While remaining such an amazing product, the iPad mini is — in my opinion — grossly overpriced for its specs. It doesn’t make any sense that after introducing the higher end iPad 3 and iPad 4, Apple has gone backwards with the iPad mini, which, as some people would describe it, is a smaller iPad 2. For a starting price of $329 for the 16 GB version and going up by a hundred dollars for every 16 GB added, it is downright pricey for its own good. Given that there are other slates within its category that have more updated features and better design, it should be scared of these five alternatives detailed below.
Google Nexus 7
The stunning 7 inch flagship tablet from Google is a worthy contender from Google. In fact, it may be even better than the iPad mini, specs-wise. Case in point: the iPad mini houses an A5 dual-core processor, while the Nexus 7 has a Tegra 3 quad-core processor underneath. Additionally, the Google device holds 1 GB of RAM while Apple’s junior tablet only has 512 MB of RAM. This is not to say that the iPad is automatically slower, though. At the end of the day, the performance of any device still boils down to how inside and outside components work together to create a responsive and efficient computing device. But if these things matter to you when choosing a device, then it might be wise to make these facts known.
Kindle Fire HD
The HD tag alone makes the Kindle Fire HD a worthy iPad mini… dare I say it? Killer. It features 30% more pixels and 33% more pixels-per-inch than the iPad, meaning you’ll get clearer and sharper images. Specs-wise, it’s almost a truce between the two, but the Amazon device has more to offer when it comes to entertainment functions. On top of all these, the Kindle Fire HD is $130 cheaper than the iPad mini, so it’s pretty much a good deal.
Acer Iconia Tab A110
Another device trying to steal Apple’s thunder is the Acer Iconia Tab A110. With a tag price that’s exactly a hundred dollars lower than the baby iPad, this slate that runs on Jelly Bean arguably has more features than its contemporaries. First, it is one of those few slates in the tablet market that offers an expandable storage (starting at 8 GB, up to 32 GB) so users can get more room for movies, music, games, and more. Neither the Nexus 7 nor the Kindle Fire HD has a card slot; neither the iPad mini nor its bigger brothers have a card slot, either.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0
Years ago, Samsung went into the tablet scene with the highly successful Samsung Galaxy Tab with 7 inch display. Nothing from Apple’s arch-nemesis stands out, except maybe for the 10 inch tablets from its lineup. This South Korean company is also accustomed to releasing products without changing much of the hardware or the design of predecessors, so most people thought the company wouldn’t be coming up with something to challenge the iPad or iPad mini anytime soon. But enter the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, a thin and sleek 7 inch device with a back panel made of matte grey plastic. For some, it wins over the iPad mini for simple reasons: it’s cheaper, not particularly flashy, and most important, more comfortable to hold than the iPad mini.
Barnes & Noble Nook HD
Barnes & Noble definitely offers a head-turner through the Nook HD, with a price pegged at $199. Like the Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD promises a more immersive media experience that can put the iPad mini at the back of the pack. Given that it is slightly faster (1.3 GHz dual-core processor; 1 GB RAM) and considering that it bears other neat frills like dual stereo speakers and a memory card slot, the Nook HD holds so much promise, especially to those looking for a cheaper iPad mini alternative.