With the unveiling of the iPad mini the battlefield is finally set for this holiday season's tablet wars.
The iPad mini is taking on Google's Nexus 7 as well as Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire HD. So let's see how they stack up on paper.
Although the iPad mini boasts the largest display of the bunch at 7.9 inches, its resolution falls short of others. The iPad mini has just a 1,024 by 768 pixel resolution and a low pixels per inch density (PPI) of 163.
By comparison, the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HD have 7-inch screens with 1,280 by 800 pixel resolutions and 216 PPI.
When it comes to weight, though, the iPad mini is easily the lightest of the three. It weighs 0.68 pounds. The Nexus 7 comes in at 0.75 pounds while the Kindle Fire HD rounds out the bunch at 0.87 pounds.
The iPad mini is also the thinnest of the mini tablets at just 7.2 millimeters, or .28 inches, thick. The iPad mini by far beats the Kindle Fire HD, which is 10.3 millimeters, or about .40 inches, thick, and the Nexus 7, which is the thickest at 10.45 millimeters, or .41 inches.
With cameras, Apple is once again the clear winner. The iPad mini is the only one of the tablets that features a back-facing camera. It shoots 5-megapixel photos and records 1080p HD video.
The iPad mini also has a front-facing camera, which records 720p HD and shoots 1.2-megapixel photos. Google ties that mark with the Nexus 7.
Meanwhile, the Kindle Fire HD is the clear loser. Its camera doesn't take pictures or record video. It can only be used with Skype.
Amazon clearly wins when it comes to battery life, asserting the Kindle Fire HD can stay powered for 11 hours during continuous use.
The iPad mini, though, is a close second. Apple says it has the same 10-hour battery life that the 9.7-inch iPad has.
Google's Nexus 7 has a battery life of 8 hours.
All three tablets connect to Wi-Fi, but if you're looking for a small tablet that can connect to cellular networks, your only choice is the iPad mini. But LTE doesn't come cheap. The cellular-connected iPad mini starts at $459.
All three tablets run on different operating systems. The iPad mini runs Apple's iOS 6 and the Nexus 7 runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean while the Kindle Fire HD runs its own customized operating system on top of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
The iPad mini uses Apple's own A5 dual-core chip that also powers the iPhone 4S smartphone. The Kindle Fire HD runs on a 1.2 GHz dual-core OMAP 4460 Texas Instruments processor while the Nexus 7 uses Nvidia's quad-core Tegra 3 processor.
Variations and price
The Kindle Fire HD wins once money is involved. Amazon offers plenty of storage at a low price. Apple is pricier, but you get more choices.
7-inch Kindle Fire HD:
16 GB - $199
32 GB - $249
8 GB - $199
16 GB - $249
16 GB - $329
32 GB - $429
64 GB - $529
16 GB with cellular - $459
32 GB with cellular - $559
64 GB with cellular - $659
The iPad mini is priced in a way to suggest it is a much superior device compared to its rivals. But its specifications, at least, say otherwise.