Mobile Videos: Time for some simple math (I swear, it’s simple!): in 2013, video viewership on a tablet was less than half of what it is in 2014.

That’s right, in a single year the rate of watching mobile videos more than doubled. Here’s another statistic: the length of videos viewed on tablets clocked in at 10 minutes or more, longer than videos watched on any other device. This includes PCs and smartphones, even connected TVs. But for videos that clocked in much shorter—1-3 minutes—people chose their PCs.

So, what does this mean? It means that when it comes to the subject of people watching movies and TV shows, they overwhelmingly choose tablets. But when it comes to watching short videos of 1-3 minutes, they overwhelmingly choose PCs. Blame those small video clip viewings on workplace procrastination or lack of patience when sitting in front of a computer, but the fact remains: long videos rule tablets and small videos rule PCs.

What is a tablet manufacturer to do in order to close this gap? The greatest appeal of a tablet, after all, is its portability. But if you make the tablet bigger, you sacrifice portability; make the tablet smaller, you sacrifice screen size. And that’s what it comes down to: a tablet’s screen must be large enough to navigate easily, yet small enough to where people are able to fit it into backpacks, purses, courier bags, and the like.

Mobile Videos

To remedy this problem, most tablet manufacturers are playing both games. They are offering both sizes—big tablets and small tablets. The most famous of these is probably the iPad and the iPad Mini. The current standard iPad— dubbed iPad 2— has dimensions of 9.5 inches by 7.31 inches (or 241.2 mm by 185.7 mm) and weighs 1.33 pounds (or 601 g). The iPad Mini is much smaller: the dimensions are 7.87 inches by 5.3 inches (or 200 mm by 134.7 mm) and weighs a mere .68 pounds (or 308 g). It is clear that the iPad Mini is the more portable of the two, given its weight and size, but what are you giving up? Screen space, navigation, and computing power. It can still play videos with the same resolution as the iPad 2 but again, the screen is smaller by about 2 square inches (or about 40 square mm). The iPad 2, by virtue of being larger, simply makes for a better viewing and working experience. But it’s not for everyone. By offering both devices, Apple is attempting to appeal to everyone.

Most tablet manufacturers are following suit. After all, some people use their tablets primarily to read eBooks; in that case, screen size and computing power doesn’t matter too much. For those looking to use their tablet to watch longer videos and navigate the web, even work on a document, they probably want the largest and most robust tablet available. The choice is ultimately left up to the consumer.

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