Nexus 7 2013 vs iPad mini: more than a pixel race

Chris Burns - Jul 24, 2013, 2:12pm CDT
Nexus 7 2013 vs iPad mini: more than a pixel race

If you’re getting ready to buy a brand new tablet on the smaller end of the spectrum and you’re deciding between the new Nexus 7 and the iPad mini, you may very well be asking yourself the wrong question. This comparison goes well beyond the basics – screen sharpness, body size, and processing power – and it’s not just about Android vs iOS, either. Unless you’re just planning on browsing the web, these two tablets are cut from completely different bits of cloth.

With the 2013 edition of the Nexus 7, you’re working with ASUS as a manufacturer, the same as the original Nexus 7 – Apple, on the other hand, manufactures their own hardware and controls their software experience top-to-bottom as well. This release from Google comes with Android 4.3, an upgrade to their operating system being made for the rest of their Nexus smartphone and tablet line just today as well.


The Apple iPad mini (this is the original iPad mini, mind you), works with a 7.9-inch IPS LCD display with 1024 x 768 pixel resolution, coming in at 163 PPI. The Nexus 7 (2013) works with a 7-inch display with 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution, that kicking it up to the new most densely-packed panel in the tablet universe at 323 PPI.


*Note: the smartphone market still wins with the HTC One bringing on 468 PPI, and if the pixels from the Nexus 7 were packed into the same space as the HTC One works with across a 4.7-inch display, it’d narrowly miss the spot for kingship itself.


Inside the iPad mini you’ve got an Apple-branded 1GHz dual-core A5 processor, while the Nexus 7 2 works with a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, working with Adreno 320 graphics. The Apple iPad mini works with 512MB of RAM while the Google tablet ramps up to 2GB RAM.

We’ll have to wait for benchmark tests to see how these two compare, but when you’ve got two massively different operating systems and two rather different sets of hardware to run them, comparisons are best left to real-life use-tests. We’ll see how it rolls soon enough!


The Nexus 7 2 works with a 1.2 megapixel camera on its front and a 5 megapixel camera at its back, the same as the iPad mini – but as both machines work with completely different camera architecture (it’s not just based on numbers), we’ll have to wait – again – and see how the two compare in real-life video and photo shoots.


The iPad mini currently exists in three configurations as far as internal storage goes: 16, 32, and 64GB, while the 2013 Nexus 7 has been shown in 16GB and 32GB iterations. Nexus 7 2 works with Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band Wi-fi, 4G LTE with each of the USA’s major mobile carriers, and NFC. The iPad mini has these same features in-tact save the NFC – it has none.

UPDATE: The Nexus 7 works with T-Mobile while the iPad mini works with Sprint, while both can work with Verizon or AT&T.


Apple’s iPad mini uses its own unique Lightening cord to connect to your PC or the wall for power while the Nexus 7 2 uses a standard microUSB port. The 2013 Nexus 7 works with wireless charging – QI standard wireless charging, that is – as well.

The Apple iPad mini has a relatively wide range of costs, different for each of its storage sizes and connectivity: $329 (16GB Wi-Fi), $429 (32GB Wi-Fi), $529 (64GB Wi-Fi), $459 (16GB 4G LTE), $559 (32GB 4G LTE), $659 (64GB 4G LTE). The Google Nexus 7 reboot rings in at $229 (16GB Wi-Fi), $269 (32GB Wi-Fi), $349 (32GB 4G LTE), and at the moment appears to be starting shipping on the 30th of July, 2013, with 4G LTE editions coming “soon”.

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78 Responses to Nexus 7 2013 vs iPad mini: more than a pixel race

  1. But I like the iPad Mini size better and the bezel at the top and bottom of the iPad Mini is much thinner or less wide. iPad Mini looks so much prettier than the Nexus. If I had to choose between these two , I would most definitely go with the iPad Mini., even though the the Ram might be less on the iPad Mini ,it will run just as well as the Nexus 7 . There are just too many other things to consider beside the ram. The Nexus 7 tablets have always had wide bezels and have always looked unattractive to me. The have a bulky look , because of the thick bezel , although they are thin. An Attractive appearance counts for 80% of a product for me.

