iPad Mini: Small but Strong

Tuesday October 28, marked the unveiling of the new iPad Mini and the newest edition to the iPad  family was met with skepticism as well as intrigue. The 7.9” tablet is just the right size to hold in one hand without being too weighed down, and it is easy to fit into a bag or coat pocket. The iPad Mini weighs 0.68 lbs. and is only 7.2 millimeters thick, making it 23% thinner than its larger counterpart. However, there is one drawback: The iPad Mini costs $329 (more when you add Wi-Fi coverage), making it a little pricy for a Christmas stocking stuffer. The iPad Mini isn’t the only miniature tablet on the market, however. Its main competitor will be the Google Nexus 7.

The Google Nexus 7 has been on the market since mid-July. The screen may be smaller (only 7”) but it runs on the newest Android operating system, known as jellybean, which is reportedly very smooth and fast. The Nexus 7 has over 700,000 apps and it even has an artificial intelligence feature like Apple’s Siri. It also has one feature that the iPad Mini doesn’t have, called Google Now. Google Now is a screen that shows things like the weather, traffic, the time and even sports scores. The biggest drawback to Google Now is that you have to sacrifice some of your privacy. Google Now tracks your location and search history, and it even tries to figure out what your address is by using the location tracker to find out where the tablet is on most nights.

So which tablet is better? Well, here are the comparisons:

¨          Cost: The iPad Mini costs $329 while the Nexus 7 costs $199.

¨          Memory: Both tablets come with 16 gigabytes of memory

¨          Battery Life: Under normal usage, the Nexus 7 lasts about 10 hours and 45 minutes while the iPad Mini lasts around ten and a half hours.

¨          Apps: Both the iPad Mini and the Nexus 7’s app stores have over 700,000 apps.

¨          Camera: The iPad Mini has both front and rear cameras but the Nexus 7 only has a front camera.

¨          Artificial Intelligence: The iPad Mini has Siri , which is also on the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S. The Nexus 7 also has an artificial intelligence feature but it reportedly has trouble understanding questions.

¨          Books: Both tablets have books available, although the Nexus 7 is missing periodical content like TIME Magazine or Sports Illustrated and lacks the feature that allows you to highlight and look up a word.

All in all, there are pros and cons to both tablets. However, if I had to choose one to buy, it would be the iPad Mini. Even though it costs $130 more, I think it can do more than the Nexus 7 and I like that it doesn’t track your movements and search history. The difference in battery life is minimal and there is more content, be it apps, books or anything else. The artificial intelligence (Siri) is also much better. However, that doesn’t mean that the Nexus 7 is a bad tablet. They are both tough competitors and they are great additions to the ever growing electronics world.






Sizing Up the New iPad Mini by Walt Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, 10/31/12, section D1