Photo: John.Karakatsanis via Flickr
Apple is rumoured to be working a smaller version of the iPad.While this might make some people excited, as a guy who has reviewed at least half a dozen seven-inch tablets, I can tell you it’s just not a good size for a tablet.
A seven-inch tablet may be fine if you’re just going to consume content like eBooks and YouTube videos. But if you want to do anything beyond that, you need more screen and more power.
Take a look at the Kindle Fire, for example. It’s fine for casual content consumption, but lacks the power and size to do anything else. Emailing, web browsing, and calendar management are a pain in the butt. It feels like you’re using an oversized smartphone, not a tablet.
Simply put, a 10-inch tablet is perfect for everything: consuming and creating content, while still giving you plenty of mobility. If tablets are really going to replace traditional laptops and desktops as many predict, a seven-inch model will only get you so far.
From a business standpoint, the iPad Mini may make sense for Apple. Some people don’t like the size and weight of 10-inch tablets. Others don’t want to pay $500 or more for one. A 7-inch iPad would solve both those problems and likely draw people away from rivals like the Kindle Fire.
But then Apple runs the risk of releasing too many fragmented models of the iPad. Samsung does that now, offering at least six varieties of tablets in different sizes and with different capabilities. That’s too confusing for most people.
Apple is supposed to be stimulating the whole “post-PC” revolution with the iPad. A mini version would just be a step backwards.
Based on all the rumours, the 7-inch iPad Mini may never happen. It sounds like the device is just sitting in Apple’s labs, waiting for the company to decide whether or not to pull the trigger.
I hope they don’t.
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