Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 vs. iPad Mini, Nexus 7 + Kindle Fire HD

Samsung has announced a revamped version of its 7-inch tablet, the Galaxy Tab 2. The Galaxy Tab 3 promises a more sleek and stylish design that is comfortable to hold in one hand for hours, and will be available in WiFi and 3G versions. Expect the two versions of the Galaxy Tab 3 to hit shelves in May and June, respectively.

But how does this new mini tablet from Samsung compare to other small tablets already out in the market? Today we’re comparing the upcoming Tab 3 to the Nexus 7, the iPad Mini, the Nook HD and the Kindle Fire HD.

Screen Size and Display

Galaxy Tab 3: 7” WSVGA (1024 x 600, 169 PPI) TFT

Nexus 7: 7” 1280×800 HD display (216 ppi), Back-lit IPS display, Scratch-resistant Corning Glass

iPad mini: 7.9” Retina Display with 2048×1536-pixel resolution (256ppi) with Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating, LED-backlit, Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating

Nook HD: 7” 1440 x 900 pixel resolution, 243 PPI (pixels per inch), Supports 720p; fully laminated screen with no air gaps reduces glare and provides extra-wide viewing angles.

Kindle Fire HD: 7” 1280×800, up to 720p HD , HD display with polarizing filter and anti-glare technology for rich color and deep contrast from any viewing angle

Dimensions

Tab 3: 111.1 x 188.0 x 9.9mm, 302g for the Wi-Fi version and 306g for the 3Gversion

Nexus 7: 198.5 x 120 x 10.45 mm, 340g

iPad mini: 200 x 134.7 x 7.2 mm, WiFi 308g; WiFi+cellular 312g

NOOK HD: 194.4 x 127.1 x 11 mm, 315 g

Kindle Fire HD: 7.6″ x 5.4″ x 0.4″ 7”, 395g

Memory

Tab 3: 8/16GB Internal Memory + 1GB (RAM), can be upgraded to up to 64GB via the microSD slot

Nexus 7: 16 and 32GB internal storage, 1GB RAM

iPad mini: 16, 32 and 64GB; 512MB RAM

NOOK HD: 8 and 16GB / 16 and 32GB; Add up to 32GB5 with microSD™ memory card, 8GB: 512MB RAM, 16GB: 1GB RAM

Kindle Fire HD: 7” 16 and 32GB + free cloud storage for all Amazon content

Battery Life

Tab 3: 4,000 mAh standard Li-ion battery, no information on battery life yet

Nexus 7: 9 hours video playback, 10 hours web browsing or e-reading, 300 hours on stand-by

iPad mini: 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video or listening to music

NOOK HD: Up to 10.5 hours of reading and Up to 9.5 hours of video

Kindle Fire HD: 7” 11 hours continuous use

Processor

Tab 3: 1.2 GHz Dual Core processor

Nexus 7: Quad-core Tegra 3 processor

iPad mini: 1 GHz Dual-core Apple A5 processor

NOOK HD: 1.3 GHz Dual-Core, OMAP 4470

Kindle Fire HD: 7” Dual-core 1.2GHz OMAP4460

Wireless/Connectivity

Tab 3: WiFi and 3G versions: 3G : HSPA+21 / 5.76 Quad 850/900/1900/2100; 2G : EDGE/GPRS Quad 850/900/1800/1900; WiFi a/b/g/n (2.4/5GHz), WiFi Channel Bonding, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth 3.0

Nexus 7: WiFi only: 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, NFC (Android Beam); WiFi+Cellular: 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, NFC (Android Beam), GSM/UMTS/HSPA+, GSM/EDGE/GPRS (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), 3G (850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz), HSPA+ 21

iPad mini: WiFi only: Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz) and Bluetooth 4.0 technology

NOOK HD: Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n)

Kindle Fire HD: Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO) for faster streaming and fewer dropped connections than standard Wi-Fi. Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks

Camera

Tab 3: 3MP rear camera, 1.3MP front-facing camera

Nexus 7: 1.2MP front-facing camera

iPad mini: 5-megapixel iSight camera, 1.2-megapixel VGA FaceTime camera

NOOK HD: None

Kindle Fire HD: Front-facing HD camera

Input/Output

Tab 3: USB 2.0, microSD card slot – not enough information on the device’s specs sheet

Nexus 7: micro USB, Microphone, NFC (Android Beam), 3.5 mm stereo jack

iPad mini: WiFi only: Lighting connector, 3.5-mm stereo headphone minijack, built-in speaker, microphone; WiFi + Cellular: Lightning connector, 3.5-mm stereo headphone minijack, built-in speaker, microphone, Nano-SIM card tray

NOOK HD: Universal 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack, Charging port, Expandable microSD slot, HDMI port, Dual stereo speakers

Kindle Fire HD: USB 2.0 (micro-B connector) port for connection to a PC or Macintosh computer or to connect to the Kindle PowerFast charging accessory. Micro-HDMI (micro-D connector) port for high definition video output to televisions or A/V receivers, 3.5 mm stereo jack and integrated stereo speakers with exclusive Dolby audio engine. Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP) support for streaming audio to compatible headphones and speakers. Built-in microphone.

Sensors

Tab 3: WiFi: Accelerometer, Geo-magnetic, Light; 3G: Accelerometer, Geo-magnetic, Light, Proximity

Nexus 4: Microphone, NFC (Android Beam), Accelerometer, GPS, Magnetometer, Gyroscope

iPad mini: Three-axis gyro, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor

NOOK HD/HD+: No Information

Kindle Fire HD: No Information

Operating Software

Tab 3: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Nexus 4: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

iPad mini: iOS 6

NOOK HD: Custom-designed Android Ice Cream Sandwich

Kindle Fire HD: Customized Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich

And the winner is…

The display already sets back the Galaxy Tab 3, as competitors all sport HD displays. The processor isn’t that bad, but the Nexus 7 takes the prize in that category as it has a quad-core processor that makes it faster than all the devices in this round.

The Tab 3 takes the cake in the weight category, as both the WiFi and 3G versions are the lightest. The Tab 3’s OS is up to date, unlike the NOOK and the Kindle tablets, so that’s a plus. And having a front and rear camera gives it another point, though the iPad mini’s cameras are better.

All in all, the Galaxy Tab 3 isn’t that bad, though Samsung could have improved more of its features aside from the sleeker design. Hopefully, the device would be justified with a low price to reflect the seemingly minimal changes made from previous versions.

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