Nokia might not be able to release any new smartphones for a couple of years following the Microsoft deal but it appears no one mentioned tablets, with the company announcing the N1.

The Nokia N1 is a 7.9-inch tablet and it seems to take a few design cues from Apple's iPad mini. So we've pitched the N1 up against the latest iPad mini 3 to see how they compare in terms of specs.

The Nokia N1 measures 200.7 x 138.6 x 6.9mm and hits the scales at 318g compared to the iPad mini 3 that measures 200 x 134.7 x 7.5mm and weighs 331g for the Wi-Fi only model.

This means the N1 is slimmer and lighter than the iPad mini 3, but Apple's device is slightly narrower and 0.7mm shorter.

Both look very similar in terms of design with curved edges and an aluminium finish but the N1 comes in Natural Aluminum or Lava Grey, while the iPad mini 3 is available in three colours comprising Space Grey, gold and silver.

The Nokia N1 and the Apple iPad mini 3 both feature a 7.9-inch IPS display with LED backlight and they both come with a 2048 x 1536 resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 326ppi.

With the same size display, same technology and the same resolution, theoretically you should see little difference between these two devices in terms of their screens. If nothing else, picking the same display size, with a 4:3 aspect, is a clear indicator that the iPad mini is in Nokia's sights.

The Nokia N1 features an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus and a 5-megapixel front camera with fixed focus.

The Apple iPad mini 3 on the other hand, comes with a 5-megaixel rear camera, also with autofocus and a 1.2-megapixel front facing camera.

While the N1 has a few more megapixels on the front and rear camera, both the N1 and the iPad mini 3 are capable of 1080p video recording from the rear, but the iPad mini 3 will only manage 720p from the front.

When it comes to hardware, these two devices are a little harder to compare as Apple doesn't make the speed of its processors as easily accessible as Android devices.

The N1 has a 2.3GHz Intel 64-bit quad-core Atom processor under the hood, supported by 2GB of RAM, while Apple's iPad mini 3 comes with the company's latest A7 chip, which is also 64-bit but there is no telling which will be faster in the real world. We suspect the N1 will be just as fast as the iPad mini 3, if not faster.

There is 32GB of internal storage available on the Nokia N1 while the Apple iPad mini 3 comes in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB storage options so you get a few more options with Apple's model.

When it comes to the battery life, the N1 has a 18.5Wh capacity, while Apple's iPad mini 3 has a 23.8Wh capacity so you should get a little extra juice from the iPad mini 3.

Nokia has been associated with Windows Phone recently, but the N1 opts for Android and will arrive with the latest version of the software - 5.0 Lollipop, while Apple's iPad mini 3 comes with the latest version of iOS software - iOS 8.

Which of these is "better" is very much subject to personal preference, but both have plenty of functionality and refinement. Nokia isn't just pitching it out the door with Android Lollipop, it's also introducing Z Launcher. This is a homebrew launcher designed to learn the apps you use and present them to you when needed, as well as letting you scribble letters to quickly find content.

In terms of sensors and connectivity, the N1 has Bluetooth 4.0, a six-axis gyro sensor and an accelerometer, while the iPad mini 3 also has Bluetooth, plus a three-axis gyro, accelerometer and Apple's Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

The Nokia N1 and the Apple iPad mini 3 are two very similar looking devices in terms of design and they are also very closely matched in specs.

The N1 is slimmer, lighter and has more megapixels on board for its cameras, but the Apple iPad mini has a bigger battery capacity, a fingerprint sensor and better storage options, if you willing to pay extra.

Both offer the same size and resolution display and with such a similar design, it pretty much boils down to whether you want Android or iOS, and how much you want to spend of course.

Nokia says the N1 will cost $249, which is significantly cheaper than Apple's $399 starting price but if you are weighing these two up for a Christmas present, your only option will be iPad, as the N1 won't be landing until the beginning of next year.