I never understood the point of a smaller iPad until recently. There were some niche cases but it seemed a step backward. I've been back in the office the last month+ and have had to interact with humans and in talking with the fairer sex I see a need for something smaller. The grasp that I use to hold the iPad in my left hand (pinky wrapped under, clamps against third finger and heel of palm) doesn't work for them because it is too much weight and their hands are too small.
I hope this new form factor doesn't ultimately replace the "large" iPad. I haven't liked the smallness of the Android devices in this smaller form factor that I've encountered.