The Display On Google’s New Nexus 7 Tablet Crushes The iPad Mini

nexus 7

Google’s latest tablet wins against Apple in the spec department.

Today Google unveiled its second-gen Nexus 7 tablet. The 7-inch, ASUS-made device packs a stunning 1,920 x 1,200 display. That translates to 323 pixels per inch, which is up considerably from the first Nexus 7’s 216 ppi. It’s also a higher resolution display than what Apple offers with the iPad mini, the company’s only flagship product that hasn’t been Retina-fied yet.

Google is right when it says that it has the “world’s highest-resolution 7-inch tablet.” The first Nexus 7 beat the iPad mini’s display quality too. So will Apple finally answer with a Retina iPad mini this fall?

The human eye stops being able to distinguish individual pixels around 300 ppi, and getting that high quality of a display into such a small factor has proven to be difficult for Apple. Google worked wonders with Japan Display to make the new Nexus 7 possible, and DisplaySearch told AllThingsD that “volume shipments of such a device [Retina iPad mini] won’t come until the first few months of next year because of the challenges of producing such a display.”

Reports have been fairly split on whether the iPad mini will get the better display it desperately needs in the coming months. One theory is that Apple could release a second-gen iPad mini before the holidays and not include a Retina screen. Then a Retina refresh would happen around six months later. That seems a little crazy, especially now that Google will have a Retina, 7-inch tablet on the market for Christmas.

“Apple should be embarrassed if it doesn’t release a Retina iPad mini before the holidays.”

The current iPad mini’s display is a measly 163 ppi. The second-gen Nexus 7 has a way better display, more than twice the RAM, dual-stereo speakers, wireless charging, and costs $100 less than Apple’s 7-inch tablet. The iPad is still moving way more units than the Nexus 7, but it’s still a wake up call. Apple should be embarrassed if it doesn’t release a Retina iPad mini before the holidays.

Related
  • Solowalker

    Resolution is only one part of the equation. Viewing angles, color gamut and accuracy, contrast, brightness, black levels and more contribute to a display’s quality, too, and without knowing those it’s quite premature to say this display “crushes” the Mini’s based on one metric alone. It may well be better but we don’t know yet.

    Come back when you have more information.

  • mactechwriter

    There’s a 7-inch iPad mini?

  • i_phone

    Solowalker is right. “Resolution is only one part of the equation.”

    It still looks like crap, so kudos to google for keeping it unattractive compared to the ascetically pleasing iPad Mini.

    Most that are waiting for a 7″ high resolution tablet will purchase one when the iPad Mini with Retina display is released. Sorry, but very few people actually use non-iPad tablets.

    ChristopherDungeon . C O M

  • Market_Mayhem

    Resolution is only one part of the equation. Viewing angles, color gamut and accuracy, contrast, brightness, black levels and more contribute to a display’s quality, too, and without knowing those it’s quite premature to say this display “crushes” the Mini’s based on one metric alone. It may well be better but we don’t know yet.

    Come back when you have more information.

    You have to realize that people like this author are true believers of spec games. To him, more pixels means a better display without all those other display factors thrown in. It’s what all Android vendors figure. Just add a lot more pixels to a camera and you have a better camera. Android devices are all about specs. If you have a faster processor, a higher megapixel camera, more system RAM and lots more features, then you automatically have a better product than the next guy. The sum of the parts equals the whole. I’m not sure if it actually works that way in practice, though. So, in this case, because the Nexus 7 display has more pixels (dpi) it has to be considered way better than a Retina display sight unseen. No ifs, ands or buts. I guess the ancient iPad Mini’s display is duly crushed and the Google Nexus 7 must be declared the tablet winner.

  • i_phone

    I’m starting to believe that our author, Alex, here is a fandroidboy…

    ChristopherDungeon . C O M

  • HarryWessling

    40% framework + 60% display – That’s exactly we all waited for ;-)

  • tool022611

    I honestly don’t see what the big deal is about the nexus. We own the first gen and it is still clunky, apps are not nearly as good as iOS and even with the display, most apps on android are still only developed for a phone. The first gen iPad mini will still blow this tablet away in usability.

  • mknopp

    There’s a 7-inch iPad mini?

