Healthcare has embraced tablet usage ( Doctors’ Tablet Use Almost Doubles In 2012 ) and it is no wonder – a device with a screen bigger than a smartphone makes it easier to see more information and with services like Citrix or even dedicated touch friendly medical apps for the tablet, the experience is superior. I have long since stopped squinting at the tiny smartphone screen for most app usage preferring instead to use a tablet.
I find 10 inch tablets however, too big for daily use – they are cumbersome to carry around and don’t fit in regular labcoats (unless you have an eLabcoat like mine but even then it is a little heavy).
Enter tablets in the 7-8 inch size category. I think this is the sweet spot for medical users. Once you have used one, it is difficult to go back to using a 10 inch tablet in the wards. Typing is much easier as if you hold it in landscape mode, it’s quite easy to type with one’s thumbs and you don’t have to find a flat surface to place the tablet on to type (for a 10 inch tablet, if you don’t then you end up holding it with one hand and typing with one finger – far slower). At the moment only Android devices are available in this size range. I am using a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 running on ICS and it is a joy to use. iOS fans can rejoice as rumours have it that the 7.85 inch iPad Mini is coming in October 2012 .
It’s an exciting time for tablets and I predict mini-tablets will outsell full sized ones in the health sector.