iPad Mini Supertest: iPad Mini vs The Best 7″ Tablets

Steve Jobs famously dismissed 7inch tablets as “tweeners” claiming that their screens were too small to display great apps properly. Now Apple has released its own shrunk down version of its flagship tablet – the iPad Mini. But is it too little to late for Apple to get stuck into the 7inch tablet market that is all but dominated by Android tablets?

Top10Reviews takes an in-depth look at the 7inch battlefield to find out whether the iPad Mini can survive our 7inch Tablet Supertest!

What We Tested

Apple iPad Mini (16GB)

Whilst Apple may be playing catchup against its Android powered peers, its biggest screen coupled with access to the App Stores host of quality riches, it still very much has a fighting chance at victory!

Jump to: Apple iPad Mini Review

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 (8GB)

Can Samsung pull out another winner to go with the Samsung Galaxy S3? It’s 7inch Galaxy Tab features a great screen, microSD storage and a rear cam – will it be enough to make it through our gauntlet?

Jump to: iPad Mini vs Galaxy Tab 2.0 7

Amazon Kindle Fire HD (16GB)

Running on a fully bastardized version of Android, Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD comes in at rock-bottom price for what is after all still a very capable media consumption device. Will this be enough to sway budget conscious consumers?

Jump to: iPad Mini vs Kindle Fire HD

Google Nexus 7 (16GB)

With a Tegra 3 heart and a Jelly Bean Brain, and stylish looks to woo the fans, Google’s super-cheap 7incher is still our tablet to beat!

Jump to: iPad Mini vs Google Nexus 7

Versus Touchpad (8GB)

Super cheap at below GBP 100 it nevertheless serves up Google Play, web browsing and games in an attractive package. But where’s the catch?

Jump to: iPad Mini vs Versus Touchpad 7

What We Looked For

Apps

Although iOs is still running the show with its App Store, Google Play is racing to fill the gap! Be aware, that the Kindle Fire HD restricst full access to Google Play and the Versus Touchpad is limited by speed issues to make the best out of all the latest games.

Display

Since the released of the iPad 3 and it’s unique Retina Display, a lot of focus has been on screen resolution. But it’s not the only factor to consider – especially for more portable 7inch tablets, being able to use the tablet outdoors with good viewing angles can be just as important!

Storage

Whilst on board storage is restricts for most of the models in our test, we do look at what sort of expansion options are available – from larger models, to microSD and cloud storage.

Power

Our test includes quad-core monsters to single core contenders – depending on your needs you will need to select a tablet that can handle your requirements for speed and raw processing power!

How To Navigate The Supertest

Since this test will be quite substantial in terms of content, we broke it down into easy subsections. You can read through all the individual iPad Mini comparisons or skip directly to the verdict!

  1. Apple iPad Mini Review
  2. iPad Mini vs Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0
  3. iPad Mini vs Kindle Fire HD
  4. iPad Mini vs Google Nexus 7
  5. iPad Mini vs Versus Touchpad 7
  6. Supertest Verdict

5 Must Have Leapster LeapPad Accesories

Leapster LeapPad 2 expected to be huge this Christmas


The release of the LeapPad 2 will undoubtedly ensure that tablets for children will yet again be one of the hottest selling gifts for kids this Christmas. But since the actual LeapPad 2 tablet is only a small part of the larger Leapfrog Learning System, we had a look at the high quality accessories and add-ons that set this particular edutainment brand apart from its competitors.

5 Top LeapPad Leapster Accessories in South Africa

#1 – LeapFrog – App Centre Download Card

Give the gift of choice this Xmas! Think of the App Centre Download card as a type of Gift Voucher that kids can redeem at the Leapfrog app store and download learning games, digital books, videos and more to their Leapster Explorer or LeapPad Explorers. Codes are sent via email – please note that some content restrictions do apply in South Arica.

R 17495
Get It Here
#2 – LeapFrog Camera and Video Attachment

Get snappy with the Leapster Camera attachment and capture those priceless memories this Christmas. Your kids will love personalizing their snapshots and let their creativity run wild whilst stretching, stamping and drawing on pictures. Capable of stroing up to 1000 pics, the only thing you have to worry about is that the batteries don’t die mid-photoshoot!

R 17995
Get It Here
#3 – LeapFrog Mr Pencil

Slot this fun learning game into a Leapfrog Leapster Explorer, and help save Doodleburg as your kid practices pencil control, and works on letters and number writing skills. In addition they can create animations, draw pictures, and learn about colour, scale, and perspective.

