Traditional tablet PCs have LCD screens that are between about 9.7 inches long (like various Androids) and 10.1 inches long (like an iPad). But tablets are made to be mobile devices, and something that big isn't actually always that easy to carry around. Enter the smaller tablet which fits into a coat pocket and goes with you anywhere you like, without much thought or fuss. That smaller tablet is now on the verge of outselling the standard-size tablet in 2013.
Since Apple launched the iPad Mini in 2012, smaller LCD screens have exploded onto the market. 5-8.9 inch screens are what folks are after. At least one research study from Display Search thinks there will be more smaller tablets sold in 2013 than regular-sized tablet PCs, with the smaller range expected to sell around 136 million and the standard 9-10 inch range around 118 million.
Obviously, the smaller tablet is just easier to carry around. A true mobile device, it can fit almost anywhere, and wins the ease of movement contest. In addition to increased portability, bringing the tablet back to its intended status as mobile device, the smaller tablet is, quite simply, cheaper. 7 inch smaller tablets start at $199 while standard-sized PCs are at least $399. Like they say, size matters, but so does price, and at $199 a smaller tablet can even be an “impulse buy” for some people. According to Rob Lammie's January 2013 report in Mashable, we are likely to see some even less expensive models this year, which could create new niche markets for groups like kids.
Does this signal the end of the traditional tablet? Not a chance! There is still a sizable market out there for each size, just as there is no way other mobile devices or laptops or are going by the wayside. Apparently Steve Jobs didn't always get it right and there is room for the 7 inch “tweener” after all--even the iPad Mini.