Apple iPad mini vs Google Nexus 7

When the Apple iPad mini was launched on October 23rd, 2012, there was a specific comparison made by none other than Apple themselves, and that too, directly in their slides. The competitor in question was the Google Nexus 7. The Google Nexus 7 was the direct answer to the threat that was the Amazon Kindle Fire, which created a new wave of 7inch tablets, but it was time for Apple to react and hence came the iPad mini, and then the comparisons. These two devices go head on in every market in the world, and for the benefit of the masses, we have done a in-depth video comparison of the two, give it a watch –

When you consider that Apple themselves compared the Nexus 7 to the iPad mini on their slides, then you know that the Nexus 7 is special. Yes, it was Google’s first attempt at a tablet, and boy, did it pay off. So, coming to the comparison, let us go through the major differences of these devices.

Design –

  • Large bezels on the Nexus 7 vs smaller bezel on the iPad mini
  • Curved edges and back on the Nexus 7 vs slightly blocky design on the iPad mini
  • No buttons on the face of the Nexus 7 vs a home button on the iPad mini

Build and ergonomics –

  • Soft touch plastic on the Nexus 7 vs Matte aluminium on the Apple iPad mini
  • iPad mini looks and feels more premium
  • Nexus 7 easier to hold in one hand than iPad mini

Some interesting things to note regarding dimensions are that the iPad mini is shockingly thin at 7.2mm and weighs just 305g, whereas the Nexus 7 is 10.45mm thick and weighs about 340g. Even if the Nexus 7 is easier to hold in the hand, if feels rather heavier than the iPad mini because of the fact that the weight distribution is concentrated in a smaller form factor than the iPad mini, which feels feather light and extremely less burdening on the hands.

Display –

  • 7 inch 1280X800 16:10 display on the Nexus 7 vs 7.8 inch 1024×768 4:3 display on the iPad mini
  • Colour accuracy and viewing angles better on the iPad mini
  • Pixel density and readability better on the Nexus 7

The iPad mini easily bests the Nexus 7 in terms of colour rendition and accuracy whereas the pixel density on the Nexus 7 is way better. The Nexus 7 seems more readable, but when the form factor is in question, we definitely prefer the 4:3 magazine style form, at the expense of pixel density and readability. However, if one has put up with an iPad 2, then the iPad mini display would be of no problem. In fact, the pixel density issue creeps up only when you compare it with other devices. The Nexus 7 on the other hand has a very nice display, but it could be brighter at the maximum setting.

The internals –

  • Tegra 3 1.5 GHz quad core Cortex A9 chip on the Nexus 7 vs Apple A5 dual core 1 GHz Cortex A9 on the iPad mini
  • GeForce ULP graphics on the Nexus 7 vs PowerVRSGX543MP2 on the iPad mini
  • 1 GB of RAM on the Google Nexus 7 vs 512 MB of RAM on the Apple iPad mini

The performance is hard to be gauged, but with our tests, we feel that both these devices perform brilliantly and there is no need to be concerned about performance when in doubt, between these two devices. However it is important to note that the Nexus 7 has exclusive games for the Tegra 3 platform which enhances the graphics tailor made for the GeForce GPUs.

Cameras –

  • 1.2 Megapixel FFC on both, but Nexus 7 records VGA, while iPad mini can record 720p
  • Rear facing iSight camera on the iPad mini can record 1080p video and take 5 megapixel stills
  • Camera quality is iPad mini’s forte, Nexus 7 is plain bad.

So, it all comes down to the software, which is the major thing to consider on any smart device these days. The Nexus 7, being a Nexus device, runs on the latest version of the Android operating system which is 4.2.1, at the time of comparison and is always updated to the latest version as blessed by Google. The iPad mini runs on the latest iOS, iOS6.1. Both these platforms have some fundamental differences. One of them being, companion dependence. The Nexus 7 is almost independent, with ability to downloading anything over the browser and managing files by itself whereas the iPad mini cannot do that, and relies on iTunes on Windows or Mac for its file management and other syncing purposes. However, it depends on the usage too, do you want a bigger iPod touch that can run nice full screen tablet apps or a tablet that can do stuff on its own and run only some good tablet apps? For deciding that, watch the in-depth video above, where we discuss most aspects written here, in depth.

In the end, everything depends on user preference, and regarding the price, the difference is only in a couple of thousands of rupees in the Indian market. Now that we have stated OUR opinion, it’s time for you to tell yours. So, let us know, in the comments section below. You can check out more comparison videos on our YouTube channel.

More photos of the comparison here

Author: Bharadwaj Chandramouli

Bharadwaj is a content creator who has been obsessed with technology since the early days of smartphones. He loves talking about tech, is a fan of good design and photography. You can follow him on Twitter @gadgetbuff_ to know what he's upto!