R 19495
Get It Here
#4 – Leapster Explorer Console

The Leapster Explorer is perfect for taking the learning to the road! The Leapster Explorer handheld features the biggest, brightest touch screen, hi-res graphics, a stylus to practice writing, and a powerful processor that allows for action-packed game play. Plus you get to connect to the online LeapFrog Learning Path to see what your child is playing and learning, and explore ways to expand their learning journey!

R 69995
Get It Here
#5 – LeapFrog – Leapster Explorer Case

What would a tablet be without a quality case to protect it against bumps, bruise and spills! Comes with extra space to hold up to 4 game cartridges for on the go fun!

R 13895
Get It Here

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Google Nexus 7″ Tablet

The Good
  • Quality hardware
  • Latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Full support for NFC (Near Field Communication)
  • Best Value
The Best Value Tablet For 2012. Period.
★★★★☆

With hardware that packs a punch and a scrumptious screen, the Google Nexus 7 is most certainly the best tablet for the budget-conscious consumer! And at almost half the price of the new iPad mini, it gets our Top10Reviews thumbs up!

R2,999.00
Buy Now

Google Nexus 7″ Tablet [Review]

Google has long produced a “pure Android” line of smartphones with the Nexus brand name and, with the latest release in that line of smartphones, the company unveiled two tablets for use by developers and consumers. The Nexus 10 (review coming soon) and Nexus 7 are named based on their screen size, with the Nexus 7 offering a compact, 7-inch experience that is both highly enjoyable and very affordable!

A Great, Understated Design

The Nexus 7 is produced by ASUS, though it uses the Google branding virtually everywhere. As instructed by Google, the manufacturer has given the tablet a simple, understated design that rivals the Apple iPad in terms of its simplicity and elegance. Corning’s Gorilla Glass is used for the display, making it both highly durable and very vibrant in appearance.

It all adds up to a supreme user experience, with a durable feel that starts with the display and finishes with the well-appointed back casing. With a simple design that leaves on-screen controls behind, consumers will enjoy the durability and visual appeal of the tablet’s outward appearance.

Standard Tablet Features are Included

Google’s Nexus 7 features a pure Android experience, full of the visual flourishes and usability enhancements that Google has long intended for all Android-based tablets and phones. First and foremost, the Nexus 7 comes with the latest Android operating system, known as Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean.” All of its controls are presented on-screen, with no physical buttons lying on the front of the device in order to control menus or navigation. This innovative approach is unique to Android, and it’s one that the competing iPad has so far declined to implement, much to the chagrin of many Apple fans.

Perhaps the most impressive feature is the Google voice search that comes built in with the tablet. Very advanced searches can be conducted with this personal assistant, far exceeding what Siri can handle on Apple’s competing iOS devices. Google expects to continually review, revise, and enhance this voice search component, giving it advanced functions that Siri may never be able to handle. That’s one of the central benefits of owning a device that’s manufactured by the leader in Internet search.

The Nexus 7’s Hardware is Impressive

The hardware that ships with the device is particularly impressive. A quad-core NVidia Tegra 3 processor is used, running at 1.3GHz. The processor is based on ARM processor technology, and has put the A9 framework to use in order to create a robust, and very snappy, performance during every application and game that was used during testing. The device also comes with an impressive 1GB of RAM, which helps it during particularly demanding games or applications.

It’s worth noting that, much unlike the competing iPad, the Nexus 7 uses a micro-USB port to connect to peripherals, accessories, and computers. That means that a far more vast market of add-ons is available for the Nexus 7, giving it a great deal more possibilities than competing products from manufacturers with proprietary ports and cables.

Bluetooth, near-field communication, and wireless networking are all supported. That’s far more than many competing tablets currently offer, especially as far as NFC is concerned.

Great Software To Complement A Sexy Shell

The Nexus 7 runs an unmodified version of the latest Android operating system, known as “Jelly Bean.” Android 4.1 comes with all of the company’s latest features and initiatives, including excellently redesigned Google apps and the innovative new voice search feature. It is expected that the tablet will be among the first to receive software updates from Google in the future, as this has been the case with the company’s Nexus-branded smartphones.

The Nexus 7 Display

The 7-inch display is LED backlit, which is generally the industry standard for smartphones and devices in 2012. Pixel density of 216ppi is afforded by the screen’s 800×1240 resolution, making it easy to use the device for long periods of time without encountering eye strain. With a Gorilla Glass overlay, the display is also tough as nails and designed to support life’s unexpected gravitational pulls.

