As a longtime iOS user and iPad owner, I’m intrigued by the latest revision to the Nexus 7. It’s a better device in pretty much every way than the device that proceeded it, and it’s a serious competitor to the iPad mini now that Google and Asus have had a generation to refine the hardware. Inside, I compare several aspects of the iPad mini with the Nexus 7, including casing, camera, and comfort. Have a look.
The new Nexus 7 has a more svelte design than the original Nexus, yet its basic look and feel remain quite similar to the first iteration. You’ll still notice that, outside of the screen, the device is entirely comprised of plastic. The rubberized tacky backing of the device, something that’s become somewhat of a staple to Nexus tablets, is still there, love it or hate it. I personally don’t mind it.
The iPad, on the other hand, is the opposite when it comes to design. It’s very high quality, with an full aluminum casing. It feels expensive, and looks the part as well. The iPad wins this category pretty handily if you ask me.
For those of you who enjoy using your tablet in portrait mode, I find that the Nexus is much easier to hold, due to its smaller width. The opposite seems true in landscape mode, where the iPad mini’s thinness makes it easier for thumbs to sweep across the display.
Because of its size, the Nexus is the more portable device, but for those of you looking for a bigger screen, the iPad is the obvious choice. In terms of size, it’s a toss up depending on what you prefer.
The Nexus’ screen is far smaller than the iPad mini’s, but the Nexus features a much denser screen that’s capable of displaying full HD content. Comparatively speaking, the iPad mini is a low resolution display, but Apple still somehow manages to make it look respectable.
You won’t notice a huge difference with standard definition content, but when it comes to HD movies, games, and text, the difference is definitely noticeable. If you can’t live without a so-called “Retina” quality display, then ditch the iPad, and go with the Nexus.
Taking pictures using a tablet is never ideal, but if you’re in a pinch where it’s your only camera, then you’ll have to make due. With that said, the Nexus 7 is the more enjoyable shooter to use. Its built in camera options put the iPad mini’s lack of options to shame. As far as the end results and picture quality, neither is going to result in a masterpiece, but I find the Nexus shots to be more visually appealing.
The benchmarks for the Nexus 7 blow away the iPad mini. If you’re going purely on benchmark scores, then it’s not even worth discussing. Games run faster, animations are smoother, and actions seems snappier on the Nexus 7 hardware.
The iPad, for all of its lackluster scores, is still pretty good when it comes to performing simple day to day tasks, such as web browsing and the like. Just don’t expect it to be able to handle intense tasks like high quality games on the same level as the Nexus 7.
From reading this and watching the video, you’d think that the overall synopsis would be a runaway victory by the Nexus, but not so fast. There’s one common denominator in all of this that tends to even out things, and that’s the operating system.
For me, at least in my admittedly limited experience with Android, iOS evens out the playing field quite nicely. Its built in animations i.e. rubber banding, make it seem much smoother than it really is, and all of the subtleties and attention to detail makes up a lot of ground when the hardware underneath just isn’t up to par.
If I wanted to play a particular game, and it was available on both the Nexus 7 and the iPad mini, I’d pick up the Nexus 7 version, simply because in 9/10 cases, it will run better. But instances like that aren’t common enough, and iOS and the services and apps that come with it make it a difficult decision.
I’m extremely excited about the Nexus 7, and look forward to getting to know Android even more over the next few months. I’m still a big fan of iOS, but the Nexus 7 has definitely made me a believer in Android, and in Google’s ability to put out great hardware.