"Analyst: Tablet Users are Early Adopters" might be a better (although less inflammatory) title. PDA devices, such as the Palm Pilot, were widely adopted a few years ago and offered tremendous advantages in portability, rapid start-up, and usability. They've morphed into Smartphones which are becoming ubiquitous. At the same time, there are tasks that require larger screens and computing power. Tablets are well suited for these tasks. I'd expect that as Tablets become more fully featured, they will replace conventional laptop computers just as laptop computers are replacing desktop tower computers (remember them?). I remember when laptop computers were considered a niche product for those who didn't require the power and functionality of a desktop computer.
I wonder if Mr. Essi predicted the "world wide web" was just a fad for conceited communications professionals... The computer market has been working towards the tablet concept for many years, the technology has finally caught up to allow it to be functional and cost-effective. It will be around for quite some time.
As for size, I believe that 10" is optimal from my perspective. The size of a typical "netbook" screen is both functional and easily transportable. Seven inch tablets should be reserved for eReaders.
I am a notebook and iPad user. I really love iPad's interface. However, I really need a more powerful tablet with iPad's user interface. I am getting really impatient with so many web pages/attachments not possible to read on iPad even I have downgraded the expectation for a tablet to be as a simple web/mail reader. I want a powerful tablet to work just like a PC.
Buzz die down? Nope. Tablet users conceited? Maybe, sort of like the people who had the first 17 inch notebooks a few years ago. The buzz on large screen notebooks faded away. The notebooks didn't; they became ubiquitous.
The sweet spot for a laptop is the size a color magazine, perhaps as thick and as heavy as two or three issues.
The common sizes of paper notepads (A4 and A5 in Europe)have become adopted for a good reason - they are convenient for those of us who wear glasses, and they fit in Handbags / Briefcases. We need tablets that fit in an A4 zip-up folder, big enough to read, small enough to carry. QED
A 7" screen is too small to be a tablet computer and too large to be a smartphone. I would classify that as a Mobile Internet Device (MID).
When Intel first start promoting the idea of MID as a product category, everyone wondered what exactly it was. I think now we can say a MID is something with a screen size bigger than a smartphone but smaller than a tablet computer.
Maybe we could call such devices "mini tablets"? I tend to agree with the idea that this range of screen sizes, from around 6 to 8 inches, has "the worst of smartphone and of 10 inch". Too big to fit in your pocket, but too small to have a full-sized touchscreen keyboard.