    • The bezel is fine. If you think about it, we hold our phones in one hand (yes, even the 5″ ones), and use the other hand to operate. Our fingers can clamp the phone on its sides.
      With small tablets like this, it ain’t possible, so we have to hold an edge instead, obviously four fingers + palm will be on the back, while the thumb will need to be firmly planted on the front… on the bezel(!).
      So it makes sense on it being that “big”.
      In my opinion, the ipadm looks a bit ugly because of the large bezels on the top and bottom, kinda like a big forehead and chin sort of deal. But that’s just me, the new N7 is a pretty good looker in my book.

      • No , no that is a poor excuse for a wide bezel. All smartphones don’t have them that wide and all tablets don’t have bezels that wide. The xperia Z is a good example.
        But the Neus tablets have an ugly design anyway besides the awfully wide bezel . They are so narrow that look like phones.

        • They look like phablets instead of tablets? What does that even mean?
          And what do you mean poor excuse? I literally gave a very practical example of why the bezels are so “huge”.
          And to me this is a BENEFIT.
          If I’m leaning this up against my stomach while laying down, the bottom of the screen doesn’t get cut off, or if I prop it up against something and need something in front to make sure it doesn’t slip, I can still see the screen. I can hold it tightly and not cover up a screen.
          To me these are benefits, maybe you don’t like’em for whatever reason but you can’t prove my opinion wrong otherwise.

        • Yes , it is very narrow when held in portrait mode. I didn’t say it should be bezel less , I said the bezel is too wide and it is. The xperia Z doesn”t have that wide a bezel and no one has trouble holding it. Maybe you just don’t know how to hold a tablet to start with.

        • They made the bezel that wide for the purpose n11 mentioned before: ease of use when holding it to read a book, browse the web, etc.. You don’t have to try and grab it all in one hand like the iPad Mini. And even if you DID want to hold it with one hand, it’s possible because the actual device is thin enough to hold it that way. Phones are about half that size so of course they don’t need a wide bezel… What the hell? I’m honestly dumbstruck by your comments, it’s incredible.

        • I don’t mind a bit that you are “dumbstruck” by my comment and I still hold to what I said. The bezel is just too wide and the tablet itself is too narrow when held in portrait. To me , it’s simply a tiny ugly thing. To each his own.

        • “Attractive appearance counts for 80% of a product for me”,

          “The bezel is just too wide and the tablet itself is too narrow when held in portrait. To me , it’s simply a tiny ugly thing.”

          @e5e7158110f13ffa5b0d7e8be9efa63a:disqus you can’t please sheep, to each their own as what was said. Appearance over functionality, like you I am in awe at the shallow “hey I know what I’m talking about…maybe” responses. It didn’t even seem to matter the other has better features, nooo…. The iPad mini just looks better and so in turn I would look cooler mentality even when I have no idea what it does or how to use it “fully” but hey I can play piano no it….

    • Nexus 7 is much better to hold in hand (even small hand) and it is not slippery like the aluminium Apple iPad mini.

      • But it’s too small and has the wide bezel and I don’t care how it fits in my hand. How a tablet or phone for that matter , fits into my hand is not importandtto me.

        • I agree that it’s not for me , but it’s not necessarily for “Everyone” else. Not “Everyone”
          cares how it fits in the hand. Just you tech geeks

        • it doesn’t matter how it fits in your hand? Then why does Apple go on and on about how nice the iPad Mini feels in hand? ergonomics play a huge part in the appeal of these devices. even apple with their decidedly ‘non geek’ keynotes will tell you that.

          while looks may be what matters most to you, thats not what defines a device.

          if that were the case, samsung would sell significantly less devices and nokia considerably more.

        • Why Apple goes on and on about how it fits in the hand. is just a marketing gimmick . Tell someone something long enough and they might start to believe it. I pay none of this marketing stuff any attention. If it matters to you how it fits in your hand , then good for you . But I personally don’t care how it “Fits” in my hand. I use two hands any way .

    • “iPad Mini looks so much prettier than the Nexus.”

