Battle Of The 7-Inchers: iPad Mini vs Nexus 7

By Pamela Perez

By Pamela Perez

The flurry of 7-inch tablets has brought in some major contenders. And Apple’s iPad Mini is the latest addition, joining the ranks of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet and Google Nexus 7. Apple made sure to do a side-by-side comparison of the new Mini and the Nexus 7 in its event, but of course we only got to hear the fine points. Here is a more detailed (and honest!) rundown of the two.

Screen

iPad Mini: 1024×768 in 7.9 inches; pixel density of 163PPI
Nexus 7:1280×800 in 7 inches; pixel density of 216PPI

Apple made a fuss about its bigger screen compared to the Nexus 7, saying that it gives a significant increase in viewable area. This is true in a way, though this will mean less sharply defined images than on the Nexus 7's screen. Also, when compared side-by-side, the Nexus 7 has the sharper screen thanks to a higher pixel density but there's more to a great screen than pixel-cramming, with glare, viewing angles and the type of display all being factors.

Camera

iPad Mini: 1080p-capable 5MP rear-facing sensor and 720p-capable 1.2MP front-facing shooter
Nexus 7: lacks a rear-facing camera but has a 720p-capabale 1.2MP front-facing camera

The Mini takes the cake here. Who doesn’t want a rear camera? If however, Skype is your thing, both tablets will do just fine.

Software

iPad Mini: iOS 6
Nexus 7: Jelly Bean

The version 4.1 of Android, better known as Jelly Bean, is very powerful and provides responsive user experience. The Mini’s iOS 6 may be just as powerful. However, well-documented problems with Maps and other features detract from the usually seamless Apple UI. When it comes to apps though, iOS 6 has far more dedicated tablet apps than the Google Play store.

Storage

iPad Mini: 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, no expandable storage
Nexus 7: 8GB and 16GB, no expandable storage

The Nexus 7 has left out a microSD expansion option, which is so out of character for Google, considering that external storage is one of the platform's selling points. Also, news reports have circulated that the 8GB version of Nexus 7 will be retired and a 32GB model will be introduced.

Connectivity

iPad Mini: WiFi, Bluetooth and the Lightning connector and super-fast LTE connectivity as well as 3G.
Nexus 7: WiFi, Bluetooth, a micro-USB port, near-field communications (NFC) technology but no cellular connectivity at present

Although a 3G-enabled version of the Nexus 7 is rumoured to be on the way soon, Apple's iPad Mini launched with that functionality already in place. However, buyers will have to shell out US$130 extra for 4G/LTE connectivity. Both devices support 802.11n wifi.

Price

iPad Mini: US$329
Nexus 7: US$199

The iPad Mini definitely has more going for it, despite the sharper display of the Nexus 7 but is it enough to justify the $130 price difference. The iPad Mini’s WiFi-only 16GB version will cost $329, the 32GB model is priced at $429 and the 64GB tablet will retail for $519. If cellular connectivity is your thing, LTE versions will cost $130 more. The Nexus 7 starts at $199 for an 8GB version, while a 16GB model will cost $249. If the 32GB version is real, reports claim that Google will announce a 32GB version at the 16GB's price, while the 16GB tablet will replace the 8GB model.

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