Blog Post

Poll: If the iPad 3 is thicker, is that a problem?

Apple’s(s aapl) next iPad is expected to launch on Wednesday, and we’ll start live-blogging the event right here at 9:30am PT. Typical of an Apple launch, there’s rampant speculation and leaked specifications leading up to the event.

A screen with four times the pixels is a good bet, as is support for LTE networks, and maybe even a touchscreen that touches you back. But the spec I’m most interested in right now is the tablet’s thickness, which is rumored to be slightly thicker than prior iPads. And I think that’s a good thing.

For the past few years, device makers have focused on making smartphones and tablets thinner. Maybe we’ve passed the “sweet spot” for thin, however. I’ve noticed that as these devices lose girth, they start to hurt my hands after holding them for prolonged amounts of time. And no amount of rounding or tapering is helping, as the thin corners still dig into my hands.

[polldaddy poll=6015279]

Of late I’ve seen this first-hand with my Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Tab 7.7 slate. I’m not picking on Samsung products specifically, nor Android(s goog) devices, but these are good examples: After holding either for a while, a red indentation line appears on my palm from the device corners on these thin devices. The 7.7-inch Galaxy Tab, for example, is 7.89 millimeters; nice and slim for portability, but a little hard on the hands.

Former Motorola CEO(s mmi), Sanjay Jha may have seen the light on this too. Reportedly, he suggested that there is such a thing as “too thin” when discussing the Droid Razr handset; that helped lead to the thicker Razr Maxx with its higher capacity battery.

Maybe it’s just me (and Jha) who think devices can actually be “too thin.” And the best way for me to see if I’m an outlier is to pose the question to the masses, so have at it in the poll. I’m specifically asking about the iPad in the poll, but please don’t hesitate to share additional thoughts about the thinness situation in our comments.

9 Responses to “Poll: If the iPad 3 is thicker, is that a problem?”

  1. Well it seemed to matter quite a lot last year, when everyone was in awe with how “thin” and “light” the iPad 2 is, but I guess that since iPad 3 doesn’t have that anymore, it’s suddenly not an issue anymore.

    Personally, I don’t think thickness matters all that much, as long as it’s under 10mm, and they pack a lot of battery inside to compensate for the thickness.

    The weight on the other hand – I think that matters a lot. And I believe even 600 grams (iPad 2, Galaxy Tab 10.1) is way too heavy for a tablet. All such devices that you have to hold for longer than 20-30 minutes in your hand, should be around 300 grams, kind of like the Kindle. It will take a few more years until we get there (for 10″ devices), but that should be the goal, and they should continually strive to reach that weight.

  2. Yeah, I agree it’s not really the thickness, it’s more about the weight. Those marks on your hands wouldn’t really be there if it weighed less. Yes the marks are made by the thin edges but it’s the weight that’s providing the force needed to make them

  3. Jim Bennett

    Thinness is for marketing. The thinner, the sexier. What really matters is weight. The only tablet I’ve used is the Kindle Fire, and my initial reaction was that it was too heavy for extended use without a stand.

  4. thiniscool

    i agree with you completely. buy i also know that for most consumers the practicality of holding a device is not at all a important compared to the ‘coolness’ factor. and for now at least thin is cool.