iPad Mini Or Nexus 7?

Now that the iPad Mini has finally burst forth from a cocoon of rumours, it's time to get down to the nitty gritty and take a good look at which tiny tablet might be right for you. And of course, the biggest face-off is pitting Google's fantastic Nexus 7, against its new iOS analogue. Which one is for you?

If You're Strapped For Cash...

No one really expected the iPad Mini to undercut the Nexus 7 on price, and it didn't. At $369 for a Wi-Fi only, 16GB model, the barest-bone iPad Mini is a whole $70 more than the comparable Nexus 7 model. And, rumour has it, new Nexus 7's could be on the way, which might knock down the 16GB Nexus 7 to $US200.

When you're worrying about money, the Nexus 7 is your best bet.

For Devouring Books And Streaming Movies...

With either the iPad Mini or the Nexus 7, chances are you're getting your books and streaming video from a 3rd party service. That being the case, your choice of OS here is pretty irrelevant. So let's talk screen specs.

Of the two, the iPad Mini boasts a bigger screen, 7.9 inches to the Nexus 7's (duh) 7 inches. You pay a price for that bigger screen though: the iPad Mini's got a 1024 x 768 resolution to the Nexus 7's 1200 x 800, and the iPad Mini 162 PPI pixel density doesn't hold a candle to the Nexus 7's 216 PPI display.

If you want to look at pretty things, the Nexus 7 has the screen for you.

For The Kiddies...

Have you seen a Nexus 7 commercial lately? It's like all Google does is aim for kids. Really though, this is pretty much an extension of the price question. Neither the iPad Mini or the Nexus 7 have anything like the Kindle Fire HD's built-in Free Time app, so your main concern is just going to be which costs less to replace when broken, so the Nexus 7.

Android's Google Now is also a nice resource for the little'uns. Unlike the more personal-assistant-y Siri, Google Now specialises in just googling stuff, which is what Junior's probably going to want to do.

Arm your offspring with a Nexus 7.

For The Digital Packrat...

If you're uncomfortable with the cloud and want to hold your media close, you're going to want to go big. Right now, the Nexus 7 only comes in a tiny 8GB and reasonable 16GB varieties, neither of which is suited to building a sizable stash. There may be a 32GB Nexus 7 on the way, but we'll have to wait to see. The being the case, the iPad Mini 32 GB or 64 GB is probably to go for enabling your totally inability to let things go, but it's going to cost you.

Serious horders will want a 64GB iPad Mini. Dabblers who make due with a little less might want to wait for an impending 32GB Nexus 7 to decide.

For Students...

iBooks is the killer here. Both the iPad Mini and the Nexus 7 (and practically everything else with a screen) can make use of Kindle e-textbooks, but iBooks are for iDevices only, and you don't want to run the risk of locking yourself out. It's as simple as that.

For the student, the iPad Mini is the way to go, unless you want to consider its big brother.

For Those On The Go...

The iPad Mini has a few advantages here. It's lighter and thinner, but the Nexus 7 is by no means a barbell, so take that for what it's worth. The iPad's Mini's width might make it a little less back-pocket friendly than the Android tab, but all that's nothing compared to one major detail: the iPad Mini has 4G options and the Nexus 7 doesn't.

But a 3G Nexus 7 could be on the way very soon. 3G ain't no LTE, but you can bet it'll be cheaper, and this is rumour territory. So:

Hold your horses and just chill out for a few days. Seriously, just hold on. You can do it.



    "The iPad’s Mini’s width might make it a little less back-pocket friendly than the Android tab, but all that’s nothing compared to one major detail: the iPad Mini has 4G options and the Nexus 7 doesn’t"

    OMG OMG no LTE!!! RUN FOR THE HILLS!!!! Seriously are you insane?? Who wants another data contract when you can simply tether the Nexus 7 to your phone and use all that data you don't often completely use every month! Makes sense huh? Oh wait, you're an icraple user, might be too complex for ya to work that out...

    Giz, go back to icrap land, the Nexus 7 creams the ipad mini. And look out for that drop in Apple quality in the future when LG and Samsung cease their component supplies end of this year..

      That news of Samsung stop supplying Apple was incorrect. Samsung announced it today, they never said they will stop supplying Apple, why would they? It's Revenue.

      All they said they can't supply Apple with LCD with massive discount price.

      Last edited 24/10/12 2:52 pm

      While I'm normally the first to bash Apple, I do need to pull you up on this. Having integrated 3G/4G is a major selling point to some people.

      There are obvious benefits to having an inbuilt 3G/4G antennae - mostly the convenience factor. If you want it tethered to your phone you need to go through the process of turning on data on your phone (if it's not always on), switching on wifi or bluetooth hotspot (I assume these are not turned on 100% of the time), and turning on wifi or bluetooth on the tablet and waiting around 20 seconds for the thing to connect. If it was integrated, you wouldn't need to worry about any of that, just unlock the screen and off you go.

      Tethering it your phone also kills your phone's battery pretty quickly, and depending on your current mobile plan, may require you to upgrade to a higher data plan anyway to cope with the extra usage.

      So there are some obvious benefits to having integrated 3G/4G. It's just a question of whether you are willing to pay a much higher premium for what essentially amounts to a convenience thing, when you quite correctly point out that that there are upsides to not having inbuilt data too, such as not needing another mobile data plan.

      So it may not be a big thing for you (or for me), but for others, it could be pretty important, so don't completely write it off. Personally, I think paying that much extra money for mobile data (+ another data plan from your telco) is pretty insane, but some people might want that.

        Not to mention how the US carriers hate tethering so much that they block it from most of their phones, if not all. That, combined with the shared data plans that they're so fond of, means a lot of people there prefer 3G/4G options over tethering.

