iPad mini vs. the Competition: How Apple’s Smaller Tablet Compares

Apple has jumped headfirst into the smaller tablet game, a market the late Steve Jobs said was, “going to be DOA,” with its iPad mini and it’s already making a splash. But does that mean the mini is the best 7 incher around? To find out, we’ve broken down the specs of the mini as well as three of its most popular competitors to see how Apple’s latest iPad stacks up.

The iPad mini sports a 7.9-inch 1024 x 768-pixel display. That’s lower res than the Barnes and Noble Nook HD’s 7-inch 1440 x 900 display, the previous segment leader, and the Nexus 7’s 1280 x 800 screen. Apple wraps its display in a chassis that’s 0.3 inches thick and weighs in at 0.7 pounds, which is thinner than the Nook HD’s 0.4-inch 0.7-pound chassis. However, Apple says that the iPad mini’s display is 35 percent larger than the 7-inch Google Nexus 7’s 1280 x 800 display, and offers a 49 percent larger viewing area on websites.

On the inside, the mini is powered by an Apple A5 chip processor, while the Google Nexus 7, by comparison, offers a 1.3-GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor. The Nook HD offers a 1.3-GHz dual-core OMAP 4470 processor, and the 7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire HD includes a 1.2-GHz dual-core OMAP 4460 chip.

True to form, Apple is offering the iPad mini with three different storage options including 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variants. The Nexus 7 and Barnes and Noble Nook HD, meanwhile, come in 8GB and 16GB versions, while the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7-inch is available in 16GB and 32GB versions.  It’s also worth noting that the iPad mini does not come with a microSD Card slot, something the Nook HD offers.

From a connectivity standpoint, the mini is the clear winner, offering both Wi-Fi and 4G LTE options. The Nexus 7, 7-inch Fire HD and Nook HD are only available with Wi-Fi.

Pricing is obviously going to be a big part of how well each of these devices do this holiday season, and that’s where the iPad falls short of the competition. The base 16GB Wi-Fi-only iPad mini clocks in at $329 , while a 64GB 4G LTE version will cost you $659. The 8GB base Nexus 7, on the other hand, costs $199, as do the base models of the 7-inch Fire HD and Nook HD.

Daniel P. Howley
Daniel P. Howley
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining Laptopmag.com. He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
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  1. ePambos Says:

    I would gladly choose the Samsung Galaxy 7.7 over an iPAD Mini.
    Have been using it for a year and a half now, and it is faultless…

  2. Denise Says:

    I agree with ePambos. I have had the Samsung 7.7 for over a year and it can do everything and more than apple. I bought an ipad mini for my sister and she loves it but i would find it hard to give up my Samsung. Some of the main reasons relate to Swype techology as this is as fast to use as being on a full keyboard computer. On top of that the fact that there are expansion options with the Samsung which you dont have with the apple – hard to beat that! Beyond that its really the quality of sound, picture, screen size, capacity of memory, and the 1,000’s of apps that are not apple locked – you can do some much more on Samsung, apple just has too many restrictions and is too locked down. Another huge advantage to Samsung is how it auso syncs with your cell phone – i can read a book on one of them and when I go to read it on the other later in the day, it auto syncs to the last page i was reading – way cool!

  3. Denise Says:

    i forgot to mention that its highly amusing to me that whoever wrote this story purposely left out doing any comparison with Samsung – pretty much says it all – afraid of the real competition :)

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