Two of the hottest small tablets on the market are the Google Nexus 7 and the iPad Mini. If you are debating between the two then you are essentially also choosing between Android and iOS. However there is more to it than that as the boast considerably different displays, battery life and price tags.
iPad Mini vs Google Nexus 7
If you have $329 to spend on a tablet then you can get the 16GB Wi-Fi iPad Mini that is easy to carry and more affordable than paying out for the iPad 4 with the Retina display. Then you have the Google Nexus 7 that offers plenty of customisation and if money is tight may be the better option as it is $199 for the Wi-Fi version. Both of the devices are fast and they both come with IPS screens that are sharp. So which of these two tablets is the best buy?
Price: Anyone looking for value in a tablet will choose the Nexus 7. The only other tablets in this price range are the Kindle Fire HD and the Nook HD. Google chose to keep the price tag of their tablet down so as to be able to bring in customers and Apple, as they always do, focus on their profit margins along with build quality, which everyone knows is top of the range. The iPad range is also known for their design and software. You can save $129 when you get the Nexus 7 and if money is tight this will mean a lot to you. The Nexus 7 3G will cost you $299, on the other hand the iPad Mini with LTE is going to set you back $459. So here the winner is clearly the Nexus 7.
Design: Of course Apple and quality and design go hand in hand and there is no doubt that the iPad Mini is one of the best looking in the range of iPad’s to date. The tablet is thin and it is light and the back is designed in aluminium. The Nexus 7 on the other hand gives it a run for its money as it too has great looks. The back of the tablet is designed in plastic that is soft and the tablet is not chunky looking. Of course it is not as light as the iPad Mini, nor does it look as premium. However the winner in this category has to be the iPad Mini.
Screen: In regards to the display the Nexus 7 should win over the iPad Mini as it has the higher ppi, even though both of the displays are IPS. However Google and Asus let things slide a little and the result of this is that the calibration of the display is off. According to many reviews around the web, this means that the Nexus 7 has colours that are less rich despite the impressive numbers on the specs sheet. The tablet has 216ppi, while the iPad Mini has 163ppi. Text however looks to be sharper on the iPad Mini and the device also has the better contrast and colours are richer. When you look at photos and video on the iPad Mini they look better as well due to the larger display size.
Performance: In regards to performance and the operating system it’s between Android 4.1, which comes with many features, including Project Butter. On the downside when the tablet was updated to 4.2 this caused it to become slower and Google may need work on this.
Nevertheless When it comes down to hardware the Nexus 7 has to be the winner here thanks to the quad core processor of 1.2GHz. The iPad Mini comes with the exact same processor as the iPad 2 and this is the A5 dual core processor of Apple. In Geekbench tests the Nexus 7 proved to be the fastest as it was almost twice as fast as the iPad Mini. Nevertheless the iPad Mini processor has just enough kick to help iOS 6 run smoothly and the world-class GPU gives it the added advantage.
So When it comes to processor then the Nexus 7 is the winner; however for the GPU it has to be Apple that wins.
Software: In regards to customisation then it has to be the Nexus 7 with Android that comes out on top. Android is the most customisable of the two and there are multiple home screens with widgets, shortcuts to apps and custom ROMs that can be installed. You cannot do any of this with iOS 6 for the iPad Mini and so this puts the Nexus 7 firmly on top in this category.
But we have to also remember that tablets are also all about apps, and in this case the iPad Mini wins. It has more tablet-optimized apps available in the App Store than the Nexus 7 has access to in the Play Store. So really you have to pick, sofware or apps?
Battery: Battery life on both of the devices is superb and you should get up to 8.5 hours from the Nexus 7 and around 10 with the iPad Mini. The iPad Mini has to be the winner here.
Bottom line: Both of the tablets are well matched and this means that the final choice of which is the best will come down to which of the two operating systems you prefer, the cost of the tablet and whether or not you want LTE.