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How Will the iPad Mini Compare to the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD?

How Will the iPad Mini Compare to the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD?
Google’s Nexus 7 has been considered one of the best alternatives to the iPad. Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HD is also a very attractive “mini” tablet. As the rumored iPad Mini gets closer to becoming real, we thought we’d look at how it might compare with the Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, two $199, 7-inch tablets.
Screen Resolution and Aspect RatioThe iPad Mini is expected to come in at 7.85 inches while the Nexus 7 is, well the name says it, 7-inches. The Fire HD is also 7-inches. The big difference could turn out to be in the resolution. The prevailing feeling is that the iPad Mini will not include a Retina (326 ppi) display like the iPad (3), latest iPhones (4, 4S, 5), latest iPod Touch and MacBook Pro. Apple will most likely stick with a 1024 x 768 resolution which is the same as the original iPad and iPad 2. This means the iPad Mini will keep the 4:3 aspect ratio which is not widescreen and in addition, the pixel density could also be a “non-Retina” 163 ppi. The Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD both offer 1280 x 800, 216 ppi, “widescreen” displays.
What’s Under the Hood?Google’s Nexus 7 is powered by a quad-core Tegra 3 with a 12-core GPU. The Fire HD uses a Texas Instruments OMAP dual-core processor. It remains to be seen whether Apple employs its latest A6 dual-core 3-core GPU processor which powers iPhone 5 or decides to cut costs and use the A5 processor used in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2. It’s hard to pick a winner in the processor department because some of the performance depends on how developers take advantage of the GPU.
Apps and Operating SystemThe Google Nexus not only runs Jelly Bean it is just about to get the latest version of it, Android 4.1.2 which adds some landscape mode capabilities and continues to offer the snappy user experienced provided by Project Butter. The Fire HD runs its own version of Android (based on the pre-Jelly Bean Android 4.0) which Amazon has made, according to some reviewers, cleaner and easier to use. On the other hand there is only a limited number of Android apps that run on the Fire HD. The iPad Mini will bring all the wonderful things that iOS 6 and the Apple ecosystem have to offer.
Connectivity CountsAmazon added a second Wi-Fi radio to the Fire HD so it can use both the 2.4 and 5 GHz band over MIMO. The Nexus 7 uses the single 2.4GHz band and we imagine there’s a good chance the iPad Mini will use dual-band Wi-Fi like the iPhone 5. Neither the Nexus or Fire HD has a microSD slot and we’re sure the iPad Mini won’t have one either. Unlike the Fire HD and presumably the iPad Mini, the Nexus 7 does have NFC which cannot only be used for contactless payments but other things as well.
A 7.8-inch iPad 2 Could Save CostsIt looks likely that Apple will try and keep costs low and basically giving consumers a 7.8-inch iPad 2 so it can compete effectively in the 7-inch tablet market where dominant players like Google and Amazon have powerful devices that cost under $200. As we always say it’s apps that sell tablets and smartphones and here’s where Apple and for the most part Google (Android) have the advantage over Amazon. Amazon however, makes up for more limited number of apps with a powerful entertainment offering with its Prime subscription-based all-you-can-watch video service.
Can Apple Break The $300 Price Point?Both the Nexus 7 and the new Kindle Fire HD can be purchased for as low as $199. With the latest iPod Touch selling for $300 and the new iPad selling for $499 it’s hard to imagine Apple would charge less than $300 for the iPad Mini but you never know. We’ve heard rumors of a $249 version of the Mini and that would be the price we would pick to make it competitive with the higher resolution Nexus and Fire HD.

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