Perhaps one of the questions I’m asked most often about tablets concerns the tablet display size. Today there are many different tablet display size options and determining which one you buy will greatly impact your overall user experience. Of course, when you are shopping for a new tablet, you may not know which display size you should choose.
Today, I will attempt to answer this question once and for all. To help you make your decision, I will first highlight the benefits and drawbacks of each tablet size and then we will take an overall look at how you should decide which tablet display size is right for you.
Pros and Cons of Each Size
First, let’s look at the pros and cons of all the different tablet display size options that are available today.
First on our list are the smallest tablets – the 7-inch tablets. These tablets are pretty small, coming in only slightly larger than the largest smartphones today. These tablets are starting to fade in popularity thanks to larger smartphones, but still hold onto some of their market share even today. These tablets are small and light, making them the perfect portable device. If you love reading books on your devices, then this is a great option. However, because of their small size, text can be tiny, meaning they won’t be as good of an option for web browsing or document editing. Still, their portability more than makes up for this shortcoming, and their lightweight design means media consumption on the couch will be more comfortable than ever.
The 8-inch tablet is in a funny position. It’s not quite big enough to be a true desktop replacement, but with only one extra inch of space, it’s still much better at these tasks compared to a 7-inch tablet. Personally, I recommend this size tablet to anyone that is looking for a device that is very portable, which an 8-inch tablet still is, along with a device that is much better than the small, 7-inch tablets for reading emails, document editing and the like. If I were you, I would grab one of these if you think the 7-inch is too small or if you have a hard time reading the display on the smaller tablets. In the end, the 8-inch tablet is still very portable, but gives you a better experience if you need to use your tablet for things other than media consumption and e-reading.
When Apple first released the iPad, the 9.7-inch design became a standard of sorts. This size is a great balance between large and small, but any tablets in this size range are much heavier than the other options out there. Still, they offer perfect sizes for both media consumption and document editing. But some may find these tablets are too heavy and bulky to make effective e-readers over long stretches of time, simply because of their weight. However, if you are looking for the perfect balance in size and function, these still are hard to beat.
With the introduction of the iPad Pro, large screen tablets that are 12 inches or larger have become more mainstream. These displays are quite large, making these tablets the most obvious choices for desktop and even laptop replacements. You will need a few accessories to truly replace your laptop, but it can be done with relative comfort to you. However, these devices are heavy, and while their large screens are great for media consumption such as Netflix, their weight make them difficult to hold.
Making Your Decision
So how do you make your decision? Let’s see if I can help you with that. If you are looking for a device for work that’s portable but doesn’t have to go with you everywhere, you probably want to choose something with a larger screen. Remember, the smaller the screen, the more portable the device, but the harder it will be to use it for things like email and document editing. So, for serious work, I would suggest a larger display.
However, if you are in the market for something very portable for easy reading and media consumption, a 7-inch tablet or even an 8-inch tablet is the way to go, with the 8-inch tablet winning out on things like web browsing because of the slightly larger displays.
On the other hand, if you are in the market for something for media consumption and light work that remains portable, then an 8-inch tablet would be the smallest I would recommend, with the 9-inch and 10-inch tablets often being better suited for this type of usage, although you will lose out on a bit of portability.
Your Usage Is Key
At the end of the day, it all comes down to how and where you use your tablet. If all you need is a device for media consumption, and you need to consume this media almost anywhere, a smaller tablet will be a better option for you. However, if you need something for both work and play, a larger display tablet will give you a much better user experience.
No matter what, you also need to consider your budget. How much you have to spend on a new tablet will greatly impact which tablet you buy. The 7-inch tablets are much cheaper compared to the other options out there, with the large screen tablets such as the big iPad Pro being the most expensive options out there. No matter how you use it, if your budget won’t allow for the extra expense, you may have to go smaller. If you are on a tight budget, a smaller tablet such as a 7-inch or 8-inch may be the one you need, but if you have a little more to spend, then the 9-inch and 10-inch designs could be right for you. If budget is not an issue for you, then you are free to look at any option out there, including the large, 12-inch displays.
With so many tablet choices out there, you may have a tough time deciding which tablet display size is right for you. Hopefully, I have helped you answer that question today. Remember, it all comes down to your budget and how you plan on using your new tablet. Please, when you are shopping for a new tablet, take all of the options into consideration. If you don’t, you could end up with a tablet that doesn’t work for you. And if it doesn’t meet your needs, you won’t enjoy using it, and that’s something all of us would like to avoid.
Do you have a question about tablet display size that I didn’t answer here? If so, please comment below and I will try to answer all your questions. Remember, we have a variety of buying guides for all the different sizes ready to help you make the right tablet choice.