iPad Mini with Retina Display vs. Nexus 7 (2013): Specs Compared

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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?  


  ipad mini 2 retina  1382454925

Apple iPad mini with Retina display  Google Nexus 7 (2013)
Starting Price  $399 $229.99 
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
RAM  512MB


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. 

MORE: Apple iPad mini with Retina Display: Hands-on

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".

MORE: Amazon Kindle Fire HDX vs. Google Nexus 7: Which Tablet Is Better?

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. 

Author Bio
Cherlynn Low
Cherlynn Low, LAPTOP Staff Writer
Cherlynn joined the Laptopmag team in June 2013 and has since been writing about all things tech and digital with a focus on mobile and Internet software development. She also edits and reports occasionally on video. She graduated with a M.S. in Journalism (Broadcast) from Columbia University in May 2013 and has been designing personal websites since 2001.
Cherlynn Low, LAPTOP Staff Writer on
Add a comment
  • Mark Says:

    Um, iPad mini 2 has 1 GB of ram?

  • Greg Brown Says:

    Can you provide a link to the source of the specs for the Retina iPad Mini? Apple's site does not say how much RAM the Mini includes.

  • Dave Says:

    Where did you get the info that the ipad Mini retina has 512mb ram?

    Or is this just a guess? If so, poor journalism.

  • Jesus Akbar Says:

    It is silly to compare the screen sizes. "also has a larger 7.9-inch screen"

    Perhaps Google should release a 9 inch tablet? Maybe that extra inch is better?

    You cannot say 'size x' is better than 'size y' because it's all preference. If i want a smaller car I'd get a compact and I wouldn't compare it to a pickup. I also wouldn't say a pickup is better than a compact.

  • Zinc64 Says:

    Pixel density is the same on both devices…Mini has a 4:3 aspect ratio versus 16:10 on the Nexus.

    Besides GPS and OTG...the Nexus also has NFC and wireless charging.

  • JohnDoe Says:

    Very nice, just A7 chip has 1GB RAM.

  • Funem Says:

    The Nexus 7 support OTG in conjunction with apps like the Nexus Media importer, I use a micro USB key which has 64gb, in theory I could connect a full hard disk, so it supports external storage for films, music and other files. You can also stream, read and write files from network shares with little effort. This was the clincher for me.

  • LTM Says:

    In fairness, the Nexus 7 also includes built in GPS for the basic cost, whereas you've got to pay for the LTE feature on the Mini. Also, there is a way to expand storage using the small meenova microsd card adapter and the nexus media importer app.

    Both add to the excellent value of the Nexus 7.

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