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Nexus 7 vs iPad Mini: The Tablet Of Tablets Is…

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The iPad Mini and the Nexus 7 are two of the best small tablets out right now, so it may be a challenge to decide between them,and between Android and iOS. There’s more to it than the OS, of course – you have to think about battery life, cost and display quality.

Google Nexus 7 vs iPad Mini

If you’re after an iPad Mini, it’ll cost you $329 for the 16GB Wi-Fi version. This is a lot less than the iPad 4 with Retina, and the Mini is also much more portable. The Nexus 7, however, is very flexible and customisable; it also costs just $199. These are both fast devices, and they both have IPS displays. Tough choice.

The Google Nexus 7 is great value for money, and the only other tablets that come close are the Kindle Fire HD and Nook HD. Google keeps its tablet prices low to lure punters away from Apple. Apple focuses more on build quality and profit margins. The iPad, of course, is known for its superb design and software. We need to look at the different aspects of each tablet.

Price: You could save yourself $129 if you bought the Nexus 7 and of course those on a budget will appreciate this. The Nexus 7 3G will set you back $299, while the iPad Mini LTE version will cost $459. This means that the clear winner here has to be the Nexus 7.

Design: For design and quality, you can’t beat the iPad Mini. It’s the best-looking device in the iPad range – light, thin, backed with aluminium. The Nexus 7 scrubs up well too, with a touch-soft plastic back and not-too-chunky looks. The Mini is just lighter and more luxurious, though, so it has to win.

Screen: The Nexus 7 should beat the Mini here, as it has a higher ppi, and is IPS (like the Mini). However, it seems that in keeping the price low, Google and Asus have cut a few corners, which has resulted in the screen’s calibration being a bit skew-wiff. On top of this, various reviews have said that the colours on the Nexus 7 are a bit bland, despite the large numbers on paper. The Nexus 7 has 216ppi as opposed to the Mini’s 163ppi. Reading text on the iPad Mini is easier and sharper, though, and the screen is more colourful and has better contrast. Photos look better on the Mini, too, as well as videos, because it has a larger display.

If you’re looking at OS, you’re looking at either Android 4.2, complete with Project Butter, and iOS 6.

In terms of software, the Nexus 7 and Android give users lots of customisation opportunities, so it wins. Android is just more flexible than iOS 6, with more widgets and more custom keyboards, ROMs, launchers and so forth. You can’t do any of this with iOS 6.

Tablets use apps, and you can’t get better than the App Store. The App Store has loads more tablet-optimised apps than the Google Play Store, so the iPad Mini gets a Brownie point here. It’s a draw, ultimately, as the Nexus 7 wins for software and the Mini for apps.

Hardware: The Nexus 7 and its solid hardware, like the 1.2GHz quad-core chip, is the winner. The iPad Mini is using the same A5 dual-core chip as in the iPad 2. In Geekbench tests, the Nexus 7 came out as being twice as fast as the Mini.

Battery: Both batteries are more than respectable, with the Nexus 7 giving around 8.5 hours and the iPad Mini giving around 10 hours. An obvious winner here.

These tablets are well matched, so it’ll probably come down to a choice between Jelly Bean and iOS 6. You’ll also need to think about cost and whether or not you want LTE.

Mike is the man who reviews gadgets that aren’t mainstream or products that can’t exactly be classified as consumer electronics e.g. portable talking toilets. It’s always interesting to read about the crazy products we have here in Asia that just don’t get as much publicity as they warrant.