The iPad Mini is out and the battle for the best 7-inch tablet is on (though, technically, the iPad Mini is a bit bigger than most 7-inchers). iPad Mini’s opponent is Google’s own budget tablet, the Google Nexus 7.
Who will win this head-to-head battle? Let us find out:
This category could have been won by the iPad Mini handily only if it used the retina display technology they used on iPad 3. Instead, what they did is use a 7.9 inch IPS screen with 1,024×768 pixels (163 ppi) that is more iPad 2 than iPad 3. Nexus 7 is also using an IPS screen with 1,280×800 pixels (216 ppi). Both tablets give sharp and vivid colors. There is no significant winner between the two. iPad Mini has the bigger screen but Nexus 7 has the slightly higher ppi.
This one is not very close. While the iPad Mini is not slow by any standard, the ridiculous speed of the Nexus 7 is just that: ridiculous. Besides, Apple did not even bother to use the A6 (the chip on the iPhone 5) on the device. Instead they opted for the A5 processor, making it a bigger version of the iPod Touch than a smaller version of the iPad. The Nexus 7, on the other hand, is powered by a Quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor. The A5 is just not on par with a quad-core chip.
Google scrimped on the camera function of the Google Nexus to keep the price low so this is not really a contest. Come on, it has a 1.2 mp camera in front. No rear camera at all. Clearly, the Nexus 7 was not designed to take pictures but it is good for video conferencing. Audio, though is a bit lacking so RingCentral VoIP service calls also suffers. So by virtue of having a rear camera, iPad Mini wins this category. Though it is just a 5MP shooter, it is adequate enough for most camera needs. In addition, the panoramic feature of the iOS 6 can be enjoyed in this device as well.
The original Nexus 7 was a Wi-Fi only device but they have recently launched a 32 GB version with 3G connectivity. The iPad Mini have both the Wi-Fi only models and those that with cellular connectivity. What gives iPad the edge, however, is that its models with cellular capabilities have 4G/LTE features as well.
This again is the classic battle of iOS vs Android, but this time it pits the latest versions of each operating system in the iOS6 and Jellybean. Of course, the Jellybean OS is out of the box so it has stock UI in place. It implemented project butter to make the user experience so much smoother. And indeed it has been smoother and syncing with desktop is very easy. The Android ecosystem is made for customization, so you will have a lot of options for that. It has the new Google Now virtual assistant, which is great for searches and of course Google Maps, which looked even better after the 3D maps fiasco of Apple. Apple on the other hand improved browsing experience and facebook integrations. Its virtual wallet, Passbook, looks like it’s going to be useful and Siri is better than ever. It is difficult to gauge which OS would be better because their strengths are very different. Android has always been about simplicity and flexibility but the iOS is pretty simple and straightforward. It will be up to the user’s preference in the end.
In the end, the price will be the determining factor in this battle. Google designed Nexus 7 to be a budget tablet and was marketed for as low as $199 for the 8GB model. The 32 GB model with HSPA connectivity goes for $299. The iPad Mini, though smaller, is still quite expensive. The 16gb Wi-Fi model has a $329 price tag. A lot of people would argue that it is too much just for a tablet that has no WiFi capability, only has 16GB of memory and the only real advantage is a 5MP rear camera.Tags: Android, Apple, Google, iOS, Tablets