    Of course, and it will remain a 7″ tablet until there are more Android 8″ tablets. It isn’t at all fair to compare products based on some arbitrary measure like screen size. That is unless it is comparing a 5″ Android phone to the measly 4″ iPhone screen. Then it is a really big deal and Apple should be ashamed, while Android zealots will just conveniently forget that the 7.9″ iPad Mini offers 40% more screen space than a Nexus 7. That isn’t in Nexus favor so they will only mention the higher ppi.

    Want to know why Apple is killing Android in the tablet market? Apple figured out that the VAST majority of consumers could care less about RAM or ppi or GHz. What they care about is how the product feels when they use it and how easy it is too use. If it feels like it is fast then they don’t care that it has less RAM or less GHz. If the screen looks better (possibly due to better viewing angle or color gamut or black levels) then they don’t care about the ppi. The only reason that Android is doing so well in phones is because most people go to a cellular store where technogeek who are dazzled by numbers or think Android is better because it allows them to ultra-customize their own phones, convince the average consumer that Android is better. And honestly for most average Joes, it doesn’t really matter as long as the phone is decent with the web, facebook, email, photos, and making phone calls. Which most Android phones are.

    Without the nerd prejudice influencing their buying decision in the tablet market Android just isn’t fairing well against iOS.

  • Steven Quan

    Resolution is only one part of the equation. Viewing angles, color gamut and accuracy, contrast, brightness, black levels and more contribute to a display’s quality, too, and without knowing those it’s quite premature to say this display “crushes” the Mini’s based on one metric alone. It may well be better but we don’t know yet.

    Come back when you have more information.

    Hey! Cut it out! You’re making Alex Heath look like a pathetic Phandroid!

  • jasonwaters14

    I’m starting to believe that our author, Alex, here is a fandroidboy…

    ChristopherDungeon . C O M

    I agree with this gentleman here, not only is the author of this post a Fandroid but most of the Cult of Mac staff is. This website is called Cult of MAC not Cult of Electronics, we dont care if Google had an event today, we dont care about the Nexus or Galaxy or anything thats not Apple. A very LARGE percentage of the daily traffic to this website are people who are die hard Apple fans, people who live, breathe, & s*** Apple products. Talk about Android/Google stuff on Cult of Android where the visitors actually give a rats a**. I cant stand when this website tries to bring in traffic to Cult of Android by posting articles with links, plus the advertising on this website has gone up so bad its ridiculous. How greedy can the administrators be? On some days majority of the articles are “[DEALS]“, were not stupid Cult of Mac we know you got paid to post that. Just stick to the basis of this website APPLE RELATED ARTICLES, nothing more nothing less.

  • raist3001

    OMG… The apple fan boys are so enraging. The resolution on the iPad mini is horrible!! My 1st gen nexus7 display is superior, as is my iPhone 4S and ipad3. In a market where there were superior displays, the ipad mini was a joke. Specs wise all around. I love apple but I thank god I am not an apple fan boy.

  • i_phone

    Here’s the difference between an Apple release and a Google release:

    Apple can’t keep up with supply and demand issues on a new release and are constantly updating their shipping time waiting periods on their online Apple store.

    In the meantime, Google orders a set amount of units from their manufacturer and tries ridiculously hard to sell their tablets for a loss. And now Microsoft is following suit with the Surface, right down to those losses.

    Anyway, I have a few acquaintances at work that have purchased the original nexus 7 & 10 tablets and have preached that they will never buy them again thanks to performance and reliability issues. I personally think people that purchase android products are doing so for only a handful of reasons:

    1. they’re cheap
    2. they’re buying them as a gift (see #1)
    3. they’re not technologically savvy / they don’t know any better
    4. they’re in denial
    5. they’re willing to sacrifice a lot for a bigger screen

    ChristopherDungeon . C O M

  • MrsCleaver

    When Google makes as integrated device as Apple, when the support is as good as Apple and when the Android OS is even remotely close to the seamless experience of iOS, then I might take a look. Until then, high screen resolution is hardly enough to make this Mini fan jump ship.

    You can hurl names like “iSheep”, “fanboy” and “Android hater” at me all you want, but none of that pertains; I know a well-thought out platform when I see one, and Android just isn’t it… for me…yet.

    Flame on.

