Originally Posted by CAVEperson
Many modern digital cameras by default shoot in 16:9, because users want to be able to display fullscreen photos on their HDTVs.
Old cameras did 3:2 (half way between 4:3 and 16:9). Then digital cameras started with the 4:3 (going in the wrong direction) and I still haven't seen many default to 16:9. Mostly, 4:3 will work fine.
It seems to me likely that almost all iPad users will use the devices for photo viewing, occasionally if not frequently, while relatively few will be giving presentations on external projectors.
That bumps against the key question really... what will most iPad users use the device for?
The internal slideshow of the iPad works when the iPad is docked vertically - so if the iPad was extra thin and tall it'd actually reduce the effectiveness of the slideshow. When reading pages (to replace newspapers or magazines), matching standard letter size makes sense. Those are arguments for 4:3.
What about reading mail or a website? For mail, we see that split interface with the list down the left and body of the message on the right - would that be more (or less) manageable if the landscape mode of this device was wider? I'm guessing less manageable.
As far as I can see, the screen aspect really comes down to watching movies.
Therefore, I think that both the video output and the internal screen aspect ratios are an annoying mistake. 1280x720 should have been the default, with XVGA included as an option on the output. I don't believe that that would have increased the production costs for the iPad.
Definitely the video (component) output could have been made wide screen 1280x720. Similarly 1368x768 VGA output as an OPTION would make sense (though most projectors are 4:3). I can't see any reason not to offer widescreen output as an option. Perhaps the VGA output mirrors the display, rather than a separate display?