What does an "iPad Mini 2" need to compare to the new Nexus 7?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
The new Nexus 7 with updated specs is definitely something to be excited about, especially considering that the Google-y tradition of having low-priced gadgets is still going strong as the specs keep getting better. At just $30 higher than the previous version of the Nexus 7 you're getting a higher quality display, a better processor, more storage, and even a rear-facing camera. With the first-gen Nexus 7 being a huge success, it's no wonder that these upgrades to the device were also well-received by the public considering such a small price increase.
With the device now being officially released, techies everywhere are wondering what Apple has in store to compete with the second-generation Nexus 7 device. The first-generation Nexus 7 device has been head-to-head with the iPad Mini with no clear answer as to which one was better, as both had their pros and cons, fans and non-fans: one had a rear-facing camera, the other had a better display, one was more expensive, the other cost less, they both ran different platforms, etc. There were so many pros and cons to each that it was difficult for a user who was neither devoted to Android nor iOS to decide which one was truly the better device to get. But now that Google has released the new Nexus 7, will the results be just as hard to judge if Apple releases an iPad Mini 2?
We already know what the new Nexus 7 has to offer: 7" display with a stunning 1200 x 1920 display (323 ppi), an overclocked Snapdragon S4 Pro processor paired with an Adreno 320 GPU; you may recall that the old Nexus 7 has the same processor, except this processor is newer and more efficient, and is also overclocked at 1.5GHz (as oppose to the old one which was overclocked at 1.2GHz). This version of the Nexus 7 also adds in two things that the iPad Mini alrady had over in its favor, which was LTE and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera. The battery life of the new Nexus 7 is now the same of the current iPad Mini.
As it seems, a lot of what the new Nexus 7 has to offer has fixed shortcomings that arguably placed it behind the iPad Mini in certain areas in the first place: it now features a rear-facing camera, LTE support if you so choose to use it, and battery life is on par with the current iPad Mini. Of course, these are things that make the Nexus 7 match up to the current iPad Mini, but what advantages does the Nexus 7 have over the iPad Mini?
The display on the original Nexus 7 was already better than the iPad Mini, which, strangely enough, did not feature the Retina display that Apple has been touting for a couple of years, even at the time of the Mini's release. Instead, the Mini went with a 1024 x 678 resolution, resulting in an abysmal 163 ppi. Now that the Nexus 7 has 323 ppi, Apple has even more catching up to do when it comes to addressing the iPad Mini's display. The processor on the Nexus 7 is also better than the iPad Mini's current processor, which features Apple's A5. Last but not least, the price of the Nexus 7 is significantly lower than the price of the Apple iPad Mini, with prices starting at $229 compared to Apple's starting price of $329.
As mentioned before, these two tablets have been going head-to-head since both have been available on the market, and it has pretty much been determined that it all boils down to whether or not you prefer Android or iOS seeing as both tablets give and take on certain features. All the new Nexus 7 did was upgrade certain features of the old Nexus 7, which is essentially all Apple has to do in order to keep competition in check. Really, all a second generation iPad Mini needs to include is at least a Retina display (which apparently may not be the plan) and the A6 (or A6X if you want more power) processor. A 2-megapixel front-facing camera couldn't really hurt either.
Honestly, I think the biggest selling point for the iPad Mini is the fact that Apple even made a smaller iPad to begin with. As we all know, there are tons of manufacturers out there producing smaller Android tablets, but there's only one manufacturer for Apple, and that's Apple. Even if Apple didn't release a second generation iPad Mini this year, I think it could still fare rather well off of the sales of the current one, even up against the new Nexus 7, simply because it's the only one out there. However, judging from a strictly tablet-versus-tablet standpoint, it seems to me that the Apple needs to do exactly what Google did and play a little game of catch-up if they want the specs to remain comparable.
Images via Trusted Reviews, Apple