Google Nexus 7 2 vs Apple iPad Mini vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – Battle of the Mini Tablets
Small sized 7 and 8 inch tablets have proved increasingly popular over the last year or so, proving that when it comes to tablets one size doesn’t fit all. Google are now returning to the market with a follow-up to their impressive Nexus 7 tablet and here’s how it stacks up to its two closest competitors.
The Nexus 7 2 has a similar design to its predecessor, with an all-glass front and a mottled back cover which feels soft and comfortable to hold, though this version is ever so slightly slimmer and lighter than last years’ model.
It looks good, but it can’t compete with the iPad Mini which really is a thing of beauty, arguably in fact the best looking device Apple have ever made. Essentially it looks like a larger iPad Touch. It has the same premium build quality as the iPad 4 but it’s a lot thinner and lighter.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is probably the weakest from a build quality perspective, as it really just looks like a plastic rectangle, though like the Samsung Galaxy S4 the edges at least have a metallic sheen.
The Google Nexus 7 2 has a 7 inch 1280 x 1920 screen with a pixel density of 323 pixels per inch. The iPad Mini has a larger 7.9 inch display but a lower resolution of 768 x 1024, leading to a pixel density of just 162 pixels per inch. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has the biggest screen of all at 8 inches, but a similarly low resolution of 800 x 1280, for a pixel density of 189 pixels per inch. In terms of screen quality that makes it an easy win for the Google Nexus 7 2.
The Google Nexus 7 2 has a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. That makes it a lot more powerful than the iPad Mini with its 1 GHz dual-core processor and 512MB of RAM. However the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 edges a victory here with its 1.6 GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM.
The Google Nexus 7 2 and Apple iPad Mini both have 5 megapixel main cameras alongside 1.2 megapixel front facing ones. That’s a departure for the Nexus 7 2 as the previous model didn’t have a rear camera at all. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 also has a 5 megapixel main camera but it’s got an ever so slightly better 1.3 megapixel front facing one.
Battery life, memory and connectivity
The Nexus 7 2 has a 3950 mAh battery capable of up to 9 hours of video playback, 10 hours of web browsing or 300 hours of standby. The iPad Mini has a larger 4490 mAh battery, though with the larger screen the actual battery life is likely to be similar to that of the Nexus 7 2. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has an even bigger 4600 mAh battery, but again the bigger screen size makes that necessary.
The Nexus 7 2 has either 16GB or 32GB of built in memory but there’s no micro SD card slot. The iPad Mini comes in a choice of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB and again has no micro SD card slot. The Galaxy Note 8 has 16GB or 32GB of storage but bucks the trend by including a micro SD card slot- so you can increase your overall storage by another 64GB.
In terms of connectivity options the Nexus 7 2 has Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0. The iPad Mini supports the same connectivity options other than NFC, which is absent. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 lacks NFC and 4G, but unlike either of its competitors it has an infrared port.
In many ways these three tablets are quite similar. They have similar camera capabilities, similar battery lives and similar connectivity options. The Nexus 7 2 and Galaxy Note 8 are also almost matched for power and while the iPad Mini is a lot less powerful it doesn’t really show in use.
Their screens are probably the biggest difference and in that regard the Nexus 7 2 is the out and out winner, with a far higher resolution display than its rivals. However it’s also smaller, so if size matters to you then you might still want to consider an iPad Mini or Galaxy Note 8.
There are also differences in build quality, with the iPad Mini being the best there and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 being by far the worst. Overall, taking everything into account we’d be inclined to say that the Nexus 7 2 looks set to be the best tablet of the three, with the other two in close competition for 2nd place.
Of course price is also a factor and with that in mind it becomes even easier to get behind the Nexus 7 2, as it looks like it’s going to retail from around £199, which is substantially cheaper than either the iPad Mini, which starts at around £279, or the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, which starts at around £300.
Ultimately they’re all good tablets, the iPad Mini is a thing of beauty and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has expandable storage, which is very useful if you plan to pack your tablet with music, videos and games, but for a combination of price and performance the Google Nexus 7 2 looks unbeatable.
By Simon Thomas on 01st August, 2013