New Nexus 7 vs iPad Mini, Portables Head-to-head

New Nexus 7 vs iPad Mini

As you probably know, Google has officially introduced the New Nexus 7 a couple of days ago, being the successor of first generation that reportedly sold 7 million units. Of course, the new Nexus tablet arrives on a market full of potential rivals and Apple’s iPad Mini is the by far the most interesting one. That’s why we though it’s about time to bring the two tablets in a New Nexus 7 vs iPad Mini specs battle.

Back in 2011 Amazon launched the Kindle Fire a $199 7-inch tablet that came with pretty decent technical specifications at a low price making it the best selling Android tablet in the first quarter after its launch. After the huge success of the Kindle Fire several companies had similar approaches for their 7-inch tablets.

The first-gen Nexus 7 was officially introduced in June 2012 and one year later the Mountain View-based company launched its follow up, the New Nexus 7. The first tablet of the Nexus family was co-developed by Google and ASUS and just like any other Nexus device runs an unaltered version of Android.

Apple quickly saw the potential of the portable tablet segment, thus it officially introduced it’s first tablet that comes with a display smaller than 9.7 inches. The iPad Mini was announced in October 2012 and hit the next month, sporting a 7.9-inch display and running iOS 6 out of the box.

We’ll put the New Nexus 7 and the iPad Mini face to face in Nine rounds judging their performance when it comes to Dimensions, Display, Memory, Camera, Operating System, Connectivity, Processor, Price, and Design. The winner of each round will be awarded one point and the winner of the New Nexus 7 vs iPad Mini battle will be the tablet that managed to score the highest number points.

Dimensions

I know that you guys really look at a tablet’s dimensions, thus I though the Dimensions round should be the first of the New Nexus 7 vs iPad Mini battle. In fact that’s what 7-inch tablet is about: portability. The more compact and lighter the tablet is, the better.

Apple’s 7.9-inch tablet measures 200 x 134.7 x 7.2 mm, being one of the thinnest tablets around. The iPad Mini also weighs 312 grams. On the other hand the New Nexus 7 is 200 mm tall, 114 mm wide, and 8.7 mm thin, while having a weight of 290 grams.

As you probably noticed the New Nexus 7 is 20 mm narrower 22 grams lighter than the iPad Mini making it easier to use with one hand and more comfortable to hold longer when watching videos because of its reduced weight. For these two particular reasons, the Dimensions round of the New Nexus 7 vs iPad Mini battle goes to the Android-powered tablet.

Display

To me and probably to many of you the display is one of the most important components of a tablet. It must be good-enough to fit my needs which translates in good quality and high resolution.

The New Nexus 7 sports a 7-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1,200 x 1,920 pixels, resulting into a pixel density of 323 ppi, the highest ever used on a tablet. The Android-powered tablet’s display is protected against scratches by a Gorilla Glass 2 layer.

The iPad Mini comes with a 7.9-inch display with a resolution of 768 x 1,024 pixels (162 ppi) using the same LED-backlit IPS LCD technology and being covered by an oleophobic coating.

I know, you will say that Apple’s 7.9-inch display will be better when it comes to web browsing because it’s bigger. In fact that’s just a mirage, because the 7-inch display of the Nexus 7 will actually display more content because it comes with a higher resolution. Apple’s iPad Mini is not the best choice when it comes to watching movies, either, because it has 4:3 format and all the movies you will find will be 16:9.

I guess it’s pretty obvious which of the two tablets will win this round. The New Nexus 7 comes with a display that outmatches iPad Mini’s both in terms of pixel density and resolution, thus Google’s tablet scores one more point.

Memory

We have the New Nexus 7 on one side, coming with 2 GB of RAM and 16/32 GB of internal storage, and the iPad Mini on the other side with 512 MB of RAM and 16/32/64 GB of storage. Neither of the them have support for microSD cards.

While the iPad Mini has the advantage of the third internal storage option of 64 GB, its 512 MB of RAM will be a real problem after the iOS 7 update arrives. Apple’s new iOS 7 comes with improved multitasking and iPad Mini’s 512 MB of RAM will definitely not be enough to handle it.

Even though one of the iPad Mini models comes with 64 GB of storage which might come in handy, the Apple tablet only comes with 512 MB of RAM, forcing me to name the New Nexus 7 the winner of the Memory round.

Camera

Even do I personally don’t see the point of the rear-facing cameras of the tablets, since it’s not quite comfortable to take photos with a 7-inch+ device, it’s worth mentioning about them in the New Nexus 7 vs iPad Mini battle.

The first gen Nexus 7 wasn’t equipped with a rear-facing camera, but the new Android-powered 7-incher packs a 5 megapixel unit with autofocus, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, and support for full HD video recording. The front-facing camera is a 1.2 megapixel unit.

Apple’s iPad Mini comes with a 5 megapixel camera mounted on the back, also without a LED flash. Still, it comes with autofocus, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, and 1080p video recording. The user-facing unit has a 1.2 megapixel sensor.

There’s no way to separate the cameras of the two tablets, thus the Camera round of the New Nexus 7 vs iPad Mini ends as tie.

Operating System

The Android vs iOS rivalry is definitely one biggest in the tech segment and each operating system has its fans claiming that their favourite is the best.

Even though the iPad Mini is currently running iOS 6 the Apple 7.9-inch tablet will soon be updated to iOS 7. I must admit, the iOS 7 is the biggest upgrade Apple’s mobile operating system received since it debuted in 2007, but to me, and to many other out there the iOS has became to Android-ish.

