Minitablets: How small is too small?
Consumer technology has a tendency to shrink over time. Anyone that remembers the cellphones of old knows that they were not the pocket-sized devices we enjoy today. Computers have trended this direction as well, with laptops acting as a smaller counterpart to desktop PCs, and more recently, Ultrabooks® taking this a step further.
So it cannot be unexpected that tablet computers would follow suit. Technology news provider PCWorld reports that so-called "minitablets" will be one of the highlights at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The devices feature displays closer to 5 inches, rather than the 7- to 10-inch range typically found on today's tablets.
Though the verdict on these minitablets is still up in the air, one could question whether the devices will appeal to users. Five inches is just slightly larger than the typical smartphone, and most minitablets will presumably lack voice calling capabilities.
Smaller tablets have the obvious appeal of being able to fit in one's pocket or purse. Being lighter than a usual tablet, these miniature devices are also likely to feel like less of a burden. However, manufacturers must be mindful that they don't go so small that they sacrifice the functionality of the tablet and thus lose commercial appeal.