Breaking bad: iPad versus Nexus 7 in drop test, drowning

by David Needle

July 19 2012

SquareTrade, a company that offers insurance for mobile devices, pitted the iPad against Google’s new Nexus 7 tablet to see which one would survive better after being dropped on cement and dumped in a bathtub full of water.

As they like to say on the daredevil stunt shows, don’t try this at home. Not if you want to keep your tablet in good working order anyway.

SquareTrade decided to test which of the two tablets was more durable and waterproof, dropping each on cement and submerging them in water.

The drop test looked like about a 4 1/2 foot drop in the YouTube video the company posted. SquareTrade says nine out of ten of the insurance claims it processes for tablets are the result of drops or spills. 

The screen on the Nexus 7 ended up scuffed on the back, but the IPad was the worse for wear with a cracked screen. However the test didn’t appear to be quite even in the video as the iPad landed on its edge while the Nexus 7 landed flat on its back side. 

In the bathtub test, both tablets were submerged while activated and playing a music video. A spokesman for the company noted that customers have reported dropping their tablet in lakes, swimming pools and bathtubs, so survivability in the water is a real world issue. 

When retrieved from the bathtub, the iPad continued to display and respond to touch input, but the sound was completely lost. The Nexus 7 went one better, responding to touch and continuing to play music. 

Neither Apple or Google actually claims their devices are waterproof and had they stayed submerged more than a few seconds it's quite possible they would have been rendered inoperable.

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