After months of rabid speculation from the public, Apple finally announced its miniature iPad at an event in San Jose on 23 October. The 7.9in device will join the existing 9.7in iPad 2 and a new fourth generation iPad with Retina display to make up Apple’s complete line of tablet offerings.
The iPad mini joins an already crowded field, with 7in tablets from Google and Samsung faring solidly in the market. But will Apple be able to carry over its tablet success to its smaller iPad? We compare the iPad mini with Apple rival Samsung’s 7in Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 to find out.
Click here to buy the Ipad mini
Click here to buy the Galaxy Tab 2
Size and weight
The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 measures up at 193.7 x 122.4 x 10.5mm, making it slightly smaller, albeit thicker, than the iPad mini, which has dimensions of 200 x 134.7 x 7.2mm. The Samsung tablet, with a weight of 341g, is a tad heavier than the iPad mini’s 308g.
With its 7in Super PLS LCD screen offering up a resolution of 1,024 x 600 pixels, the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 doesn’t have a particularly groundbreaking display, but it certainly is decent enough. The iPad mini, meanwhile, has a slightly sharper IPS LCD with a resolution of 1,024 x 768 pixels – the same one seen on the iPad 2. Whilst it has a smaller display (7in compared to 7.9in), Samsung’s device has a higher pixel density (169ppi compared to 162ppi).
Storage and memory
The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 ships in 8GB and 16GB versions, whereas the iPad mini has three capacity variations – 16, 32, and 64GB. But Samsung’s slate is upgradeable via a microSD card slot, whereas the iPad mini has no external memory capabilities – a feature that could prove to be a deal breaker for some prospective shoppers given that a 64GB microSD card can be had for around £40.
A TI OMAP 4430 is under the hood of the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. That dual-core system-on-chip is clocked at 1GHz, meaning it’s likely not that different from the iPad mini’s dual-core A5 SoC, performance-wise, especially as both use a similar PowerVR GPU.
The two devices’ various operating systems are likely to be the most significance difference between them. While Samsung’s slate runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich – with no word yet on when it will be eligible for a Jelly Bean upgrade – the iPad mini runs on the latest Apple mobile operation system, iOS 6. While some consumers will likely be swayed by the freedom offered by the Android platform, others will be drawn to the plethora of quality apps that exist in the iOS ecosystem.
Users of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 can expect decent photos with the device’s 3-megapixel rear camera. And its front-facing VGA camera should just about do the trick for basic video-conferencing and grainy self-portraits. The iPad mini, on the other hand, bests Samsung’s tablet slightly with a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 1.2-megapixel front-facing one. On the video front, both tablets shoot 720p video at 30 frames per second.
While Samsung makes no claims about the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0’s battery life, our review found it to be in around than six hours, quite disappointing. Apple, on the other hand, claims its iPad mini has a battery life of 10 hours. That’s a significant difference in the iPad mini’s favour, though the true-to-life number will, of course, vary depending on usage.
The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 comes in either Wi-Fi-only or Wi-Fi + 3G versions (though lucky users in the US and elsewhere can grab a 4G LTE version). It also has a USB 2.0 port, and 802.11/g/b/n connectivity. Similarly, the iPad mini will ship in both Wi-Fi-only and Wi-Fi + cellular models; however, its data connectivity bests that of the Galaxy Tab, as it is 4G LTE-enabled. However, while it lacks a USB port, its Wi-Fi connectivity is 802.11a/g/b/n-capable.
Samsung’s slate starts at £94 for an 8GB, Wi-Fi-only version with prices increasing for a 16GB, Wi-Fi + 3G version. And the iPad mini, although the cheapest iPad today, starts a little bit higher, from £174.99 for a 16GB Wi-Fi only version, again prices rising for the higher-end 64GB version with Wi-Fi + 4G.
|Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0||iPad mini|
|Resolution||1,024 x 600 pixels||1,024 x 768 pixels|
|Pixel density||170 PPI||163 PPI|
|Type||Super PLS LCD||IPS LCD|
|Processor and battery|
|Family||TI OMAP 4430||Apple A5|
|Battery life||5hrs48min||Up to 10 hours|
|Storage and memory|
|Card slot||microSD (up to 32GB)||No|
|Network||3G (Option)/4G LTE (US, Canada)||4G LTE (Option)|
|Size||193.7 x 122.4 x 10.5mm||200 x 134.7 x 7.2mm|
|Operating System||Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich||iOS 6|
|Price||From £94 – 8GB, Wi-Fi only||From £189.50 – 16GB, Wi-Fi only|
|UK Availability||Available now||Available now|