By Sumit Passary | Nov 03, 2012 11:06 AM EDT
Apple's latest tablet offering, the iPad mini, and Barnes & Noble's NOOK HD have finally hit the shelves in November. With the smaller tablet market inundated with a slew of devices, the race for top honors is heating up.
Both the devices pack in robust features that will likely entice the buyers this holiday season. However, which tablet is the better buy?
We take a look at the iPad mini and the NOOK HD's features and specifications to help you decide which device you want in your Christmas wish list.
Processor and Software
A dual-core OMAP 4470 processor clocked at 1.3GHz powers the NOOK HD tablet, whereas Apple's custom-designed A5 processor powers the iPad mini.
The NOOK HD comes pre-loaded with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, whereas the iPad mini runs on iOS 6.
The iPad mini sports a 7.9-inch LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology with 1024 x 768 pixels resolution. Barnes & Noble's NOOK HD features a 7-inch HD display with a higher 1440 x 900 pixels resolution.
The Barnes & Noble offering trounces the Apple offering when it comes to pixel density. The NOOK HD has a higher pixel density of 243 pixels per inch (ppi) when compared to the 163 ppi of the iPad mini.
Dimensions And Weight
The iPad mini measures 7.87 x 5.30 x 0.28 inches, making it taller and wider than the NOOK HD, which measures 7.65 x 5.00 x 0.43 inches. However at 0.28 inches thickness, the iPad mini is svelte than the 0.43 inches of the NOOK HD.
The NOOK HD weighs 11.01 ounces, making it much slightly heavier than the 10.86 ounces of the iPad mini.
The NOOK HD has 8/16GB on-board storage versions of the device as opposed to the 16/32/64 GB storage variants of the iPad mini. Moreover, the NOOK HD also has an expandable memory option of up to 32GB with the use of a microSD card unlike the iPad mini.
The iPad mini steals the show in this department. It sports a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, whereas the NOOK HD does not come with a camera.
The iPad mini includes a 16.3 watt-hour battery, which Apple states will provide 10 hours of continuous productivity. The NOOK HD packs in 050mAh battery, which offers up to 10.5 hours of reading time, which is marginally more than the iPad mini.
Price, Availability, And Colors
Apple's tablet will hit the shelves on Nov. 2 and the company will offer the iPad mini for a starting price of $329 for the 16GB version. By contrast, the $229 pricing of the 16GB version of NOOK HD is more pocket friendly and the device will be available in stores from Nov.1. The NOOK HD comes in two colors: "Snow" and "Smoke", whereas the iPad mini will be available in black and white.
Both the iPad mini and the NOOK HD sport features that will draw in potential buyers. While the NOOk HD is budget friendly and has the best screen resolution, and is least reflective, out of all the 7-inch tablets per experts; it loses out on app selection. The NOOk HD's limited app inventory is no match for Apple.
Experts opine that buyers may choose to opt for Apple as it is an established brand name, which is synonymous with quality. However, it remains to be seen if the NOOK HD can compete with Apple's ecosystem. Ultimately, use preference would play a pivotal role in deciding which device leads the smaller tablet race.
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