1. richard_rsp's Avatar
    So there is a good bit of rumors regarding the possible release of the iPad Mini (I personally think that at this point, its a sure thing). Just thought i'd throw my opinion out there:

    There has been quite a few discussions regrading the display, pixel densities, and even display type. (See this article from iMore). However, I don't think many people have thought about the actual ability to hold these displays. See, one of the greatest things about the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 is the ability to hold the device in one palm while navigating with the other. I decided to make some paper "models" to get an idea of what the rumored 7.85" screen would be like on the upcoming iPad....

    The current iPads use a 3:4 ratio. That would make the screen ~ 4.71" wide x 6.28" tall.

    As you can see, while the screen is able to be held in one hand, this 'model' does not account for ANY bezel width... assuming that at least one inch would be added in bezel width, I do not think anyone (except those with gargantuan hands) would be able to palm the device. Just for reference, the SCREEN alone would be the width of the entire Nexus 7 device. So therefore I am saying it would not be smart of Apple to make it 3:4.


    The current iPhone on the other hand has a 2:3 ratio. This would be ~ 4.48" wide x 6.45" tall.

    While I think that this size could work, it would require a very small bezel in order to be palm-able. Also, if the bezel isnt large enough, it could possibly take away the ability to comfortably hold the device in landscape.Besides, let's face it: Apple isnt known for tiny bezels...


    A lot of devices these days are moving towards 16:9. With an 7.85" screen, that would be ~ 3.85" wide x 6.84" tall.

    Going to something similar to this ratio would provide ample room for a bezel and allow the device to be held comfortably in one hand. While I am not saying that the new iPad Mini WILL be 16:9, given the rumored increase in length for the new iPhone, I wouldn't doubt if that ratio is carried over to the iPad Mini...

    What do you think?

    Here is a comparison of the 3 screen 'models'
    07-27-2012 11:58 AM
  2. cardfan's Avatar
    If that's the case then it'd be closer to a bigger ipod touch than a mini ipad since it couldn't run ipad apps.
    07-27-2012 09:18 PM
  3. Bartoge's Avatar
    I think you have to consider the name for a minute. The general consensus is that the purported device will be an IPAD mini and not an IPOD TOUCH xl. The way I see it then, is if it is an iPad mini, it will be similar to the iPad, meaning the same aspect ratio of 4:3. Why? Because the only software benefit from a 16:9 display is a better video watching experience. Everything else is either the same or worse when compared to a 4:3 display. Most apps/games I find work better on a 4:3 display. Browsing the web is better on a 4:3 . Loing at pictures is better on 4:3. Doing anything in landscape mode is better on 4:3. I think that is the main reason too. iPads are a lot of times used in landscape mode, and be it typing, or swiping through your homescreens, a 4:3 works better. I think the simply the lighter weight of the iPad mini will make holding it with one hand all the simpler and the palm ability of it simply isn't a good enough reason to completely change the form factor of the iPad mini.
    07-28-2012 10:58 PM
  4. richard_rsp's Avatar
    Oh I agree with you regarding the usefulness of 4:3. I was just bringing attention to the way that the device would be held. And I agree that given that alone, palm-ability would not be enough to change the aspect ratio. However, you haven't addressed the other issues of bringing iPad apps to a 7.85" platform - too-small touch targets, text readibility, etc.

    [EDIT: I actually DO wonder if 4:3 would be more or less useful on a 7" tablet. On the 7" tabs I have used, I turn the device in landscape mode and scroll webpages like that. The greater "width" of 16:9 in landscape mode on a 7.85" screen (over half an inch) provide larger text/webpages without zooming as much as 4:3 would. I'm not sure if that would outweigh the benefits of 4:3 or not.]

    The point is: They are already going to have to change iPad apps in one way or another. If they release a taller iPhone5 screen (as expected), they will have to change iPhone apps in one way or another. So by releasing these together with the same aspect ratio, it would allow the developers to make one app that would work on the new iPhone 5 PLUS the iPad Mini. This would essentially create a 3rd type of app that would be able to be used on multiple devices going forward. (I actually could see Apple doing this versus providing a less-than-stellar experience of using iPad apps on a too-small screen).

    I'm not saying that this is what they ARE going to do. I'm just saying that this is another thought on what they COULD do.
    Last edited by richard_rsp; 07-30-2012 at 05:12 PM.
    07-30-2012 04:42 PM
  5. Bartoge's Avatar
    There is one way I could see Apple introducing a 16:9 iPad mini, and that's with a 16:9 iphone. It won't be called an iPad, rather it will branded with the iPhone. Why? I think it has to do with brand identity. If Apple creates a second type of anything, I think they will want it to look essential the same, but in a different size.

    For example, the MacBook Air line. The two models have exactly the same design. The larger Air may have one more port but it still has the same shape, look and feel of the 11 Air. So if they have a 16:9 iPad mini, it will be branded as a bigger iPhone, with a blown up iPhone user interface.

    Tts the way I see it happening, but I also don't think it is likely because, Apple makes fun if Android for blowing up phone software, Jobs hated smaller tablets because they had to small screen real estate, and the rumored new iPhone design doesn't translate well to a larger tablet. A 4:3 iPad mini would allow more screen real estate. A 4:3 iPad mini would also have the larger iPad design and allow it to run smaller iPad apps.

    As to your apps would be to small, I don't think so. Most app I think would translate well. There would be some exceptions I could think of (safari, pages, GarageBand) and those would require tweaked designs, but overal similar designs to their large iPad counterparts. What that means is I think for apps that need to be tweaked will get a specific iPad mini version. However, many apps won't need to be changed (tiny wings, infitity blade, doodle jump, flipboard, pandora) and they can just run smaller iPad apps. And that would solve the blown up iPhone problem.

    Overall a 16:9 is possible but I think is highly unlikely. But until Apple makes it official, we don't even know if if the device exists yet,most alone a screen size.
    07-31-2012 09:40 AM
  6. Scottm42's Avatar
    You screwed up your math, at least for the 3:2 choice that I think is most likely.

    The dimensions for a 3:2 ratio screen with a 7.85" diagonal are 4.35" wide by 6.53" high.

    3:2 is taller and skinnier when calculated correctly. Easier to hold with one hand. Also, recent iPad mini leaks have shown much smaller bezels on the height sides compared to the width sides. If the leaks are accurate, this would narrow the device and increase the ease of holding the iPad mini in one hand.

    My guess:
    -7.85" (least confident about this, since this number came out of estimates assuming a 1024 x 768 screen)
    -3:2 ratio
    -1152 x 768 (3:2 ratio sticking with the 768 pixel width of the iPad 2)
    -177 pixels per inch (again, this is tied to the 7.85" estimate so take 2 grains of salt with this one).
    -They will have to letterbox legacy 1024 x 768 apps, but if they can do it for their flagship product, the iPhone 5, they can do it for their budget tablet.

    Not great but what do you expect from Apple for $250 (16 gig)? If they nail other display characteristics (IPS LCD, high brightness, high contrast ratio, decent coverage of the Standard colour gamut etc) I could see it being very usable. This is coming from an iPad 3 owner.
    10-06-2012 07:54 PM
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