Gaming on the Go: Nexus 7 vs. iPad 3rd Gen

There are plenty of comparisons for the new Nexus 7 against Apple’s third iPad offering. If you even try to Google search Nexus 7 you’ll see quick searches for “Nexus 7 vs. iPad”, “Nexus 7 vs. Surface”, and “Nexus 7 vs. Nexus 8” which makes no sense which is no such product by that title.

Anywho, the specs on both machines are pretty nice. It comes to a head with the screen. The new iPad has that lovely and fancy Retina screen. It cannot be beaten. By any device. The resolution and crispy display it delivers is just unparalleled. That’s an automatic tally in the win column for Apple. The rest, however, looks pretty comparable. I wouldn’t necessarily call the Nexus’ smaller screen a con by any means. Some people just enjoy that size for a portable device. I doubted 7-inch screens until I got my Kindle Fire. The way it feels in your hands is pretty nice. It actually feels portable and something in which I would be holding out in the street. That being said, I am a fan of the 10-inch tablets. I find that screen size to accompany just the right amount of resolution and image capacity.

The processors here are very comparable. It would be hard to say which one is truly better. We have the Tegra 3 vs. the A5X chip. They each perform so well that I can’t call either one a victor. You’ll find plenty of speed and graphics power in both devices. The Nexus 7 may have a bit of an advantage here though thanks to the lower resolution and horsepower needed to generate images.

As for input, the Nexus 7 wins thanks to the micro USB port. Apple’s adherence to the pin system and lack of additional ports on the iPad are way too regulatory and limiting. Still, both devices don’t have full sized USB ports or HDMI. Bluetooth pairing is the way to go for both the Nexus and iPad.

I find it a bit weird that Google and ASUS decided against a rear camera on the Nexus 7. The front camera is obviously for web chat or capturing images for apps or random occasions. However, why no back camera? A 7-inch tablet isn’t that big. Just wait until you get one in your hands and you’ll see. I see no reason for not including a back camera. No good reasons, anyways. The iPad’s cameras are very good and a major step up from the iPad 2.

All-in-all, the choice comes down to game selection and price. For the iPad 3rd gen, you’ll spend anywhere from $399 and up. The Nexus 7 will run you either $199 or $249 based on storage size – 8gb or 16gb.

Android is starting to see a lot more games come their way. With more and more power devices lighting up phone shop shelves like the One X, Galaxy S series, Razr, and more you’ll going to see more heavy hitters port themselves over. Still, Android is far, far behind Apple’s App Store’s offering. It’s not as bad as it used to be but that doesn’t mean the gap still isn’t there. If you have an iPhone or iPad right now, you’re a gamer (even on the mobile front), and you switched to another platform you would be missing out on a lot.

This is the one section that I have to put down on Android. It has so much more to offer than Apple and Windows Phone but there is so much holding it back. The fragmentation really hurts. Don’t let others tell you the fragmentation is gone or never existed. It’s still there. There are way too many different devices with different hardware and no central set of rules. Well, that’s Android for ya. It’s open. While openness gives plenty of options, it hurts some aspects. If you are a game developer and you put a game out for the iOS, you know your app will be available to the majority of iOS users. If you do the same for Android you need to ensure that your users see which devices can use it.

Also, there is a difference in how apps work between the two platforms. Take Draw Something and Words with Friends, for example. You’ll find a much more premium feeling experience on iOS. I can’t even begin to claim that I know the reason why but I’d say that it has to do with the developers knowing everything they do on iOS will just work across the board. On Android it’s either power phones only, medium experience, or all across the board with a low key performance and experience.

In the gaming regard, I can’t recommend anything other than the iPad. Still, if you’re in the Android boat and you don’t see yourself getting off, the Nexus 7 is the number one tablet out there for that platform. The Transformer Prime is a beautiful machine but for the size, portability, and specs you’ll find an amazing price point with the Nexus 7.

Gaming on the go is still proving to have a hard time capturing the core gamer audience, which is a shame. With games like Infinity Blade, Mass Effect: Infiltrator, and full sized experiences like GTA and Max Payne making their ways over, there is something for the core audience. Mobile gaming will keep trying and there will be more and more devices that come out to challenge the status quo. Whether or not people will take the plunge, and give mobile a try is the biggest question. There are many needs that these devices handle very well but gaming just seems to sit in the middle. It is either done very, very well or poorly. Those in the middle of the two are forgettable. You won’t find the core gamers jumping on board because of Angry Birds or Draw Something. They need more than just Infinity Blade and Gameloft’s well done mobile knock-offs.

For this day, though, the iPad and Apple still come out victorious but their window of superiority is coming to a close. Android and Windows Phone are coming out with amazing new strides that are challenging the once unbeatable giant. If Microsoft can get the Surface’s price to be close to the iPad and not Ultrabooks, you’ll be seeing the Redmond machine rustling some jimmies in the mobile space. Until then, when it comes to Android tablets or Apple pads, the Nexus 7 does a very good job but for gaming you gotta go with the king. The iPad 3rd Generation wins this bout.

There are 2 comments

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  1. Chris Clark

    I’d love it if you could talk about the weight differences with respect to gaming. I’m not looking for a huge selection, I’m looking for something to run emulators and Dosbox on. I’d like to know how much the added weight of the iPad might be a problem.

    I picture myself with either tablet holding it up in landscape mode, both thumbs on on-screen controls.

    I see the iPad is almost double the weight, combined with the larger screen I think it would put a lot more leverage against your thumbs if you are trying to hold it and game at the same time.


  2. Mr Grande el pedro taco man

    da ipad iz lik da best coz it got agry birds and u poeple with andriod r poor nd stupid coz u lik crap games lik woorld of war cratf. thumbs up if u agree wit me.

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