Comparison of four compact tablet: Apple iPad Mini Retina, Google Nexus July...

Comparison of four compact tablet: Apple iPad Mini Retina, Google Nexus July 2013, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

Comparison of four compact tablet: Apple iPad Mini Retina, Google Nexus July 2013, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

I believe that at the end of 2013 (and early 2014), all of last year’s flagship tablet got a very good successor. Thus, in the Apple iPad Mini Retina got rid of the only weak point and increased the resolution of the display exactly twice, in July 2013 Google Nexus reduced dimensions and also raised the resolution, and Samsung has finally released the full flagship compact tablets – Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro and Galaxy Tab S 8.4. The format of this comparison is similar to comparing my “fablets.”

Each section will present grading system, but it is weakly affect my final conclusions, it is more comforting for users who like numbers.

And now, without further ado to pass over.

Appearance, design, materials, housing

Google Nexus July 2013. This tablet calm appearance, inherent in the entire line of Nexus, is largely a device for developers and geeks, so Google and Asus did not much “bother” with the appearance. The main material used – plastic coated soft-touch. From the standpoint of tactile sensations to him no complaints, but on the part of practicality it is not very good, it quickly adhere motes and other dirt and scrub it of all this is not so easy.

Comparison of four compact tablet: Apple iPad Mini Retina, Google Nexus July 2013, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Comparison of four compact tablet: Apple iPad Mini Retina, Google Nexus July 2013, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

Apple iPad Mini Retina. As Apple has long been practiced unbeaten bunch of aluminum and glass (though in recent versions is dominated by aluminum), through which almost all of their products are great looks. In addition, aluminum is very practical, it almost does not show fingerprints, and scrub it from various contaminants very easily. A hand-held “aluminum” plate nicely, once there is a feeling that in hand dear good thing collected.

Comparison of four compact tablet: Apple iPad Mini Retina, Google Nexus July 2013, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Comparison of four compact tablet: Apple iPad Mini Retina, Google Nexus July 2013, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro. Beginning with the Galaxy Note 3 in the company are moving towards plastic styled skin. For Samsung after glossy plastic is a big progress. And although some people say that this “leatherette” frankly looks cheap, I disagree with them. I have no claims to the appearance Tab 8.4 Pro, it looks good, but the use of such plastic positively affects both the tactile sensations (the tablet does not slip in your hand), and the practicality (fingerprints and other dirt hardly remain on it if well you managed to stain the back cover, you can easily scrub it).

Comparison of four compact tablet: Apple iPad Mini Retina, Google Nexus July 2013, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Comparison of four compact tablet: Apple iPad Mini Retina, Google Nexus July 2013, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4. Newest Tablets Samsung, tend to repeat design champions, the same statement is true for housing materials. Tab S 8.4 is no exception, this tablet is the most similar to the Galaxy S5. That is, there exist rounded edges and rubberized plastic perforated styled skin.

Comparison of four compact tablet: Apple iPad Mini Retina, Google Nexus July 2013, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

AppearancePracticality housing materialsTactile sensations
Apple iPad Mini Retina222
Google Nexus July 2013012
Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro121
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4121

Comments on the table: from iPad Mini Retina best appearance, are in second place both Tab 8.4 with their recognizable design from Samsung, the Nexus July 2013 any uniqueness in appearance completely absent. In fairness, I personally do not consider this a drawback.From the standpoint of practicality and tactile advantage also on the side of Mini, although it is worth noting that keep Nexus July 2013 in the hands of as nicely, but the thrill of both Tab 8.4 in the hands of inferior competitors.


Before proceeding to the comparison of displays, let’s have another look at their options.

Diagonal Screen Size (inches)Screen ResolutionType of matrixAvailability oleophobic coatingDensity dpi
Apple iPad Mini Retina7.92048×1536IPSYes324
Google Nexus July 201371920×1200IPSYes323
Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro8.42560×1600Super Clear LCDYes359
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.48.42560×1600SuperAMOLEDYes359

First of all, it is worth noting that before us four wonderful display, made by the same technology (except Tab S 8.4). As you can see, the density of pixels per inch they are also similar. The difference, which I will explain, is not very important, and in the worst case is less than 10%.

Behavior in the sun

Surprised to find that the Nexus July 2013 in direct sunlight behaves better than any other competitors, iPad Mini Retina and Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro situation is slightly worse, however, the information is still discernible. As for the Tab S 8.4, then this tablet much work was done on the behavior of the sun and just in bright light. So, with the Tab S 8.4 is most convenient to watch movies on the subway, train lighting practically does not interfere with viewing (unlike other participants).


But displaying the same black Nexus July 2013 decides the worst, it looks more like black dark gray. Better situation for Tab 8.4 Pro, and even better deal with things in black iPad Mini Retina. But the leader of displaying black is certainly a Galaxy Tab S 8.4.


