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iPad mini and Nexus 7 go head-to-head

The Nexus 7 from Google and the iPad mini from Apple are two of the hottest small tablets. Here are both of these capable tablets in a photo spread showing how they compare in size and with popular apps running.
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Size comparison

The Nexus 7 (left) is slightly smaller than the iPad mini (right). This is mostly due to the difference in screen size- 7 inches vs. 7.9 inches.

The Nexus 7 is slightly thicker and heavier than the iPad mini. 

The low price of the Nexus 7 make it a good choice for anyone wanting a small tablet. It runs the latest version of Android and is an outstanding tablet.

The build quality of the iPad mini is better than that of the Nexus 7 which contributes to the higher price of the former.

The Nexus 7 has a higher resolution display than the iPad mini but in daily use both are comparable in quality. The Nexus 7 display is narrower in width when used in portrait orientation which displays less information than the wider iPad mini.

Either tablet is a good buy for those wanting a smaller tablet.

This slide show compares the size of the two tablets followed by photos showing common apps running on both. The screen brightness was set to the maximum level on both tablets for comparison purposes.

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Back of the tablets

The Nexus 7 has a back that is textured and feels solid in the hand. The iPad mini back is smoother but doesn't feel slippery in the hand.

Both tablets have a front-facing camera for video chatting and the iPad mini has a second camera on the back as seen in the image above.

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Thickness

The Nexus 7 is slightly thicker than the iPad mini.

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Size comparison

In this photo the Nexus 7 is sitting on top of the iPad mini demonstrating the size difference.

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App store comparison

Both iOS and Android have hundreds of thousands of apps in the respective app stores. This is a comparison of the two store apps (Nexus 7 on the left).

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Calendar apps

This compares the two included calendar apps on the Nexus 7 (left) and the iPad mini (right). They are very similar in functionality.

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Default browsers

The Nexus 7 includes the Chrome browser, left, and the iPad mini the Safari browser. Both are based on webkit and are very similar in functionality.

The same web site is displayed on both tablets in the image. Some sites adjust the page layout to fit the width of the screen which explains the difference in the display above. The narrower Nexus 7 on the left forces the page to adjust the layout as demonstrated.

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Chrome browser

While the Nexus 7 uses the Chrome browser as the default it is available as a free download for the iPad mini. This image compares the same web site displayed in the Chrome browser on the Nexus 7 (left) and the iPad mini.

The difference in the page layout shown is explained on the previous slide.

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Contacts apps

Both tablets ship with apps for working with contacts. The Nexus 7 app (left) is not as flashy as that on the iPad mini.

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Maps apps

A lot has been written about the new Maps from Apple but I find it to work much the same as Google Maps on the Nexus 7 (left).

Both are very similar in appearance and functionality.

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Music apps

Both tablets are good for playing music in the background and have apps for doing so.

The Google Play Music app on the left is similar in function to the iPad mini apps on the right. The Nexus 7 app works with the Google Play store and the iPad mini with iTunes.

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New York Times in the browser

This image compares the familiar New York Times web site displaying in Chrome on the Nexus 7 (left) and Safari on the iPad mini (right). The advantage of the wider iPad mini display is clearly demonstrated in this image.

The entire Times page is legible without zooming on the iPad mini which is not the case on the Nexus 7.

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Photo Gallery apps

The Gallery app on the Nexus 7 (left) has a nice display compared to the Photos app on the iPad mini. Both are similar in functionality.

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Facebook

The Facebook app is better on the iPad mini (right) then on the Nexus 7.

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Gmail

I use Gmail and find the apps on the two tablets to be similar. The display on the Nexus 7 (left) is not quite as good as that on the iPad mini.

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Twitter apps

I am a heavy Twitter user and don't like the official apps from Twitter.

My favorite app on the Nexus 7 (left) is Tweetings, a full-featured app. On the iPad mini I use Tweetbot which I find to be slightly better than Tweetings.

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Flipboard

Flipboard is a news magazine app that is quite good on both the Nexus 7 (left) and the iPad mini.

Strangely the Flipboard developers decided to make you swipe up and down on the Nexus 7 version but right and left on the iPad mini.

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Evernote

I am a heavy Evernote user and like both the Nexus 7 app (left) and the iPad mini version. I do find the Nexus 7 version to be a better interface.

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Google Docs

I use Google Docs on all my devices which provides a decent office suite which accesses my documents in the cloud.

The Google Drive app on the Nexus 7 (left) is a no-frills way to work with Google Docs on Android.

I use a third party app (TouchDocs) on the iPad mini which has a good interface for working with Google Docs.

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YouTube

It is easy to work with YouTube on both the Nexus 7 (above) and the iPad mini (below).

The Nexus 7 has a genuine YouTube app which has recently been removed from the iPad. I use the free Video Tube app to replace the YouTube app on the iPad mini which is shown in the image above.

Not shown: McTube Pro is another good app for the iPad for working with YouTube.

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Zite

I like the Zite news magazine app on both tablets but as shown in the image above the iPad mini app (right) is much better than that on the Nexus 7 (left). Both apps work the same and are similar in functionality but the interface cannot be compared.

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DirecTV app

Both tablets can be used with my home DirecTV setup with free apps but as demonstrated above the iPad mini (right) app is much better than that on the Nexus 7 (left).

Note the iPad mini DirecTV app only displays in the landscape orientation, thus the flipped image above.

While similar in functionality I find DirecTV on the iPad mini to be much better and it has become my preferred method of interacting with my DirecTV setup at home.

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Google Reader apps

I am a heavy user of the Google Reader RSS service and use gReader Pro on the Nexus 7 (left) and Mr Reader on the iPad mini (right).

While similar in functionality I prefer the Mr Reader app on the iPad mini. This app is one of my favorite apps on any platform.

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Task apps

I use the Todo List app on the Nexus 7 (left) and Todo on the iPad mini (right). Both are similar in functionality and features but as is evident in the image above the iPad app has a much better interface.

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