iPad Mini 2 vs Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire HDX: Spec Showdown

ipad mini 2 vs nexus 7 kindle fire hdx smalltabletbanner

The iPad reinvented the tablet category, and defined it for a while. But from the beginning, smaller tablets swam into its wake. Other companies did their best to corner that part of the market. It still remains extremely competitive, with Google and Amazon leading the way to push the 7-to-8 inch tablet category to be priced affordably and still offer appealing performance. The flagship devices from both companies, the Kindle Fire HDX from Amazon and the Nexus 7 from Google, are two of the best tablets on the market for any size. Is the second generation iPad Mini ready to compete? We put it head-to-head with the other industry leaders to find out.


iPad Mini Retina 


Amazon Kindle Fire HDX


Nexus 7 (2013)

Size 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.3 (in) 7.32 x 5.04 x 0.35 (in) 7.9 x 4.5 x 0.3 (in)
Weight 11 oz 10.97 oz 11 oz
Screen 7.9-inch LCD 7-inch LCD 7-inch LCD 
Resolution 2048×1536 pixels 1920 x 1200 pixels 1920×1200 pixels
OS iOS 7 Android 4.2 with Fire OS 3.0 UI Android 4.3
Storage 16GB 16/32/64GB 16/32GB
SD Card Slot No No No
Processor A7 chipset 2.2GHz Quad-cord Snapdragon 800 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro
Connectivity Wi-Fi, 4G LTE Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, 4G LTE Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, 4G LTE, NFC
Camera Front 1.2MP, Rear 5MP Front 1.2MP Front 2.1MP, Rear 5MP
Bluetooth Yes, version 4.0 Yes, version 4.0 Yes, version 4.0
Battery 10 hours of use 11 hours of use 4,000mAh (9 hours of use)
Charger Lightning connector Micro USB Micro USB
Marketplace Apple App Store Amazon Appstore Google Play Store
Price $400+ $230+ $230+
Availability Nov. ’13 on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint AT&T, Verizon AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon


One of the biggest drawbacks with the first run of iPad Minis was the lack of the Retina display. It was running at a lower resolution than most tablets on the market and lacked the clarity and polish that Apple’s Retina displays offer. That has been amended with the new iPad Mini, which features a Retina screen and a resolution equal to that of the full size iPad. It also tops both the Kindle Fire HDX and the Nexus 7 when it comes to sheer pixels. Because of the bigger screen on the iPad Mini, the pixel count is essentially even between the three devices. (iPad Mini comes in at 324ppi while both the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDX have 323ppi.) The Nexus 7 has been noted for having an extremely impressive display of its own, so seeing the devices up close and personal may be the best way to tell which looks better (though all three look great).


Things get a little harder to compare when we start looking at the processor. Apple has given the iPad Mini the same treatment it gave the iPhone 5S and iPad by installing the A7 chipset into the device. This 64-bit chip gives the iPad Mini a debatably large step up. As the mobile world continues to inch toward the switch to 64-bit processors, the iPad Mini has already hit that benchmark. Both the Kindle Fire HDX and the Nexus 7 are equipped with fast 32-bit processors with plenty of power of their own. The Kindle Fire HDX has the advantage of having the latest in the line of Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, while the Nexus 7 uses an older – but not outdated – model.


This may end up being a big determining factor when looking at these three devices. Arguably, the iPad Mini has a better display and more impressive internal specs thanks to its A7 chipset, but it’s also priced at nearly twice the cost of either the Nexus 7 or the Kindle Fire HDX. Even the old version of the iPad Mini, which is acting as Apple’s entry model now, carries a $300 price tag. That’s too high considering just how impressive and competitive the two Android tablets are. Starting at $230 each, as opposed to $400 for the new iPad Mini, the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDX tablets offer a lot for the price point. The Kindle Fire HDX is especially intriguing given its 24/7 help service built into the device as opposed to Apple’s Genius Bar, which requires a store visit, and phone support. Right now, it feels like it’s priced a little high but by November when it’s available, the iPad Mini and its new processor and pretty display could win us and you over. You’ll just have to get it in your hands and see.


Walmart drops prices on Apple Watches and other fitness trackers

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearable heart rate monitors from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin are popular gifts. Wearables are smarter and more capable than in earlier years. We found the best wearables deals on Walmart.

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?

Apple MacBook Air vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 6

The MacBook Air was updated with more contemporary components and a more modern design, but is that enough to compete with standouts like Microsoft's Surface Pro 6 detachable tablet?

Apple iPad Pro 11 vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4: Which top-tier tablet reigns supreme?

If you're in the market for a new tablet and you want something that can double up as a laptop in a pinch, then you owe it to yourself to check out the 11-inch Apple iPad Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. We compare the two here.
Home Theater

Step aside set-top boxes, the best streaming sticks are tiny and just as powerful

Which streaming stick reigns supreme? We pit the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra against the Roku Premiere, Roku Streaming Stick+, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K to help you decide which one will be the best fit in your living room.

The best Wear OS watches

There are a ton of different Wear OS watches out there, but which one's right for you? No matter what you're looking for from a smartwatch, here are the best Wear OS watches out there.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.
Smart Home

This device detects when your pet is at the door and opens it for them

Tired of waiting for your dog to come inside, or running home in the middle of the day to let your four-legged friend out? Wayzn automatically opens sliding doors for your dog and gives you remote control.

Apple pushing update to iPhone in China in response to legal troubles

Apple has been facing legal issues in China due to alleged infringements of patents from Qualcomm Inc. On Friday, Apple announced it will push a software update in China in hopes of resolving any potential legal issues around the iPhone.

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

iOS jailbreak app store Cydia shuts down purchasing

For years, iOS users have been jailbreaking their devices to install software not approved by Apple. But now the popular app store alternative Cydia will no longer be accepting purchases.