  • GarionDK

    “The first Nexus 7 beat the iPad mini’s display quality too”.
    Yeah, and by your flawed reasoning that would be enough to declare that the first Nexus 7 “crushed” the iPad Mini in quality and value, right? I suggest you go and talk to people who actually fell for that hype and chose a Nexus 7 over an iPad Mini. Ask them how they feel about that choice today. You might learn something.

  • mister_grey

    It “crushes” it because it has a higher PPI? Really?

    And you people wonder why everyone makes fun of your site and it’s writers? There is more to a display than PPI. But never having *seen* it, or *used* it, and telling us nothing about it other than that one single statistic, (that you *read* in a press release), you think that it “crushes” the iPad mini (not even the iPad mini display mind you, the *entire* iPad mini).

    (face palm)

  • RonaldRidderhof

    The density of the pixels are not that important, because the most of the people wear reading glasses! So the difference is not that notable. And what’s more important, the bigger the ppi’s the bigger the apps’ get. I owned the previous Nexus, and it was crap. Now i have a iPad mini and love it. And really, who is counting the pixels anyway?

  • Gregory Wright

    Why should Apple be embarrassed? It has more hardware products to focus on than Google. The iPad Mini, even at a higher price point, still outsold the previous Nexus 7 and the new mini will outsell this latest rendition of the Nexus 7. I’m not dishing the Nexus 7. I’m just saying there is more to one’s purchase decision than the pixel density of the display.

  • Glenn

    The author fails to mention what effect this high-resolution display has on battery life. Does this device feature the same battery life as the iPad Mini? What difference is there? If the iPad Mini is “retinafied” in a new model, will that cut battery life in half because of the higher-resolution screen? How much bigger will the device have to be contain a big enough battery so that battery life as it is right now will not be diminished? These are important factors to this buyer. I don’t see Apple coming out with a device that features a retina screen and has to say “Oh by the way, you only get half the battery life with this new model.” That ain’t gonna happen.

  • lwdesign1

    When the iPad mini was released to cries of “horrible display because it’s not Retina”, I decided to take a look for myself at my local Best Buy Apple Mini Store. The resolution is just fine, text is quite readable, images look great, color is terrific and the battery life appears excellent. It would be nice to have a higher density screen but it’s certainly NOT a deal breaker. Along with the additional pixels comes a HUGE hit on battery life that is significant and requires a bigger, thicker battery, or other technological advantages of the hardware and operating system to draw less power. “Spec wars” do not necessarily make a better user experience. I’m very surprised to see Alex Heath using such an inflammatory headline that focuses solely on the number of pixels and says nothing about the user experience, and more importantly, the battery life.

    Higher pixel density also means that apps will need to be updated to display well on the mini, and file sizes of images will increase, meaning that RAM will need to be increased to compensate, which means a more expensive device to build. It’s not simply a case of more, more, more… Care and proper engineering need to take into account many factors to make and enjoyable and functional user experience. A larger pixel count can also increase heat dissipation problems. Bigger isn’t ALWAYS better.

  • MarioRay

    Here’s the difference between an Apple release and a Google release:

    Apple can’t keep up with supply and demand issues on a new release and are constantly updating their shipping time waiting periods on their online Apple store.

    In the meantime, Google orders a set amount of units from their manufacturer and tries ridiculously hard to sell their tablets for a loss. And now Microsoft is following suit with the Surface, right down to those losses.

    Anyway, I have a few acquaintances at work that have purchased the original nexus 7 & 10 tablets and have preached that they will never buy them again thanks to performance and reliability issues. I personally think people that purchase android products are doing so for only a handful of reasons:

    1. they’re cheap
    2. they’re buying them as a gift (see #1)
    3. they’re not technologically savvy / they don’t know any better
    4. they’re in denial
    5. they’re willing to sacrifice a lot for a bigger screen

    ChristopherDungeon . C O M

    1) Nexus Devices sell out in 30 minutes tops. As someone who tried to buy one, it was hard as hell (mainly because I was on slow ass sprint). I couldn’t even get the 16 gb version because it was sold out and it was 20 minutes in!

    2) Indeed, the price of my Nexus was a main reason I bought it, but is that a bad thing? This is the most fluid device I have ever owned, and lags only a tad more than an iPhone, yet it’s $300 cheaper. That’s a good deal, not a bad deal like you make it out to be.

