Gone are the days when Apple was the undisputed topper of the tablet market. The 7-inch tablet arena is now facing three contenders for the top spot: Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD, Google’s Nexus 7 along with Apple’s iPad Mini. While Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7 share Android as OS, they are strikingly different devices. iPad Mini has its own characteristic features and for veteran iOS users, it is a treat. So how do they stack up against each other? Which one stands higher than the rest? Which one is not worth the hype? Let’s find out.
Round 1. Display
When it comes to screen size, Apple highlighted iPad Mini’s 7.9-inch display against Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7’s 7-inch screens. However pixel resolution of the latter two, at 1200x800p at 216ppi emerges a clear winner over iPad Mini’s 1024x768p at 163ppi. This essentially means that iPad Mini will show bigger pixels while the Android tabs will show more pixels. So, while iPad Mini is good for webpages and ebooks, for images, Fire HD and Nexus 7’s sharper display is ideal.
Round 2. Design
Compared to iPad Mini’s pleasantly thin contours, Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD feel chunky even though neither of them have a rear camera, while iPad Mini fits a 5MP snapper in its thin form. iPad Mini is also lighter than the other two (although Nexus 7 is only about an ounce heavier), which makes it a better gadget to hold and carry.
Round 3. Battery
iPad Mini has a 16.3-watt hour battery that claims to last 10 hours. Nexus 7 is equipped with a 4325mAh battery that lasts 10.1 hours through video playback. Kindle fire HD has a more powerful battery of 4400mAh, and its battery life is slightly better than the other two; it lasts about 11 hours through video playback.
Round 4. Software
In this respect, it is basically an Apple’s iOS vs. Android showdown. For a busy user, Android is a better choice because of its open interface and smooth multitasking. Nexus 7 has Android 4.1(JellyBean) and Fire HD has customised Android 4.0. With JellyBean, the integration of Project Butter makes Nexus 7’s performance even smoother. Fire HD’s Android loses some of its edge due to Amazon’s remodelling of the OS. For new users, iPad Mini’s iOS takes some time to get used to, but for integration with computer, it is far better.
Round 5. Hardware
iPad Mini is run by a dual core A5X processor, which is quite smooth for a tablet and browsing and gaming experience is excellent. Nexus 7 has quad-core Tegra 3 processor with 1GB RAM. Thanks to more CPU cores, gaming is especially good in this Google device; 3D games play ceaselessly. Fire HD has a dual core processor clocked at 1.2GHz with 1GB of RAM. Fire HD has a front HD camera while Nexus 7 has a 1.2MP front camera. iPad Mini has a 5MP rear camera and a 1.2MP front camera.
ROund 6. Price
Approximate price of iPad Mini (16GB) is Rs. 17677, that of Kindle Fire HD (32GB) is Rs. 20571 and Nexus 7 sells for Rs. 19990 in India.
Round 7. Apps
Both Google and Apple have done well to develop and customize apps for the devices. While Apple will tell you it has over 275000 apps for iPad, the Android apps for Nexus 7 score better in terms of quality and pricing. Fire HD uses Amazon’s Appstore instead of Play Store, but it reduces its app inventory substantially.
Round 8. Pros and Cons
- Fast processor
- 4G support
- Low pixel density display
- Quad core processor
- No front camera
Kindle Fire HD
- 1GB RAM
- Fast processor
- Poor video chatting experience
My Verdict: iPad Mini vs Kindle Fire HD vs Nexus 7
All three tablets belong to the 7-inch category, which often makes critics and users pit them against each other. However, to truly find out a winner, you either have to be biased or consider only certain aspects. That’s because all specs taken into account, the competition between iPad Mini and Nexus 7 is very close. Kindle Fire HD, with less capable Android OS, a poor 720p video chatting camera, lack of microSD card slot, falls behind the competition.
So according to me iPad Mini is the winner. But if there would have been front camera in Nexus 7, I would have definitely chosen Nexus 7 as the winner. Which according to you is the best tablet? Let us know your thoughts under Comments.