Monday, May 16, 2011

4:3 Screens Faceoff–iPad vs x61t

By special request, a photo comparison of sheet music reading on a 9.7” iPad vs the 12” Lenovo x61t.


In case you weren’t sure, that’s the iPad on the left and the x61t on the right.  For notes-on-the-staff music reading, the iPad is just not big enough. 

I have used the iPad recently for some playing I did recently on bass.  I just have to read lead sheets for that (chords over lyrics, even though our lead singer/guitarist likes to call it sheet music), so the smaller screen size is less of an issue.  There will be more on that experience in another post. 


  1. Eh, if you cropped the page on the iPad it would be fine. Of course, ideally it would be better to have music actually formatted for an iPad display. But if you crop a scanned sheet to get rid of the margins, it generally is a lot better.

  2. Thanks for the comparison! It will be interesting to see what happens in the future...for iPads and Windows devices. I still think the 7" tablets are too small for paper-replacement use; the large tablets like the x61t are heavy and have lower battery life. The iPad fits the perfect in-between size (unless you want a digitizer, and then it is 'game over').

    Apps like SeeScore may make the size issue a moot point in the future...but then you still need to get your music into MusicXML format.

    But I do wonder if they'll eventually have 12" or 13" iPads like we have MacBooks today.

    And as we've discussed in the past, new processors might allow Windows devices to get thinner and lighter with longer battery life.

    But the striking thing is how the x61t seems to be nearly double the screen space of an iPad. That's so useful to a musician needing more visual real estate.

    Do you have a 7" Android tablet still around? Could you do a size comparison with that?

    Thanks again for the post.

  3. I could do some pictures with the new enTourage eDGe, which is 7", but at that size, the device is really better suited to being a notepad replacement, not so much a music reader. I love having the Wacom Penabled eInk side available as a digital journal, with the 7" android tablet attached for other things (reference, internet, email), but I wouldn't want to try to view music on it.

    I would love to see MusicXML become a standard for sheet music the way ePub is a standard for digital books. It would make any size tablet + a foot pedal for page turning a viable option. I think that would have to come from deals with the publishers. Perhaps it's time someone created a Kindle store, but for MusicXML sheet music. There is that site that offers Lilypond files.