Would you want a 5, 7, 8, or 12-inch iPad?
The iPad currently has a 9.7-inch screen because it was made for a very specific user for whom thats screen size was absolutely perfect -- Steve Jobs. The man brought the Apple II, Mac, iPod, iTunes, and iPhone to market, so he may have known a thing or two about how to create the best mainstream devices. Apple tested other sizes, of course, and have said as much, but Steve Jobs didn't believe smaller tablets allowed for the kind of software experience he wanted -- more than just upscaled smartphone apps -- and bigger tablets likely cut down portability and ease of use.
But rumors have persisted of smaller iPads, and many professional users, especially drafters and designers, have yearned for bigger iPads. Samsung, Apple's distinguished manufacturing-partner-come-competitor offers almost every size variant imaginable, from the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note to the 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab, almost in quarter-inch increments. Both the Kindle Fire and BlackBerry PlayBook clocked in at the smaller, 7-inch form factor.
We assume the iPad 3 will stick with the 9.7-inch screen size. After all, too many options are the same as no options, and consumer choice often becomes confusion and indecision. But if Apple were to expand the iPad family, if they were to offer a single additional screen size for the iPad, if they answered all questions about software compatibility, even if it meant a third scale for apps (between iPhone and iPad, or larger than iPad), what size would you want?
If you could get a 5, 7, 8, or 12-inch iPad, which would it be and why?