This iPad Mini stuff has me thinking the same thoughts. Me, I’m an 11-inch MacBook Air man. But I’ll admit it feels a bit silly to pack a bag with both an 11-inch Air and an iPad. Two devices of nearly the same size. But, when traveling, I really do wind up using both of them. (Insert the argument for the Microsoft Surface here.) And I never go anywhere without my iPhone.
So if I’m going to pack an 11-inch Air and an iPhone, and one more device, I can definitely see the case that a smaller tablet makes more sense as the device in the middle. But, an 11-inch Air and a 9.7-inch iPad (3) combined still weigh only 3.82 pounds. The new MacBook Pro with Retina Display — by the far the lightest 15-inch notebook Apple has ever made — weighs 4.46 pounds. So maybe it’s the people who carry a big notebook who’ll be most tempted to get a smaller iPad, since they’re already carrying more weight. Decisions, decisions.
This is why I have a hard time believing Apple will make a 7.85 inch iPad. Not because of scaling apps, or the pain it could cause developers, but because it may simply confuse people who don’t know what the difference between the two is. If Apple releases an iPad mini, their biggest hurdle will be telling people which one is the right iPad for them.
(Note: Some blogs call this iPad a 7 inch iPad. They would be incorrect and apparently did not learn how to round numbers in first grade.)