A Great Tablet from Google

The Nexus 7 is the same size as Apple’s new iPad Mini, but it’s nearly half the price. With features that are on par with the Apple competition and, in many cases, quite a bit better, that makes the Nexus 7 one of the best new devices this year. Google has always been determined to compete on an excellent combination of value and innovative features, and the Nexus 7 is clear proof that the company is succeeding at that goal.

R2,999.00
Buy Now

Best Tablets For Xmas 2012

We’re slowly getting into the Christmas spirit here at Top10Reviews and as always we’re one step ahead of the competition in providing you with the most up-to-date information and product reviews in South Africa.

With product launches heating up as we get closer to Christmas, we had a look at which tablets are going to be huge this festive season!

The Best Tablets For Christmas 2012

#1 – The Apple iPad 3
★★★★★

With unmatched screen quality, incredibly optimized performance, an elegant design, the best and most apps available, 4G wireless options, and the strength of Apple’s media ecosystem behind it, the iPad continues to be in a league of its own.

R7,899.95
Buy NowRead Review
#3 – The Google Nexus 7″
★★★★★

Android 4.1 is more useful and user-friendly than the OS has ever been and the tablet’s screen, games performance, comfortable design, solid media options, and low price make this an excellent waypoint into the tablet world for anyone.

R3,499.95
Buy NowRead Review
#2 – The Kindle Fire HD
★★★★★

Amazon doesn’t sleep on content. And here it provides it. Um, all of it. That’s great in itself, but its the elegant and friendly way the Kindle Fire delivers said content that really brings it all home.

R2,399.95
Buy Now
#4 – Asus Transformer Prime Infinity
★★★★★

The 1.6GHz Tegra 3 and DDR3 RAM make this the fastest Android tablet available. Drop in an incredible camera, beautiful high-res screen, and the flexibility of a full Android environment, and you have my attention.

R8,049.95
Buy Now
#5 – The Leapster LeapPad 2
★★★☆☆

Wildly punted as the hottest gift for children this Christmas, the LeapPad 2 improves upon the 2012 Christmas sensation and has a faster processor, double the memory and an extra camera on the front.

R1,299.95
Buy NowRead Review

Did we miss any hot tablets for Christmas 2012? Which one is on your wishlist? Let us know in the comments below.

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Leapster LeapPad 2 South Africa

What’s New
  • 4GB memory
  • Front and back cameras
  • Even faster processing power
  • Recharger compatibility
  • Library of 225+ learning games, eBooks, videos, music & more!
The LeapPad 2 is now in South Africa
★★★★☆

Just in time for Christmas, Leapster’s new LeapPad 2 is now available in South Africa. With raving reviews from parents can this “tablet” be even better than it’s predecessors and Winner of the 2012 Educational Toy of the Year?

R1,299.95
Buy Now

The Leapfrog LeapPad Explorer was one of the big hits around the 2011 Christmas tree, and won a host of awards, including the Winner of the 2012 Educational Toy of the Year and the 2012 Toy of the Year. Kids seemed to love its kid-friendly size, rounded-edge shape, and range of educational and fun apps. With Christmas 2012 around the corner, can the LeapPad 2 bring the tablet experience to a whole new generation of tech-savvy youngsters?

LeapPad 2 review: What’s new?


The LeapPad 2 has been upgraded with not just one but two cameras which can capture both still and video. The rather disappointing 0.3 megapixel on the LeapPad has been boosted to a much more impressive 2 megapixel version in the update. The LeapPad 2 also comes souped up with a faster processor, better memory capability, and improved battery life.

Whilst the improved camera resolution as well as the addition of the front facing camera (this means kids can take pics of themselves without having to bug their parents) are major attractions they might be enough to warrant upgrading your old LeapPad 1 to the new version. People new to LeapPad are getting a great deal, though.

Internal storage is doubled from 2GB to 4GB, and the processor gets a speed bump from 400MHz to 500MHz. That extra storage capacity is handy with new apps including lots of video functionality, and those 2-megapixel photos take up a lot more space than ones from the poor 0.3MP camera.

The LeapPad 2 is still powered by 4 AA batteries we suggest you invest in a handy battery charger to make sure the fun doesn’t end prematurely. Leapfrog claims that battery life for the LeapPad2 is improved from 8 hours for the first LeapPad to 9 hours.

Most of the games and apps come standard with some quite annoying sound effects so having built in volume controls and a volume jack is a huge plus! Like the LeapPad, the LeapPad 2 doesn’t support nay Wi-Fi connectivity, so loading off pics and any new games requires access to a computer.

