There is no doubt that Apple iPad had pioneered the concept of the tablet. For a pretty long time Apple enjoyed a real monopoly in both the Smartphone and the Tablet market. Things are pretty different now with a large number of new players in the field and Apple no longer enjoys the monopoly as before.
It was when Amazon released its Kindle Fire in 2011; it became the first real threat for the iPad. However iPad continue its unchallenged position in the conventional tablet market and the Kindle Fire was dubbed as the poor man’s tablet. However this cost the Cupertino Company dearly and Amazon went on to create a completely new segment for the 7 inch tablet which many dubbed as the hybrid or a phablet which featured both the features of a smartphone and a tablet.
Realizing the potential in the 7 inch tablet Apple jumped into the fray with its iPad Mini. The entry level tablet market is mainly seeing competition with three brands- The Amazon Kindle Fire HD, the Google Nexus 7 and the iPad Mini. Let us check some of the features of these three devices and learn what makes it different from the sea of ordinary multitudes.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD- The pioneer of the budget tablet
Available in two sizes the 7 inch and the 8.9 inch, the former has a base price of $199 while the latter starts at a base price of $299. The 8.9 inch Kindle Fire HD is quite large but smaller than the full sized iPad. However it more than makes up for its small size by its low price tag.
The 7 inch version of the Kindle Fire sports a 1200×800 display. It is capable of 720p video and is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor. The 8.9-inch version has a 1920×1200 display. It can play 1080p video and is powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor. Both the tablets have 16 GB storage and also are compatible with dual band Wi-Fi. The 8.9 inch Kindle Fire HD is also available as 4G LTE wireless connectivity enabled and starts at a base price of $499.
The Kindle Fire HD has a low price tag which is one of its biggest advantages. It is also partly supported by advertisements on the screen and therefore you get a subsidized version of the device which actually costs more.
The biggest downside of the Kindle Fire HD is that its ecosystem is a closed one. The users will not be able to use any other Android apps other than which you can get from the Amazon stores. Amazon hopes to make good the loss it suffers in its Kindle Fire from the music, movies and books in its stores. This makes the Kindle Fire HD look more like a media consuming device instead of a productive computing device.
The Google Nexus 7
For consumers who are already a part of the Android Ecosystem by the way of having Android-based smartphone or have a full-sized Android tablet, the Nexus 7 is a very good offering.
The Nexus 7 is powered by a quad-core 1.3 Ghz processor. It is available with either 8 GB of storage with a price tag of $199. The Nexus 7 is also available with 16 GB of storage and has a price tag of $249. The Nexus 7 has a 7-inch display and has a resolution of 1280×800. It is 720p compatible, and it supports NFC or near-field communication in addition to Wi-Fi. The biggest downside of the Nexus 7 is that it does not support 3G or 4G LTE. The Nexus 7 is also slightly expensive than the Kindle Fire HD especially the 16 GB model. However the Nexus 7 has a more powerful processor and GPU which makes it the best option for playing games and higher end application which draws more on the abilities of the processor.
The biggest USP of the Nexus 7 is its Android OS. Being a product from Google gives the Nexus 7 unfettered access to the latest updates in the Android platform. Costing just a little over $49, it gives numerous benefits like advertisement free screens.
The iPad Mini
The ipad Mini is the latest entry into the 7 inch tablet market. It has two distinct features which sets it aside from the other tablets of its genre. One is its 35 % larger screen. The iPad Mini has a 7.9 inch screen. The second is the access to the Apple’s App store. The iPad Mini also has the same 4:3 aspect ratio as its more illustrious brethren, the ipad. The iPad Mini has a resolution of 1024×768 and most of the websites are also designed for this resolution.
The biggest advantage of the iPad Mini is that users can have access to more than 275,000 apps which have been designed for the iPad. Having the same resolution as the iPad, iPad 2 and the new iPad, the iPad Mini is compatible with all the applications which run on the regular iPad.
Though the ipad Mini does not feature the Retina Display Screen and it also has a slower process, it has almost all the basic features which are seen in any of its conventional iPad. This includes front and back facing cameras, 4G LTE wireless connectivity ability, SIRI and also features the latest lightning connector. The biggest downside of the iPad Mini is its prices which though by Apple standards are ok, but does not justify it as a budget tablet like the Kindle Fire HD or the Nexus 7. The 16 GB WI-Fi model starts at $329 while its competitors offer the same features for $199.
Which tablet to choose ultimately depends upon the tastes and the budget of the user? The iPad Mini is a choice for person who would like to make the maximum use of the apps on the Apple store. The Nexus 7 has a bit more power and has a very open Android ecosystem. The Kindle Fire HD wins with its amazing display of 8.9 inch and its low price tag. The final judge is the consumer.