Last week, we asked you whether you would go for Microsoft’s Surface or an Android tablet. This week, the debate seems to have also been steered towards tablets, by Apple’s own Phil Schiller. During his announcement of the iPad Mini, Phil decided to tackle the Nexus 7 heads-on by looking at both devices’ processors, screens, build and app catalogues.
Leaving aside the direct comparison for a second, the iPad Mini is definitely an interesting piece of technology. It carries almost the same specifications as the 2nd-generation iPad in a smaller and thinner body adapted to fit a 7.9″ screen. However, the main advantage is that it offers access to Apple’s growing ecosystem, which includes 250000 apps tailored for the iPad, and a huge number of accessory makers ready to build cases, keyboards, docks, and a myriad of other gadgets just for it. That argument alone can be enough to win over a lot of enthusiasts.
But on the other side, the smaller resolution screen, the higher entry-point price, the older-generation processor, and the lack of “openness” in Apple’s ecosystem might tip the balance towards the Nexus 7. That’s also helped by the recent surge of applications dedicated for Android tablets, which might level the ecosystem-argument a bit. For instance, we’ve already covered 50 must-have apps, 10 social apps, 40 news apps, all tailored for Android tablets and we even looked at 10 specific apps that you wouldn’t find on the iPad.
Personally, I’ve long been convinced that 7″ tablets cater to a different market than the regular 9.7″ iPad. These smaller tablets are more portable, more practical, and all-around more useful than ~10″ devices. A year ago, when I bought my Iconia A100, there wasn’t much competition in this space, and the decision was relatively easy to make. However, if I was to choose right now, it would be a lot more complicated. Both the Nexus 7 and the iPad Mini offer their own advantages so it’ll be interesting to watch how the market will react when given the option to go for Android or iOS.