So I’m typing this on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 (a ridiculous aborton of a marketing-department name if ever there was one) and I’m absolutely struck by how “just right” this screen size is for a portable device. Basically, it feels like the return of the Newton 2100, which is ironic since the iPad Mini absolutely doesn’t. Too bad for Apple.
The software, of course (Android 4.x) absolutely pales in comparison to Newton OS, and the design of the device and the positon of the onscreen keyboard (combined with Android’s typical piss-poor touch sensitivity and accuracy in comparison to that of iOS) drag the experience down, but there’s little doubt that this general shape, long perfected by publishers in paperback novel trim sizes, is ergonomically and interactively special.
If the Newton UX ever gets a refresh on a device sporting this form factor once again, I will be the first in line to pay whatever it takes or to donate as much plasma as I have to in order to own one.
In the meantme, seven-inch Android tablets will have to suffice, and they don’t do a bad job of it, all things considered.