The Google Nexus 7 Vs. The iPad Air – Which Is A Better Buy For You?

The Google Nexus 7 Vs. The iPad Air – Which Is A Better Buy For You?

If you are looking to choose a new tablet from the latest raft of offerings, two tempting options are likely to be Google’s Nexus 7, which runs on Android and is manufactured by Asus, or Apple’s latest version of their full sized iPad – the iPad Air.

ipad air vs nexus 7

Ipad Air vs Nexus 7

As you might expect, both of these tablets offer you the ability to browse the web, access email, shoot images and video, play your media files and use a huge range of apps. This however, is where the similarities end, because in terms of specifications, design, price and performance, they are quite different machines.



The Nexus 7 is a smaller tablet, which may in many ways be viewed as a closer competitor to the iPad Mini. The 2013 Nexus 7 has a 7.02 inch screen, whereas the full sized iPad’s is at 9.7 inches – unchanged from the iPad 4. The Nexus does however have a sharper screen resolution, with 323 pixels per inch versus the iPad Air’s 264. If you have used any of Apple’s other Retina Display devices, this may not be a huge selling point in the Nexus’ favor; if it is impossible (as Apple claims), for a person with 20:20 vision to distinguish individual pixels on the iPad’s screen, a sharper resolution isn’t really necessary and may have an impact on performance.

The reduced weight of the iPad Air over the iPad 4 does mean that while larger, it isn’t tangibly heavier than the smaller Nexus 7. Apple used much of the design from the iPad Mini in creating a slimmer, sleeker full sized tablet that weighs 20% less than its predecessor, and looks fantastic with its glass and aluminum body. Google’s tablet has less of that ‘premium’ feel to its physical design, but by no means looks like a cheap device – if you aren’t too easily seduced by Apple’s designs, you may actually prefer its unassuming but classy looks.



Google have tended to strive for affordability when releasing their own branded phone and tablet devices, and this is still the case with the Nexus 7. You can buy the 16GB Nexus 7 for $220, whereas the 16GB iPad Air is vastly more expensive at $549. Also, because Apple now offers so many free apps with their devices, the 16GB option is not going to allow you to get the most out of them. There simply isn’t room in the memory for all of these, plus any third party apps you might want. This means that unless you are a very light user who only wants a few apps and you don’t care too much about having a media library on your tablet, the entry level device is not going to have enough space for you. As a result you’ll find yourself spending what could be hundreds more to get a model with enough storage, and more again if you want 3G. While the price of the Nexus also goes up as you increase storage specifications, you could comfortably a use a 16GB Nexus 7 without feeling you are missing out if you aren’t heavy on media. This does essentially make the Nexus a better option for the price sensitive user considering a 16GB device.



For the most commonly used apps like Facebook, Twitter and Skype, you are going to be OK with either of these devices as there are mature apps for running these services on both the Android and Apple app marketplaces. Apple has a larger number of tablet optmized apps (currently around 475,000, and you can also use some iPhone apps on the iPad if you don’t mind them looking a bit weird), and has more stringent quality control around what it will allow developers to offer. This means that if discovering dozens of new apps every day is something you like to do, you may prefer to be working with the App Store. However, if you just want productivity apps that help you do common tasks and a few entertaining games, you will find you are served pretty well on the Android Marketplace.

All in all, these are both really good devices and you are unlikely to come home with ‘buyer’s remorse’ if you choose either of them. The iPad Air may be the prettier of the two, and is probably the better choice if you are a heavy user who is already invested in Apple’s ecosystem as it will integrate beautifully with your iPhone and MacBook. However, when you weigh up the cost and see what you actually get for your money with the Nexus 7, it is clear that this is a really attractive proposition for anybody who wants a good looking, reliable tablet that will do just about everything the iPad does without the Apple price tag.

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One Comment

  1. Mark says:

    Nexus 7 all the way for me man. there is no way that I would pay over $500 for an ipad air when I could just purchase the nexus 7 for under 200 bucks and still do everything i love

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