The Apple iPad mini's marketing campaign looks to win over consumers who are looking to purchase a slightly smaller (and cheaper) version of the iPad. It's working. Consumers are going out in droves to purchase the iPad mini thinking that it is the best option to fulfill their tech dreams, but many buyers will receive a rude awakening. The iPad mini is lacking in many ways compared to the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and the Google Nexus 7. With the popularity of the Apple brand, it's safe to say that if its price were lower, the company would have been able to dominate its tiny-tablet competitors.

In a feature-to-feature comparison, highlights multiple ways in which the iPad mini is inferior when compared to the Kindle Fire HD. First and most importantly is the price. Consumers are always trying to get the best bang for their buck, and the iPad mini does not provide the most affordable alternative. The 16 GB Wi-Fi-only model is $329. If you plan on downloading tons of apps and other content and want 32 GB of storage, that model costs $429. The 64 GB version is $529. The 64 GB version isn't even the most expensive version of the iPad mini. Apple is set to release a Wi-Fi and cellular version of the device that will range from $459-$659. The Kindle Fire maxes out at $614 for the 64 GB model and the Nexus 7 has a maximum price of $299 for the 32 GB version.

Not Just About Price
For the price of the Apple iPad mini, you would think that it would have the clear advantage in the specs department, but this is also not the case. One glaring omission from the iPad mini is the fact that it's missing the retina display that has popularized many of the new Apple devices such as the 4th generation iPad and the MacBook Pro. In fact, the iPad mini has fewer pixels per inch than both the Kindle Fire HD and the Nexus 7. The iPad mini has 163 pixels per inch while both the Kindle Fire HD and the Nexus 7 have 216 pixels per inch. The lack of pixels in the screen prevents you from watching HD movies and TV shows on the iPad mini.

The Positives

There are still good features and aspects of the iPad mini that would be very appealing to its consumers. The iPad mini is only 0.68 pounds for the Wi-Fi model and 0.69 pounds for the Wi-Fi plus cellular version, which makes it very easy to carry around on a long day without placing too much strain on you. Your iPad mini will be available to use all day, even when you have forgotten your charger at home because the battery life is roughly 10 hours.

Another feature in which the iPad mini holds the edge is the camera. It comes with a rear camera that has almost twice the mega pixels of any competitor. It also has a front-facing and a rear-facing camera, which neither the Kindle Fire HD or Nexus 7 boasts. The iPad mini also has the biggest screen in its class with its 7.9-inch screen. This means is has a 35% larger screen size compared to the 7-inch tablets.

Even with all of those attractive options, the most alluring feature of the iPad mini is a feature that makes Apple's mobile devices popular: the App Store. The variety and sheer number of apps that are available on the App Store cannot be matched by any of its competitors. There are apps for those who purchase it to have fun, to be a functional tool or for people who want to use it strictly as a multimedia device.

The Bottom Line
Negative aspects aside, the Apple iPad mini has some attractive features, and it is probably at the forefront of your mind when you think about purchasing a small-sized tablet. However, this does not mean that it is the best buy for you. This is especially true since it is missing some key features, which have popularized many of Apple's other recent devices. Given Apple's history with its devices, there is more than likely an iPad mini 2 on the way that will improve upon all of the areas that the original version is lacking in. The iPad mini may be the most notable device in its class, but there are plenty of more attractive options out there for your wallet and your fingertips.

Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Procter & Gamble Restructures, Sheds 100 Brands

    All businesses face adversity, and Procter & Gamble is no exception. We take a look at recent developments affecting this global giant.
  2. Economics

    Explaining Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price

    The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is just what it describes – the price manufacturers recommend that retailers charge for their goods.
  3. Economics

    Calculating Cross Elasticity of Demand

    Cross elasticity of demand measures the quantity demanded of one good in response to a change in price of another.
  4. Personal Finance

    What to Collect: Apple Watch vs. Luxury Watches

    The "iWatch" is a new player in the luxury watch world. But will it stand the test of time? Some points for collectors to ponder.
  5. Stock Analysis

    2 Reasons PepsiCo's Snacks Division is Crucial to Its Growth

    Understand the recent trends in the North American snacks market. Learn about the top two reasons why PepsiCo's snack division is crucial to its growth.
  6. Personal Finance

    Alpaca vs. Cashmere: Which Luxe Wool Is the Best?

    Winter is coming. Which of these luxury threads is most worth the price (and how to distinguish true luxe from cheap imitations).
  7. Stock Analysis

    Top 3 Stocks for the Coming Holiday Season

    If you want to buck the bear market trend by going long on consumer stocks, these three might be your best bets.
  8. Investing Basics

    Tiny House Movement: Making Market Opportunities

    The tiny house movement throws all assumptions about household budgeting and mortgage management out the window, and creates new market segments too.
  9. Investing Basics

    A Gluten-Free Makeover For A Supermarket Near You

    The gluten-free diet is changing the food choices of a large number of consumers, and the food industry is taking note and making the needed adjustments.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Top 4 Consumer Defensive Mutual Funds

    Discover which mutual funds in the consumer defensive market are top-rated funds, and learn why investors may be drawn to these mutual funds.
  1. What does marginal utility tell us about consumer choice?

    In microeconomics, utility represents a way to relate the amount of goods consumed to the amount of happiness or satisfaction ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are some common ways product differentiation is achieved?

    There are many ways to achieve product differentiation, some more common than others. Horizontal Differentiation Horizontal ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What role does the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) play in the finished product?

    Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) do not typically play much of direct role in determining the finished product. However, ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and a VAR ...

    An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is a company that manufactures a basic product or a component product, such as a ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Is the retail sector also affected by seasonal factors?

    Generally speaking, the retail sector is highly seasonal. Almost invariably, sales in the retail sector are highest in the ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What has the retail sector evolved to its current structure?

    Retail is the catch-all phrase for the sale of final goods to consumers; a retail transaction is considered an "end" and ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  2. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  3. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  4. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  5. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  6. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!