Apple has finally announced its long-awaited 7-inch iPad mini and while Apple fans are sure to flock over to the device many buyers might find a better deal with the Google Nexus 7. Comparing both devices shows their advantages and disadvantages and leaves customers with a touch choice between two capable devices.
Starting at the meat of both systems the Apple iPad mini features an A5 1GHz processor, the same CPU uses to power its iPad 2. The mini also features 500MB of RAM. Besting those options is the Nexus 7’s Tegra 3 processor which features a 1.2GHz quad-core processor that is powered alongside 1GB of RAM. In this competition the Nexus 7 takes the win but for “casual” users the difference won’t be noticeable.
On the display side customers have been complaining about the iPad mini’s display which is one of the worst in the high-end 7-inch tablet market. Apple chose to ditch retina and instead offer a 7.9 inch screen with 1024 x 768 pixels of resolution that outputs at 163 pixels per inch. On the other hand the 7-inch display of the Google Nexus 7 features a 1280 x 800 pixels output with 216 pixels per inch. Want to watch HD videos? You’ll want the Nexus 7 and for that matter you’ll want the Nexus device for video game playing and possibly even just for casual long-term use.
From a memory point of view the Google Nexus offers less options with 16GB and 32GB devices up for grabs compared to the iPad Mini’s 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models. Neither device offers SD card support which is mostly a surprise for a Google device considering Apple has never been a fan of that particular expansion format.
If you plan to take photographs with your tablet you’ll also want the iPad mini which features a backside 5-megapixel camera and a front-side 1.2-megapixel option. The Nexus 7 unfortunately only offers a 1.2 megapixel camera on the backside.
Another big consideration for many users will likely be the lack of GPS found on Apple’s Wi-Fi only iPad mini. Apple has never provided GPS on Wi-Fi only iPad devices but with a premium price this is a sorely missed feature.
The biggest draw for many buyers however is likely the price points. While a 16GB version of the Nexus 7 will set you back just $199, you will pay $329 for a similar offering via the iPad mini. If you upgrade to the 32GB nexus 7 you will pay $299, still below the iPad mini’s $329 price point for a simple Wi-Fi only device with 16GB memory. Jump up to a 32GB iPad mini and the premium price skyrockets to $559.