After dominating the larger tablet market it popularized, Apple has turned its attention to the slightly smaller screen. The 7.9-inch
When you line up the specs and the intangibles, which tablet has the upper hand: the
|Apple iPad Mini||Google Nexus 7||Kindle Fire HD|
|Operating system||iOS 6||Android 4.1||Custom Android OS|
|Price||Wi-Fi: $329 (16GB), $429 (32GB), $529 (64GB). Cellular: $459 (16GB), $559 (32GB), $659 (64GB).||$199 (16GB), $249 (32GB), $299 (32GB and HSPA+)||$199 (16GB), $249 (32GB)|
|Release date||November 2, 2012, for Wi-Fi; cellular 2 weeks later||July 13, 2012||September 14, 2012|
|Display||7.9-inch IPS, 1,024x768 pixels (163 ppi)||7-inch IPS, 1,280x800 pixels (216 ppi)||7-inch IPS, 1,280x800 pixels (216 ppi)*|
|Size||7.9 inches x 5.3 inches x 0.28 inch||7.8 inches x 4.7 inches x 0.41 inch||7.4 inches x 4.7 inches x 0.45 inch|
|Weight||0.68 pound/308 grams (0.69 pound for cellular)||0.75 pound/340 grams||0.88 pound/400 grams|
|Processor||Dual-core A5 processor||Quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3||1.2GHz dual-core TI OMAP4460|
|Memory||16GB, 32GB, or 64GB||8GB or 16GB; 1GB RAM||16GB or 32GB; 1GB RAM|
|Camera||5-megapixel rear-facing, 1080p HD video; 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, 720 HD video||1.2-megapixel front-facing||720p "Web chat" front-facing|
|Battery||"16.3-watt-hour"; 10 hours battery life (rated)||4,325mAh; 10.1 hours video battery life (tested)||4,400mAh; 5.1 hours video battery life (tested)|
|Extras||4G LTE versions available||Tegra games, HSPA+ version available||Whispersync, X-Ray, Amazon Prime|
|Ports||Lightning connector||Micro-USB||Micro-HDMI, Micro-USB|
|Color||Black, white||Black||Dark gray|
* 8.9-inch version also available with a 1,920×1,200-pixel resolution.
CNET editor Scott Stein largely praised the
So where does the iPad Mini stand? It's lighter and thinner than the competition, but the screen resolution lacks Apple's crystal clarity, and the iPad Mini's A5 dual-core processor could easily fall to the Nexus 7's quad-core CPU. What's more, the battery life is on par with rivals.
Offering two colors, three capacities, and a cellular option with 4G LTE connectivity will certainly help Apple reach a wide range of consumers, especially with the tablet presumably hooking into Verizon and AT&T's shared data plans. Also, along with the
Apple has the edge when it comes to product lore and sheer ubiquity, and the iPad Mini is a great all-around device. But for those seeking an affordable, portable in-between device, we're looking at a much more level playing field for smaller-size slates -- and an open door for future Android and Windows 8 tablets.
Update, 11:54 a.m. PT: Corrected the Kindle Fire's screen resolution and removed the expandable memory section.
Update, 5:05 p.m. PT: Added information followingand iPad Mini review.