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iPad mini vs. Nexus 7 for Sky Safari (display)?

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#1 NHRob

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 06:11 AM

I'm going back and forth between these two tablets. My wife has an ipad 3 and, while I like it a lot, I prefer a smaller format for ease of use. I am leaning towards the ipad mini but, I understand that the screen resolution isn't as good as Nexus. Is this significant or am I splitting hairs?
Would I see a difference using Sky Safari?


Thx,
Rob

#2 helpwanted

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:45 AM

The iPad mini has the same screen resolution as the iPad 2, which is perfect for me, I have no desire to upgrade away from my 2.
Can you get to an Apple store and see one? Actually... Best Buy has them also.

#3 core

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:56 AM

If you're already 'invested' into the iOS eco-system (apps), then it might be the way to go (getting the iPad mini). On the other hand there are enough apps on both systems to keep you satisfied, and for the N7 you can get apps that will dim the screen way below the factory settings for astro use, and you may like the interface which is widget capable.

As for the display itself, there's a rather comprehensive 3rd party review of the Kindle/Nexus/iPadMini screens , in brief:

Major Display Weakness of the iPad mini: highest screen reflectance, smaller color gamut. For the N7 it's poor display calibration (but it has lowest reflectance and largest color gamut).

As helpwanted mentioned, the best would be to see the mini for yourself - I did come across a rather glaring issue with regards to ergonomics of holding the mini:

*if* your hands are wide enough, it's easy to hold it by the sides like a phone (portrait orientation). However, for smaller hands and children (what I was looking for use with), the new format has a very thin bezel unlike the N7 and all the other ipads - this makes it very uncomfortable to 'pinch-hold' either side of the mini in portrait orientation without having your thumb getting onto the active part of the screen.

#4 Spaced

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:00 PM

I just received my Mini yesterday. I can't compare it to the N7 but I can observe:

I'm very happy with the screen resolution. Of course I'm aware that other tablets boast higher resolution and again, I have little to compare it to, but it is excellent, IMO. I have no problem recognizing anything Sky Safari displays (first program I bought!). After previously using SSaf only on my phone the display feels big and looks beautiful.

I have small hands but I have no problem holding it in one hand, portrait style. I had read the report you refer to also, but the one-hand hold didn't seem insecure or uncomfortable to me.

One reason I chose the Mini (after a fair amount of research) is the fact that it's light weight and can be held in one hand. It's somewhat heavier than the N7. I'm not disappointed in either factor.

Another factoid that may be of note, is that I read an evaluation on Cnet.com, comparing battery duration on several tablets. The Mini did the best by far, operating under load for more than the 10 hour rating (11+ hrs., IIRC). This puppy can go all night!

#5 Lane

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:17 PM

Just wait 6 months and there will probably be a mini with the high res screen.

#6 NHRob

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:26 PM

I don't want to wait 6 months !!!!
:nonono:

#7 psonice

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:58 PM

The mini is supposed to be held 1 handed - if your thumb is on the screen it'll just ignore it, so it doesn't really matter if the bezel is thin.

#8 tezster

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:20 AM

Although they're relatively light, I don't consider it ideal to hand-hold any 7" tablet for extended periods. Having said that, in the case of using one as an observing tool, chances are, it will only be in use in short durations i.e. most of your time is still spent at the eyepiece.

Although it's possible to hand-hold both the N7 and iPad mini, I think the N7 still holds a slight advantage in this regard, where the large bezel and narrower screen width actually help (I usually dislike thick screen bezels). In either case, I think the optimal solution is wearing the tablet around your neck, or attached to the scope via a stalk/holder of some type, to keep your hands free.

Despite the larger screen, the iPad mini is in fact still lighter (and thinner) than the N7 - a pretty impressive feat. Of course, you are paying a premium for an Apple product.

Cost is what primarily drove me to purchase an N7, even though I already have an iPhone. Aside from the price of the tablet itself, Android devices can be paired via Bluetooth or wi-fi to a wireless DSC via SkySafari, whereas wi-fi is the only option within the iOS world (I'm referring to the Astro Devices Nexus and BETI products).

#9 core

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:24 PM

The mini is supposed to be held 1 handed - if your thumb is on the screen it'll just ignore it, so it doesn't really matter if the bezel is thin.


Thanks for the info - just realized that the finger-rejection is part of iOS6 - tried it on my iphone 5 and it works! Waiting now on the availability of AT&T cell version of the mini ...






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