Does size matter? The 7 inch sweet spot…

What exactly has led to the plethora of 7 inch tablets now flooding the market?

First it was just the Nexus 7, but we’re now seeing a strong lean towards these smaller tablets as a target for clients. Is it the price? Is it the spec? What, in short, do they have over their larger brothers?

The common assumptions are that a 7 inch (and in this we are including the 7.9 inch iPad Mini), is better if:

  • you’re on a budget and you need something for browsing websites and reading ebooks,
  • you want a light, easy-to-hold device. It’s definitely harder to hold an iPad 2 up and read an e-book for more than 10 minutes due to its bulk and weight,
  • you’re looking for a device you can fit into small bags or jacket pockets.

And a 10 inch is preferable if:

  • you want to watch a lot of films,
  • you do a lot of typing, whether it’s emails or documents,
  • you need more built in memory as the larger tablets offer more capacity, which is always useful if you want to store films, games and music on your tablet.

And we reckon these assumptions are pretty much spot on. The biggest draw has got to be the price – Google set the bar with the Galaxy Nexus 7 and other manufacturers have aimed at the same price point to stay competitive.

Have a look at our pick of the best 7 inch tablets:

GOOGLE NEXUS 7 – from £159

This has to be the best value as it’s a great all rounder. Developed with Asus, it’s Google first tablet and a brilliant all rounder, even if it doesn’t look the most stylish.

APPLE IPAD MINI – from £269

It’s perfect for web browsing, email, reading and generally being beautiful. It’s still great for movies and, well, is possibly even better than the iPad itself. It looks amazing, but obviously you’re paying more and it’s important to realise the display isn’t high resolution like its bigger brother or the competition!

SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB 2 7.0 – from £158

Uses a version of Android OS, but doesn’t have the best storage and its plastic screen means it isn’t up there in the style stakes.

AMAZON KINDLE FIRE HD – from £159

With access to Amazon’s range of books, music, films and a free trial of LoveFilm, Amazon’s Kindle Fire is a good choice. For the web, email and films it’s a great rival to the iPad Mini and Nexus, although reading on it just isn’t as good as the original Kindle.

CNM TOUCHPAD 7 – from £100

It’s acceptable, with an alright screen and decent storage (if you stump up another £20 for the 16GB model), but it just feels cheap against the other 7 inchers.

Does your app target the 7 inch market?

Some of our service provider clients are focusing on this form factor, as the size and cost point are ideal for their business model. If the 7 inch platforms don’t fit into your app business model, why not get in touch and find out how you can take advantage of this new space?