Spec Shootout: iPad Mini vs. Kindle Fire HD vs. Nexus 7

Earlier today Apple announced the iPad Mini, creating some competition in the small tablet space and going up against established competitors in the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7. It's not surprising to see Apple's tablet retailing for significantly higher than the available Android tablets, but is it really worth the extra cash to get the iPad Mini?

Well, you can see so for yourself via this handy specifications table below which lists all the important on-paper information. We've highlighted in bold the best spec'd tablet in each area, but keep in mind this is just a comparison of the tablets' specifications and not a hands-on look and review.

  Apple iPad Mini (Wi-Fi) Amazon Kindle Fire HD Google Nexus 7
Display 7.9-inch IPS LCD at 1024 x 768
163 ppi pixel density
7.0-inch IPS LCD at 1280 x 800
216 ppi pixel density
7.0-inch IPS LCD at 1280 x 800
216 ppi pixel density
Processor Apple A5
~1.0 GHz dual-core CPU
TI OMAP 4460
1.2 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9
NVIDIA Tegra 3
1.3 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A9
Graphics PowerVR SGX543MP2 PowerVR SGX540 "Kal-El" ULP GeForce GPU
RAM 512 MB (probably) 1 GB 1 GB
Storage 16/32/64 GB internal user storage 16/32 GB internal user storage 8/16/32 GB internal user storage
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (dual-band)
Bluetooth 4.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (dual-band)
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Camera 5 MP rear camera with BSI sensor and f/2.4 lens
1080p video recording (rear), 720p recording (front)
1.2 MP front camera
1.3 MP front camera 1.2 MP front camera
Ports Apple proprietary Lightning connector
3.5mm audio jack
3.5mm audio jack
3.5mm audio jack
Battery 16.3 W-h non-removable "Up to 11 hours" 4325 mAh non-removable
Launch OS iOS 6.0 Android 4.0
Amazon custom skin
Android 4.1
Launch Date November 2012 September 2012 July 2012
Size & Weight 200 x 134.7 x 7.2 mm
308 g
193 x 137 x 10.3 mm
395 g
198.5 x 120 x 10.5 mm
340 g
Price Starting at $329 (16 GB) Starting at $199 (16 GB) Starting at $199 (8 GB)

As a quick summary, the iPad Mini is thinner and lighter, and it includes a rear "iSight" camera for all the tablet photography you'll be doing; it also has a marginally larger display and a faster GPU. The Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7 have a higher resolution and more dense display, and more RAM, while the Nexus 7 has the fastest chipset. At $199 for the 16 GB model, the Kindle Fire HD is the cheapest per-gigabyte.

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