Introduction


Come on folks, this is something we knew that was bound to happen! Apple and Google have been waging war against one another for a long time now, and considering that this year meant that we would see refreshes to several popular tablets, which we did, it’s only fitting to see how their two compact tablets stack up against one another.

The 2013 edition of the Google Nexus 7 has proven to be one heck of a popular tablet, as it continues to be red hot thanks to its killer price point, high-end specs, and diverse platform experience. Meanwhile, Apple’s iPad mini saw itself get outfitted with a Retina Display to prove that it’s with the times – while also being treated to the same usual set of hardware and software upgrades.

Now comes the hard part: finding out which of the two is exactly the better choice to fork over your hard earned money into. Even though they both saw increases to their prices, the iPad mini with Retina Display saw a significantly higher tally than what most people would like, but nevertheless, if compact tablets are what you seek out, these are no doubt the two that should come into mind.

Design


Naturally, their prices influence their designs, which shouldn’t be a shocker seeing that one is grossly higher than the other. Aesthetically, there’s a premium element with the iPad mini with Retina Display, as it continues to boast the sturdier construction thanks in part to its brushed aluminum casing. Unlike the grandeur attached to the iPad mini, the Nexus 7 still manages to get our attention with its soft touch matte body – though, it’s definitely not as premium as the iPad mini.

Due to the smaller sized display it’s carrying along, the Nexus 7 benefits by having a more comforting and form-fitting size – best served for those with smaller hands. In comparison, Apple’s tablet has a wider figure, which in turn, requires more stretching by our hands to grasp with a single hand. After some time, it becomes tiresome, to the point that it just no longer feels as natural holding it.

Either way, the designs can be deemed as pleasant depending on how you look at it. If cutting edge and premium elements are what attracts you the most, there’s no arguing you’ll see all of that in the iPad mini. However, the smaller size of the Nexus 7 combined with its modest looks can appease others as well.
Around the trims of both tablets, we don’t really find anything too surprising with either of them, as they feature nearly the same set of buttons and ports. Specifically, they consist of their power buttons, volume controls, various microphones, 3.5mm headset jacks, and respective power/data ports.

For small tablets, they’re armed with some pretty snazzy cameras. Around the rear, they’re both packing 5-megapixel auto-focus camera sans flash – the typical arrangement we’re seeing nowadays with prized high-end tablets. In the front, it’s also the usual configuration, as they’re graced with 1.2-megapixel front-facing cameras.


Display


Just like last year’s comparison, there’s a slight size disparity between these two ground shakers. Like how its name implies, this year’s iPad mini benefits from having a Retina Display – a 7.9-inch 2048 x 1536 IPS LCD display, giving it the very slightly higher pixel density count of 324 ppi. On the other hand, we can’t count out the Google Nexus 7’s 7-inch 1920 x 1200 IPS LCD display, which pops out an equally crisp 323 ppi pixel density figure. Detail isn’t an issue with either of them, as they’re more than capable of producing sharp visuals that allow our eyes to distinguish even the finest of text in the web browser.

Colors are warmer with the iPad mini’s Retina Display, and the Nexus 7 casts a more natural tone with its display. Outdoor visibility is pretty good with the two, seeing that they feature wide viewing angles and strong brightness outputs to make them extremely visible. At the end of the day, it’s a tough call which one of the displays we like better – more so when they exhibit very similar qualities that we find exquisitely pleasant.



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32 Comments

1. hung2900

Posts: 966; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

I love Android OS but 7 inch is too small. 8-9 inch is the best

4. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Then you have the LG G pad, 8.3 inches and a price not too far for the N7. In fact if I would have knownw about it I would have bought it instead of the N7.

5. eli577

Posts: 142; Member since: Jun 29, 2010

I wonder why PA did not include the G Pad 8.3 in this comparison. If there will be a comparison between the Mini 2 and the G Pad 8.3 in the future, then my apologies.

6. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

You may want to prepare your apology. PA likes to do multiple comparos. The N7/iMini is just the first of many comparos of smaller form factor tablets.

14. xperiance

Posts: 44; Member since: Oct 22, 2013

G pad is an excellent tablet......but with a huge problem...lg is terrible when it comes to software updates..……

17. DanielBeaver

Posts: 5; Member since: May 09, 2012

Intriguing, I'll have to look into the G Pad 8.3. I really do think the mini is the perfect size for a tablet, and I was waiting for Android manufacturers to copy it.

19. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Um, the world doesn't revolve around Apple. There have been plenty of Android tablets around the same size. Galaxy Tab 7.7, Toshiba Excite 7.8 or 7.9, Motorola Xyboard 8.2, and I am sure there are plenty others in Asia somewhere. The Tab 7.7 and Excite are made out of metal too.

30. Jillxz

Posts: 149; Member since: Jun 04, 2012

The design of the iPad mini and the regular iPad is a much better design than that of Android. The iPad mini has a whole lot more screen space than the skinny narrow Nexus and most of the other androids.

34. BaffledTruffle

Posts: 523; Member since: Dec 07, 2013

The G Pad already has a GPE version. Cheers, everybody.

9. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

I agree that 7 is too small. I think 8 - is too small too. 9.4 to 9.7 is ideal for me. Too bad the tablet z didn't stick to the 9.4 of the tablet s.

