Google Nexus 7 vs Apple iPad mini

Google’s Nexus 7 tablet bests the new iPad mini while costing at times less than half the price.

Apple last week announced details of its new mini iPad, and Google today updated the specifications and pricing for its Nexus 7, which was released earlier this year.

The new lower pricing on the Nexus 7 widens still further the pricing gap between it and the iPad mini.  A similar 16GB unit would cost $199 or $329, and a similar 32GB unit would cost $249 or $429.  If you wanted to add GPS (and we think the 7″ tablet form factor is ideal to have the device be used as an outdoors GPS unit) then the price differential blows out to $199 compared to $459 (more than twice as much) or $249 compared to $549 (again, more than twice as much).

In terms of what you get for your money, the equation becomes a bit more diffuse.  The iPad mini has an appreciably larger screen, but with fewer pixels on it, compared to the Nexus 7.  Which is more important and relevant to you – the screen size or the pixels on it?  The answer to that is slightly subjective, but in this case, the 30% increase in pixels on the Nexus 7 probably slightly outweighs the greater dimension of the iPad mini screen.

In terms of size, there’s very little difference (well, the iPad mini is 0.6″ wider but 0.12″ thinner) and in terms of weight, the Nexus 7 is 1.1 ounces heavier.  We don’t see these differences are relevant.

Some people might bemoan the lack of cameras on both sides of the Nexus 7 – it has one facing the user but not one facing away for ‘normal’ photography.  But the chances are your phone has a better camera in it than the iPad mini, so you’d not normally choose to use your tablet for photography anyway.

In summary, we’re a bit ambivalent about the screen differences, but we can’t deny the stark difference in price, and so for that reason we judge the Nexus 7 to be your better choice for a smaller sized tablet unit.  The table below lists the key specifications of both units so you can form your own conclusion, too.

Apple iPad mini Google Nexus 7
Size 7.9″ x 5.3″ x 0.28″ 7.8″ x 4.7″ x 0.4″
Weight 10.9 oz 12 oz
Screen Size 7.9″ 7.0″
Screen Resolution 1024 x 768 163 ppi 1280 x 800 216 ppi
Rear camera 5 MP No
Front camera 1.2 MP 1.2 MP
Battery life 16.3 WHr, 10 hrs  16 Whr 10.5 hrs
Removable battery  No No
Processor A5 dual core 1GHz Nvidia Quadcore Tegra 3 1.3GHz
GPS Cost $130 more Included
Memory 1 GB
Storage 16GB or 32GB or 64GB 16GB or 32GB
SD No No
Connectors Lightning, 3.5mm headphone Micro USB, 3.5mm headphone
NFC No Yes
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n 802.11 b/g/n
Price $329 16GB Wi-Fi
$429 32GB Wi-Fi
$529 64GB Wi-Fi
Add $130 for GPS and Wireless data
$199 16GB Wi-Fi
$249 32GB Wi-Fi
$299 32GB Wi-Fi and Wireless data
Availability Two weeks to ship In stock

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