tired of that idiotism. I NEED 20″ not that small crap.

    That’s exactly two pages of standard paper format . Or exactly the dimension of two sides of standard open journal

  • http://Website Xeyad

    I’m currently viewing this page on the iPad, and to be honest, I think the 10-inch tablet is the ideal size. I’m typing right now on the horizontal position, so the keyboard is taking up half the screen, and yet I can view most of the page, so on the 7- inch, the keyboard would have to be smaller, and the whole view experience will probably be closer to a phone.

    Moreover, with phones such as the Galaxy S and HTC EVO 4G have screens at 4.0 and 4.3 inchs, 7 inch tablets are not that much bigger to make a totally different user experience as the iPad did with the iPhone.

    As much as I love the iPad, but 10 inch Android tablets with the upcoming 3.0 system are going to be tough competitors.

  • http://Website Sinanovski

    If I ever decide to purchase a tablet, its gonna be the one from Apple. I strongly believe that Android is getting ruined by the big companies who impose their own crap onto it. Some have market, some don’t…really? Is that how Android was supposed to be? Not to preach Apple, but they seem to have their shit together the best. At least with their tablet.

  • http://Website Dave

    I have been waiting for a good 10 inch tablet to come out. The seven inch look good too, but I like the basic iPad form factor. I don’t like all the iPad limitations, however, and I think that a 10.1 Archos pad has a lot of potential for reading, simple web browsing, etc.

  • http://www.ericfortin.ca Eric

    I’m still waiting for a good 10inch tablet, with a atom CPU, 1gb of ram and a SSD. Why is Apple the only one with storage on their phones ? why do we have to pay the same price for a droid with no storage ?

  • http://Website Zaid

    The 10″ tablet is amazing for typing.
    I had the iPad, returned it due to the epic fail of the iOS imo, and with a 10″ screen in landscape you can type with 8 fingers.
    Idk about you guys but I enjoy being able to type a lot, quickly and naturally.

  • http://Website poinck

    I would prefer a 10 inch tablet over a 7 inch … I am waiting, Google (o: My Nexus One feels a bit alone. ^^

  • http://Website psytae

    If I could get an Android tablet same size as the ipad with high definition display and at least the same bells and whistles Ipad has I would buy it in a second. I like the size and some of the features of the ipad but I HATE how locked down it is. GIVE me Android ANY Day. But Keep it On Par with the competition don’t downsize it to a lousy 7 inches screen.

  • http://Website edison wong

    I prefer a 10 inch. If it is 7 inch, it seem like i am neither here nor there between a phone and tablet. If i want a tablet let it be 10 because most properly i want a big screen otherwise a phone will be good enough.

  • ravila88x

    I currently own an iPad. I do everything on it. I have my text books, my books, movies, music, school papers and homework. I do everything on it. I also have a keyboard and dock for it. I have an Android phone now and have had about 15 of them since the initial launch of the G1. So I am hoping someone would make a 10inch Android tablet with the ability to do everything need it to do.

  • http://Website Eddie

    I have a problem typing comfortably on the ipad. Must be my small girly hands? I’ve used a 8″ China tablet my buddy bought online and that thing actually seemed like a great size. Still very portable and easy to type on while holding it and the 4:3 aspect ratio fit webpages perfectly without needing to resize them like the 7″ needs to do.

  • Paul

    prefer 7”
    10′ cant be hold in single hand, weights more then 600gm, not prolonged use as wrist hurts easily. 7inch can be hold in single hand, can switch hand when it hurts,
    prefer 14” chip based laptop instead of 10′ high priced tablet

  • Paul

    phone tablet laptop
    3-4 7 10 14 +
    deference ” 4” 4”
    weight (gm) 150 600 Kg

    prefer to carry laptop over 10′ tablet but can’t prefer phone over 7inch tablet as phone seems much smaller screen