Look at the 7″ tablets we have right now. There’s Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0), Google’s Nexus 7, and the Nook, from the house of Barnes and Noble. The last on the list is expensive, but unlike most other tablets that give you about 8 GB, the Nook goes one step up and provides you a whopping 16GB.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire integrates with the site’s massive collection of books, music, videos and printed literature. It has a fabulous web site and apps that will make you happy, including Hulu, Netflix and Pandora. But its low cost also means lack of many things- camera, Bluetooth, GPS, camera, 3G etc.
The Galaxy Nexus Tab leads the pack in terms of a superlative experience. It has expandable memory, two cameras and can be used to control your TV, acting like a remote. If you do need to complain, you may talk of its ordinary looks and the fact that pictures shot on the cameras, aren’t great.
Nexus 7 has been greeted with wide enthusiasm by everyone. It is lightning fast, thanks to a Tegra 3 processor and it looks gorgeous- lovely screen and easy use design. The minuses are you can’t do more for memory and there’s no HDMI.
As you can see all 7-inch tablets come with their own advantages and disadvantages. That makes the market for the 7″ tablet is a mine field and a sweet treat all at once. A sweet treat for all the advantages it carries. A mine field because on a tablet that size, experiences tend to be small-sized too. For instance, one of the issues with the devices is anything but the slimmest of fingers, is a disaster on the screen. And it doesn’t matter if you’re used to a touch screen and have years of experience. It is still a problem.
Also, think about browsing the net on the tablet! A full size screen pushed to the limit on the tablet takes away all the fun of the experience. Even with the mobile view option, it is just not the same. Add to that the agonies of reading magazines, poor user interface, sluggish updates and you’ll see why a tablet of this size is not so popular.
We are hearing that the late Steve Jobs was on-board for a 7″ tablet which is an indication that he believed the future lay in them. Yes, that’s a fire cry from his earlier notion that these devices should be sold with sandpaper to make thinner fingers!
There are enough stories about the iPad ‘Mini’ doing the rounds and over the course of the very bitter Samsung-Apple war, we have learnt, through papers presented in court that there were plans to release such a device way before the other contenders.
But for them to capture the minds and hearts of users, tablet manufacturers will have to work with service providers to ensure made-to-order content. A mere changing of browser settings will not do. The market might have a few players but it is crowded with more players keen on having a share of this pie too. With better software and collaborative effort, we could see something special in the time to come.