I, For One, Welcome Our New 1080p Tablet Overlords

While everyone is thinking about rumored Nexus tablets, let’s talk a bit about something that’s dead certain: 1080p (1920 x 1200) tablets are here.

While much focus has been placed on the impending Asus Transformer Pad Infinity (or whatever they’re calling it), the Asus Iconia Tab A700 is shipping now. Here in the US, it’s available for $450 from various online retailers, including those named after large South American rivers.

A 1080p tablet ties Google TV as the largest resolution Android is generally seen upon. And, as always, when we start pushing the proverbial envelope, issues crop up.

First, as Michell Bak pointed out a couple of days ago, the Android emulator does not support 1080p, with the exception of the Google TV emulator. Since the Google TV emulator requires Linux, that will cause issues for others. The behavior of the emulator is reminiscent of the pre-tablet era when trying to get it to run at WXGA resolutions. One can only hope that this gets addressed in the not-too-distant future.

Then, we have all the developers who assume that -xlarge devices are WXGA tablets, just as we had developers assume various other size or density buckets imply a specific resolution.

If the Iconia Tab A700 is representative of other 1080p tablets, you can expect:

  • screen size of -xlarge
  • density of -hdpi
  • -notlong for screen aspect
  • 1920 x 1128 pixels in landscape, 1848 x 1200 in portrait

Since these devices are just rolling out now, they will be tiny percentages of your user base. But, it’s something to keep in mind, particularly if you have resolution-dependent logic within your app.

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