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Old 02-02-2010, 06:24 PM   #1
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Why Apple chose the iPad's screen format

http://www.macworld.com/article/1460...?lsrc=rss_main

Besides the price, the screen format of the iPad was what surprised me a lot...Macworld's Kirk McElhearn gives his take:

Quote:
It looks like Apple’s choice of the 4:3 format is designed to fit certain types of usage, such as reading books and magazines, browsing the Web and using productivity applications. While many people will probably watch movies on the iPad, Apple seems to be betting that the iPad will be used very differently from laptops.
and this we all saw with the JooJoo (or at least, I did)

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One more thing: a device that you hold in two hands feels more natural in a 4:3 format than a 16:10. It would seem too tall or too wide, depending on how you hold it, because of the general size of books and magazines
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:10 PM   #2
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Makes sense to me. Movies on such a small device will be fine in 4:3, it is just for portable use. For me personally it really is great, I watch maybe 2 movies a year, and never on a portable.
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:27 AM   #3
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Actually, I think it's just designed more with American users in mind - typically U.S. paper formats are 'squarer' than those use in the UK and Europe, which has pretty much standardised on 2:3 format 'A' paper sizes. I think 4:3 will work quite well when using the on-screen keyboard in landscape mode, as the keyboard covers less of the available screen, albeit at the irritation of folks who buy an iPad to watch movies
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petermillard View Post
Actually, I think it's just designed more with American users in mind - typically U.S. paper formats are 'squarer' than those use in the UK and Europe, which has pretty much standardised on 2:3 format 'A' paper sizes.
...
Pedantry Moment: 'A' paper sizes are actually in 1:sqrt 2, or approx. 1:1.414.

2:3 would be 1:1.5

Neither 'A' nor (US) Letter paper sizes matches the 4:3 ratio, though both are fairly close in number on either side. Perceptions are another matter entirely.

Cheers,
Marc
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:57 AM   #5
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And then there are radicals like myself that will probably read in landscape
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:10 PM   #6
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It's just a trade off.

4:3 is better for reading, the net, etc. But movies will suck with black bars on an already small screen. Just a matter of what you would use it for more.

It's an mild issue for me as I watch a LOT of movies as it's my favorite hobby. But I doubt I'd watch them on a portable anyway as I seldom watch one on my laptop. Rather watch them in the theater on the big screen or on my 50" TV than on a small screen.
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:50 AM   #7
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It seems a mistake to me, 4:3 won't really help for webpages given the way most sites seem designed these days, but as you mention for movies the black bars are going to seriously suck.
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowl View Post
It seems a mistake to me, 4:3 won't really help for webpages given the way most sites seem designed these days, but as you mention for movies the black bars are going to seriously suck.
Huh?!

What on Earth do you mean by "the way most sites seem designed these days" and how does it make 4:3 a mistake?

Also, while 16x9 may be a good compromise for movies and TVs, as well as for cheap LCD monitors, I am not certain it's the best format for a tablet, particularly for one aimed at web browsing, ebooks and photos.

Finally, I still get black bars on my 16x9 plasma, and I don't think "it seriously sucks." Sometimes they are even vertical....
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:21 AM   #9
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I like the 4:3 format. If I'm getting this device it's not to see film but to read and do research, but I can see why people wanting to see film would like a widescreen. That's the dilemma with a multi-purpose device. It's hard to please everyone's personal preference.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonist View Post
What on Earth do you mean by "the way most sites seem designed these days" and how does it make 4:3 a mistake?
I mean that most sites seem to be designed with a limited width in mind, so the additional width you would get from a 4:3 screen would simply be wasted by unused space and thus 16:9 wouldn't be inherently worse for webpages.

As far as 4:3 being a mistake that was an overall thing due to the negatives for video content rather than being wrong for webpages, which is think would be fine on either a 16:9 or 4:3 tablet assuming you tended to use them both in portrait mode for that use.


Quote:
Also, while 16x9 may be a good compromise for movies and TVs, as well as for cheap LCD monitors, I am not certain it's the best format for a tablet, particularly for one aimed at web browsing, ebooks and photos.

Finally, I still get black bars on my 16x9 plasma, and I don't think "it seriously sucks." Sometimes they are even vertical....
I don't mind them on a larger screen either, but they seem a lot worse on a smaller screen.
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:33 PM   #11
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I mean that most sites seem to be designed with a limited width in mind, so the additional width you would get from a 4:3 screen would simply be wasted by unused space and thus 16:9 wouldn't be inherently worse for webpages.
Yeah, both my laptop and work monitor are 16x9, with webpages it's just wasted space on the side. So I think pages look a bit better on a 4:3 montitor, but the wasted space on the sides isn't distracting so it's not a drawback to a widescreen monitor. And is offset by seeing more columns in spreadsheets and other stats programs that I use a lot.


Quote:
I don't mind them on a larger screen either, but they seem a lot worse on a smaller screen.
Yep, the smaller the screen, the more annoying it is to watch a widescreen movie letterboxed with black bars. The screen is already small, using less of it makes it even smaller.

But like I said, it's a trade off. 16x9 is a bit weird for books/PDFs etc., but 4:3 isn't ideal for movies, widescreen TV programs streaming online etc. Can't be perfect for every task.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by dmaul1114 View Post
Yeah, both my laptop and work monitor are 16x9, with webpages it's just wasted space on the side. So I think pages look a bit better on a 4:3 montitor, but the wasted space on the sides isn't distracting so it's not a drawback to a widescreen monitor. And is offset by seeing more columns in spreadsheets and other stats programs that I use a lot.
The thing is you even waste some space with a 4:3 monitor on a lot of sites so flipping a ws tablet into portrait would still give a good browsing experience without a negative one for videos.
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Old 02-05-2010, 05:02 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by montsnmags View Post
Pedantry Moment: 'A' paper sizes are actually in 1:sqrt 2, or approx. 1:1.414.
Which gives the 'A' sizes the wonderful property that if you cut it in half down the longer edge you get a piece of paper half the area with exactly the same aspect ratio. This allows for a range of sizes (A5, A4, A3 ... etc. ) each of which is twice the area of the next smaller one, all with the same aspect ratio.

/JB
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Old 02-05-2010, 05:17 PM   #14
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Whereas American (ANSI) paper sizes B to E each cut in half to equal the next size down, though not keeping the same aspect ratio.

I know A4 makes more sense but no matter how many A4 documents I read it still looks wrong to me ...
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