Little tablets. Why?

I had my first hands on experience with an Apple iPad mini yesterday. Cute little thing, neat and tidy too (as you might expect), but I’m still struggling to get my head around why anyone would want to have a mini tablet. Each to their own of course, and my own isn’t Apple, wherever it can be avoided. But Android has its fair share of these mini tablets too and they leave me equally mystified.

Why would you want a device which looks like your phone, is ever so slightly bigger than your phone, but doesn’t make phone calls?

My phone is great, I love it, but the only place it falls down is that the screen isn’t big enough to do “some stuff” on – well, do some stuff easily anyway. Stuff like spreadsheets, documents and the like. Looking at pictures in detail as well. You’d just rather see more bits at the same time.

Of course, these mini-tablets are bigger than my phone. But they’re not very much bigger and it’s still awkward to do these things.
It’s at this point that I don’t get it. Why not just go for a 10 inch screen instead of a 7 or 8 inch one? Yes, it’s bigger and heavier – “more cumbersome” if you want to use negative flowery language – but it’s not like your iPad mini fits in your pocket anyway, is it? Unless you have really big pockets, in which case normal rules obviously don’t apply to you anyway.

The benefits of the larger screen far outweigh its cumbersomeitude. It’s more practical, it’s more versatile, it’s just… better.

I am sure that my “not getting it” will prompt a flurry of indignant cries of “you don’t get it”, and they’d be right. Because I don’t get it. So won’t somebody please explain the vast array of benefits of the mini tablet?
It probably won’t sway me, but it might help me understand why this is such a fast growing market at the moment.

I do hope it’s not just that usual Apple thing of being cool over being functional. That would be terrible.