I have to admit, I was a little worried about what this morning’s Apple event would mean for Android users. The iPad Mini that they announced has been one of their worst-kept secrets in recent memory. All that was left was for apple to fill in the proverbial blanks with all the nitty gritty details and specifications.
… and I literally laughed out loud.
Before we jump in…
How does the iPad Mini compare to Google’s Nexus 7? Before we go any further we should note, for the record, that Apple are the ones comparing their new tablet to the “new Android tablet” (meaning the Nexus 7). It’s not a comparison that I’d have made, since we’re probably only days away from the real “new Android tablet”. If Google does release an update to the Nexus 7 on Monday, the tablet they’re comparing the iPad Mini against is the “old Android tablet”. Hardly a fair comparison.
It does, however, mean that Android is setting the bar for Apple, and Apple is in reactionary mode. Since they started it, let’s see if Apple’s comparisons hold any water.
Screen Size and Quality
The iPad Mini’s screen is bigger than the Nexus 7’s screen — and it doesn’t come with a Retina display. We’ll get to that in a minute. At 1024×768, the Mini’s resolution is the same as the “big iPad’s”. This, I have to conclude, was done to appease app developers who won’t have to re-code their apps for yet another resolution. Unfortunately, the proportions aren’t the same as the iPhone 5, nor is it a Retina display, which means Apple is just kicking the can further down the road and will still have to “deal with that later”.
In the meantime, the “old” Android tablet, the Nexus 7, with its 7-inch HD display, is 1280×800. Doing the math that’s more than 215 ppi, compared to the Mini’s 162 ppi. Yes, folks, the “old” Nexus 7 has a sharper display than Apple’s latest-and-greatest. How does that make you feel?
Let’s circle back to the screen size. The Nexus 7 has a 7-inch display. The iPad Mini has a 7.9-inch display (that’s pretty much 8-inches). Apple went to great lengths to show off just how much “more information” can be displayed on the Mini’s screen. Then they showed off the Guggenheim website side-by-side with the Nexus 7. Both devices showed exactly the same amount of information, the text on the iPad Mini was just larger. Apparently the Nexus 7 is made for young people, and people with decent eyesight, whereas the iPad Mini is the equivalent of the “large print” version for your grandparents.. Don’t worry though, you can still zoom in on the Nexus 7 just in case your eyesight isn’t that great.
The iPad Mini is only 7.2mm thick. That’s thinner than the Droid RAZR HD that we’re currently reviewing! Apple went on to say that it’s even “thinner than a pencil”.
Have you ever wondered why pencils are the thickness that they are? Could it be because that’s essentially the smallest diameter that the average human hand can comfortably grasp? There comes a point when a tablet is simply “too-thin”, and I think Apple just passed it. Most people I’ve talked to have enjoyed the thickness and chassis construction of the Nexus 7. Why is Apple picking on something that no one is complaining about? Isn’t that something that we’d expect a playground bully to do?
The iPad Mini isn’t really all that “mini” after all. It’s display is below that of the Nexus 7, and it’s $80 more expensive.
This is the best Apple could come up with to “compete” against the Nexus 7 — not to mention all the other Android-powered tablets and phablets that the iPad Mini has to compete against? Seriously! That’s it? Hahahaha!
Will any of that stop anyone from buying an iPad Mini? Probably not. Hopefully it will shed a little light on Apple’s comparisons and will help Android owners realize that, try as they might, Apple’s “latest and greatest” doesn’t compete very well against Google’s “old” Android tablet.
And don’t forget, the “new” Android tablet is probably going to be announced next Monday. Too bad, Apple. Better luck next time.