So far in the “Age of the Tablet” there has been only one tablet against which all other were measured. Many have fallen far short. That tablet is the iPad, and from its release in 2010 it has seen few competitors. That has recently changed.
The new competitor is Google’s spankin’ new tablet, the Nexus 7. While many users and reviewers feel that the Nexus 7 is truly a competitor of the iPad, the question posed by many small business owners is: does it really stack up?
Below is our comparison between the new iPad (iPad 3) and the Google Nexus 7 (N7).
On the outside
The iPad is 9.5 inches long and 7.31 inches wide, with a viewable area of 9.7 inches from the top-left to the bottom-right of the screen. The Nexus 7 is smaller at 7.81 inches long by 4.72 inches wide, with a viewable area of 7 inches. The iPad weighs around 1.4 pounds while the Nexus 7 weighs .75 pounds. Due to its size the Nexus 7 is more portable, and a rubber backing makes it easier to hold.
The display is one of the most important features to take into account when buying any device. The iPad uses Apple’s Retina display, a super high resolution display that produces a sharp, crisp image. The resolution of the iPad is 2048 X 1536, while the Nexus 7’s display is 1280 X 800. (In this case higher numbers generally mean a better display.) With a higher resolution, the iPad’s display is superior, however, the Nexus 7’s display is a close second in terms of image quality and viewability.
Small business owners or managers that spend a lot of time on the road need devices that can keep up with the rigorous demands of travel. Apple is well-known for high quality devices, but the iPad does have a known weakness. The screen is fragile and prone to cracking with even a moderate impact. The Nexus 7 is too new to be fully tested, but from drop and dunk tests, it looks like the Nexus 7 is the more durable device, without the use of a case. But add a protective case and the iPad is just as durable.
OS and Apps
The iPad runs the iOS, which is an extremely user friendly environment. Turn on your iPad for the first time, enter your information, and away you go. As the iPad has been out for a couple of years, a great number of developers have made iPad-specific apps, which means there are a ton of useful business-oriented apps available.
The Nexus 7 runs on the Android OS and is the first device to have Google’s new version, Jelly Bean. The new OS goes a long way in making devices easier to use, but it still can’t compete with the iPad in terms of ease of use. The Nexus 7 also has a large number of apps available on Google Play – Google’s app store – but the number of tablet optimized apps is lacking.
Android devices like the Nexus 7 are built on an open-source OS, which means that anyone can download and modify it. This can also mean that it is less secure, as has been proven by an increase in the amount of malware and viruses that target Android devices. The iPad, while not immune to viruses and malware, is a more secure environment, at least for now.
There is a stark difference in the price of the two tablets. A basic iPad starts at US$499 and can run up to US$829. The Nexus 7 starts at US$199 for an 8 GB model, and there is an upgraded 16 GB model available for US$250.
So which one should small businesses buy?
When considering this question, we strongly recommend that you take a look at your needs and current environment. If you’re buying a tablet to take to the office with you, or mobilize your office, you need to ensure that there are apps available for your device that will meet your needs, and that your current system is compatible with the tablet. In general, companies will release apps for the iOS environment first, with Android apps coming later, sometimes up to a year later.
Which tablet do you use? Which would you consider using in your business? Let us know below. If you’ve made your mind up and would like to know more about integrating the tablet into your operations, please contact us.