For displaying white Nexus wins in July 2013, he best conveys this color. As for the iPad Mini Retina and Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro, their white color a little less saturated, feeling that in the white paint added a little clear water. Display Tab S 8.4 also gives a bit of green tones.

Viewing Angles

According to this parameter, all four plate showed excellent results. Image not tarnish under almost any angle.

General color rendering

If you watch other images simultaneously on all four plates, then you will hardly notice the difference when compared to a strong head-on screens. But if you look closely, it may be noted that the mapping of greenery (trees, leaves) in July 2013 Nexus slightly richer, while the iPad Mini Retina and Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro green elements go into a little yellow. However, I note that when comparing the pure green color of this difference is not visible at all.

Pros and cons of the diagonals

Nexus 7, 2013. This tablet is the smallest diagonal. This makes it ideal as a compact companion for watching videos and reading books, and the aspect ratio will allow comfortably watch videos with him.

iPad Mini Retina. Diagonal and the aspect ratio of the tablet make it the most easy to read books and surf the web. Separately, I note that at a ratio of 4:3 to play with the tablet is also more convenient.

Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro and Tab S 8.4. These plates have the largest diagonal with them much more convenient to watch the same video and read books, but for convenience it will have to pay large dimensions.

Behavior in the sunDisplaying blackDisplaying whiteGeneral color renderingViewing AnglesIn total
Apple iPad Mini Retina111227
Google Nexus July 2013202228
Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro111227
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4220228

Despite this distribution of points, I repeat: all four plates are great screens, the best on the market for compact devices. Whichever of these tablets you choose, in any case you will be satisfied.

Comparison of four compact tablet: Apple iPad Mini Retina, Google Nexus July 2013, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4


Propose first to look at the size and weight of the devices, and then talk about them a little more.

Length (mm)Width (mm)Thickness (mm)Weight (grams)
Apple iPad Mini Retina2001357341
Google Nexus July 20132001149299
Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro2191297331
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4212.6125.56.6294

Nexus 7, 2013. Most compact of four comparable tablets. Yes, it is slightly thicker its competitors, but for everyday use this difference almost do not notice. In fact, in July 2013 Nexus dimensions allow no problems putting it into the inner pocket of a jacket or coat.

iPad Mini Retina. Previous iPad Mini could boast that at 7.9 inches diagonally had similar dimensions with seven-inch tablet. This advantage also have second-generation Mini. Despite the larger area and diagonal screen, iPad Mini Retina can still put in a small bag or backpack.

Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro. The largest of the three tablets, Tab 8.4 Pro remains very light and thin in weight and thickness, it is not perceived as having an eight-inch screen. However, the large size of the display leaves its mark on the dimensions of the device. This tablet is essentially more of the same Nexus July 2013, consider this factor when choosing.

Galaxy Tab S 8.4. This tablet best size and weight of all the compared models. He is the thinnest and lightest. And it’s really noticeable, let’s just say – thickness and weight Tab S 8.4 is really impressive.

On personal experiences, I can say that the Nexus July 2013, of course, there is the most compact, but the difference between the iPad Mini Retina and Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro, I almost did not notice. Another thing – Tab S 8.4, its thinness and lightness really striking.

Operating system

In this section, I will compare the most commonly used functions and programs, namely:

  • Launcher / desktops
  • Keyboard
  • Browser
  • Music
  • Video player

Because the envelope in Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro and Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is almost identical, I just designate it as TouchWiz.

Launcher / desktops

iPad Mini Retina. On iOS there has long established traditions in this respect: a fixed number of icons on the desktop, the ability to create folders and rapid removal applications. Desktops also perform the function of the application menu that is all installed applications are right on the tables.

Nexus 7, 2013. Traditional Use of Google with desks and separate applications menu. App removed using a long press and send to the basket. Folders are created when you hover one label to another.

TouchWiz. Work tables are divided into two parts – Magazine UI and standard tables. In Magazine UI Samsung tried to collect all the important information: notice from the calendar and mail, news, and links to popular pages on your browser.

In standard desktops, you can create folders, putting an icon on the appropriate item at the top (pointing at each other does not work).Removing applications is done via the application menu and selecting the appropriate item.


iPad Mini Retina. One of the most comfortable keyboards. Personally, I liked a lot more than its counterpart on the iPhone 5s. Erroneous press minimal dictionary is very good, although, sometimes, and wrong. If you go to the iPad with Android-tablet, the first time will be unusual that when you click on the word proposed dictionary iPad leave your error option. In fact, you need to click on the word if you do not want it to be automatically replaced. Another disadvantage is the lack of additional symbols on the buttons available on long press.