      Because, you know, that is what matters with technology. Edison was so much prettier than Tesla.

      iOS users. smh x infinity

      • I’m not an IOS user. I don’t have any Apple devices as of yet. But it is possible that I might get an iPad , but never an iPhone. Apple iPads are still better than Android tablets.

      • Whatever . Truth is you don’t like what I said so you call me a troll. How old are you ? Oh don’t answer , if you did , you would not be allowed to post here..

        • I actually don’t mind what you said, even though I disagree with your opinion. I called you a troll because you flame every remark made rather then just expressing your opinion once and being done. No one cares about your replies. If anyone needs to grow up, it’s you. L8 TrollXZ

        • I have not flamed every remark made. Like others , I have given what I think about the Nexus 7 and that has INFLAMED all you Nexus lovers and you send me derogatory responses .You are the one who needs to grow up and stop your childish name calling. Please . Do you see what a response you sent me ? Do you NOT expect a similar one in return ? Double standard it seems.

        • Who said I was a nexus lover, I just said I disagreed with your opinion. You can delude yourself all you want.. I just counted 17 replies when only 1 was necessary. Happy Trolling.. HAHAHAHAH.. Reply count down: 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1

        • Yea . Please take a chill pill and lie down a while. It will help with your blood pressure.

  2. Unless you specifically want iOS, nobody in their right minds would want the current iPad mini over the new Nexus 7. The competition will begin again once Apple release an updated iPad mini. But they are going to have to step up their game considerably (especially in the screen department) to match the latest N7.

    • I don’t care for ios , but I would never in a hundred years choose that ugly nexus. If It came down to choosing between these two , it would definitely be the iPad Mini. But thankfully , there are other options other than these two.

      • You’d choose the iPad Mini because it has a worse screen, is slower, generally has worse specs, costs 60% more but mostly because looks prettier? Good luck with that.

        The original N7 is an outstanding device because it’s cheap and fits in most jacket pockets (the iPad mini simply doesn’t). It does a hell of a lot. I keep 40+ browser tabs open – try that on an iPad mini.

        Regarding people’s complaints over bezels – I used to think the same way, until I tried the N7 – don’t notice the bezels. If anything I’ve started to honestly like them – it makes it easier to hold without covering stuff on the screen.

        • Well, that’s what iOS devices are for – to cater to iDiots who only care about looks :)

        • I said that I did NOT like ios , but if I had to choose between it and the Nexus 7 , I would choose the iPad Mini and I would. But fortunaely I don’t have to choose between these two as there are other options in tablets. But Yes A good looking tablet is also a factor in choosing one. I do overlook a a child’s name calling. Write 500 times on your Nexus 7 tablet , “I will not name call because it is childish “

        • Why is a good looking tablet important when choosing one? Who are you trying to impress with it? I’d say all other things being equal, it might be a factor, but certainly not a priority. Not even close.

        • Ok, but sticking to reality for a moment, the N7 simply does much, much more at a much lower price, with a more convenient form factor. Ignore the OS.
          I have a stylish, if crazy over sized, and crazy over priced case for my N7 (Portenzo Book, or something or other – I wouldn’t recommend it wholeheartedly, but it is OK) and the iPad Mini acolytes drool over it thinking it is some uber new tablet. I laugh (on the inside) and run VPNs, rsync, 40 tabs and various apps on my N7 and just get on with life. The bezels or finish aren’t everything, especially once you actually, you know, use it.

        • I’m an old IT hand…actually used punch cards and acoustic modems. I have a 4S and an iPad2, which is nearly the same hardware sans screen as the Mini.

          I can do about 99% of my job on the iPad2. I have an app for everything I need to do. The only weakness or complaint I have is printing support or lack thereof. That’s the 800lb gorilla for IOS…if Apple wants to increase Kool Aid consumption, they have to address it better.

          If they release a Retina Mini at $299, which is what they must do, I’ll probably drop $499 for a 64GB model and give the old 2 to a friend or relative.

          My 30 y/o son is a big Android fan and has a Nexus phone. I’ve observed that he’s had issues with phone and apps while I have not had any issues on my iDevices at all. I’m not a fan of anything; I use what works most reliably. They’re tools, not cool toys for me.

