iPad Mini vs Barnes & Noble Nook HD
We pitch the Nook HD into the fray once more, this time to do battle with Apple's iPad Mini
Does the Nook HD have what it takes to dethrone Apple’s iPad Mini?
iPad Mini - 200x134.7x7.2mm, 308g
Barnes & Noble Nook HD - 194.4x127.1x11mm, 315g
We’d say the iPad Mini looks a good deal better than its larger cousin, with a number of the same visual cues, but while on the full-size iPad the look has become too familiar in this smaller format there’s something about it that looks more refined.
Perhaps it’s the 7.9-inch display’s aspect ratio lending the device very flattering proportions, or the very thin sides and slightly thicker top and bottom panels creating an iPhone-like shape. Either way, it looks sharp and has an aluminium back panel.
The build quality is, on the whole, extremely good, as you might expect from an Apple product and the iPad Mini is the thinner and lighter of the two devices in this comparison.
With the Nook HD, Barnes & Noble has gone for a daring, bold aesthetic with a soft-touch plastic unibody back panel which also sweeps around and envelops the edges and part of the front of the tablet, rather like a bumper.
Indeed, in a way it looks a lot like someone has taken an iPad Mini, squashed it width-ways, stretched it long-ways and installed a bumper onto it.
The corners have a very strong curvature creating a bubbly appearance, meanwhile the display is recessed slightly into the bodywork and this is echoed by a recession on the back panel too.
Fit and finish is well above average, though we’d say the iPad Mini does have a significant edge in this case.
While some might appreciate the Nook HD’s kooky design we find it a bit too cartoonish for our liking.
Winner – iPad Mini
Apple’s iPad Mini is equipped with a 7.9-inch IPS LCD capacitive display with a 1024x768 pixel resolution and a pixel density of 162 pixels-per-inch (ppi).
Normally we’re used to Apple products using the company's famed Retina display technology and it’s a disappointment that it’s not present on the iPad Mini.
Despite the lack of Retina tech, the iPad Mini’s display is still very good with excellent brightness, colour and contrast. The clarity is decent, but noticeably not as good as its larger cousin. It’s also nowhere near up to the same standard as the Nook HD’s display.
The Nook HD uses a slightly smaller 7-inch IPS touchscreen but with a much higher resolution of 1440x900 pixels resulting in a pixel density of 243ppi.
Not only is it incredibly sharp but the overall brightness and in particular the richness of white tones makes it a much better offering.
Winner – Barnes & Noble Nook HD
The Nook HD has options for either 8GB or 16GB of onboard storage space combined with microSD card capability, which allows expansion by up to 32GB.
The iPad Mini has a more varied selection of built-in storage models with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variants but, as is always the case with Apple products, there’s no card slot to be found.
Normally we’d be more in favour of the iPad Mini’s wide range of storage models, but the price difference is a factor here.
The Nook HD is considerably cheaper and, arguably, most users aren’t going to need more than 16GB onboard. Then you have the added bonus of microSD capability, bringing the total storage to 47GB (although not all of this will be usable).
Still, there is a case for the 32GB and 64GB iPad Mini options for the needs of some users.
Essentially there isn’t a clear winner here, you’ll have to consider the cost-to-storage ratio and whether microSD is important to you or not.
Winner – Draw