Choosing Between the New Nexus 7 and iPad Mini

Google has finally debuted its newest tablet model, the new Nexus 7. It is replacing the original Nexus 7 to challenge other small-sized tablets in the market, including the Apple iPad Mini. The original Google Nexus 7 arrived in July last year and it proved to be one of the brightest stars in the Android ecosystem At the moment, two of its strongest rivals were the 7.85-inch Apple iPad Mini and the 7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire HD.

Nexus7 and ipad mini photo

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The new Nexus 7 tablet is ushering a new era for Google, since the Mountain View-based company is now able to solidify its position in the tablet market. Some would argue that the new Nexus 7 tablet should be compared with the iPad Mini 2, but it would be unrealistic since Apple hasn’t revealed the exact details of its upcoming tablet.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing between the new Nexus 7 and the iPad Mini:

  • Nexus 7 is cheaper: One major selling point of the new Nexus 7 tablet is lower prices across the board compared to the Apple iPad Mini. The new Nexus 7 starts from $230 with WiFi-only connection and 16GB of internal storage. The WiFi-only 32GB model costs $270 and the 4G LTE 32GB model costs $350.
    Despite being released almost a year ago, Apple doesn’t budge from the original price points. The iPad Mini starts from $330 with WiFi-only connection and 16GB of internal storage, while the top model costs $660 (4G LTE and 64GB). This means, the new Nexus 7 undercuts the original iPad Mini by a wide margin. Those planning to save some money should look closely at Google’s new offerings.
  • Nexus 7 offers a better display: Apple has been using the Retina Display term in its marketing efforts for quite some time now and it’s quite unfortunate that the original iPad Mini didn’t come with Retina-capable hardware. While it is still on par with the display of the original Nexus 7, it clearly can’t match with the newer Nexus 7. Google claims that the Nexus 7 boasts the sharpest 7-inch panel with 323ppi of pixel density. With the resolution of 1920 x 1200, the new Nexus 7 offers the best we have seen in a tablet at this category. With the new Nexus 7, users should be able to watch TV programs and films in HD quality. By contrast, the iPad Mini comes with only 162ppi of pixel density. While, reasonable for typical daily usages, the current iPad Mini is inadequate for more serious multimedia playback.
  • Nexus 7 offers wireless charging capability: The original Apple iPad Mini doesn’t support wireless charging and users expecting to charge their tablet wirelessly should look the other way. The new Nexus 7 is equipped with wireless charging capability and although many Apple fans don’t consider this as a deal-breaker, it would very useful to get rid of those annoying cords. Users of the new Nexus 7 can charge their tablet on a desk or nightstand effortlessly.
  • Nexus 7 offers multi user support: Nexus 7 users received the Android 4.2 update in November last year. While it’s essentially an incremental update, the Android 4.2 was particularly important for tablet users. Users can create more than one account on a tablet, which is useful at workplaces and homes. This useful capability hasn’t arrived to iOS devices and this is surely one feature that Apple fans are lusting after. With Android 4.3, the multi-user feature of the new Nexus 7 is further improved. With this capability, administrators can prevent users from accessing Google Play store to download new apps. Parents can also limit specific games so that kids can only access approved apps. While users can share out newer iPad models, they don’t come close to the capability offered by the new Nexus 7, especially when it comes to sharing and restricting access to content.
  • Nexus 7 offers better audio technology: Tablets aren’t exactly known for their impressive sound quality, but Google tries to change that with its latest tablet. The new Nexus 7 offers a virtual surround system technology with stereo speakers and Fraunhaufer technology.
  • Nexus 7 has more ports: The Apple iPad family is infamous for the lack of industry standards connectivity options, including the HDMI out and USB port. With the iPad Mini, users get the Lightning dock connector and that’s about it. While it isn’t the biggest “must have” feature, the inclusion of the HDMI out port on the new Nexus 7 should be handy for users who want to connect their device to a projector and HDTV. There’s also a microUSB port for universal data transfer to PC and charging.
  • Nexus 7 is faster: On paper, the new Nexus 7 outperforms the current iPad Mini. Google’s new tablet is powered by 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, while the iPad Mini relies on the slower 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 dual-core processor.
  • iPad Mini offers more accessories: While we’ve seen multiple accessories released for the original Nexus 7, users of the Apple iPad Mini can get more of them. Apple introduced the Lightning docking standard last year and it has been used across its lineup, including the iPhone 5. With this standard, the iPad Mini will support more accessories in the iPhone, which can be shared with the full-sized 9.7-inch iPad. Although manufacturers of Android devices are making great strides in this area, the iPad lineup can has access to more accessories in the market.
  • iPad Mini offers more storage: Neither of these tablet models come with a microSD card slot, so users are stuck with the internal storage. So users with more requirements may need to choose a model with larger storage. There are only two storage options for the new Nexus 7; 16GB and 32GB. Power users may need to consider choosing the iPad Mini with 64GB of internal storage, something that Nexus 7 users can’t get

Those expecting to see significant changes in physical dimensions won’t find them. The new Nexus 7 and the Apple iPad Mini are equally lightweight and slim, at under 9mm. Specifically, the new Nexus 7 is slightly lighter, while the Apple iPad Mini is slightly thinner. However, the differences are generally slight, so none of these would sway buyers; so one thing that may influence the decision-making process is the overall design. While the new Nexus 7 comes with a plastic-based black matte design, the Apple iPad Mini offers a more rigid aluminum chassis. The decision-making process comes down to personal preferences and shoppers can be torn down between the more affordable plastic design and the more premium feeling of aluminum design.

iPad mini vs Nexus 7 size comparison

One of the perks offered by both tablet models are 4G LTE connectivity, which allows users to get data speed performance equal to WiFi networks at homes. However, the new Nexus 7 offers one things that the Apple iPad Mini can’t do. The international version of the Apple iPad Mini comes unlocked, but some of the variants are locked down to a specific carrier. This means, if users buy a Verizon’s LTE model, they can’t use the tablet on AT&T’s LTE network. With the new Nexus 7, shoppers can purchase a unit and use it on Verizon, T-Mobile or AT&T. This should be appealing for users who can’t decide on which network they need to choose.

Although Apple will soon release the new iPad Mini, the original model should still receive supports for years to come. We could expect Apple to provide support for the current iPad Mini, at least until the third iteration of the lineup is released to the market. On the other hand, the Nexus 7 will continue to receive major Android updates for about a few more years. So, it is nice to know that shoppers will get a reasonable degree of support with both tablet models.

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