Resolved Unbiased Thoughts On Perfect Aspect Ratio

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by captjoe06, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. captjoe06 macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2010
    I'd be interested to hear from people who have used both a 16:9 or 16:10 ratio and a 4:3 ratio tablet to hear an unbiased explanation of which one they prefer. I have a Samsung Galaxy s3 and a first Gen iPad. I like both devices but I'm leaning toward the 4:3 ratio of the iPad for my next tablet upgrade.

    If the Nexus 10 was 4:3 I'd probably buy the one that will be coming out soon but I haven't really used a widescreen tablet to make an informed decision. Using the current 1st gen iPad I mostly view it vertically and rarely in wide screen mode which is why I think that for browsing the web the 4:3 iPad ratio would suit me better.

    I understand asking a bunch of Apple fans which they prefer is going to skew the responses but if anyone has actually used different tablets with the different aspect ratios can you tell me your thoughts as to the pros and cons.

    I'd say that 25% of my tablet use is email, 50% browsing the web,20% composing blog posts, 10% watching video.

    Your thoughts? and TIA
  2. Cyloncat macrumors regular


    Oct 26, 2012
    NC, USA
    There is no perfect aspect ratio, no "silver bullet." It depends very much on usage, as well as on the user.

    I use landscape mode almost exclusively, on both iPad (4:3) and Surface Pro (16:9). When I use the Nexus 7 (16:10, but a 7 inch screen) I tend to use portrait.

    For Kindle on 10-inch tablets, I like landscape with a two-column layout; it gives me the line length that I want. On Nexus 7, Kindle is one-column in portrait, to get the same line length (or at least close to it). For PDF books where I can't change layout, I need adequate text size and ability to scroll smoothly without having to think about how that app wants to scroll. Although I've used GoodReader for this in the past, it has its aggravations. I'm slowly moving to Adobe Touch Reader, or SkyDrive's PDF reader, simply because they let me scroll smoothly over page boundaries. Landscape tends to be better for comfortable reading if I need to zoom text and still see full page width.

    If I do read in portrait mode on a 10-inch tablet, 4:3 is better than 16:9 or 16:10; the tall screen just feel awkward.

    For web browsing, I use landscape. If text is too small, I'll pinch-zoom, and landscape gives me room to do that. Aspect ratio isn't an issue here. OTOH, I dislike browsing on a 7 inch tablet; portrait doesn't give me sufficient room to zoom if necessary, while landscape doesn't give me enough vertical space.

    For video, any screen that won't letterbox is what I want. 4:3 video works best on a 4:3 screen; HD video works best on a HD (wide) screen.
  3. coops macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2009
    I have a Nexus 7v1 and an ipad mini.

    I am keeping the nexus 7 at work purely for use with an excel spreadsheet.. which as far as i'm concerned is the only thing that Android has that is an improvement - due to being able to maintain locked cells in a spreadsheet, something no Apple excel app can do for some bizrre reason.

    Other than that, the ipad aspect ratio is my choice - i do NOT want to be zooming and panning around when web browsing and the ipad mini ratio lets you do that in landscape, especially with a decent browser like Atomic.

    The widescreen 7 inch is too small, and made worse by the soft buttons taking up screen space ( yes i've rooted and installed an app to be able to remove them but even then it is still inferior).

    Ipad mini great for movies ( even with black bars the viewable size is bigger than the N7),and fine for ereading using Marvin app.

    Bear in mind, i've only had the mini about 4 weeks now... i couldn't wait for the retina to come out... which says how poor i found the N7.
  4. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    It really depends on what you use the iPad for. I find that for reading magazines, and surfing the web 4:3 is the best, but if you watch a lot of videos 16:9/10 is better. That being said, because of Microsofts dual app setup on Windows 8, widescreen is better. If Apple did something similar I might change my opinion because a widescreen suits dual apps in a way that 4:3 doesn't.
  5. captjoe06 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2010
    I feel like most of the way I use my current iPad that its in portrait mode.
    Thanks for all the responses
  6. kristalsoldier macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    As someone mentioned above, for me my preference of the aspect ratio depends on what I am doing. I want 4:3 (for which I have the iPad4) for reading my ebooks (PDF, ePub etc.). I also want 16:9/ 10 (for which I have the Nexus 10 and the Surface RT) for Office-related work (Surface RT), Web browsing (Nexus 10 and Surface RT), watching films/ media (Nexus 10). And yes, at any given time, I am carrying at least two tablets (usually the iPad and the Surface RT).
  7. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    That makes no sense. Preference is bias.
  8. captjoe06 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2010
    So you prefer using the nrx 10 for web browsing over the iPad. Interesting, Do you generally browse on your nex10 in landscape or portrait mode?


    Without getting into a flame war over it there seem to he some folks that are always going to say the android product is superior and some say the apple product. I'm looking for those who can objectively look at both and give pros and cons without bias.
  9. kristalsoldier macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    I almost always browse on the N10 in landscape mode. For some reason - which I cannot define - I find the browsing experience best on the N10 closely followed by the Surface RT and only then the iPad (I use Mercury browser on the iPad and generally avoid Safari).

    Maybe one of the reasons for my aversion to using the iPad is because I almost permanently have it locked to portrait mode - given that I am on and reading books/ reference materials for about 3-4 hours a day.
  10. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    I highly prefer landscape on both my ipad, and my windows tablet. I rarely find a use for portrait mode, but that's just me. Plus my cover unfolds so I can lean, or stand up both my ipad and windows tablets horizontally.

    I have no idea how web pages work, but I just like the webpage spread out 16:9 much better. Most blogs these days have a huge column of ads on the right side, with landscape mode I just pinch and zoom to see the content and put the ads column off screen, it works very nicely. On a 4:3 screen it seems the text is smaller and I don't get as much benefit from zooming like that.

    Even reading books is nicer as I can have a 2 page layout and it feels like a real book. Just about the only use I have for portrait is navigation in heads up mode. The narrower portrait mode on the windows tablet is also actually a plus when taking handwritten notes IMO, it's much easier to hold and control that way. Although if I have a desk I usually prop it up in landscape mode on the desk and take notes that way.
  11. kenknotts macrumors 6502

    Sep 23, 2013
    On a tablet? 4:3 all the way. Ive had both the iPad mini and Nexus 7 and I much prefer the mini's 4:3 ratio. Now when we are talking 27 inch Apple monitors and HDTVs, I'll take 16:9 all day.
  12. Stuntman06 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2011
    Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
    My Transformer tablet is always in landscape mode because it is always docked in the keyboard dock. It only docks in landscape orientation. It makes it great for watching movies.

    My Galaxy S3 is usually in portrait when reading and landscape when typing.

    I haven't used a 4:3 device very much at all, so I can't say if the aspect ratio is something I like or don't like. When just playing around with an iPhone or iPad, I never had any issue with the aspect ratio. However, I don't recall every really watching videos much. Generally, I don't care about black bars on the top/bottom or left/right sides of the screen as long as a circle on the screen is round and not oval.
  13. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    I think it really depends on the device and your usage.

    3:2 gave the 3.5" iPhone the ability to display lots of content on a small canvas.

    16:9 makes a lot of sense for large screen smart phones due to the narrow profile and one handed use.

    4:3 makes for book like handling on iPads.

    Just really depends in my opinion.
  14. Dr McKay macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

    Aug 11, 2010
    When I had my iPad I always used it on Portrait for Web Browsing, same for my Android Phones, Nexus 7, Nexus 10.

    Web Sites are pretty much designed for portrait orientation it feels like to me.
  15. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006

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