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25October

iPad mini, a real competetion?

iPad mini, a real competetion?

This article exceptionally won't deal with the typical development stuff. As most of you already know, Apple has launched its iPad mini which should be a competition to smaller tablets like Asus Nexus 7. After the upsurge under the guru Steve Jobs, Apple's innovation motor starts more and more to stutter. In this article I want to present some of my personal opinion respective the iPad mini and if it can take the competition with tablets like the Asus Nexus 7.

 

Technical Facts

Technical Facts

iPad mini

ASUS Nexus 7 *

Display

1024x768 @ 163 ppi

1280x800 @ 216 ppi

CPU

1 GHZ dual core ARM Cortex-A9

1,3 GHZ quad core Nvidia Tegra-3

GPU

Dual core PowerVR SGX543MP2 – same GPU as in iPad2

12 core Nvidia GeForce ULP

RAM

512 MB DDR2 build in A5 package

1024 MB DDR3-SDRAM

Camera

720p HD Front Camera
5 MP Back Camera

1,2 MP Front Camera

Storage

16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB

16 GB and 32 GB

Wireless available

Wi-Fi, Bluetooh 4.0, 3G/4G, LTE

Wi-Fi, Bluetooh 3.0, NFC, 3G, HSDPA+

Price starts at

$329

$199

 * Google has announced that on November 13th the new version of the Asus Nexus 7 (with 3G moreover the 8 GB version was stopped) will be available.

 

So let’s take first a closer look to the hardware of both devices. The iPad mini has a 7,9” display while the Asus Nexus 7 has “only” a 7” display. If we trust the information and comparison in Apple’s keynote, this makes a big difference. Ok, in this point we will simply trust Apple’s “propaganda” because the arguments seem to be quite comprehensible. However many people have criticized the non-HD resolution of the iPad as a disappointment, because every tablet released in the past months has already a display with resolution of at least 720p e.g. the Asus Nexus 7. So a few months ago I read a statement why Apple has decided for this none HD-resolution and it’s a simple development issue. Both the iPad3 and iPad4 have already the new retina display with a resolution of 2048x1536 which is the doubled resolution of the iPad1 and iPad2. If we use this information and take a closer look to the Interface Builder Apple’s xCode IDE, so we can see that two UI windows are provided, one for the iPhone devices and one for iPad devices. By just doubling the resolution of the iPad from 1024x768 to 2048x1535, it is not necessary to provide a different UI window form for the older and newer iPads. You just need to provide resources of better quality for the retina devices, which are automatically linked to correct devices. If Apple would have decided for a 720p resolution of the iPad mini, then Apple would need to introduce a second UI window form for iPads. So they just took the easy way and decided for the non-HD display. If the technical barrier in the production can be taken within the next year, we will maybe see a retina display on the iPad2 mini. So I in the battle of the displays I’ve decided that Apple will get one point. Maybe they don’t provide a non-HD resolution display however if we can trust Apple’s keynote, they use the provided screen area more efficiently. Also the Asus Nexus 7 gets one point because their The developers of the Asus Nexus 7 have definitely decided for the future.

If I can trust the article I’ve read previously then the Cortex-A9 CPU used in the iPad mini provides better performance than the Tegra-3 used in the Asus Nexus 7 – unfortunately I can’t find the article in my history. So let’s say, this point goes to Apple.

The 512 MB DDR2 RAM used in the iPad mini are a little bit disappointing, here can be seen that Apple has just taken the iPad2 hardware and made it smaller. So the battle of RAM goes definitely to Asus Nexus 7 with its 1 GB DD3-SDRAM.

In case of cameras both devices provide cameras with good quality, however not state of the art. So, in this battle I give one point for each.

In case of available wireless connection both devices have their benefits and drawbacks. Apple provides WIFI, Bluetooth 4.0, 3G and as a special gift LTE but no NFC. The Asus Nexus 7 in its new model which will be released on November 13th provides WIFI, Blutooth 3.0, 3G and NFC however no LTE. So both devices are going head to head with one point for each.

The weight of both devices is quite similar. The iPad mini has about 40 Gramm less than the Asus Nexus 7.

Last but not least, we take the price of both devices. The iPad mini starts at $ 329 with WIFI-only and 16 GB storage, the new model of the Asus Nexus 7 starts at $199 with WIFI and 16 GB storage. So Apple’s iPad mini costs $ 129 more than the Asus Nexus 7. This price gap is quite small if we compare the price for iPhones and iPads to other Android hardware with equal hardware specs.

In my opinion both devices are quite nice and both have their benefits and drawbacks. I hope Apple will bring in the near future new innovative products as in the past Jobs-years, because at the moment it looks a little bit that Apple has lost its direction and is only chasing its competitors, as it can be seen in the case of the iPad mini.

It would be thankful if you leave a comment, may you have some additional information or may you want to point out a mistake.

cheers,
Chris

Posted in iOS, Blog, Android

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