Google launched a brand new Nexus 7 yesterday that’s jammed pack full of impressive specs to rival Apple’s iPad mini. We judge how the two tablets compare on design, specs and price in order to find out which is best.
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How do they look?
Google has gone for a sleek black-on-black design with the new Nexus 7, which looks smart. It’s also slimmer than its predecessor at just 6mm deep. It weighs in at 284g (50g lighter than its predecessor). Like the original Nexus 7, this updated model screen is seven-inches across the diagonal. All in all it looks better than the first iteration but the plastic casing makes it feel cheap.
The aluminium casing used across the iPad range ensures all iPads have a premium feel. Weighing 307g the mini is light enough to comfortably hold in one hand. At 7mm thick, it’s slim too. Plus, its screen measures 7.9-inches across the diagonal – the perfect size for reading ebooks.
The second iteration of the Nexus has over-taken the mini in terms of portable design. It’s both thinner and lighter – although not by much. The mini has a larger screen – the extra space providing a better movie experience. Overall the iPad just inches ahead in terms of looks thanks to Apple’s sleek taste in design materials.
Jessica Moreton, Senior Technology Researcher-Writer
Three Key Features – How do their specs stack up?
Stunning HD beats iPad
The iPad mini’s 1024 x 768 screen resolution is paltry when compared with the new Nexus 7. With a 1920 x 1200 the Nexus has significantly more pixels per inch meaning that films, ebooks and web sites will all look clearer and sharper. Plus the Nexus 7 now has an improved colour range meaning the screen should look both vibrant and true to life too.
Super speedy Nexus
Google claims that the new Nexus 7 is four times faster than the old version. Its 1.5GHz processor certainly beats the mini’s 1GHz chip. The mini contains the innards of the iPad 2 which is significantly outdated when compared to the speedy tech contained within the new Nexus. This means that both web-browsing and gaming should be a faster, smoother experience on the Nexus.
Android vs Apple
The new Nexus 7 comes with the latest version of Android – Jelly Bean 4.3 which was released yesterday. Android has made some updates to its OS including the introduction of multi-user profiles so that parents can now limit access to in-app purchasing – keeping their wallets safe from their children. This isn’t currently available as part of Apple’s iOS.
Despite these changes whether you prefer Apple or Android as an operating system is a matter of personal preference. Both are easy to use, well-designed with popular app stores. So we’ll let you decide which wins on that front.
Which is better value?
The Nexus will go on sale in the coming weeks for starting at £200 for its 16GB model. Even though this represents a £41 price increase from the last Nexus 7, it’s still cheaper than the mini, which starts at a pricey £269. The question of value for money is easy to answer – the Nexus offers higher spec at a much reduced price. The only area that doesn’t live up to the high standard of the mini is the looks department and again that’s a matter of personal taste.
Which tablet is best?
On paper the Google Nexus 7 wins hands down in a face-off against the iPad mini. It has a better screen, faster processor and it’s slimmer and lighter than the iPad mini. It’s also kinder on the purse strings. The new version of the Android Jelly Bean operating system heralds some interesting developments showing that Google is listening to and acting upon what consumers want with regard to contentious issues such as in-app purchases.
But having said all this you won’t be disappointed with the iPad mini either – it’s fast enough, has a good screen and benefits from access to Apple’s intuitive operating system. Voting with my head – I choose the new Google Nexus but going with my heart, I still plump for the attractive little iPad mini.
Jessica Moreton – Senior Technology Researcher-Writer.