        • I’ll say it again this way. Plain and simple , I do NOT like the Nexus 7 , the Nexus 10 , or the Nexus Phone. To each his own. Choice , is freedom.

        • Wait, wait. So you would dismiss the Nexus 7 and it’s faster processor, higher resolution display, cheaper cost, etc. and choose the iPad Mini JUST because of the looks? That’s several benefits you would get from the Nexus 7 thrown out the window because of ONE factor? Again, dumbstruck.

        • I would be the Mini based on the way it looks too! Who wants something that looks ugly and you have to use it on a daily basis? As long as it works; that all it counts! It cost more because it looks better!

        • That’s right. I surely would. Because it runs fast and is very smooth. Plus it has the looks too. Yep , I’d choose it over that unattractive Nexus 7 any day.

        • Most reasons are meaningless. It’s what one prefers that matters. Not the reasons for their preference.

        • Dont worry.. I get what you’re saying. My Note 8 is beautiful and functional(beats the crap out of probably every other tab) and I didn’t mind spending the little extra to get such a beautiful beast.

        • Yes , the Note is beautiful and I would prefer it to the others around. But I was comparing the iPad Mini to Nexus 7 and would definitely choose the iPad Mini between the two. Not saying that I prefer the iPad Mini over all Tablets.

  3. I still can’t believe that Apple only put 512MB of RAM in the iPad Mini. I can’t see spending over $600 for the top of the line Mini when Apple has it on the fast track to obsolescence. It’s a shame because I really would buy one.

      • Yeah, but for how much longer? iOS 7 will likely make it run slower because it uses more memory. And will it even be supported by iOS 8? It’s not like you can stay on the current OS versiin for very long because over time, most of the apps will require the later OSes. I got burned by the iPad 1 this way. The only reason I can think of why Apple did this is because they didn’t want the Mini to be spec’d higher than the iPad 2. But both will probably be retired at the same time.

        • Actually, ignoring the increased OS demands for a moment, there’s also the question of how many apps (and cached content) you can run at the same time. Good luck with running >10 tabs in a browser on an iPad Mini. I regularly run > 40 on a first gen N7. JPEGs aren’t and haven’t changed in size – you can simply keep more on screen and in cache on a device with more memory.

        • Agreed, I never thought about the future. Also the next gen iPad mini cant be expected much in terms of specs. If they did people would stop buying the big iPad and would opt for the much handy mini.

        • Yes , I know what I am talking about. Your problem is that you prefer something else .

        • Actually, he is right. You don’t know what you’re talking about because what you wrote was factually wrong. Not surprised you wrote it though looking at all the other crap you’ve written.

        • Don’t talk about crap that someone writes , You write a lot of that crappy stuff too. You are just like him. You don’t like the iPads and prefer the Android tablets . And you call what anyone says to the contrary “crap” Pleaze give me a break dude.

        • Well, what you wrote was incorrect. So it was crap.

          You may dispute opinion. But when you get your facts wrong, you have nowhere to go with your arguments.

        • It’s not crap. The iPad is just as fast as the Android with using less power. You just don’t want to believe that an iPad is a better all round tablet than the bugy , lagging Androids.

        • It’s 1GB, not 1TB btw.

          Every review I’ve seen of the nexus 7 2013 says it’s fast and responsive, so I’m calling you out on spreading crap again with your claims of buggy, lagging android. That is simply not the case on the nexus 7 2013.

          The low res screen on the iPad mini helps with speed as well. You can get away with using a less powerful processor when you have such a low res screen.

        • Number one , I don’t like the Nexus brand. Number two , the Nexus is too narrow. , as are all Android tablets. I prefer the design of the iPad and the iPad mini. Until Android makes one with the ratio that the iPads have , I will stay with the iPads. They look more like a real tablet. Don’t won’t nor will I buy a narrow looking tablet I don’t care how fast or how well they are rated. They are not for me.

        • I don’t like narrow screens much either. You can get android tablets that don’t have a narrow screen but they are less common.

