Tablet-buying guide: when mini is better than full size

Tablet-buying guide: when mini is better than full size

Introducing the small and mighty

Tablets are everywhere these days, with one in three of us having access to one, according to YouGov. If you’ve decided to join tablet nation, there are a few things to ask yourself first.

Perhaps the biggest question is one of size – should you go for a mini tablet or a full-size one?

To help you decide, we’ve come up with four reasons why you may want to choose a smaller model.

It can fit in your coat pocket or handbag

Do you want a tablet you can take with you wherever you go? It has to be a mini. These are usually around 7 inches – meaning they’re perfect for using on your commute or taking into town at the weekend.

Writing for Forbes, Ewan Spence wrote: “Think about how you would use a tablet throughout the day."

He said a mini is a better option if "you are someone looking for a tablet to use while moving around, while standing up, and generally holding in one hand and operating it with the other”.


You want to keep costs down

Because they’re smaller than full-size models, a 7-inch tablet is usually cheaper to buy. Consumer champion Which? said if you’re looking for a cheap tablet then “7-inch tablets tend to come with cheaper price tags”. For example, Apple’s new full-size iPad Air costs £399 while the Advent Vega Tegra Note is available for just £139…


You want a something light and easy to hold for reading in bed

If you’re going to watch films and read e-books on your tablet, you want one that’s lightweight and easy to hold. By definition, mini tablets are more lightweight that full-size ones. The lightest full-size tablet around is the iPad Air – at less than 0.5kg. But Google’s Nexus 7 weighs just 290g and the Advent Vega is just 320g.

So whether watching a film in bed or reading on the train, you won’t have to worry about arm ache.

They’re great for reading, too. Eric Franklin at Cnet says “their paperback-like dimensions also make them a natural fit for e-books.” 


You want a second tablet

You already have a family tablet but getting your hands on it on the sofa is more hassle than it’s worth with the kids and the wife ahead of you in the pecking order.

You may think it ostentatious to buy a second tablet, but a survey from Deloitte way back in 2012 found that five million people who already owned a tablet were planning to buy another one.

We've long been familiar with the second car, now we have the second tablet.

As they’re cheaper to buy and adaptable to being used pretty much anywhere, a mini tablet is the perfect choice for your second slate.

Speaking of the 7-inch iPad Mini, Forbes contributor Spence said as “a second tablet for around the home, perhaps for younger members of the family,” a mini tablet made sense.