Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 or iPad Mini: Small Tablet Shopping Guide for the Newbies [PHOTOS]


Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and iPad mini will come up almost each time a newbie tablet shopper asks around: 'Which small tablet should I buy?' The Samsung Tab comes in 7-inch and 10-inch variants, while the iPad mini is the smaller sibling of the popular full-size 9-inch Apple iPad. Check out which of these two will work better with you.

The 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 sports a 1024 x 600 pixels resolution against the Apple iPad mini's 1024 x 768 pixels LED-backlit IPS. If you're getting a tablet for eBook reading and social media browsing, the mini is more eye-friendly. It is also lighter for longer one-hand use. The WiFi-only mini weighs 308g, much lighter than Tab's 344g (also WiFi-only). Many full-size iPad tablet users have switched to the mini for its lightweight nature.

The Galaxy Tab 2 and iPad mini are both powered by a dual-core processor clocking at 1 GHz. The mini has less RAM memory at 512MB, but it has more on-board storage at 16GB minimum. The devices also work in different environments: iOS for the mini, Android 4 for the Tab.  If you want more flexibility and control, get the Tab. (Otherwise, you have to jailbreak the iPad mini for better file management and sharing.)

The Tab has 8GB internal storage space, but it beats the mini in extra storage. It allows users to expand up to 64GB of storage space.

The battery life of iPad mini lasts longer than the Galaxy Tab's, according to reviews. If you turn off the WiFi when you're not browsing, that might make your juice last longer, though. The mini has a better 5MP rear camera, compared to the Tab 2's 3MP. If you're keen on playing mobile games and shooting/tweaking photos for fun, you should choose the device with longer battery life and better camera.

It might be easier to choose a new small tablet if you have a particular, non-negotiable budget. In Australia, the 7-in Galaxy Tab 2 costs only $240. Add to that the $30-$40 cost of extra storage, and the Tab will still be cheaper than the iPad mini. Despite rumours of the upcoming iPad mini 2 release soon, the existing mini is still pretty expensive at $430.

You sacrifice a thing or two in buying a cheaper small tablet: shorter battery life, low-grade camera, less sharp resolution. But you get a bonus that no iPad mini users can ever enjoy: external storage, which is also linked to quicker and easier back-up.

The Galaxy Tab 3 and iPad mini 2 are coming out soon. Generally, these same things will guide you in choosing which latest small tablet you should get. What do you think - which small tablet best suits your needs and budget?

Start the slideshow for photos of the Tab 2 and iPad mini from Samsung and Apple, respectively.

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