Nexus 7 vs iPad 3: Durability Is Put To The Test

Many tech-savvy consumers are lining up for the Nexus 7, a powerful yet affordable tablet computer. Though Google is looking to tackle the dominate iPad 3, Apple is continuing their success and currently takes an estimated 72% of the market share of tablet computers. When looking at both devices typically consumers first consider the features, though what of durability?

First, the basics:

Nexus 7

The Nexus 7 is sleek, light and yet powerful. It features a 1.3GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor as well as unique twelve-core ULP GeForce GPU for the ultimate gaming experience. The latest version of the Android OS, 4.1 or Jelly Bean, and the starting price make the Nexus 7 one of the best deals around.

iPad 3

Though Apple released the iPad 3 back in March, it has continued to lead sales in the tablet market. The third generation tablet from Apple is fitted with a 1.0GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 processor and also powers its graphics from a quad-core PowerVR SGX543MP4 GPU.


The iPad 3 and the Nexus 7 seem quite deadlocked in terms of power, but the difference is found with the features. The iPad 3 features a larger 9.7 inch vivid Retina display, a forward facing camera as well as a rear facing 5-megapixel HD camera, bluetooth and 4G LTE support. Though the Nexus 7 has no mobile data network support and only a single front facing 1.2 megapixel camera, the kicker comes with the price difference. The Nexus 7 starts at only $199 plus tax/shipping for the 8GB version, while the Apple iPad 3’s cheapest model comes in at $499 which also lacks any 3/4G support.

How about durability?

To determine the damage sustained from real-world situations SquareTrade, a third-party warranty provider, put both devices to the test in the latest installment of their YouTube video series. A plethora of devices, including the iPhone 4S, iPad 2, Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Blackberry PlayBook, have already been tested by a drop from waist high onto concrete. This time they go even farther with a water immersion test.

The first test is the traditional waist high drop test. The Nexus 7 does quite well and shows its rigid structure. The Nexus handles the impact with flying colors. The device is scuffed on the side, though nothing less could be expected from such a harsh collision. The screen fairs very well and doesn’t seem to be affected.

The iPad 3 doesn’t fair so well. A waist high drop shatters the beautiful Retina display in a significant crack in the upper corner as well as scratches and scuffs to the casing.

A second drop test onto concrete confirms the results from before. Devices are dropped from sitting height off of a bench. The Nexus 7 rebounds off the ground well and takes the impact with ease. Scratches abound on the back of the device, though the screen is unaffected. The iPad 3 once again takes a direct hit to the corner of the screen, but this time the crack is minimal and the tablet is still usable.

The most intriguing test is the water immersion test into a bathtub. Both devices are immersed and do fairly well while underneath the waterline. The iPad 3 loses audio capability, though the Nexus 7 maintains normal functionality.

Overall the Nexus 7 seems to be the winner of durability. The iPad’s beautiful Retina screen is high susceptible to cracks from many hard surfaces, especially in the corners. Though the Nexus 7 is quite rugged and takes accidents well, does the iPad’s premium features outweigh the high price point?

Consumers have yet to decide.

The video from SquareTrade can be found below.


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