- Unlike the Times and the Independent (both tabloids), there are still plenty of stories on the front page. Although these are mostly just short summaries, they are also complete within themselves, i.e. you don’t have to turn to an inside page mid-sentence. Each summary also points to a full article on an inside page, in a visually clear, easy to follow manner.
- Not only is there colour on each page, but the colour reproduction quality is immeasurably improved. No more smudgy Steve Bells!
- The new “Egyptian” font is attractive and easy to read.
- The “Media” pull-out section looks much better in its new, larger size.
- The TV listings have been expanded to give equal weight to BBC3 and BBC4.
- The full colour centre-spread photograph has a real impact.
- The smaller page size promotes marital harmony. On those rare occasions where our carefully constructed morning routines fall apart – meaning that, horror of horrors, we are forced to have breakfast together – we can now read the separate sections in comfort, without fighting for table space.
- With more pages to flick through, browsing inevitably takes longer. As I don’t allow myself much time at the breakfast table, this raises Time Management issues. (In later life, it might also raise RSI issues. Hypochondriac, moi?)
- The headlines look more like large size text than proper headlines; there’s a lack of immediate impact.
- Now that the old “G2” tabloid has been shrunk to a “half-Berliner” size, it looks awfully diddy and inconsequential.
- The TV picks of the day have been dropped, along with full listings for the Sky movie channels. At the same time, the programme descriptions in the main listings have been shrunk to almost nothing.
- Almost every article now finishes with a URL for the relevant section of Guardian Unlimited. However, as those of us whose URLs have appeared in print can testify, almost nobody will ever bother to type them into a browser. So it’s a bit of a waste of space.
- Those irritatingly ego-gratifying little photos of all the columnists, which all newspapers insist on having these days: they’ve been re-shot in colour, but I don’t think they’ve been shrunk to fit the new page size. This makes them even more intrusive than before. (Also, there is at least one previously fanciable columnist who doesn’t look half as good in his new photo. This disappoints me. No, I’m not saying who.)
- Where’s Doonesbury?
Update: It’s returning, by public demand. (via Pete in the comments)