Things are really heating up in the tablet market at the moment, with a slew of new devices hitting the shelves in the coming days and weeks.
It wasn’t so long ago that tablets were located firmly at the high end of the consumer tech market, but as their popularity has boomed their price has shot down.
Even Apple, a firm known for its intentionally expensive products, has dropped its prices for its latest tablet – the iPad mini.
OK, so the iPad mini’s price tag isn’t quite as attractive as that of the Kindle Fire or Nexus 7, but for Apple it is still very cheap.
The iPad mini is due out in the UK on Friday, but that’s not the only tablet hitting the shelves this week. The Nook HD, from Barnes & Noble, is also due to start shipping this week. So how do the two devices measure up?
Apple iPad mini
The iPad mini is a completely different direction for Apple in terms of more than just price. It is the first time that Apple has launched a product in response to the market, rather than dictating the market.
It saw that consumers wanted smaller, low-cost tablets, and set about coming up with the best one it possibly could. And by all accounts, that’s exactly what it has done.
Super light and super thin, you can see the iPad mini’s quality before you even turn it on. When you do turn it on, it’s as smooth and powerful as you’d expect from an Apple product.
A dual-core A5 chip powers the tablet and iOS 6 makes usability second to none. There also the option of a bumper 64GB of storage, though this will set you back at least £529 – not exactly low cost.
Nook HD tablet
The Barnes & Noble brand may not carry the same weight as Apple, but it seems that the firm can make a very decent 7-inch tablet.
The Nook HD isn’t quite as light or as thin as the iPad mini, but it’s not far off – and packs quite a punch under the bonnet. Running a version of Ice Cream Sandwich, the Nook HD is powered by a dual-core 1.3GHz processor and 1GB of RAM.
That’s not forgetting the vibrant display, which blows all other 7-inch tablets screens out of the water. The 1440×900 resolution delivers 243ppi, beating the iPad mini’s 1024×768 display hands-down – although this does mean it is able to run full-sized iPad apps.
When it comes to price, there is obviously only one winner. The Nook HD comes in at £159 for 8GB or £189 for 16GB; both of which are cheaper than the iPad mini’s entry level price of £269.
But it’s not all about cost, and the iPad mini delivers a look, feel, and ecosystem that the Nook HD is simply unable to compete with.
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