The iPad mini has been unveiled. Apple has introduced its answer to Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire HD. What could convince you to get one for yourself and/or make the switch?
Obviously, the iPad mini does not carry a very attractive price tag compared to the competition. But are the specs and features worth it?
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iPad mini vs Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire HD: A quick comparison
OS and Processor
As expected, the iPad mini runs on iOS 6. Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD are both Android devices. iPad mini is powered by Dual-core A5. The Nexus 7 has 1.7GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3, while the Kindle Fire HD has dual-core 1.2GHz TI OMAP4 4460.
To the non-techie users, this means one OS is more user-intuitive for you than the other. Likewise, one processor performs more smoothly than others. Get a hands-on experience of both OS and processors to find out which you prefer.
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Display and Resolution
Apple clearly believes "slightly bigger" is better. It designed a 7.9-inch LED-backlit IPS against its 7-inch competition. iPad mini features a 1,024 x 768 screen resolution. Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire both display 1,280 x 800. For some users, Apple's Retina DispIay would have been more convincing than a 0.9 difference in diagonal screen size.
Front and rear cameras
iPad mini has FaceTime HD for its front camera. Nexus 7 has 1.2-megapixel front cam, and Kindle has HD. However, only the small iPad has a rear camera: 5-megapixel cam that allows 1080p video recording.
WiFi and Battery Life
All devices feature 802.11a/b/g/n for WiFi connection. Apple boasts of a 10-hr battery life. (It remains to be seen.) Samsung users have been enjoying 7 to 8 hours online use with Nexus 7. Kindle Fire HD users get up to 5 hours battery life for straight video viewing.
Size and Weight
In thickness, iPad mini is the slimmest at 7.2mm. Nexus 7 is at 10.45mm, while Kindle Fire HD, 10.3mm. In grams, the figures are 308, 340, and 395, respectively.
The 16GB WiFi version of iPad mini costs $329. In contrast, Nexus 7 16GB WiFi costs $249. Kindle Fire HD 16GB WiFi is $199.
If you are an Apple fan, the size and battery life of the iPad mini should be enough to convince you to get a smaller tablet. It's a good gadget to carry around on the go, and it will come "handy" when work finds you in the middle of traffic, or even vacation.
If you've been accustomed to Android, the cost of an iPad mini could be repulsive. But wouldn't you be convinced to switch by the difference -- however slight -- in battery life, weight, and screen size?
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