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Sorry, iPad Mini: Samsung’s new foldable makes small tablets exciting again

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For the past few weeks, I’ve been using the best small tablet you can buy right now.

I’m not talking about Apple’s new iPad Mini, but rather Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold3 5G. While it’s technically a smartphone, the $1,800 Z Fold3 unfolds into a tablet whose screen is slightly shorter and wider than that of the 6th-generation iPad Mini.

[Photo: Jared Newman]The Z Fold3 quickly reminded me how much I’ve missed small tablets, which were in vogue a decade ago, but quickly ceded ground to larger phones and cheaper full-size tablets. They’re the perfect size for reading books, playing mobile games, browsing the web, and typing with your thumbs, but they’re hard to justify when you’ve already got a good enough screen in your pocket. That’s exactly why I neglected my own iPad Mini 2 after buying it in 2013, and never bought another one after that.

[Photo: Jared Newman]By virtue of its foldable display, the Z Fold3 finally solves the biggest problem with small tablets, and it’s drained any enthusiasm I might’ve had for the new iPad Mini in the process.

The Galaxy Z Fold3 is Samsung’s third attempt at making a phone that turns into a tablet—or its fourth, if you count the company’s hasty revisions to the original model—and the changes this time are largely about conveying that it’s not a prototype anymore. The hinge is stronger, the display is more durable, and the design is slimmer when the phone is folded shut.

Samsung is only........

© Fast Company

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