Apple iPad 3 vs Google Nexus 7 head-to-head review

Battery lifeThere is little to choose between in terms of performance, but what about battery life?

The larger chassis on the iPad has allowed Apple to squeeze in a bigger battery pack. It's 70 per cent larger than the one included in the iPad 2, with its capacity leaping from 6,944mAh to 11,666mAh. In our tablet battery test, the iPad 3 managed 12hrs 32mins of usage. This wasn't as good as the iPad 2's 16hr lifespan, but still the best on the market.

iPad vs Nexus - Battery life

The iPad is unmatched when it comes to battery life, and is able to break the 10-hour mark comfortably

Google has used a 4,325mAh power pack in the Nexus and despite being well over half the size, it provides 8hrs 48mins of uptime, which is still a significant amount.

Winner: iPad

The Apple device has a screen which is around three inches larger than the Nexus, but still manages to offer better battery life. Its 12hr lifespan is unmatched, but the almost nine hours of the Nexus is a respectable result.


Its name may be little more than a marketing gimmick, but Apple's Retina Display has upped the standard when it comes to screens. The 9.7in display has a resolution of 1,536 x 2,048, which is bigger than most laptops on the market so it has no problem eclipsing rival tablets. With a pixel density of 246ppi, you're looking at crystal-clear quality as individuals pixels are rendered invisible to the naked eye.

iPad vs Nexus - Text

The iPad (left) is noticeable brighter when it comes to tasks such as reading and web browsing

Colour accuracy and brightness on the iPad are both excellent: we measured the latest iPad's brightness at 426cd/m2 and recorded a contrast ratio of 906:1. Text is sharper than a brand new set of knives, and properly optimised images are just as clear.

No other tablet can match this, and with the Nexus being a budget device we didn't expect it too either. However, the display on the Nexus 7 shouldn't be scoffed at. The combination of a 7in diagonal and a 1,280 x 800 native resolution provides a pixel density of 216ppi, so text and images are reasonably sharp. Brightness is noticeably less than the iPad at 330cd/m2, and contrast is higher at 1,100:1 meaning colours lack punch when compared to Apple's device.

Winner: iPad

Apple's tablet is more expensive than its rivals, and the firm has spent much of the production budget on the screen. Its massive resolution and high pixel density make for the sharpest panel on any tablet, and its colour accuracy and vivacity are top-notch. The Nexus has excellent quality of its own, but it just can't compete with Apple.

Mike Jennings


Mike Jennings has worked as a technology journalist for more than a decade and has been fascinated by computers since childhood, when he spent far too long building terrible websites. He loves desktop PCs, components, laptops and anything to do with the latest hardware.

Mike worked as a staff writer at PC Pro magazine in London for seven years, and during that time wrote for a variety of other tech titles, including Custom PC, Micro Mart and Computer Shopper. Since 2013, he’s been a freelance tech writer, and writes regularly for titles like Wired, TechRadar, Stuff, TechSpot, IT Pro, TrustedReviews and TechAdvisor. He still loves tech and covers everything from the latest business hardware and software to high-end gaming gear, and you’ll find him on plenty of sites writing reviews, features and guides on a vast range of topics.

You can email Mike at, or find him on Twitter at @mikejjennings