Toy-like vs. Finely Crafted

In his post Digital devices for world travellers, Edward Hasbrouck contrasts the appeal (or lack thereof) of tiny devices in the USA vs. the rest of the world:

Most travellers in the USA go by car, not by plane, and have plenty of room in their vehicle for a full-sized laptop if they need it on the road. As a result, keyboard devices smaller and more expensive than a “standard” laptop have been niche products in the USA and many other parts of the world — except in Japan and to a much lesser extent in Europe, where more business people travel by train and by mass transit. Few models or even product lines of smaller devices with keyboards — again, except for some that are distributed only in Japan — have been widely available or remained in production for very long.

Tiny” in the USA connotes “toy-like”, and people expect toys to be (a) cheap and (b) not suitable for doing real work.

Not so in Japan, where “tiny” connotes “finely crafted” and “precious”.

In the same vein, I’ve never owned a mobile phone that I liked the size of more than the diminutive Nokia N70.