Not even two months after IDC predicted that tablets would outsell laptops next year, another research firm, NPD DisplaySearch, says IDC's forecast was too pessimistic. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung, and other leaders will ship 256.5 million tablets worldwide this year, up 67%, versus 203.3 million laptops.

Surprised? Don't be. Users have good reason to like the handheld form factor, says Tim Beyers of Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova in the following video. A tablet can easily substitute for a TV. Meanwhile, some slates, such as Microsoft's Surface Pro, use external keyboards to transform into laptop look-alikes.

Add it all up, Tim says, and it's clear the tablet market is moving far faster than anyone had predicted. That's great news for Apple, which needs the volume to overcome lower margins. Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) could also win because of how it has perfected the art of delivering high-quality video across a variety of devices.

Do you agree? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take, and then let us know if you own a tablet, and if so, how you're using it.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple and Netflix at the time of publication. He was also long Netflix Jan. 2014 $50 call options. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Microsoft, and Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.