Saturday, January 21, 2017

iPad mini or Nexus 7: which should you buy?

Lauren Dezenski explores how the Retina iPad mini
measures up against the similarly sized Google Nexus 7

The latest and greatest iPad mini has burst
onto the market with as much fanfare as a
hyped keynote speech can deliver. Welcome
to the world, iPad mini with Retina display, aka
the iPad mini 2. Sure, the latest little tablet will
look evenbetter thanks to a long-awaited Retina
display, but is it worth the punch it’ll pack against
your wallet,especially compared to rival Google’s
impressive Nexus 7 2013?
Price and models
One of the biggest di erences between the Nexus
7 and the iPad mini 2 is easily the price. Even the
cheapest mini model, 16 GB Wi-Fi-only, will set you
back £319. Compare
that to the identical
Nexus 7 model – also
16GB and Wi-Fi only –
which £199 meaning
the iPad mini 2 is
more than one and a
half times the price.
It’s hard to argue
with Google’s 32GB
Cellular + Wi-Fi
enabled Nexus, which will only set you back £299.
That’s quite a bit less than the comparable mini
model (£419). You can also get more memory with
a 32GB Wi-Fi-only model for £239. All three Nexus
models are only available in black.
Of course, those willing to pay for it will get more.
The Wi-Fi retina iPad mini is also available in 32GB
at £399, 64GB at £479, and 128GB at £559. Cellular
+ Wi-Fi models are £100 more than their solely Wi-Fi
counterparts. You can also choose between silver/
white and space grey/black, colour-wise. It’s worth
noting neither company’s tablets have expandable
memory, though, both operating systems have cloud
storage functions.
Display
The ‘7’ in Nexus 7 refers to the tablet’s screen size,
which, by something less than a crazy, random
happenstance – is seven inches. The Google tablet
boasts a 1920x1200 display screen with a pixel
density of 323ppi. It’s a high-quality screen for such
a small device, especially given the price.
Don’t let the iPad mini’s name deceive you.
Though it’s smaller than its full-size namesake, it’s
slightly larger than the Nexus 7 with a 7.9 in display.
You also get a better picture if you opt for the
mini’s slightly larger screen thanks to 2048x1536
resolution, though the ppi di erence is pretty
negligible at 326ppi.
Size
Not only does the Nexus 7 cost less, it also weighs
less. The Wi-Fi-only model weighs 290g while the
32GB + mobile data is an additional 9g. Perhaps
themini’s larger price screen lends to its weight.
The Wi-Fi model comes in at 331g while the Wi-Fi +
cellular model is 341g.
The Nexus 7 manages to out-mini the iPad mini
dimensionally, measuring 120x199mm tall if holding
the device in portrait format. Apple’s pint-sized
tablet, on the other hand, measures 135x200mm.
However, the mini is just a bit thinner, at 7.5mm thick
compared to Nexus 7’s 8.65mm.
Cameras
Camera technology is extremely similar between
these two tablets. The mini’s specs haven’t really
changed from the previous model to the Retina
model: you’ve still got the 5Mp iSight camera on the
back with 1080p HD video recording. Now, you’ve
got 3x video zoom, too.
The front HD camera takes 1.2Mp photos and
records 720p HD video. Both front and back
cameras also have face detection and backside
illumination, too. The Nexus 7 manages to hold its
own against the mini camera-wise, though the 1.2Mp
front facing and 5Mp rear-facing cameras lack some
of the bells and whistles such a video zoom.
Operating system
and processor
Unsurprisingly, the
mini’s got the best
processor of the two.
Built with the same A7
chip as the new iPad
Air, the mini’s got
64-bit architecture
and an M7 motion
co-processor.

The Nexus 7 is
nice and speedy, too,
thanks to the quadcore
Qualcomm
Snapdragon S4 Pro
processor and 2GB
of RAM standard on
all models. Plus, the
high-performance
rendering gives
you nice and
smooth 3D
graphics.
Obviously the two tablets have di erent operating
systems – being built by Google and Apple and all.
This ultimately comes down to personal preference
between iOS and Android.
Battery life
In our battery test, the Nexus 7 lasted eight hours,
47 minutes on a single charge while looping a locally
stored, HD video. It also has the handy feature of
built-in Qi wireless charging. We haven’t had our
hands on the Retina iPad mini long enough to test
battery life, but Apple claims up to 10 hours of
surfi ng the web, watching video or listening to music.
Buying advice
They’re both good tablets but it depends on what
you’re looking for. If you want a high-quality and
comparatively low-cost tablet, the 7’s your best bet.
But Apple doesn’t disappoint with the mini and if you
can pony up the cash, you do get more.

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