There is a new Nexus 7 tablet in the fray and is out to renew the rivalry with the Apple iPad Mini. While there is still a lot of confusion as to whether Apple will come up with a new iPad Mini this fall, as things stand right now, it is the first gen iPad Mini that the new Nexus 7 will be up against. So with the parameters getting altered, there are some important comparisons that the consumers need to look into before zeroing in on any one product.
The rivalry in the 7 inch tablet space took on a whole new dimension when Google had launched the Nexus 7 back in July 2012. Soon thereafter, the Google tablet went on to emerge as the largest selling Android tablet. Amazon and Apple responded with their own version of a small tablet in the form of the Kindle Fire HD and the iPad mini respectively as rivals to the Google Nexus 7. However, while both the Kindle Fire and the iPad Mini proved to be a strong contender of the Google Nexus 7, the real battle in the small tablet segment proved to be between the Google and Apple products.
However, with all of the tablets already almost a year old, it’s time for the companies to refresh their tablet line-ups with new devices. Google is the first off the block to launch the new Nexus 7 and Apple is expected to follow suit with a new iPad Mini device. Till that happens, let’s find out how the two compare with each other and which one consumers should consider worth buying.
We look at certain aspects and would come out with facts that would benefit the end user in deciding which of the two will suit them best.
Nexus 7 definitely has the advantage here, priced as it is a whole $100 less than the iPad Mini. Even though Google has departed from the $199 price tag and has priced the new gen Nexus 7 $30 more, it still is cheaper than the corresponding iPad Mini version. Mentioned below is the pricing structure of the new Nexus 7 device.
Nexus 7 Wi-Fi 16 GB – $230
Nexus 7 Wi-Fi 32 GB – $270
Nexus 7 4G LTE 32 GB – $350
Compare the above with the price of the Apple iPad Mini as is prevalent now.
iPad mini Wi-Fi 16 GB – $330 only [$100 more than the new Nexus 7]
iPad mini Wi-Fi 32 GB – $430 only [$160 more than the new Nexus 7]
iPad mini 4G LTE 32GB – $560 [$210 more than Nexus 7]
The price comparison clearly shows the base model of the new Nexus 7 is $100 cheaper than the iPad mini at the cheapest point while the 4G LTE version of the same with 32 GB of storage is just $20 more than the Wi-Fi enabled iPad mini having 16 GB of storage.
This is another area where the Apple iPad Mini fares poorly against the new Nexus 7 tablet. While the Nexus 7 boasts of a full HD display having a resolution of 1920 x 1020 pixels, the iPad Mini makes do with a 1024 x 768 pixel display. Coming to pixels per inch, the above figures translates to a pixel density of 323ppi for the new Nexus 7 compared to just 162ppi for the iPad Mini. No wonder Google is claiming the Nexus 7 to have the best display in the small tablet segment. Also, the pixel count apart, the new Nexus tablet also display 30 percent more colors.
While a retina display could tilt the balance in favor of the iPad Mini, the same continues to be a hot topic of debate as the rumor mills would like us to believe a retina enabled iPad Mini is due only in 2014. Till then, it is the first gen device that will have to keep the new Nexus 7 engaged.
The new Nexus 7 continues with more or less the same design theme though Google is claiming the bezels along the side are even thinner this time. However, the overall looks is marred by the thicker bezels along the top and bottom which together with the rectangular shape makes the Nexus 7 look much like a big phone. For those who prefer numbers, the new Nexus 7 measures 10.45mm x 198mm x 120mm. Also, the new Nexus tablet is also a tad heavier than its predecessor at 330g compared to 317g for the original Nexus 7.
In comparison, the iPad Mini is more squarish which makes the device look more like a small tablet. Also, with thinner bezels all round compared to the new Nexus tablet, the iPad Mini can be considered the better looker of the two. Sporting overall dimensions of 200 x 134.7 x 7.2 mm, the iPad Mini is both thinner and lighter of the two, tipping the scales at just 308g.
Aluminum is the material that has gone in the making of the iPad Mini while for the Google Nexus 7, the choice of material is black plastic having a rubbery matte finish. Both the designs are durable and feel good in hand and thus the design choice is best left to the user’s discretion.
Multi user support
Multi user profiles that allowed users to create multiple user account in their tablet devices is something that was first introduced with the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update. Such a feature is extremely beneficial in households where the same tablet is used by more than one member. Surely, they would love to have their own settings intact when using the device. The latest Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update improved on this even further by allowing parents to have some sort of a control over the app or games their children can be exposed to though such a feature can also prove handy in kiosks or public places.
Unfortunately, such a feature is sorely missed in the iPad Mini running iOS 6 and things are not expected to improve even when iOS 7 comes on to the scene. Perhaps the only way the omission of multiple user support in iOS can be explained is that Apple wants all members of the household to own separate iPad devices.
The new Nexus 7 device is built around the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor rated at 1.5GHz, which marks a departure from the Nvidia Tegra 3 chip that powered the first gen Nexus tablet. RAM strength now stands at 2 GB, up from the 1 GB RAM of the original Nexus 7 device. All of this together with the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean that the Nexus 7 will come pre-loaded with means faster performance and more efficient battery usage. (The new Nexus 7 is powered by the same 4,325mAh battery).
In comparison, the iPad Mini is powered by the same dual core A5 chip that does duty on the iPad 2. This coupled to a 512 MB RAM ensures good performance for the mini iPad though the Nexus 7 remains a notch or two higher.
As for external storage options, both the device still does not come out with microSD card slot and that means buyers will have to stick with the on board storage available. However, the iPad Mini offers greater storage options as the same is also available with 64 GB of internal memory, something that is unavailable with the new Nexus 7. The iPad Mini also comes out with 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB options in their LTE models. In comparison, the Google Nexus 7 offers only 16 GB and 32 GB of internal memory while their LTE model is available only with 32 GB of storage. All of this makes the iPad mini the best option for consumers looking for storage space.
The Google Nexus 7 supports wireless charging, something that the iPad Mini does not. This may not be too big a deal though it’s definitely a lot better than the mess than the chargers and chords can create.
The Nexus 7 features a 5 mp camera at the rear along with a 1.2 mp shooter at the front to allow for video chats or self portraits. The iPad Mini too features the exact same set up though it remains to be seen which of the two tablets emerges the better shooter.
Nexus 7 is available in both Wi-Fi as well as 4G versions while the iPad Mini comes in Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi+Cellular models that offers better speeds than 3G though not as good as 4G. Further, the Apple iPad Mini might come unlocked though the bands on-board the device makes it locked down to specific carriers. Put in simple terms, the AT&T version of the iPad Mini is not compatible with the Verizon LTE network and vice-versa.
Not so with the new Nexus 7 that can be used on AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon networks and will work just fine.