Of the features of the keyboard note input mode support two hands. To enable it, enough to dissolve the two fingers on the keyboard.Mode is very convenient, especially in a horizontal layout, I’d love to use it.

Nexus 7, 2013. This tablet uses a standard keyboard Android. It is simple and convenient (from the point of view of a set of words), there is support for Swype. The only downside of this keyboard – it has a rather meager vocabulary.

TouchWiz. In Samsung traditionally pay much attention to the keyboard, especially in recent versions of TouchWiz. Branded keyboard has three different options for input – standard, compact and method for entering two hands. Dictionary keyboard is pretty good, there is support for input and handwriting strokes. In addition, there is a separate numeric range and the ability to enter additional characters long press.

Comparison of four compact tablet: Apple iPad Mini Retina, Google Nexus July 2013, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

DictionaryEase of entryFunctionalityIn total
iPad Mini Retina2204
Nexus July 20130112


iPad Mini Retina. In my opinion, Safari – is a great example of how a good browser should work. One of my favorite “chips” – when you click on the address bar, a list of your bookmarks, it is very convenient.

Safari has a separate read-only mode and the ability to save web pages for offline viewing.

Nexus 7, 2013. Starting with version 4.1 in katabatic Android as the primary browser used Google Chrome. It supports a lot of tabs open at the same time, works fast and has synchronization with your Google-account, which is especially convenient for those who use Chrome on the PC.

TouchWiz. In Samsung uses its own proprietary browser and polished it to the last detail. It also syncs your tabs with Google-account and has separate read-only mode.

In fact, all three browsers work plus or minus equally well, without any problems, you can use each of them on a regular basis. Slight advantage iPad – Availability synchronization with desktop Safari, however, for urgent Chrome users will sync with Google. However, all three browsers have one sad drawback – they do not know how to adjust the text to fit the width of the screen, that is, if you are very prozumiruete page, then you have to twist it not only vertically but also horizontally.


iPad Mini Retina. Availability iTunes – a double edged sword. On the one hand, this application allows you to keep your computer and tablet same library and playlists to synchronize current as well as new songs, on the other – if you do not use iTunes on a home PC, the advantages of the mobile version, you will not feel too much.

Nexus 7, 2013. This tablet default installed Play Music. You can as “fill” in him all your library and listen to online radio. And for 189 rubles a month, you will be given unrestricted access to the entire library Play Music.

TouchWiz. The musical player Samsung not perfect sync with the cloud and other joys Play Music or iTunes, but unlike them, it works fine with folders and sorting music has a wonderful mood.

Codec SupportSupport for audio tracks and subtitlesOverall usability of a regular video playerIn total
iPad Mini Retina0112
Nexus July 20130000


iPad Mini Retina. From watching the video goes a funny situation. In fact, iPad Mini Retina very handy for viewing videos purchased from the iTunes or adapted for it. Ideal navigation, support for multiple audio tracks embedded subtitles in different languages ​​- all this is in iTunes and available for iPad Mini Retina. However, if you shake the “heavy” videos in mkv, then the situation is not so rosy. Yes, there are third-party players who can play almost any file, but the time of the tablet in their use greatly reduced. Also note that due to the 4:3 aspect ratio when viewing widescreen video from above and below is the black strip.

Nexus 7, 2013. This tablet by default Play Movies app. With it, you can take a car or buy many full-length movies, but their range is rather low. From the perspective of a regular video player capabilities Nexus July 2013 rather scanty, but everything changes when you install MX Player: the tablet once there support for most audio and video codecs.

TouchWiz. In Samsung pay great attention to the convenience of watching videos on their plates. So, both devices have the support of most video codecs “out of the box”, is able to work full-time as a player with multiple audio tracks and a stitched / external subtitles.

Codec SupportSupport for audio tracks and subtitlesOverall usability of a regular video playerIn total
iPad Mini Retina0112
Nexus July 20130000

Overall usability and functionality

In my opinion, Samsung most functional jacket all compared device, it just filled with all sorts of “chips” and “fishechkami”, which no one has iPad Mini Retina, neither Nexus July 2013. At the same time, to go to iOS 7 path of simplicity and clarity, and some of the apps on the iPad easier. As for the Nexus July 2013, this tablet – “empty apartment.” Those who know how to build, will benefit. And those who do not know, are unlikely to appreciate this advantage appreciated.

WorktablesKeyboardBrowserMusicVideoIn total
iPad Mini Retina211116
Nexus July 2013201104


To clear conscience give you data benchmarks. However, they usually have little to do with reality.

Apple iPad Mini Retina2881414438
Google Nexus July 20132014810666
Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro3469915451
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.43508413375

In particular, despite the good results in Antutu and 3DMark, both tablet from Samsung is just awful retarding the transition from desktops to Magazine UI and simple scrolling. In this regard, iPad Mini Retina Nexus July 2013 and look much better. If we compare it the last two, it can be noted that in July 2013 Nexus works a little smoother, yet iPad Mini Retina occasionally there troll.

