Even just a few years ago Apple held an iron-clad monopoly on the tablet space with pretty much every tablet user owning an iPad. This only really changed last year when Google released its first ever own-brand tablet, the Nexus 7. Built by Asus and featuring a powerful quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, but costing less than £200, the 7in tablet undercut the Apple iPad and carved itself an unexpected niche in the market. In fact, the strategy was so successful the Nexus 7 is generally believed to be a key reason Apple chose to release its own, semi-affordable, iPad Mini tablet mere months later, stealing back a significant proportion of the market previously lost to the Nexus 7.
One year on Google's hit back, unveiling its new upgraded Nexus 7. However, with many tiny tablet fans now firmly embedded in Apple's iOS ecosystem, many industry commentators have already begun to question whether the new Nexus 7's upgraded technical specifications will be enough to convert iPad fans.
New Nexus 7: 200x114x8.65mm, 290g
iPad Mini: 200x135x7.2mm, 308g
Featuring a beautifully crafted aluminum chassis and feather light 308g weight when it was first released, the iPad Mini made the 10.5mm, 340g original Nexus 7 look outright boxy. Aware of this Google has redesigned the new Nexus to be lighter and thinner than its predecessor, measuring in at 200x114x8.65mm and weighing a modest 290g.
Nexus 7: 7in 1920x1200 1080p HD, 323ppi
iPad Mini: 7.9in 1024x768, 168ppi
The new Nexus 7 is the first tablet to break the 300ppi threshold, meaning on paper it should be close to twice as sharp as the 168ppi iPad Mini. Additionally being able to display a 30 percent wider array of colours, it should also be far more vibrant.
New Nexus 7: Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
iPad Mini: iOS 6
The new Nexus 7 is the first ever tablet to run using Google's latest Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS. The iPad by comparison runs on Apple's last generation iOS 6, not the company's latest iOS 7. This means, outside of the security concerns around Android and its Trojan app problem, the Nexus 7 could be better for business. This is because of Android 4.3's upgraded Restricted Profiles powers. The feature builds on the multiple account support added on Android 4.2, letting users create separate rights on each account and letting administrators control which apps and services employees can use and access on shared devices.
New Nexus 7: Quad core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
iPad Mini: Apple A5 dual-core processor
The new Nexus 7 runs using a powerful Quad core 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, while the iPad Mini uses the A5 dual-core processor first seen on the iPad 2. This means that on paper the new Nexus should smoke the Mini when it comes to performance.
New Nexus 7: 5MP rear and 1.2MP front
iPad Mini: 5MP rear and 1.2MP front
On paper the two tablets have identical camera specs, with Google loading the new Nexus 7 with 5MP rear and 1.2MP front snappers. This means until we've gotten our hands on the new Nexus it's all but impossible to know which is better.
New Nexus 7: 16GB and 32GB
iPad Mini: 16GB, 32GB or 64GB flash
While the iPad Mini has more storage options, the Nexus 7 remains the cheaper of the two, with the 16GB costing £199 and the 32GB £239. The equivalent iPad Minis cost £269 and £350 respectively.
New Nexus 7: Nine hours quoted
iPad Mini: 10 hours (tested)
The iPad Mini boasts a better battery life than the new Nexus, and in our tests we found the iPad Mini lived up to those claims.
On paper the new Nexus 7 is far higher specced than the iPad Mini, though given the fact the Apple tablet is more than halfway through its lifecycle this isn't too surprising. Additionally, while the upgraded specs are great for new tablet buyers and existing Android fans, we're not convinced it'll win away tablet users already embedded in Apple's iOS ecosystem.
The new Nexus 7 is set for release in the next few weeks. Check back with V3 then for a full review of the new Google Nexus 7.
Written by V3's Alastair Stevenson
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