At this moment the best two tablets on the market in the small tablet category happen to be the Nexus 7 and the Apple iPad Mini. It is hard to choose between the two and when doing so you will have to choose between iOS and Android, along with the cost of the device, the display and the battery life.
Google Nexus 7 vs iPad Mini: best small tablet
You can get your hands on the Apple iPad Mini Wi-Fi 16GB version for $329, which is less than what you would have to pay for the iPad 4 with Retina display. The Nexus 7 will set you back $199 for the Wi-Fi version and it is the more customisable of the two. Both of the tablets come with IPS displays that are sharp and they have processors that are fast. So which is the better of the two?
When it comes to price only the Kindle Fire HD and the Nook HD are able to match the Nexus 7. Google are known for keeping its price low and this will help them to draw in Apple customers. Apple on the other hand go for superb design and build quality, along with software that is more superior.
The Apple iPad Mini wins in regards to design, as it has the best looks. The device is thin and light and it is has an aluminium back. The Nexus 7 is good looking too and it feels thin and the plastic back is soft to the touch. However the Apple iPad Mini is the lighter of the two and it feels high end and therefore it is the winner.
The Nexus 7 has the advantage when it comes to price as it is cheaper than the Apple iPad Mini. In fact you can save $129. The 3G Nexus 7 is $299 and the LTE Apple iPad Mini is $459. This means that the win is big here for the Nexus 7.
In regards to the OS you will have to choose between iOS 6 and Android 4.2, which comes with Project Butter.
For the display the Nexus 7 wins on paper as it has the higher ppi. Both of the displays are IPS, however Google, along with Asus, did cut some corners and due to this the calibration of the display is off. Reviews have also said that the Nexus 7 colours are washed out, despite it having more ppi. The Nexus 7 has 216 ppi, while the Apple iPad Mini has 163. The text on the Apple iPad Mini is still sharper, the colours are better and so is the contrast. Thanks to it having the larger display too, videos and photos look better on the Apple iPad Mini. So don’t let the specs fool you when it comes to the display. Head down to your local electronics store to see both screens in person before deciding.
If it is customisation that you want then Android is the best choice with its widgets and flexibility. Here you are able to change keyboards, launchers and ROMs. This means that Android wins over iOS 6 on the software front.
The Apple iPad Mini on the other hand has access to a lot more apps that have been optimised for use on the tablet form factor, so it beats the Nexus 7 in the apps department.
In regards to battery life both devices have great batteries. You will get around 8.5 hours from the Nexus 7, while the Apple iPad Mini will offer around 10 hours. This means that the Apple iPad Mini is the winner.
The Nexus 7 has some decent hardware and it comes with a processor that is quad core, which makes it the winner. The Apple iPad Mini has the same processor as the iPad 2, this is the dual core A5. Geekbench said that the Nexus 7 happens to be two times as fast as the Apple iPad Mini.
As you can see both of the tablets are very well matched and it could come down to the OS, the price of the tablet and whether you want LTE as the main deciding factors.