Google Nexus 7 vs Apple iPad 3

Since its inception, the iPad has long remained at the top of the tablet universe without seeing much threat from the competition. Of course, we can name quite a few devices that were poised to challenge its supremacy, but there has yet to be a legitimate contender that can slow its sales. On the Android side, we’ve seen tablets like the Motorola XOOM, Samsung Galaxy Tab, and Asus Transformer Prime vying for their piece of the pie, but through it all, the iPad continues to stand head above water over its rivals. Well people, it looks like that might all change with the Google Nexus 7, as it seemingly employs all the correct ingredients for a major shakeup.


For $200, you really can’t knock the Google Nexus 7 for its humble design and decent build quality, but it’s obviously nowhere close to the meticulous standards held up by the new iPad. As we’re all familiar with by now, the higher price iPad boasts top-notch materials with its construction, and it continues to maintain the principle elements of what we expect out of quality tablet designs. Aside from smudges that accumulate over time on their displays, their bodies are mostly clean looking for the most part.

However, when it comes to comfortability, there’s no arguing that the Google Nexus 7 is easier on the hands for the long-term usage. Whereas the iPad can become tiring to hold up over a period of time, the Nexus 7 is considerably easier to handle thanks to its smaller size and lightweight feel. Naturally, form factor preference will vary from person to person – so if smaller is your thing, stick with Google’s offering, but if not, go big with the iPad.

Thanks partly to their distinctive feel and springy responses, we prefer the dedicated power button and volume control of the iPad. Conversely, the buttons on the Nexus 7 are quite tactile as well when they’re pressed, but we have more difficulty in making them out with our fingers – primarily because they’re not as raised and the fact that they’re positioned at an angle.

As for the rest, they feature all standard components like 3.5mm headset ports, speaker grills in the rear, microphones, and power/data connection ports. With the latter, we prefer the micorUSB port of the Nexus 7 over the proprietary 30-pin dock port of the iPad, because it’s a universal standard.


Visually, these two tablets flaunt some pleasant and sharp looking displays, however, the iPad’s Retina Display shows its superiority in many aspects over its rival. First and foremost, there’s the matter of resolution, which the 9.7” Retina Display of the new iPad redefines with its stunning 2048 x 1536 resolution – whereas the Nexus 7 boasts a still respectable 7” WXGA (1280 x 800) IPS display. Honestly, it’s almost difficult to discern which of the two has the sharper details from a far glance, but when we look up close, it’s undeniable that the iPad delivers the goods. In fact, we’re able to view fine text in a zoomed out view within the web browser a lot easier on the iPad.

Seeing that the two are using IPS displays, their color reproductions are mostly natural in tone – albeit, there’s a subtle cool appearance with the Nexus 7, which tends to make the color white appear a bit bluish in tone. Capturing our attention even more, the iPad boasts the better viewing angles and contrast levels to make it more visible in outdoor conditions, especially with the sun present. Conversely, it doesn’t help that the display of the Google Nexus 7 can appear washed out at certain angles.



1. wendygarett unregistered

Seriously John, how can you compare these two such a way..... There are so much different between these two...

2. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

What do you mean? He was very just & fair in his criticism. He pointed out the best on both devices & the bad on both devices. I mean how much more fair can he be. What are the real differences? One is big & one is small? One runs iOS 6 & the other runs Jelly Bean? He is right these are the 2 best tablets around right now. I think my Asus Transformer Prime running Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean is a better unit than the Nexus 7, but again that is just my humble opinion. lol

3. wendygarett unregistered

yup, He is right these are the 2 best tablets around right now. But different spec different price different os different size etc... It just awkward and unfair to compare in this way...

6. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

wendygarett, I understand what you are saying, BUT he is comparing the 2 BEST tablets. He doesn't care about the price point, size or whatever. His job was to compare the 2 BEST tablets & that is what he did. There is nothing unfair about it. He did a GREAT job.

7. wendygarett unregistered

I understand :D

10. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Cool. At least he didn't use AppleInsider for this review. lol +1


Posts: 30; Member since: Jul 24, 2012

Smart girl...

16. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

SuperAndroidEvo said: ---" He doesn'tcare about theprice point,size or whatever."--- I'm going to play devil's advocate for second. I'm obviously being overly critical but I do get the impression that he does use the price point to compare the two. If the prices were more balanced, he would've inherently, without a doubt, chosen the iPad. When you compare larger size and price vs lower, the fight becomes the equivelant of KIA vs Escalade. This becomes evident in the constant mention of the size differences vs taste and those that can afford the larger vs those that can't. I had no choice but to only compare found ios vs Jellybean. I want a larger tablet that best competes with Apple. John B.

18. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Ok I will play too. This Kia as you refer to is a quad-core beast. Compared to the dual-core Escalade. I think that is a poor comparison. It’s more like an Escalade to a BMW M3, just that the M3 is underpriced to the price of a Toyota Camry. He essentially was comparing the 2 BEST tablets, which happens to be the $200.00 Nexus 7 & the $500.00 Apple iPad 3. If he is truly doing a fair comparison between the 2 he HAS to mention the price points. You can't compare anything without price points. That is part of the deal in a comparison. The only reason he picked the Nexus 7 is because it's the newest & best. Once the Asus Transformer Prime gets an OFFICIAL Android Jelly Bean 4.1.1 update then we can compare the 2. The Prime is a better unit overall. I have a rooted Asus Transformer Prime running 4.1.1 & it’s an absolute joy. Remember the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is coming out & we will see how it stacks up against the iPad 3. +1

19. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

---" The only reason he picked the Nexus 7 is because it's the newest & best. Once the Asus Transformer Prime gets an OFFICIAL Android Jelly Bean 4.1.1 update then we can compare the 2."--- SuperAndroidEvo, you just confirmed what I was pointing out. The size also matters in comparisons. I give him credit to bring the GN7 to media worthiness. It is a great tablet. And while his comparison tried to be unbiased, the sizes unfortunately, do put these two tablets in separate categories. I happen to like the Transformer BTW. I'm sure Jellybean has increased its potential. It's great to see the Android platform evolve into the monster product it is. People of other platforms will eventually see just how great it is. John B.

21. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I wasn't necessarily pointing out the size, I was saying that the Asus Transformer Prime is a better unit in terms of build quality & features. It just happens to be a 10.1" tablet also. If the Nexus 7 had the same features & build quality as the Prime then I would not have said what you quoted. Again I think size is just a matter of opinion, what really matters at least to me is the guts of the tablet & Google has put together a very viable tablet for a much cheaper price point compared to the Apple iPad 3. I really think that was the basis of John V.'s comparison, also let’s not forget the OS differences. Right now it’s a fact that the best Android has is the Nexus 7 because of Jelly Bean. Once Jelly Bean hits the Asus Transformer Prime, that will again be the best tablet in Android’s corner. Again +1

20. wendygarett unregistered

Everyone prefer nexus 7 because it is future proof... Which mean it is os upgradable and affordable...

23. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

That too is also true. It's just that Google was able to produce such a competent tablet at such a ridiculous price point. People will see this & this might finally start to hurt Apple. For a 7" $200.00 tablet with GREAT specs to hold that much water against the full force of the iPad 3 is truly astonishing, to me at least.

74. devinm787

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

u couldn't be more wrong. its like comparing a corolla xrs to a bmw m3, yeah u can put parts & sup up the xrs but it will never be a bmw. the build quality & feel of the iPad is far superior, the screen is better, & u speak of the tegra3 vs the dual core A5x, but the iPad benchmarks better then the nexus7. so in other words u get what u pay for. like in a bmw vs a toyota

46. deacz

Posts: 162; Member since: Nov 02, 2011

the nexus 7 isnt the BEST andriod tablet out there, Im sure the transformer prime infinity is a lot nicer.

69. derpina560

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 10, 2012

iPad owners be hatin...

71. whatevs

Posts: 18; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Nope. Not at all.

35. thebest

Posts: 231; Member since: Jul 08, 2012

because thats what a website like phonearena is supposed to.......

37. kartik4u98

Posts: 511; Member since: May 19, 2012

I think wendygarett should leave PA now...

4. sid07desai

Posts: 290; Member since: May 03, 2012

Good comparison. Precise. It is obvious that Nexus is better (considering it's price).

8. sorcio46

Posts: 435; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

I agree :-) (waiting for my N7 to be shipped)

40. 305Bucko

Posts: 506; Member since: Aug 07, 2011

@sid07desai That sounds like a poem

75. devinm787

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

so is a honda civic better than a mercedes amg ? i mean considering the price.

5. sorcio46

Posts: 435; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

300$ of difference and still the Nexus 7 can show that is an hard opponent for the new iPad :-)

9. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

This comparison is very poor. This is like comparing a $20,000 Toyota to a $45,000 Lexus. Most people don't need a Lexus and cannot afford one. I had both tablets but got rid of my iPad 3 because it just did not suit me. I wanted a smaller higher quality name brand 7 inch tablet that will receive timely updates. After the wow factor for the Retina display wore off that iPad started collecting dust. Apple is not meeting my needs at the moment.

39. 305Bucko

Posts: 506; Member since: Aug 07, 2011

There is a famous comparison of a $500,000 Lexus LFA vs $85,000 nissan skyline on Youtube. Who cares. You can compare it to whatever you want. Who says you can only compare things in the same category. The Nexus is the better bang for the buck PERIOD. I own an iPad2 AND an iPad3 and I will sell them for a Nexus 7 When you use the iPad all day and realize its not that comfortable to hold you quickly realize that you would sacrifice the solid aluminum and big size for a more comfortable smaller screen and lighter device. I love my iPad but dont take it everywhere with me. The nexus however is a device that will fit comfortably in my cargo shorts. more practical, more comfortable, equals better to me. Of course, that is my own personal criteria

76. devinm787

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

you're gonna sell both an iPad 2 & 3rd gen iPad to buy a u know how much the nexus cost haha. I dont think u have to sell both haha


Posts: 30; Member since: Jul 24, 2012

ile take the N7 with 32gb saphire ceramic front glass carbon fiber at the back QC4412 Exynos 2GB Ram 300ppi .....

13. bloodline

Posts: 706; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

you cant beat value for money with the nexus. bottom line you get what you pay for

14. bloodline

Posts: 706; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

also I think the nexus 10 will be the real competitor for the ipad

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