3:2 - A sign of things to come?

I'm writing this post as I believe there is a fundamental issue with the current crop of Android Tablets, at that is the aspect ratio of their screens.

16:10 (effectively 16:9 due to on screen buttons) is a great aspect ratio to watching videos or playing games, and can work well with phones as the majority of people only turn the device to a landscape orientation to watch videos, play games, or take a landscape photo.

The Chromebook Pixel has been released with a 3:2 display. The question is whether this was an intentional move back towards a more square display, or was this simply based on hardware availability form the panel manufacturers? Did they just want more pixels than the rMBP?

I'm going to make the assumption that it was an intentional decision to use a 3:2 ratio screen.

Is 3:2 a preferred screen ratio for consuming content?


via i47.tinypic.com

The difference between 3:2 and 16:10 doesn't seem to be particularly massive, but there is a further element I want to throw into the mix here. I believe that the transition to on screen buttons had 2 driving factors. One, to gracefully phase out the menu button, and two, to move to a gesture based UI. This would mean we'd no loger need the bar at the bottom of tablet UIs. This may also explain why the status bar in the tablet UI was moved back to the top of the screen in the transition from ICS to Jellybean, though consistency is still a strong argument.

So how would the affect the Nexus 7? A device that is barely usable in a lot of instances when in landscape.


via i49.tinypic.com

These are rather messy photoshop mock ups as I don't own a Nexus 7 (but have used one). I think the difference is huge, and would make the device much more useable. The footprint of the device could also stay the same by reducing the bezel.

In 3:2, the letterboxing for widescreen videos wouldn't be as dramatic as an iPad mini too.

I really hope Google go fpr a resolution of 1920 x 1280 for the next Nexus 7, giving a 329.65 DPI. High enough to look awesome, low enough not to be top of the range to help maintain lower pricing levels.