A colleague at work bought an iPad mini last week and let me briefly take a look at it for comparison with my Nexus 7. While it is a bit lighter and has a larger and brighter display, it also has its downsides.
I am by no means an Apple fan and this post will of course turn out to say that the iPad mini is worse than the Nexus 7, but I’m happy to be very confident that most of you will not see it differently after reading the comparison.
I think we can agree that, in the real world, it does not matter whether the battery lasts for 9,5 or 10 hours, its totally moo whether you can get 650.000 or 700.000 apps in the relevant store and it also does not matter whether the camera offers a gazillion or a fantastillion of pixels. But okay, the mini offers a camera on the rear (I still wonder who actually takes pictures with a tablet device?) and to be fair, that’s one for the mini.
mini + nexus –
Whether you use Apple’s ios or the android operating system on the Nexus, they both get the job done and have their ups and downs, so I’ll not give away any points here. If you’re new to the tablet operating system in general, you won’t have much problems getting your head around either of the two. If you’re used to one of them, you likely are not to keen on using the other one.
In terms of size and display, both devices have their strenghts and weaknesses, so no points here either. With its 7.9 inch display and very narrow edges, the mini is a little wider than the Nexus but still fits well into my medium sized hand. On the other hand, since it’s very thin and lacks the Nexus’ rubbered backside, it’s a little less comfortable to hold for a longer time.
The mini’s display is a bit brighter which might make it a tad more readable in bright sunlight when used outside, but I think it’s easiest to also call it even considering the Nexus’ higher screen resolution (163 vs. 216 ppi).
An enormous plus for the Nexus 7 is its repairability. Take a couple of minutes and compare ifixit‘s teardowns of the Nexus
and the mini
I guess you’ll agree that if something happened to your device and you had to have a repair done, you’d be happy to have bought a Nexus instead of a mini because of the lower labor cost on your repair bill. Or to even have the possibility to do the repair yourself without too much of a hassle, which makes the Nexus a clear winner in this (imho) very important area.
mini – nexus +
Another thing that is a biiig plus for the Nexus is the coming support for multiple users on one device. Apple’s solution for this is to buy another iPad, whereas in Android 4.2, it will be possible to set up different user accounts and to have separate facebook, gmail and whatnot profiles for each user. Since I cannot find a permanent link to that news, I’ll just quote the android whatsnew-site:
One tablet, many users.
It’s your fully customized tablet. And theirs, too. With support for multiple users, you can give each person their own space. Everyone can have their own homescreen, background, widgets, apps and games – even individual high scores and levels! And since Android is built with multitasking at its core, it’s a snap to switch between users – no need to log in and out. Available only on tablets.
Since the Nexus 7 is a Nexus device, it will receive the update quite soon, so I’ll score
mini – and nexus +
Talking money, the mini is roughly 80 euros more expensive considering the same amount of memory (Nexus 16g = 250, Mini 16g = 330). Adding a slot for a simcard ups the difference to a whopping 260 (Nexus 32 + sim = 300, mini 32g + sim = 560). You might want to counter this one with the fact that the Nexus only supports UMTS and not LTE, but since LTE is available in close to no places in Germany, I say that in the real world, we can forget about that. To me, this inevitably is another one for the Nexus:
mini – and nexus +
In the end, as always, it’s a matter of taste since both devices get the job done nicely, but I think the only real reason for buying a mini instead of a Nexus when looking for a 7 inch tablet is because you want to buy one. Or maybe because you’re used to the Apple apps. Other than that: I don’t see it.