6 reasons why you should buy the new Nexus 7 tablet instead of the iPad mini

by Doug Drinkwater

July 25 2013

Google’s flashy new Nexus 7 tablet debuted to some acclaim in San Francisco on Wednesday and looks set to come to retail stores as early as next week.

The big question on many buyer's minds is whether the new Nexus 7 is a better bet than Apple's iPad mini. Here are six reasons why for many buyers it might well be.

(Of course the iPad mini's plusses, including a larger screen and access to the hundreds of thousands of apps designed for the iPad in Apple's App Store are well known and may, for many buyers give Apple's device the edge regardless of advantages the new Nexus 7 offers).

A stunning hi-res display

The crowning jewel of the second-generation Nexus 7 is the 1920 x 1200 resolution display, which boasts 323 pixels per inch and an image quality that will allow users to watch films and TV programs in HD quality.

By contrast, the 1024 x 768 resolution display (162 pixels per inch) on the 7.85-inch iPad mini pales by comparison. There is talk Apple is plans to release a Retina Display version of the iPad mini, but until that happens, Nexus 7 has  a clear display edge.

Sharing with Android 4.3

For all the great features on both the iPad and the iPad mini, one feature that iOS can’t boast is the multi-user support which is offered on Android 4.2 and Android 4.3.

The new Nexus 7 is to come pre-loaded with the latest iteration of Android (4.3) and it means that not only will users be able to create their own user accounts, as introduced with Android 4.2, but that they will also be able to limit what other users can access.

So, for example, the administrator could choose to restrict access to Google Play for downloading new apps, or even limit certain gaming apps so that users only receive certain levels.

The iPad and iPad mini may be shared out in the house every now and then, but both can’t come close to the Nexus 7 when it comes to sharing and yet separating your own content.

Virtual surround sound

Tablets haven’t exactly been renowned for their great sound quality since Apple redefined the market with the first iPad three years ago, but Google is attempting to change that with the new Nexus 7.

The Android tablet comes with stereo speakers with virtual surround sound designed by Fraunhofer, the German researchers which also invented MP3 compression technology.

The price is right with the Nexus 7

Google’s latest tablet is more expensive than the original Nexus  7—which went up from $199 to $229 – but is still considerably cheaper than the iPad mini.

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While Apple’s smaller tablet starts at $329 for the 16GB Wi-Fi edition, the same-spec Nexus 7 starts at $229 and goes up to $269 for the 32GB model and $349 for the 32GB LTE tablet.

Some connectivity options

Apple’s iPads famously come without external connections for USB or HDMI. There’s a solitary dock connector for charging and that’s about it.

And while it may not be one of the bigger ‘must have’ features of the second-generation Nexus 7, the inclusion of a HDMI port is handy for those who want to connect their tablet to an external HD TV or projector. (To be clear, the Nexus 7 has a "Slimport" that lets it connect to an HDMI adapter, not included). It also has a MicroUSB port.

The Nexus 7 (probably) edges it for power

Pending benchmark testing, we don't yet know if the Nexus 7 is faster than an iPad mini, but the specs at least would suggest that the new Nexus 7 is a slightly more powerful beast.

The former employs a quad-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor (with 2GB of RAM), while the iPad mini relies on a dual-core 1GHz Cortex A9 processor.

Computing and graphic processing was something that Google promoted heavily at the launch event, especially for gaming. TabTimes Editor David Needle says the Nexus 7's performance and response time was "very snappy" in his preliminary use of the tablet at yesterday's event. 

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Doug Drinkwater is the International Editor of TabTimes and is based in London, England

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  • Evan Johannson
    1 year 2 months ago

    You make some good points eldernorm. I personally love my new nexus 7. I am new to tablets and so I do not have hands on experience to compare beyond messing around for a few minutes in the phone store and bestbuy. But I love this thing, I can do everything I want it to do with some great free apps (had to test out a couple worthless ones sure..) and ended up buying a couple that I use often. Cloud storage options are ubiquitous and easy to connect all the services I need such as text messaging from my phones (which tend to sit in my briefcase now lol) and sharing media. I can see how, if you already had a collection of very nice iOS devices it would be very easy, quick, and rewarding to achieve the same results. I personally don't and do not plan to ever have an itunes account so this does not appeal to me, but to each their own of course.

  • eldernorm
    1 year 4 months ago

    Sorry but I think the writer is a bit bias here. Pretty much all the Apple series comes with airplay which lets you stream your iPad phone touch Pod to an Apple TV and then to the tv.

    Yes you need an Apple TV but its all done wirelessly, your not stuck with a wired connection.

    Now, the new Nexus may be good or even better than the iPad mini but will it easily connect with your iPhone, iPod touch, mac computer, etc. Apple is building such a joined eco system using iCloud and more that it will be hard to find a product that can connect and share so easliy.
    PS, do not forget that iOS 7 is coming out shortly and all iPad 2 and up will get it free ( and iOS 8 too). Just saying.

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