"The specific reason why people are looking at 7in tablets rather than larger ones like the [9.7in] iPad is the size and price," says Benedict Evans, telecoms and technology analyst at Enders Analysis. "They're very appealing because they're the size of a notebook, rather than a copy of Vogue. It makes the iPad seem like something basically a home or desk device because it's bigger and heavier."
Evans says another element in their success is price. Where the iPad, so far the most successful tablet, costs at least £329, the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire and Nook start at £159, while the iPad mini begins at £269.
Amazon, B&N and Google are reckoned to be selling the devices at close to break-even, in the expectation that content sales will make up any initial loss. Even Apple is thought to be taking lower margins on the iPad mini than its other products.
Those who got theirs before the Christmas rush definitely seem pleased. Nick Efford, a teacher and author based in Leeds, says he was worried that a Nexus 7 would be too small.
"Size turns out not to be an issue at all," he explains. "I use it a lot for Twitter and email, and casual browsing while sitting on the sofa. And it works for gaming – phones are too small. Basically, it's a less intrusive presence than a laptop when you are doing other things but occasionally want to go online."
Personally I agree with Steve Jobs that 10-inch is the minimum for comfort, however the 7-inch are more portable. Screen size also dictates price, because the screen is the main component in a tablet and the most expensive part.
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