With a starting price $100 lower than iPad mini, a high-res screen and the brand new Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS, Google’s second-generation Nexus 7 tablet is well-positioned to take on Apple’s small slate. But just how well does Google’s 7-inch, $229 tablet compare to the 8-inch, $329 iPad mini?
The latest Nexus 7 sports a sharper 1920 x 1200-pixel display, which blows away the Apple iPad mini’s 1024 x 768 resolution. However, the iPad mini offers a slightly larger display, at 7.9 inches vs. 7 inches.While the original Nexus 7 had no rear-camera at all, the new model matches the iPad mini pixel-for-pixel with a 5-MP back-facing sensor. Both tablets also have 1.2-MP front cameras.
True to the rumors, the next-generation Nexus 7 comes with a 1.5-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with 2GB of RAM , Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out of the box and an Adreno 320 graphics card. Apple’s iPad mini packs just 512MB of RAM to go with its proprietary Apple A5 processor.
The new Nexus 7 measures 7.9 x 4.5 x 0.3 inches, which is almost an inch thinner than the iPad mini’s 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.3 inches. The 10.22-ounce Nexus 7 is also lighter than the larger-screened iPad mini that weighs 11 ounces.
While both the Google Play and App Store offerings are closer these days than ever before, Apple boasts more than 375,000 tablet-specific apps. Google doesn’t provide a specific count, we know that many leading apps are still optimized for phone screens only. The iPad also has a number of exclusive titles, including Dark Sky and “Infinity Blade 2″.
The new Nexus 7 comes predictably preloaded with Google apps such as Search, Gmail, Chrome, Talk, Maps, Street View, YouTube and Google Play. The iPad mini is packed with a broader array of Apple apps such as Safari, Mail, Messages, FaceTime, iTunes, App Store, Apple Maps, Music and Newsstand.
To do performance comparisons you’ll have to stay tuned for our hands-on test results. But based on the pure specs, these two tablets are fairly close. Which will you buy?