Apple almost gave up to innovate and all it does is to borrow features from other mobile operating system. The Control Center is a reminiscent of Android’s Quick Settings area, the iOS messaging app was borrowed from Windows Phone, the new multitasking is a WebOS look-alike, while the new Safari looks a lot like Google’s Chrome for mobile.

On the other hand Google’s Android is highly customizable and comes with great features like the Notification Area and the new Quick Settings button, not to mention Google Now which is by far the most useful tool in the history of smartphones. Android has widgets and great support from the community that develops third party ROMs like AOKP, CyanogenMod, or ParanoidAndroid.

Some of the Apple fan boys will come and shout about Android lag, but I guess they’ve never touched a high-end Android terminal pre-Jelly Bean 4.1.

Moreover, the Nexus 7 is running stock Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and since it’s a member of the Nexus family it will always be the first in line when it comes to the latest Android updates.

This round of the New Nexus 7 vs iPad Mini battle must go to the Android-powered tablet, because even though Apple is trying to refresh its mobile operating system, the iOS is obsolete. +1 New Nexus 7

Connectivity

The 4G LTE support is one of the major selling points of the modern devices and both Google and Apple figured it out, fitting 4G chips inside their tablets.

The New Nexus 7 comes with HSPA+, LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, microUSB 2.0, and NFC. The iPad Mini has all the above, minus support for Bluetooth LE and NFC.

Anyway, the Bluetooth Low Energy and the NFC support are not enough to win this round for the Nexus 7, thus we have another draw.

Processor

The processor is the heart of the tablet, thus along with the display is one of the most important parts of the device.

The iPad Mini is powered by the Apple A5 chipset that debuted on the iPhone 4S, a dual-core Cortex A9 CPU clocked at 1 GHz, plus a PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU.

Google’s New Nexus 7 is underpinned by a Qualcomm processing solution, the popular Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset you will also find inside devices like Nexus 4, LG Optimus G4, or Sony Xperia Z. The Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC is based on four Krait 300 cores clocked at 1.5 GHz helped by an Adreno 320 GPU.

There’s no doubt that the Snapdragon S4 Pro unit is way powerful than the A5 chipset fitted inside the iPad Mini, therefore the Processor round of the New Nexus 7 vs iPad Mini battle goes to Google’s tablet.

Price

Since we are talking about affordable tablets, we must compare the prices of the New Nexus 7 and the iPad Mini. Because the iPad Mini also has a 64 GB variant while the Nexus 7 doesn’t, we won’t talk about the price of the 64 GB model, as it’s more expensive and it wouldn’t be fair.

The cheapest iPad Mini, the 16 GB WiFi-only model has a price of $329 but if you want extra 16 GB of storage you will have to pay $429. The WiFi+Cellular iPad Mini with 32 GB of storage is priced $459.

Google wanted to launch a cheap tablet with a powerful hardware platform and that’s exactly what the New Nexus 7 is. There are three New Nexus 7 variants: WiFi-only with 16 and 32 GB of storage, and WiFi+Cellular with 32 GB of storage, priced $229, $269, and $349, respectively.

As you probably noticed the cheapest iPad Mini is only $20 cheaper than the most expensive New Nexus 7 model. While the difference between the cheapest New Nexus 7 and the cheapest iPad Mini is $100. Moreover, Apple is charging $100 for extra 16 GB of storage, while the difference WiFi-only and WiFi+Cellular iPad Mini models is $130. The Nexus 7 32 GB is priced $269, while the Nexus 7 LTE has a price of $349, which is a difference of only $80.

The New Nexus 7 is the cheapest between the two, representing the best value for money, thus the Price round goes to it, as well.

Design

All of you probably guessed already which tablet will win the design round, but I will also tell you why.

The New Nexus 7 follows the same design language introduced last year with the first generation Nexus 7, but since it is supposed to be an upgrade it comes with some improvements. The bezel around the display is now thinner, making the New Nexus 7 narrower than its predecessor. ASUS has used a plastic material for the back of the tablet which gives great grip, but, in the same time, the tablet looks glossier, getting closer to the looks of a premium tablet.

The iPad Mini is a magnificent piece of design. It’s slim, uses aluminium for the body, has a slick design and even though it has a 7.9-inch display you can still hold it in one hand. In fact, it seems that the iPad Mini design is so popular that Apple will use it for its yet-unannounced iPad 5, too. A true premium look.

Apple has always launched great looking devices and the iPad Mini makes no exception, therefore the Design round of the New Nexus 7 vs iPad Mini battle goes to the iOS-powered terminal.

Conclusions

We’ve had a pretty interesting battle here, but now it has come to an end and we must see which of the two tablets is the winner.

There were two rounds where the New Nexus 7 and the iPad Mini were equally matched: the Connectivity and Camera rounds, because both come with similar connectivity features and similar primary camera sensors.

The iPad Mini only managed to snatch one round of the battle, the Design one, courtesy of its aluminium body that gives it a premium look. One point for the iPad Mini

The New Nexus 7 outmached the iPad Mini when it came to Dimensions, Display, Memory, Operating System, Processor, and Price, because it’s narrower and lighter, has a higher resolution display, 2 GB of RAM, it runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, has a powerful quad-core CPU, and has a starting price of only $229. That’s 6 points for the New Nexus 7.

The Android-powered tablet has won the New Nexus 7 vs iPad Mini battle, but Apple will come with a successor for its 7.9-inch tablet soon. Will the battle between the New Nexus 7 and iPad Mini 2 be as unbalanced as this one? Feel free to use the comments section below to let us know what you think about he outcome of the New Nexus 7 vs iPad Mini battle.