Smaller tablets are all the rage in the world of mobile technology today. Slightly larger than a DVD case, the 7″ tablet is not new, but there is a new player on the field. On October 26, Apple threw their hat into the ring with the iPad mini, a 7″ tablet that just a year ago Steve Jobs said would never make it in the market. It looks like he may have spoken too soon. Let’s take a look at a few of the top 7″ tablets available today.
The Kindle Fire HD is one of the hottest small tablets on the market. The newest version of the Kindle Fire at 8.9″ is inching up closer to the size of the larger tablets. The Fire HD has a 1080p high definition screen and can be purchased with or without 4G cellular data connection. The tablet is very light, weighing in at only 20 oz. and very fast, sporting a Dual core 1.5 GHz processor. Amazon claims the device has a 9 hour battery life, which is great for watching and listening to the over 20 million songs, movies, and TV shows Amazon has to offer. That doesn’t include all the Kindle books and magazines, because of course you can read all of them on this tablet as well. The Kindle Fire also has popular apps and games like Angry Birds, Pandora, and Facebook. The Kindle Fire HD is an entertainment powerhouse starting at $299.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is one of a vast cornucopia of tablets running Google’s Android operating system. The new Galaxy Tab 2 runs Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, and has a Samsung add-on called TouchWiz, which allows you to customize the tablet’s interface by adding live panels to the home screen, feeding live content such as email, and social media updates. The tablet has access to over 500,000 apps through the Android market as well as thousands of movies, music, and TV shows. The Galaxy Tab only supports Wi-Fi, so if you want to connect to the Internet you will have to find a hotspot. The Galaxy Tab is lighter than the Kindle Fire HD, weighing only 12 oz. and smaller, sporting a 7″ 1080p high definition screen. Coming in at $199.99 direct from Samsung, this tablet is an excellent full-featured tablet though it does have its limitations.
Last on the list is the new Apple iPad mini. This tablet is an iPad…only smaller. Apple boasts that it has over 275,000 apps targeted to the iPad and they all run on the mini, just like they do on a full-sized iPad, and that does not include the other iOS apps for the iPhone that are compatible as well. The secret is in how they set up the screen resolution, 1024 by 768 – the same as the iPad 2, but with just a few more pixels packed in there to make the display even clearer. The lightest of the group – the iPad mini is just 10 oz. The iPad mini has plenty of power packed into its smaller frame. The tablet has a dual-core Apple A5 processor just like the iPad 2. The cameras – both front and back – match the specs of the most recent refresh of the new iPad, allowing you to take 5mp photos and 1080p high definition video. The iPad mini, like other iPads, comes in black or white, with or without 4G cellular, and with varying amounts of storage (16GB, 32GB, or 64GB). This tablet, like Apple states, is “Every inch an iPad.” Depending on how you size it, the price ranges from $329-$659.
The tablet market has reached a plateau where each device hardware-wise is on equal footing. When deciding which tablet you want, you will need to ask yourself which one has the software features you want and of course what apps does it run, because it is truly the apps that make tablets useful and entertaining.