          That's a good point. In Australia we are lucky in that there is a law that prevents telco's from doing that, but in the US there's no such consumer protection so telcos block tethering as much as they can. But on the flipside they allow multiple devices to use the same data plan whereas Australian telcos will laugh at you if you ask for a second SIM card. So devices with mobile data antennaes are their only real option for mobile internet in the US.

        And if you don't want 3G / 4G you can always just get the wifi model? His argument didn't make sense..

      ^^ THAT.

      Not to mention, iBooks for students? Hello, Google also has books, and moreso, Google is Google, bigger than books. If youre a uni student, good luck trying to find many of your subject books on iBooks anyway. I dont know about Giz as awarding that one to the iPad Mini seems a bit biased for the heck of it, as I think the books thing should have been a tie if you were referring to usefulness to students specifically, since neither of them do a great job, yet.

    The Nexus 7 I tested had blisteringly fact response times does the ipad mini have the same?

    Nexus 7 - 10.5 mm thick and 340 g.
    iPad mini - 7.2 mm thick and 312 g.

    3.3 mm and 28 g - not a big deal at all.

      I think the thickness is pretty spot on for the Nexus. It's so comfortable to hold. Any thinner might feel flimsy. Weight is almost irrelevant being minute differences.

    Pad Mini 162 PPI

    Yikes, that will look horrible. D:

      Why, because it's not 'retina'?

      Unlikely. Too much is made of screen res, ironically that was started by Apple, but it's not as clear cut or quite as massive a thing as their advertising propaganda has made it seem.
      150 dpi in printing was considered acceptable for commercial colour printing... obviously not ideal, but good enough.
      Anyway, this comes down to viewing distance, it depends on how closely you'll view the 7 inch screen.
      What I think is worse is that they're still going with the old crappy fat from factor for the screen, and not using the whole iphone 5 thing as an excuse to go widescreen.

    Dick Smith has the Nexus 7 on sale for $269. Widening the gap.

    hah, I like how Giz posted this just yesterday afternoon:

    "Let’s improve the tone. The war doesn’t make any sense. This whole fanboys vs fandroids thing, the iPhone vs Galaxy, the iPad vs Kindle Fire…They’re just machines at the end of the day."

    And then not even 24hrs later post these 'showdown' articles that will no doubt incite fanboy flame wars.

      There's a difference between a well thought out discussion comparing two devices and a flame war. Are you seriously saying we're never allowed to compare the pro's and con's between the two companies ever again? I don't think it's fair to imply they're hypocrites because of this article.

        I'll also point out they compared the ipad mini to the kindle, so it's not like they're singling out the nexus

          "Are you seriously saying we're never allowed to compare the pro's and con's between the two companies ever again?"

          haha, where on earth did I say anything that even resembles that statement? I was more implying that there should be a little more consistency between the authors here. One is trying to extinguish the flame war while another is almost stoking the fire.

        I have to correct myself to a degree here. This is an article from just a couple of days ago: http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/10/report-32gb-nexus-7-nexus-4-android-4-2-to-appear-at-google-event/

        and it is far from neutral. But, still in GizAU's defense, I'd like to point out that it's a GizUS article and they're often way more biased than our Australian overlords.

    I find both of the devices to be a bit meh. I am happy with my iPad 2, will probably sell my Nexus 7. Whilst it is a good device, there aren't many good tablet apps for Android (let's be honest people), and I find the screen to be a little too small for my liking. I would however recommend the Nexus 7 to those looking for a good budget Android tablet that receives updates on a regular basis.

    As an Apple fanboy, I really must say they dropped the ball here. Worse processor than the iPhone5 (same as iPad2?), display equivelant in PPI closer to the iPad2 than iPad3/Nexus/EVERYTHINGELSE.

    It really is the iPad2-Mini, rather than iPad Mini.

    Today Apple brought out the iPad they should have 6 months ago. Are we going to have to wait 6-12 months for the iPad Mini they should have released today?

    These "close enough" release products that are in reality released before they're ready, are really destroying Apple's reputation.

    Last edited 24/10/12 4:00 pm

      Interesting how as an Apple fan you're noticing this "close enough" products from Apple (then subsequently update them the following year sporting the missing features and claiming they are magical and revolutionary), but the reality is they've been doing this since AT LEAST the release of the original iPhone. Remember how it didn't have 3G?

        No, didn't notice that because it wasn't available in Australia. ;)

    I have been using Kindle/Kindle Fire (jailbreaked for Android) for years and have found the size just right. As an Apple fan I was eager to get the mini but they seem to have blown it. This is still too big to cart around and certainly too expensive (I am not a klutz but have broken lots of these type of devices over the years and a couple of grams difference is totally irrelevant to someone who has not got fingers as long as an ape). I suspect that Apple is losing the plot and , sorry to say, that they are getting like Microsoft at the end of the last century.

    What is apples fascination with thinness, most tablets and phones and laptops are so thin now a days they are just splitting hairs over .5mm thinner than the competitor, I mean does anyone care.

    Ipadmini is just superior in all on the nexus 7.


    Next year i can sell my ipadmini for a (ipadmini or other) at more than half price at apple himself, u can't hope to sell the crap7 for more than 50 dollar after a couple if month.

    In 2 year i spend the half, for a BETTER product.

    Same is for S3 or note2, all worthless plastic compared to a iphon5. Think about it.

    It's great you considered the resell value mate.

    Guess what, in 2 years Nexus 7 users got keep the Nexus 7 and buy the next Nexus, and OMG! total of 2 devices still cheaper than one iPad mini.

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