Apple has finally announced the iPad mini with Retina display, the long-anticipated follow-up to the iPad mini. With a super sharp 2048 x 1536 Retina display, this 8-inch, $399 tablet will excite many Apple fans, but consumers with more neutral tastes will be tempted by Google's 7-inch, $229 Nexus 7. Which small form-factor tablet is right for you?
|Apple iPad mini with Retina display||Google Nexus 7 (2013)|
|CPU||Apple A7||1.5-GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro|
|Display||7.9 inches /2048 x 1536||7 inches / 1920 x 1200|
|OS||iOS 7||Android 4.3|
|Storage||16GB, 32GB, 64GB or 128GB||16GB or 32GB|
|Expandable Storage||none||no microSD slot|
|Battery||23.8-watt-hour lithium-polymer||3,950 mAh|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n); MIMO||Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n)|
|Size||7.87 x 5.3 x 0.29 inches||7.9 x 4.5 x 0.34 inches|
|Weight||11.68 ounces||10.24 ounces|
|Cameras Rear / Front||5-MP iSight / 1.2-MP FaceTime HD||5-MP/1.2-MP|
|Ports||Lightning connector; headphone||headphone; microUSB|
Apple has bumped the second generation iPad mini's resolution to 2048 x 1536, up from the 1024 x 768 display on its predecessor. That beats the Nexus 7 (2013)'s 1920 x 1200. The iPad mini with Retina display also has a larger 7.9-inch screen compared to the Nexus 7 (2013)'s 7 inches. Both tablets sport identical cameras when it comes to megapixels, both packing 5-MP rear and 1.2-MP front cameras. Unfortunately the iPad mini with Retina display doesn't use the same iSight camera sensor as the iPhone 5s, but with iOS 7's camera app and the image signal processing of the A7 chip, the Apple tablet is expected to take beautiful shots.
The iPad mini with Retina display will run on Apple's A7 chip (up from A5 on the first-generation iPad mini) with 64-bit architecture that the company says will bring desktop-class performance to the slate. Google's Nexus 7 (2013) on the other hand comes with a 1.5-GHz, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro. RAM-wise, the iPad mini with Retina display's 512MB is dismal compared to the Nexus 7 (2013)'s 2GB.
Both tablets are about the same size. Despite its larger screen, the 7.87 x 5.3 x 0.29-inch Apple slate is just a hair smaller than the 7.9 x 4.5 x 0.3-inch Nexus 7 (2013), but is somewhat heavier at 11.68 ounces (Nexus 7 (2013): 10.24 ounces).
While you can get almost all the most popular apps in both the Google Play and Apple App Store these days, Apple still takes the lead in app offerings. There are now more than 1 million iOS apps in the App Store, and more than 375,000 of those are optimized for tablets. Most apps on the Google Play store are still designed for smaller phone screens, and Google does not provide a specific count for tablet-compatible apps. Several popular titles are also exclusive to the iPad such as "Dark Sky" and "Infinity Blade 2".
We're waiting to get our hands on the new Apple slate to put it to the test, but overall the iPad mini with Retina display appears to boast a better screen and app offerings than the Nexus 7 (2013). Stay tuned for our hands-on results to see if the new iPad mini is worth the $170 premium.