13. hung2900

Posts: 966; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

For ones get used to 7 inch, then they can move to 8 inch. I'm using Nook HD+9 inch, and it's worth any penny. I'm planning to upgrade to Kindle HDX, but if Nook still continues to sell tablets I will buy a Nook HD+ successor. 9 inch is so sweet that my fingers are at the middle back of the tablet when holding, so even its weight is more than 500g but I still feel more comfortable than 478g iPad Air

11. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

i think that the 8.2" of the Motorola Xyboard was the sweet spot for me because it was still sizeable while not having that width problem they talked about with the Mini in the comparison and it could also fit in a back pocket.

31. Furbal unregistered

Hopefully LG can keep up on updates for the G pad and the next iteration of the Dell Venue 8 may be worthwhile.

23. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

I think 7" is perfect but on googles tablets its not really 7" as some is taken up by the on screen buttons and status bar hence I think if they increase the size to a 7.5” with similar bezels than I would be happy. That way even with on screen buttons you still would get at least 7” usable screen. The nexus 7 even the original IMO is perfect size in terms of weight and size and being able to hold it in 1 hand comfortably. I can currently hold the nexus 7 from just the lower bottom corner without any issues. Size is all personal so there isn't really going f to ever be the perfect size for all. I wouldn't complain if it was 8" as long as they keep it quite small and light. Hopefully with the new immersive mode in KitKat, more apps will eventually use it so this on screen issue of mine wont be an issue in the future.

2. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

The Mini 2 is nice but badly overpriced. At $300 I'd CONSIDER getting it over the now-$200 N7'13, still you can do a lot of things with your saved $100, say put it next to your currect phone sale price and get the Nexus 5, and you have two of the best devices out there and still resources to buy nice things for your family. Otherwise credit to Apple for keeping the iPad's build quality, thin light design and including the retina display and fast A7 chip. It's just that at 7-8", iOS's tablet app advantage is not really an advantage, so is there a reason you should still go with the $400 product?

3. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

If the Mini was priced at $279 or $299, that would be a different story. N7 takes this one because of the price point.

8. LordDavon

Posts: 156; Member since: Sep 19, 2011

I've got a Nexus 7 2013 32GB and iPad Mini w/Retina 64GB. Love them both, but they are both unique in their uses. I carry the iPad Mini with me to work, and the Nexus is my home tablet. Gaming gets a nod to both, but I do like the iPad a little bit better since it has Infinity Blade III and XCom. Honestly, I would hate to live in a world where I would have to choose between the two. I'm just glad that I didn't have to. :-)

7. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Yup. Pricing is the hurdle for the mini. KK combined with the N7s hardware specs and price make for a very compelling value proposition. There is just too much of a price gap that is increasingly harder to overcome for Apple.

10. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

The screen more so that the price is the major issue here. The better screen on the Nexus 7 really makes it a tough sell.

12. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

you guys should've updated the Google Search app on your N7. it brought the GEL to mine when i updated.

15. chemhaz

Posts: 161; Member since: May 04, 2012

The iPad mini is a sexy device, but I can't stand iOS, but it's what's inside that counts so I'll choose the Nexus over it.

16. number29

Posts: 185; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

These comparison pictures really demonstrate how much more useful the iPad Mini screen is in comparison to the unusually long and skinny Nexus 7 screen. As the above poster said, it's what's inside that counts.

20. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Not at all. The Mini is too fat width wise. The long and skinny Nexus 7 is similar to the long and skinny iphone 5. Works just as well for a tablet, especially when browsers like Dolphin have auto text reflow. For everything else, just put in in landscape.....

25. number29

Posts: 185; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

I choose not to compromise on that front. I don't need a device with a screen designed for watching video when I don't watch video on that device.

18. Jillxz

Posts: 149; Member since: Jun 04, 2012

I like the width of the mini. Most android tablets are too narrow for my liking.

21. carlosquiroz

Posts: 6; Member since: Sep 16, 2013

So, Ipad mini is best on almost everything but it's not picked the best because of the price? Lame

28. Immolate

Posts: 310; Member since: Jun 17, 2011

Ipad mini is equal on almost everything except the quirky OS and the cringe-inducing 4:3 aspect ratio. Both are subjective however, and I'm sure there's a market for the mini just like there was for that gawdawful LG phablet. The fact that you can get two N7's for the price of one mini is impossible to overcome for any neutral, unbiased consumer. The good news for your Apple people is that the boutique market for iAnything continues to be a strong, though ever-smaller niche percentage of the phone or tablet market. The N7 is starting to look like a high-end tablet with competition from the lower-end selling for $59 for a dual-core unit with an inferior screen. But people don't see brands like Samsung, LG and Motorola as cheap knock-offs, so soon their minds will associate a quality tablet as being in the $200 range for a small and $300 for a larger tablet, and that will send the iPad packing to the same market share the phones now enjoy. Remember, the growing demand for tablets is in the Pacific rim and third world, and the vast majority of those folks are extremely price conscious.

22. Jillxz

Posts: 149; Member since: Jun 04, 2012

The iPad mini is more expensive , but well worth thatm extra money.

24. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

I'm shocked that PA actually declared a winner at all, let alone picked the Nexus 7. Are the winds of change blowing for PA? ;)

29. c.hack

Posts: 614; Member since: Dec 09, 2009

I bought the Nexus 7 for media consumption because of the wide screen. Android is so laggy even with KitKat compared to the iPad it just drives me crazy. The widgets just make it sooo much slower. I only have Gmail and weatherbug widgets but they are slooow to load. It feels like the quad core Nexus is running on one core. Lack of apps, slow real world speed and awkward shape for anything but videos keep me from using the Nexus for anything else.

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