I read an article last night (via Daring Fireball) where Hal Berenson comments on his choice of the Microsoft Surface over the iPad. One of his major concerns is caused because the iPad isn't a widescreen device, and he was worried about the usefulness of the device in the future. Let me give you the actual quote:
The Portrait vs. Landscape orientation optimization could be a deal breaker for some users, especially if you rush to judgment. I loved the Portrait orientation of my iPad and worried about my transition to a Landscape optimized world.
I have no problem if Mr. Berenson prefers a widescreen tablet. But to be worried about an iPad's usefulness in the future because it doesn't have widescreen is, well, a bit crazy.
I must have been thinking about it all night, because Fraser Speirs posted a Tweet this morning that brought the comments about widescreen right back to my mind:
Killer hardware feature of the mini? 4:3 screen. Totally different experience to Nexus 7 and far more flexible, IMO.—
Fraser Speirs (@fraserspeirs) November 03, 2012
The fact is that we live in a world of both widescreen and 4:3. Widescreen is at the center of entertainment, whereas 4:3 is the world of paper (this obviously includes music). Maybe we will do away with paper someday…but for now, our culture is firmly rooted in 4:3. This may change someday, but not within the lifespan of any device that people are purchasing today. This is further emphasized in the fact the Amazon and Barnes and Noble are selling devices in 4:3 format, too. And the great irony is that most of us are still creating paper documents on widescreen computers–rarely being able to see an entire page at a time.
My plea to Apple is that they would consider making Pro versions of the iPad in a 11.7″ 4:3 size.
Again…if you want a Surface or an Android tablet…buy one. Buy what YOU want. It's your money. But speak from the aspect of your preference rather than making up crazy points of logic. I'll try to do the same as I defend my choice of the iPad. By the way, I choose the iPad for both personal reasons and as the tablet I would recommend for schools (different reasons). The 4:3 screen and our paper-based society is a point in both cases.