Here is a comparison of Apple iPad 3 or Google Nexus 7 as both the tablets are competing for similar audiences. One is portable and affordable, while the other is – well – an iPad. But is that Apple tablet experience, seen by many as the tablet experience, really worth an extra £200? Let us compare the features of both the tablets:
Nexus 7 - soft touch “leather effect” plastic rear
iPad - aluminium rear
The iPad is the clear winner in terms of design. Plastic van never hope to compete with anodised aluminium
However, the Google Nexus 7 feels more like leather than ropey old plastic. It has a pleasing tactile quality that’s just as enjoyable as the cool touch of metal.
The Nexus 7′s back uses a pattern of tiny little dimples rather than a completely smooth surface, and comes in white and black-brown finishes.
Having been around for longer, both the white and black editions of the iPad are readily available. The two tablets’ approach to colour is quite different, though. The Google Nexus 7 offers different-coloured backs, and the iPad different-coloured screen bezels.
Nexus 7 - one-handed fun, 340g
iPad - slim, but less agile, 652g
As slim and stylish as the iPad maybe, it just can’t compete with the Google Nexus 7 on portability. A 7in device feels much, much more comfortable in one hand, and thanks to the high friction leather-effect rear it doesn’t feel in constant peril dropping the thing.
The Nexus 7 is also just over half the weight of an iPad 3. The third-generation Apple tablet gained a significant amount of weight over the second one, in order to house a larger battery.
If you want a tablet you can read on while standing up on the train or bus, the Nexus 7 is hands-down the winner. If you have a seat, well, that changes things. The larger iPad can rest on your knees with the right case, where the Nexus 7 is a little small for such a purpose. For a long-haul flight, you would rather watch a movie on an iPad than a Nexus 7.
Nexus 7 - 8/16GB internal memory, no memory card slot
iPad - 16/32/64GB internal memory, no memory card slot
Where Android devices were once the home of the free and easy “open” style – free to install dodgy apps, free to expand the internal memory, free to fiddle as you please – the walls have started closing in. The Google Nexus 7 follows an Apple-style trend in disallowing any physical form of memory expansion.
There’s no memory card slot in the tablet, meaning you’re stuck with the 8GB of 16GB of internal memory, depending on which version you bought. Both these capacities are absolutely piddly if you want to watch movies or listen to music.
Google wants you to use its online media streaming services, like Google Music and Google Movies rather than watch your own stuff.
Apple has gone down its traditional root of not letting you expand memory in its “new iPad”. However, it is compatible with the camera connection kit, which lets you plug SD cards and some other types of USB devices (mainly cameras) in order to let you view digital camera photos on the thing directly. This is sold as a separate accessory – and the official one costs around £20.
Can the Google Nexus 7 match this functionality? No — It has a microUSB socket – about as universal as you can get – but it’s not setup for USB host functionality, which lets you plug-in external hard drives and other such USB bits and bobs. You’ll need to root the tablet in order to get this host function working.
Google seems to have deliberately bodged this feature, as the tablet will accept keyboards and mice, just not other devices. We can only assume it’s another effort to get you hooked into those Google services.
Nexus 7 - 7in, 1,280 x 800 pixel IPS
iPad - 9.7in, 2,048 x 1,536 pixel IPS
The Google Nexus 7 has a “nice” screen. It uses the right display tech, has a pretty high resolution and at 7in it’s large enough to watch TV shows on comfortably while you’re out and about.
However, the iPad 3 screen is quite remarkable. It boasts more pixels than any TV you’ll find down the local Dixons. It’s Apple’s continuation of the Retina Display movement it started with the iPhone
The aim of a Retina Display is to ensure that you can’t see single pixels in normal usage. This should in theory result in less eyestrain, as well as much sharper images.
The iPad 3 packs-in 265 pixels per inch. This wouldn’t earn you the “Retina” title in a mobile, but in a tablet Apple thinks it more than suffices.
The Google Nexus 7 brings 215dpi to the table. In any other comparison, the tablet would look like a king, but here the competition is just a little too great.