  4. Apart from the mini iPad atrocious lack of pixels, in portrait, the mini would be better due to the aspect ratio, but as soon as you want to watch a movie in landscape, up comes thick black bands, and your viewing area is reduced dramatically. Quite frankly, for playing games, watching movies, viewing you tube, the nexus wins hands down. Not even a comparison. If you wish to do paper work, the mini would be better. But if you wish to do paper work, I’d pick the full size iPad or any other full size tablet. As with many things Apple brings out, it’s a good idea but badly executed. If the mini was retina, it would be much better, almost worth the money, almost, actually it’s bloody pricey.

    • The iPad mini has a 4:3 aspect ratio, the Nexus 7 has 16:10. What on god’s earth are you talking about?

      • Movies are in wide screen. When a movie is played on the iPad mini, there is black bars top and bottom. The nexus doesn’t have that problem. So in the end, you get a smaller picture on the mini.

    • Actually every TV show before the mid 2000s was 4:3 so on anything other than iPads you’ll get thick black vertical bands. But whereas zooming widescreen on 4:3 fills the screen with minor picture loss at the edges, stretching 4:3 footage to fill widecreens doesn’t work. Also films are in either 1.85:1 or 2.39:1 so in the original form you’ll get bars on 16:9 screens. BTW this is 16:10 so you’ll STILL get black bars even if the content is 16:9.

      • Yes yes, I know this. Yes you still well get a small black bar at top and bottom on the nexus, but it will be heaps worse on the mini. You either get fat black bars ( letter boxing as you use to with the old defunct televisions of yesteryear) or the picture will have to be cropped and you miss a third of the picture. I was just saying that the nexus screen ratio is better suited for movies. There is a reason why tv’s are not made in the old fashioned 4:3 ratio. The world has moved on from that. Even computer screens are being made in the wider ratio.

        • The problem is that this is not a tv. For web browsing the iPad mini will be heaps better than the nexus 7 because of the 4:3 screen ratio of the iPad Mini.

  5. I would never buy a tablet for myself. I’d rather put the money towards tech I would use regularly. That being said, we do have a tablet (my wife’s) that gets used from time to time. It is aged though and could use replacing. At these specs and price point (Nexus), the N7 II is probably at the top of my list.

    The only reason I’d even consider the iPad is because my wife has a 4s and uses iCloud. But it UTTERLY galls me to think about spending $429 for 32GB on that crappy (by comparison) hardware. $349 for a 32GB LTE equipped slab is a deal.

    Kind of disappointed no WiFi ac though.

  6. Just because the Nexus 7 has higher end components means nothing in choice which is better for the person. Most people do not care about screen resolution nor do they care about the speed of the processor or a better far superior graphics chip set. Many will love the look of one over another; another might weigh which has higher status and still a third might think about quality of the devices.
    I take to some one who is going to be buying a small tablet and I told him about the superiority of the Nexus 7 2nd generation and it just when in one ear and out the next. She did not care about either the far superior technology that the Nexus 7 had over the iPad Mini in almost all areas. She like the white color of the iPad Mini!

  7. Nexus 7 2013 has quad core processor, 2GB RAM, LTE version, full HD display 323ppi, 290g weight, 8.65mm thin (340g, 10.45mm previous model), NFS, wireless charging, Cinematic stereo surround audio (Fraunhofer Cingo mobile audio for 5.1 virtual surround sound, with or without headphones; Fraunhofer is the creator of mp3 technology), 5mp rear camera, 1.2mp front camera.
    It is aimed on much more expensive Apple iPad mini (308g, 7.2 mm, awful 1024×768 display 163ppi, dual core A5 processor).

  8. I’ve said before Apple has it right with 4:3 ratio for tablets which are used more vertically. Just look at the pics of the 2 side by side showing the bigger you go the more ridiculous 16:10 (or 16:9) looks in vertical aspect. The nexus comes off like an oversized cellphone that I doubt would be as good as phablets from Sammy & Sony.

    I notice battery life wasn’t mentioned & that stat trumps penis measuring over pixels. The Mini’s achilles is it’s price which being not far from makes the iPad look more enticing.

  9. The iPad mini costs too damn much for what it does, the nexus 7 is is an iPad mini killer. Apple’s only recourse is to add retina display.

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