• Which is best: iPad mini Google Nexus 7 or Amazon Kindle fire HD

Apple joins the pocket-friendly tablet party

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They said it would never happen, but last night Apple relented and announced a downsized version of its iPad tablet. The iPad mini has a smaller screen and reduced power compared to the full-sized model, but it's priced at £269.

So, how does it compare to the seven-inch-screen competition? Let's take a look...

Screen size
iPad mini
Apple has downsized its tablet, but it still sports a bigger screen than either the Kindle Fire or Nexus 7, its direct competitors. Its display is 7.9-inches with a resolution of 1024x768 (that resolution is the same as the iPad 2).

Amazon Kindle Fire
Amazon sells two models of Kindle Fire in the UK, the Kindle Fire and the Kindle Fire HD. Both have seven-inch screens. The former has a resolution of 1024x600, the latter 1280x800.

Google Nexus 7
The Nexus 7 also has a seven-inch screen. Its resolution matches the Kindle Fire HD: 1280x800.

What do you think? Talk tablets on the message boards

Street date
iPad mini
The wi-fi version of the iPad mini goes on sale on 2 November - you can preorder it from this Friday (26 October). The 4G version - which enables superfast mobile broadband (where available) - will go on sale in 'late November' according to Apple.

Amazon Kindle Fire
The Kindle Fire is already on sale in the UK, with two versions: Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD.

Google Nexus 7
Google's seven-inch tablet went on sale in the UK in July. However, Google has an announcement lined up for next week, when it is expected to unveil new versions of the tablet, alongside a model with a 10-inch screen.

iPad mini (image © Apple)

iPad mini
The iPad mini starts at £269 for a 16GB model with wi-fi connectivity. If you want mobile broadband on your iPad mini, you'll need to find another £100 - the starting price for the 4G model is £369.

Amazon Kindle Fire
Amazon's seven-inch tablet costs £129, while the HD version starts at £159.

Google Nexus 7
The Nexus 7 starts at £159 for the 8GB model - though there are rumours this model will be discontinued following Google's announcement next week. The 16GB model will set you back £199.

iPad mini
The dual-core processor running the iPad mini is the same one found inside the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4S. It's not as powerful as the newer processors used in the iPhone 5 or latest iPad, though that reduced power means it will make less demands on battery life. Apple has not detailed the amount of RAM inside.

Amazon Kindle Fire
The Kindle Fire runs on a dual-core processor (1.2GHz OMAP 4430), as does the HD version (1.2GHz OMAP 4460). Both models have 1GB of RAM.

Google Nexus 7
The Nexus 7 runs on a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, with 1GB of RAM.

iPad mini
The iPad mini comes with wi-fi connectivity. For a price premium, you can get a model that also includes 4G superfast mobile broadband connectivity.

Amazon Kindle Fire
Both the Kindle Fire and the HD model come with wi-fi connectivity.

Google Nexus 7
The Nexus 7 supports wi-fi, but not 3G. But remember that Google announcement lined up for next week? It's rumoured to include a Nexus 7 with 3G support.

Google Nexus 7

Battery life
iPad mini
Apple claims a 10-hour battery life for the iPad mini.

Amazon Kindle Fire
Amazon says its standard Kindle Fire can manage around nine hours on a single charge. The HD model should go for 11 hours.

Google Nexus 7
Google says its Nexus 7 should offer eight hours battery life.

iPad mini
The iPad mini has a rear-facing five-megapixel camera, which is optimised to work well in low light. It also has a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls.

Amazon Kindle Fire
There are no cameras on the standard Kindle Fire. The HD model sports a front-facing camera for video calls.

Google Nexus 7
The Nexus 7 doesn't have a rear-facing camera, though it does include a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls.

iPad mini
Wi-fi model: 200mm x 134.7mm x 7.2mm, 308g
4G model: 200mm x 134.7mm x 7.2mm, 312g

Amazon Kindle Fire
Standard model: 189 mm x 120mm x 11.5mm, 400g
HD model: 193mm x 137mm x 10.3mm, 395g

Google Nexus 7
198.5mm x 120 x 10.45mm, 340g

Amazon Kindle HD

iPad mini
The iPad mini is more expensive than either the Kindle Fire HD or the Nexus 7. But, it is the cheapest iPad yet - and it runs exactly the same apps as its bigger brother. It has the new 'Lightning' connector - so you'll need an adapter for any older docks.

Amazon Kindle Fire
Both models of Kindle Fire come with free cloud storage for any content you download from the Amazon store.

Google Nexus 7
The Nexus 7 runs the latest version of Google's Android operating system - 4.1 (also known as Jelly Bean)

Will you buy an iPad mini? Let us know on the message boards

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