In some respects, the iPad mini was a disappointment. Despite the hour's worth of hyperbole at Apple's press event, the tablet itself was an exercise in parts bin engineering - the processor from an old iPhone, the screen resolution from an old iPad - without the game-changing element that (yes, whether innovation or derivation) has punctuated Cupertino launches of before. Yet, despite more powerful, or pixel-dense, or flexible rivals beside it, the iPad mini has quickly become my go-to slate. The reason behind that is the hardest to quantify and yet, perversely, may be the most important for why we choose the devices we reach for. Science fiction has a lot to answer for, at least for my expectations of tablets.