The latest 7″ tablets: The good, bad and the ugly

Tablets have overtaken smartphones for mobile web traffic, sitting at 8 percent of page views, while smartphones account for 7 percent, according to Smaller than laptops, but with enough processing power to give them a useful niche over a smartphone, tablets have worked their way into the business and personal world. With tablet popularity soaring, choosing the best 7 inch Android tablet is easier said than done. With cloud storage, local memory storage isn’t even a problem anymore.

Google Nexus 7

Storage: up to 16 gb

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The Google Nexus 7 is the current darling of the 7 inch tablet world, TechRadar reports. It’s one of the first tablets on the market that uses the Tegra 3 platform, a processor that gives you quad core power, 12 cores on the graphics processing chip, up to 16 gigs of storage, and a 1280 x 800 display. It’s also the first tablet to use Android 4.1, and it has access to Android 4.2. It’s a $199 tablet at base specifications, so it’s playing up the budget side of the market, too.

While Google has the prominent branding on this device, Asus is the actual manufacturer. It’s directly competing with the Amazon Kindle Fire. The IPS display doesn’t look at stunning as the iPad Retina display, but it does a decent job. A front-facing camera gives you plenty of opportunities for video chatting. Google keeps several hardware buttons on the device — the volume rocker, power button and sleep button round out the physical controls on the device. All other controls are handled through the touch screen.

iPad Mini

Storage: 16 -64 gb

Price: $329+ AUD

The iPad Mini just barely falls into the 7 inch tablet spectrum, as its display measures in at 7.9 inches. This version of the iPad was created to be a direct competitor with the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HD. The basic model, which costs $329, has Wi-Fi. A 4G LTE model is available for $659. If you love the iOS platform, then the iPad Mini is a strong contender in the 7 inch tablet world. It also has one of the most stunning displays out of any tablet, with Retina technology. However, being more expensive than other tablets in this size range, and the technical specifications outside of the display might not be enough to justify the base model cost.

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Kindle Fire HD

Storage: 16 gb or 32 gb

Price: $199+ AUD

The Kindle Fire HD comes in 7 and 8.9 inch models. The Kindle Fire HD lags behind the iPad Mini and Nexus 7 on technical specifications. Its processor is a dual core 1.2 GHz Texas Instruments model, and a Power VR SGX540 GPU. It matches up with the same 1 gig of RAM the other two have, with support for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It shares the same IPS screen and resolution as the Nexus 7. The Kindle also suffers from an Amazon-customized version of the Android operating system, which prevents users from accessing Android features. But, at only $199, it’s a less expensive option than the iPad that grants users the same basic functions, such as e-reading, Internet browsing and movie playing.

What 7 inch tablet is your favorite? Share your opinions in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: Tony Maro

James Parsons

James is a dad first and a mobile app developer second. He considers himself an expert in small business trends, mobile technology and basketball. He is an over achiever who seeks success in all aspects of his life. He grew up on the coast of Sunny California in Newport Beach, California, where he met his loving wife. Together they have raised 2 intelligent children. Both following in their fathers footsteps and currently attending the University of Southern California. One majoring in political science while the other is pursuing a degree in law. Fight On!