Why Apple chose the odd 4:3 aspect ratio for the iPad

When I first saw images of the iPad, something didn't look right. Eventually I realized that I was expecting it to be taller and narrower — more like the aspect ratio of the iPhone (15:10) and the 16:9 aspect ratio of HD and my iMac. Instead, it's 4:3, like the 15-inch monitors of old. The question is why. And the answer is, according to an article posted today on MacWorld, it's better for reading reading ebooks, magazines, and newspapers, better for surfing the web, and better for using productivity applications. And 4:3 feels more natural when you hold it in your hands.

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.