Apple iPad mini vs Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 comparison


The Apple iPad mini is the first generation 7.9-inch tablet from Apple while the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is the official next generation tablet after the first Samsung Galaxy Tab (despite there being several other tablets that came directly after the first Galaxy Tab). Both fit the 7-inch touchscreen tablet class but each device has it's own tech specs, features and pricing. The main question that we're looking to answer this time is which device is better in this comparison between the Apple iPad mini and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0.

Design - Premium aluminum unibody vs plastic 

Both the Apple iPad mini and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 are previous generation products, but while the design for the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is about as generic a tablet can be, the design for the iPad mini is the latest in the Apple range of tablets. At 7.2mm the iPad mini is the thinnest Apple tablet available and the narrow bezels and slimmer design are currently being copied by newer tablets like the Apple iPad Air and Apple iPad mini with Retina Display. Build quality for the Apple iPad mini is premium level with a rigid but thin and strong aluminum unibody chassis. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 on the other hand is mostly plastic. While the build quality for the Tab 2 7.0 is solid it hardly feels premium. While both displays are normal non-Retina Display screens, the Apple iPad mini has an extra 0.9-inches, which we feel makes the screen seem less cramped when put in landscape made on it's side. When you put the Tab 2 7.0 in landscape mode, the screen feels a bit like a too wide wide screen display.

The design of the Apple iPad mini is currently the latest design template followed by the newest Apple iPads everywhere

Tech specs, Features and Performance - A richer user experience is better than higher tech specs

Just looking at the tech specs between the Apple iPad mini and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 can be misleading, especially if you're unfamiliar with Apple's optimized iOS operating system. From a pure tech specs perspective which you can see via our comparison tool, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 has more memory with 1GB of RAM and what appears to be a faster clocked dual-core processor. However, you will find that the Apple iPad mini has no lag, can upgrade to the latest iOS 7 operating system and comes jam packed with a better camera and free yet fully functional entertainment and productivity apps. The Tab 2 7.0 has some lag, is stuck on Android 4.1.1 and comes with a good amount of Samsung bloatware. In addition, if you want good productivity or entertainment apps on the Tab 2 7.0 you're going to have to either download or buy them yourself separately. Talking about connectivity, while the Tab 2 7.0 has 3G the Apple iPad mini has 4G LTE support as well for faster mobile connections. Both have similar battery life but we feel that the iPad mini gives a richer and more complete user experience than the Tab 2 7.0 as there is better integration and the iPad mini is easier to use. 

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The Apple iPad mini offers a bit more screen space and looks more natural than the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

Pricing - You get what you pay for

At RM799 this is the only aspect where the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 pulls ahead of the Apple iPad mini Cellular version which currently goes at RM1379 for the 16GB model. However, is this really value you're paying for? Considering the features that you get for the price, you are getting a solid 3G capable tablet with the Tab 2 7.0 but the reverse is also true. For the price of the iPad mini you are getting a premium 4G LTE tablet with all the bells and whistles so in the end, you are getting your money's worth with either device. 

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 makes for a solid tablet with a good value RM799 price.

Conclusion - When the Apple beats the Orange

After taking a closer look at both the Apple iPad mini and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 we can safely say that it isn't a fair apples vs oranges comparison. The iPad mini is clearly the more premium device with faster 4G LTE connectivity, better build quality and more useful apps and functions. If this was just a comparison of performance and design we'd pick the Apple iPad mini with ease but since it involves price as well the more affordable Tab 2 7.0 does have a place in today's tablet market as well. If price is your main deciding factor then the Tab 2 7.0 is the better buy, but if you're actually looking to do some work with a tablet the iPad mini is the better choice. 

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Our choice in this comparison would have to be the Apple iPad mini because despite the lower tech specs and higher price, the optimized performance, premium build and better productivity features makes it the better mobile 7-inch tablet

Apple iPad Mini Specs & Price >