Illustration Comparing Tablet Aspect Ratios

Tablet Aspect Ratios

Earlier this week a reader sent in an image (thanks, Thys Kotzé!) comparing the different aspect ratios for tablets. I thought is was a helpful illustration comparing the common sizes for tablets’ screens so I wanted to share it here (click the image for a larger version).

As the illustration notes, most newer Android tablets have 16:10 ratio screens, Windows tablets have 16:9 ratio screens, and the ever-popular iPad variants all have 4:3 ratio screens.

A lot of older Android tablets have 16:9 ratio screens, and a few have 4:3. But the major exception to the rule is the Nook HD+ with its 9-inch 1920 x 1280 resolution screen. It’s the only tablet that I know of with a 3:2 ratio screen. Even its little brother, the Nook HD, has a 16:10 ratio screen like most others.

I’ve had the good fortune to test dozens of various tablets in different sizes and configurations, and I have to say the Nook HD+ is one of my favorites in terms of screen size and resolution. I really like the 3:2 ratio screen, and am surprised that it isn’t more popular. It gives the screen just enough width to feel comfortable in portrait mode. 16:9 ratio screen always feel too narrow in portrait mode to me. 16:10 is better, but I still feel more comfortable using those tablets in landscape mode mostly.

With the iPad’s 4:3 ratio screen, I always feel that portrait mode is more comfortable, and I never use landscape mode, except for when taking an occasional picture or playing a video game.

The Nook HD+ with its 3:2 ratio screen is the only tablet that I’ve ever used that I like using landscape mode and portrait mode equally. Of course everyone is different and that’s just my personal taste, but I’m still surprised there aren’t more 3:2 ratio screens out there. Even on a 7-inch tablet I think it would be pretty nice, better than 16:10, especially for e-reading. The slightly wider and shorter screen is more akin to paper books and suits magazines and comics better.

7 Responses to “Illustration Comparing Tablet Aspect Ratios”

  1. By the looks of it, an 8.9″ screen at 4:3 is a little better than a 10″ at 16:9.

  2. These aspect ratios are from the physical screen sizes, or from the pixel counts?

  3. Makes sense. 3 x 2 is the proportion of a colour slide and most cameras. Digital designers don’t know anything that the photographic industry didn’t know, generations ago.

  4. Very interesting ! Is it possible to have something similar comparing ereaders ? thanks…

  5. I’ve recently changed from a 8.9″ Nook HD+ to a Samsung Tab Pro 10.1 and the difference in aspect ratio is immediately noticeable. While the Samsung is obviously overall the superior tablet, the Nook was much comfortable to use and hold, especially in portrait orientation. The 16:10 of the Tab Pro is only good for widescreen movies, and I wish Android manufacturers would go for 3:2 instead.

  6. Googling about 3:2 screen ratio tablets and found this. I love that ratio, I have a nook hd+ too and it is perfect screen size. I don’t use mine anymore though. The surface pro 3 also has 3:2 ratio which allows a bigger screen without huge device. Nexus 9 might have one too. I hope it gets more popular.