Is 8.9-inches the perfect size for a tablet?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| January 14, 2012

If there’s one thing that we’ve learned over the last couple years, it’s that manufacturers love tablets. Even though the tablet market isn’t necessarily new, it’s been rejuvenated pretty significantly since the launch of the iPad. Since that launch, we’ve seen plenty of different manufacturers, from the largest to the smallest in the world, create and release their own version of what they think a tablet should be. There are plenty of options out there, from the iPad, the BlackBerry PlayBook, to the ASUS Transformer Prime.  Options are great, especially when they come not just in the software department.

Among all those different tablets, you’ll find that there are plenty of different size variations out there. While Apple’s iPad measures in at 9.7-inches, it seems that the competition believes that 10.1-inches is the right size to contend with Apple’s juggernaut. Of course, while these companies have launched larger tablets, most have them have also launched smaller versions, ranging the gamut from 5-inches to 8.9-inches.

It’s a strange situation, really. Especially when you look at the Android tablet market, and how packed it is. There’s no denying that the whole show is littered with actors, all vying for their position in the spotlight. There’s nothing wrong with that by any means, but to the average consumer checking out one Android tablet that is similarly sized as another, and running the same operating system version, can be pretty daunting. That’s why the size situation is so good, and why that’s one part that manufacturers are doing right. Sure, some may be flooding the market more or less, but no one out there is saying options are a bad thing.

Interestingly enough, when I wrote that I thought that Samsung could be more or less saturating the tablet market with all of their tablets, it is one of their “random” sized tablets that I believe could be the best. And no, I’m not going to review it here. I’m just talking about the size, and how I think that 8.9-inches could be the sweet spot.

But the display size isn’t the whole show, obviously. Much in the same way that you might choose your next laptop, it isn’t just about the size but also the weight of the device. That has a big part in selecting a tablet, in my opinion. The display size? That’s only half the battle, but I believe that 8.9-inches is the perfect size for a tablet. That’s why Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 8.9, with its perfect screen size and remarkably lightweight, feels like the perfect tablet to me.

Of course, there are other options that come pretty close. Motorola’s 8.2-inch XYBOARD weighs in at only 390 grams, or about 13.75 ounces.  The Galaxy Tab 8.9 measures in at 15.8 ounces, or 448 grams. That’s probably negligible to most, but I imagine that on a daily basis, if you use the tablet throughout the day, that most people would feel the difference. Does that mean that Motorola’s smaller, lighter tablet is better than Samsung’s? That’s not up to me to decide for you, because just like any other object out there, it all comes down to personal use.

But, for me, the 8.9-inch display and its lightweight design make the Galaxy Tab 8.9 probably the most desired tablet out there. We will have to wait and see what 2012 has in store for the tablet market, but hopefully the trends keep up.

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