The LeapPad 2 comes pre-loaded with the popular Cartoon Director app, Pet Pad writing app, a music player with 5 LeapFrog Learning Songs, a new Cartoon Director creativity app and an Art Studio creativity app. The content library of the tablet will sport over 325 game cartridges, eBooks, apps, videos, music, etc by the end of the year, ensuring hours of educational fund for your kids!

Asus Adds Two More Transformers

Whilst everyone was still amazed at Asus’ quad-core Transformer Prime, the company was hard at work to add substantially to their core product offering. They recently announced two more releases – the Transformer Pad TF300T as well as the much anticipated Transformer Pad TF700T Infinity.


The TF300T will offer consumers a cheaper entry point into the Asus tablet stable. The company has shaved off around R 1 400 off the budget version of its flagship Transformer Prime. The Transformer Pad implements a number of cost-saving measures and consequently lacks the sparkle of the Eee Pad Transformer Prime. Most notably, new tablet’s chassis is made from plastic rather than aluminium. Still, the Pad is significantly cheaper than the Prime, so you may well be prepared to accept the trade-off..

The Infinity Tab on the other hand has got industry insiders buzzing with excitement. Just as we thought we’d seen Apple blow away its competitors with the amazing Retina Display on its new iPad 3, Asus announces the World’s First Full HD 4G LTE tablet! Whilst full confirmation is still pending, the company has recently confirmed the following specs:

The ASUS Infinity Android tablets will feature either a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Krait Dual-core(4G/3G) or the NVIDIA Tegra 3 T33 Quad-core (Wi-Fi) CPU with 1GB RAM. On-board storage capacity is increase to 64GB.

The tablet will be released first in Italy on June 10th with the price tag of 599 Euros, or £499; US$699 for the 64GB Wi-Fi model.

The 10.1-inch Super IPS+ screen with Corning Gorilla Glass 2 has a 1,920-x-1,200 pixel resolution and a specified brightness of 600 cd/m2; pixel density is 222.5ppi.

There is a 2MP front and 8MP rear auto focus camera with LED flash, plus large F/2.2 aperture and backlit sensor.

It’s not long now until the Infinity is supposed to be released – however it might still be a while until it becomes available in South Africa. In the meantime, you might want to check out the amazing Transformer Prime or the industry leading iPad 3 – which are both locally available, so you can satisfy that hunger for immediate satisfaction!

Leapfrog LeapPad – A Tablet for The Younger Techie

Fed up with your kids getting their grubby paws on your brand new iPad? Well then maybe the Leapfrog’s LeapPad Explorer Tablet is for you!

LeapPad Explorer

With the LeapPad Explorer, you get a tablet experience that is customized for kids aged 4-9. The LeapPad measures a scaled down 2.4 x 13 x 17.9cm and is powered by four AA batteries (buy a charger!). In addition, it offers a fully responsive 5 inch touchscreen, built-in still and video camera, iPad-like accelerometer and its very own app store with around 100 available apps and games. The durability of the unit is also big plus.

R1,199.99
Buy NowCheck Prices





Whilst the LeapPad is marketed at young kids, its no cheap toy. LeapPad’s retail for about R 1100 in South Africa but with prices for apps starting at around £3.50 (app. R 50). The interactive nature of the apps and games make the LeapPad Explorer not just a fancy toy, but also have a definite focus on being educational. So if the £5 app teaches little Johnny to spell better or little Jane to develop her subtraction, or even keeps the child quiet for half an hour while you get on with some housework it could be money well spent.

LeapPad Technical Specs
  • 5-inch screen
  • 2GB storage memory
  • 400MHz processor
  • mini USB slot
  • Dimensions: 2.4 x 13 x 17.9cm
  • 4 AA batteries required

Of course, there is always the fact that even interactive educational apps and games are no substitute for proper parental interaction and physical exercise – however that’s whether your child’s tablet is a LeapPad, iPad 2 or Galaxy Tab.

All in all, the Leapfrog LeapPad is a quality tablet that will provide hours of fun and entertainment to any pre-school techie. It offers kids a chance to use everyday technology – digital cameras, readers, access to apps and more – but scaled down to their own, appropriate level. The educational games will keep them entertained and learning while giving them the opportunity to explore in a safe and controlled environment.

The LeapPad Explorer Tablet has received a variety of awards from being crowned the Winner of the 2012 Educational Toy of the Year to being recognized as the 2012 Toy of the Year.