    3) Some people just prefer android. It has nothing to do with who is more tech savy as there are people who don’t have a clue about anything on both OS.

    4) Sounds like you are also in denial if you don’t see a place for both android and iOS. They both have their song and weak points and both have their purpose. An iPhone isn’t an option for me since I use many Google services which either aren’t offered on iOS or are just not as good or tightly integrated as iOS. iOS is infinitely inferior to android when it comes to google services, which is important for many people.

    5) Someone on iOS is also giving up a lot. Like tight Google integration, hardware choice, and cheaper devices. It’s up to you to determine which is the better choice based on your needs. You are ignorant if you believe iOS is superior to android in every way, and that everybody should have an iOS device.

    As for the nexus Devices comment, I have a Nexus 4 and 7 and love them both. Granted, after getting my Chromebook my tablet has been gaining dust, but it still works like a charm (not as good as the day I got it but pretty good of you ask me). As for the nexus 4, this is the best device I have ever owned, and is still amazing after 9 months of use. All at half the price of the average smartphone.

  • i_phone
    Here’s the difference between an Apple release and a Google release:

    Apple can’t keep up with supply and demand issues on a new release and are constantly updating their shipping time waiting periods on their online Apple store.

    In the meantime, Google orders a set amount of units from their manufacturer and tries ridiculously hard to sell their tablets for a loss. And now Microsoft is following suit with the Surface, right down to those losses.

    Anyway, I have a few acquaintances at work that have purchased the original nexus 7 & 10 tablets and have preached that they will never buy them again thanks to performance and reliability issues. I personally think people that purchase android products are doing so for only a handful of reasons:

    1. they’re cheap
    2. they’re buying them as a gift (see #1)
    3. they’re not technologically savvy / they don’t know any better
    4. they’re in denial
    5. they’re willing to sacrifice a lot for a bigger screen

    ChristopherDungeon . C O M

    1) Nexus Devices sell out in 30 minutes tops. As someone who tried to buy one, it was hard as hell (mainly because I was on slow ass sprint). I couldn’t even get the 16 gb version because it was sold out and it was 20 minutes in!

    2) Indeed, the price of my Nexus was a main reason I bought it, but is that a bad thing? This is the most fluid device I have ever owned, and lags only a tad more than an iPhone, yet it’s $300 cheaper. That’s a good deal, not a bad deal like you make it out to be.

    3) Some people just prefer android. It has nothing to do with who is more tech savy as there are people who don’t have a clue about anything on both OS.

    4) Sounds like you are also in denial if you don’t see a place for both android and iOS. They both have their song and weak points and both have their purpose. An iPhone isn’t an option for me since I use many Google services which either aren’t offered on iOS or are just not as good or tightly integrated as iOS. iOS is infinitely inferior to android when it comes to google services, which is important for many people.

    5) Someone on iOS is also giving up a lot. Like tight Google integration, hardware choice, and cheaper devices. It’s up to you to determine which is the better choice based on your needs. You are ignorant if you believe iOS is superior to android in every way, and that everybody should have an iOS device.

    As for the nexus Devices comment, I have a Nexus 4 and 7 and love them both. Granted, after getting my Chromebook my tablet has been gaining dust, but it still works like a charm (not as good as the day I got it but pretty good of you ask me). As for the nexus 4, this is the best device I have ever owned, and is still amazing after 9 months of use. All at half the price of the average smartphone.

    Yay, I caught a fishy!

    I guess I’ll just respond back to your numbers like you did with mine, but you easily messed that logical sequence up already.

    1) How many nexus 7 devices did Google just sell out of – 10, 100, 10,000, 100,000 1,000,000? You’ll never know. On the other hand, Apple doesn’t do that sellout BS. Instead, Apple gives you an estimated timeframe as to when you can expect your new product to ship. Way to bring the sold out hype for hidden reasons Google!

    2) Glad to see you’re honest about being cheap. You fall under #1 on my list of 5 reasons why people buy Android products. I should just end my commenting right here since you nicely summed up my point.

    http://www.ChristopherDungeon.com

  • i_phone

    Alex – Please continue posting so I can rip your articles apart with my teeth.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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