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Tablet Faceoff: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 vs. iPad Mini

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Tablet Faceoff: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 vs. iPad Mini

Samsung and Apple provide some interesting choices. Which would you select?

Quite recently, Samsung has unveiled one of its latest additions to the tablet market segment: the Galaxy Tab 3. To be more precise, this is the 7-inch Tab 3 which is aimed at competing with the likes of Google, Amazon and Apple on the budget-friendly side of the market.

That said, the Tab 3 has to face several strong competitors, including the Nexus 7, the Kindle Fire HD and the iPad Mini. Since comparisons between Apple and Samsung products feel so natural, we’re going to discuss what the Tab 3 has to offer and how it fares against the iPad Mini.

Has Samsung delivered a killer tablet? Is the Tab 3 the answer to your low-budget tablet needs?

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 vs. iPad Mini – Hardware Specs

First, let’s begin with the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. The gadget comes with a 7 inch TFT display featuring a resolution of 600 x 1024. Under the hood resides a dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU, 1 GB of RAM, 8 / 16 GB of storage, a 3.0 MP main camera complemented by a 1.3 MP front-facing sensor, and a 4,000 mAh battery. Additionally, the Tab 3 comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean pre-loaded, and in true Samsung fashion, there’s also a microSD card slot on-board, giving the user the possibility of expanding the storage by up to 64GB.

Clearly, the Galaxy Tab 3 is a device of the same caliber as the iPad Mini. The latter boasts a 7.9 inch LED-backlit IPS LCD display featuring a resolution of 768 x 1024 and a pixel density of 162 ppi, a dual-core Apple A5 processor running at 1 GHz, 512 MB of RAM and 16 / 32 / 64 GB of internal storage. As is tradition (and unlike Samsung’s Tab 3), Apple’s slate does not offer a microSD card slot. On the bright side, it does offer a wider range of built-in storage options to choose from.

The Mini also boasts a 5 MP rear-facing camera and a 1.2 MP front-facing sensor, a 16.3 Wh battery and iOS 6 (with the possibility of updating the operating system up to iOS 6.1.3).

iPad Mini vs Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 – Design

When it came to build quality, Apple always had the upper hand in its battles with Samsung, and this time it’s no different. The iPad Mini is a slick, polished all-aluminum slate that feels and looks premium. The Tab 3 however, is your regular Samsung device, employing plastic materials for its case and a silver-colored rim around the edges. It also comes with the very familiar physical home button flanked by the capacitive “menu” and “back” keys. Overall, given the display aspect ratio, the Galaxy Tab 3 looks more like an oversized smartphone that lacks an earpiece.

Apple iPad Mini or Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 – Who Wins?

In the end, neither the iPad Mini nor the Tab 3 are the most impressive tablets out there. The hardware is disappointing at times, with both slates offering displays with a mediocre resolution that’s considerably lower than Nexus 7′s.

The Galaxy Tab 3 delivers hardware specs that are awfully similar to what its predecessor (the Galaxy Tab 2) offers, including the same screen size and resolution, the same amount of RAM and less internal storage options. On the bright side, the microSD card slot on the latest Tab iteration does support 64 GB cards instead of 32 GB.

Nevertheless, since both the iPad Mini and the 7 inch Tab 3 offer, more or less, the same hardware specs, the deciding factor for buyers will most likely be the design, each platform’s ecosystem and the price. We feel that in terms of design the iPad Mini is the better choice. However, price-wise we’re expecting the Tab 3 to be more affordable than its competitor, though the price tag hasn’t yet been officially announced. Lastly, with the OS and ecosystem falling more within the lines of personal choice, in the end both devices are somewhat on equal ground, despite them being different in various ways.

Would you be interested in buying one of these tablets? If so, which one do you think would better suit your needs? You can share your opinion by leaving a comment below.

Vlad Andrici is editor for and writes about technology issues.