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Seven inch what?

I've been a huge fan of the iPad ever since it was released, despite waiting until the iPad 2 before getting one. I remember one of the first competitors to the iPad was a 7-inch tablet by Samsung (IIRC). At the time I bristled at the idea of a smaller than 10-inch tablet. I just didn't 'get' why you'd want something, that I was viewing as a laptop replacement, in such a small size. But then a few weeks ago, something made me start to think differently.

First off, Google announced their Nexus 7 tablet. A seven inch device that starts at $200. That's a great price for what you get inside. But... it was still seven inches, so what would I use a device like that for? The answer came from a strange enough place. My ex-wife purchased a portable DVD player for the boys to use in the car on trips, and in their beds at home instead of falling asleep to movies on the living room couches. I looked at the devices and it hit me. Seven inches is a great size for a portable media device!

I've pretty much given up on purchasing physical media. I don't care to have 'things' sitting around my house, so services like iTunes (and Google Play for the Android inclined) are great for getting access to media. However, you need to have ways to watch your media, and although my 10-inch iPad is awesome, it's not the most ideal for lounging in bed. It's just a slight bit too big for holding a long time while dozing off. Sure, you can use a 4-inch phone, and it works OK, but it doesn't feel like a sweet spot. But 7-inches? That could work.

There's a ton of rumors going around the internet right now about a possible Apple seven inch iPad. I hope that if Apple decides to go that route that they push the portable media device aspect of it. I think that could be a winning direction to go with that device, similar to how Amazon and Barnes & Noble have come out with color tablets, that are media devices for their eco-systems. For now, I might give a Nexus 7 a try to get some hands on experience with the form factor and see if it's truly as good as I think it will be.

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