The iPad may be more to table than a full-blown laptop, but it’s not portable enough to pop in my purse and take along for several hours of sightseeing. I’d been hoping Apple would release some sort of tablet 7 inch before I broke down and bought the full- (and only-) sized iPad 2. And while I find a 10 inch android tablet screen great for reading, Web surfing, viewing photos and watching TV, I still thought it might be nice to have a tablet small and light enough to travel with me a little more frequently.

I can’t test a 7-inch iPad, of course, since one doesn’t exist. But I did get my hands on a review 5 inch tablet. And I discovered that since I’ve become used to the real estate of a full 10-inch display, it’s hard to downsize.

7 inch android tablet is lighter as well as smaller than the iPad — 13.58 oz vs. 21 oz. — but it’s weighty enough that I wouldn’t take it out with me for the afternoon on a whim. The difference between the Tab and even smaller Kindle (8.5 oz) feels significant — I have taken my Kindle along on a day of sightseeing in order to refer to some e-guidebooks, and found the added weight just this side of acceptable. (Keep in mind I’m usually dragging around a full-sized digital SLR when traveling as well, so that’s using up a good amount of my allotted gadget grams.)

The little Tab has tended to sit on my desk, even when I’m relaxing and would have expected to be happier using a smaller, lighter device than the iPad. Part of that may be the Galaxy’s boxier design — sleek form factor matters to me in a device that I’m carrying and holding a lot, and Apple definitely has the edge there. I simply enjoy the physical experience of using the iPad hardware more, due to its form factor as well as screen size.

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