With 7-inch as the defacto screen size for Android tablets and the best selling iPad Mini, and the smaller sized devices being priced attractively, it seems harder to justify the purchase of a 10 inch iPad. Should you just close your eyes and buy the 7 inch tablet, or is there still a usage context for a 10 incher?
As with all things, the answer lies in the purpose that you buy the device for.
Are you one of those who takes the tablet everywhere with you? For meetings, for time pass in a coffee shop, when you go shopping, when you travel? In that case, you will appreciate the lightness of a 7 inch tablet. I can testify that the 10 inch iPad becomes a drag on my shoulder when I carry it around in my handbag all day. And there is a bonus for ladies - the 7 incher fits beautifully into almost any reasonably sized handbag.
If you use the tablet a lot for typing at high speed (making notes, writing blog posts, or responding to longer emails) then the bigger screen size is a winner. You can type almost at laptop-like speeds. In fact, I sometimes forget that I am using a touch screen - and this happens only with a 10 inch tablet. I am not one of those in favor of an external keyboard. It defeats the raison d'etre of a tablet which is portability. If your kids use the tablet, the larger screen size also makes gaming, reading or typing more easy and enjoyable for them.
One of the most enjoyable uses of the iPad for me is gaming. This is where I think that you should consider usage purpose very carefully. The latest iPad is equipped with a more powerful processor than the iPad Mini though other specs including the camera largely match up on both devices. It's not so much the speed that's a difference, its little stuff like ease and responsiveness of the screen, and of course, the enjoyment of a full sized screen, that make gaming more enjoyable. I rarely game on my phone and each time I reach for the iPad.
If both use cases are valid for you, and you have the budget, then maybe you need one of each size! I am not joking, there are people who have two tablets. However, if you had to settle for just one tablet, and price was not a constraint, I would still say a 10 incher is a better all rounder.
We would love to hear your views too!