As part of the gaming devices all do an excellent job even with the top-end games.

Comparison of four compact tablet: Apple iPad Mini Retina, Google Nexus July 2013, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

Wireless interfaces

Supports dual-band Wi-FiBluetoothGPSNFCIR portLTE
Apple iPad Mini RetinaYes4.0YesNoNoYes
Google Nexus July 2013Yes4.0YesYesNoYes
Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 ProYes4.0YesYesYesYes
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4Yes4.0YesYesYesYes

Unambiguous on the part of the leaders of the wireless interfaces – is both tablet Samsung, then you and the NFC, and even infrared (no last iPad Mini Retina, or Nexus July 2013 can not boast).


Before proceeding to the description of battery life, I suggest that you read the small table below. When testing time mode HD-video I use third-party players with H / W decoding (MX Player and AVPlayerHD) and “twisted» HD-video on maximum brightness in flight mode. In my view, such a test is as close to reality as it is unlikely many will use it non-functional embedded players.

Opening hours of viewing HD-videoWhile working in “quiet” mode
Apple iPad Mini Retina8:004 days
Google Nexus July 20135.5 hours3 days
Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro6:002 days
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.412:002 days

As you can see, when watching a video, we have a definite leader with a significant margin – Tab S 8.4. However, this is not surprising. But in normal use (mobile internet and about 1.5-2 hours at maximum screen brightness) is the leader iPad Mini Retina.

Would also like to point out two very important points. First, the iPad Mini Retina perfect sleep. If you turn off the tablet screen at night, even when the Wi-Fi it will not fall nor charge a percentage. Second, this parameter is the Nexus July 2013, he per night loses about five percent. But both the Galaxy Tab in sleep perform poorly, something will always spend their charge.

And secondly, the video mode is never revealing to assess the autonomy of the device and it is perfectly illustrated by the iPad Mini Retina.


I do not think the camera in the plates an important element, so when testing did not pay it much attention. Below you can see examples of images with four plates and draw conclusions on their own.


During the preparation of this comparison, I used tightly each of the four plates and came to some interesting conclusions. In fact, all four models are currently the best compact devices, and chances are you’ll be happy with any of them. However, it is important the specifics of your work and entertainment with the tablet, so here I will mention the use cases for which one or the other tablet is best suited.

Google Nexus July 2013. Most compact and least expensive of the four tablets, but despite this, it can be safely called one of the best. Its screen is perfect behavior in the sun, and the speed is at the iPad Mini Retina, and sometimes even surpasses it. In this version with Wi-Fi + LTE in the same connected only costs 13,200 rubles. Add to this the entire timely firmware updates from Google and get a great inexpensive compact tablet. Of the minuses I note is not the longest battery life in video playback and no memory card slot.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4. Second compact tablet from Samsung with SuperAMOLED-matrix and ultra-high resolution. Phenomenally long battery life when watching video, excellent display (in the same metro fine watch a movie, and the screen will be virtually no glaring) and a large number of supported video codecs make this tablet the perfect option for those looking for a device just to watch the video. Not without its flaws – I’ll take them all the same slow TouchWiz. In addition, Tab S 8.4 is the thinnest and lightest of all four plates.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro. In fact, the predecessor Tab S 8.4, but SuperClearLCD-matrix. Its display has both pluses and minuses.First, the good – on this screen all look great, even very small fonts (as opposed to the same Tab S 8.4), while its screen size is still quite large (including dimensions). This tablet I can safely recommend to those who plan to read a lot with the gadget, but it does not want to buy iPad.

iPad Mini Retina. Great display, convenient aspect ratio, cool design and high quality aluminum case. Add to that a lot of games and applications optimized for tablet screens, and we get a very high quality product.

Personal impressions

How much I liked the iPhone 5s, so I was pleased as much iPad Mini Retina. I can safely call this tablet as the best compact device characteristics, and in general a bunch of software + hardware. If I were asked to choose which of the plates leave myself, I would most likely stopped on iPad Mini Retina.

At the same time, I loved and Nexus 7, 2013. Pleasant, compact, inexpensive, but very high quality tablet. If you for some reason do not like the iPad Mini Retina, be sure to pay attention to the Nexus 7, 2013.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 – this is the perfect device for watching movies, both on screen and on runtime (add to this the tremendous support of video codecs), however, add a hefty spoonful of tar twitching TouchWiz.

But for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro I could not think of a use case in which he would have been better than the competition. However, I note that this tablet has CyanogenMod, which turns it into a device is already completely different level, so for a few geeks it may become increasingly relevant option than the Nexus 7, 2013.