MP: Yup, the rear-facing camera is missing. And that is an annoying omission, although at the moment most 7-inch tablet competitors (Amazon, Barnes & Noble) lack that feature, too. The reality is that it should be present -- for use with bar-code scanning, if nothing else.
CB: I'm not sure either of these devices is something you'd want to type a novel on. The iPad mini gives you a bit more room. And I make more mistakes on the Nexus keyboard, although that could be because I'm more accustomed to the iPads keyboard. Both tablets support Bluetooth keyboards, so you can ditch the on-screen one altogether.
MP: For me, the Nexus 7 and Android get the nod here; I find the keyboard better designed and organized than the one on iOS. I agree that you're not necessarily going to type a lot on a small tablet, but that doesn't mean you don't want the most functional keyboard you can get. And if you'd prefer another layout or keyboard design, there's an app for that: You can buy a replacement keyboard, such as SwiftKey, for just a few bucks in the Google Play store.
Next page: Controls and ports, the software environment, and pricing
Controls and ports
CB: I often pick up the Nexus and cant tell which way is up. Partly that's because feeling for the on/off and volume buttons is difficult. The lack of a Home button on the bottom throws me. A Home button makes sense, but the Back buttons behavior seems inconsistent. I expect a Back button to be restricted to the app I'm currently working with; in this case, I tap Back and suddenly find myself in an app I was using a couple of hours ago.
MP: The Nexus 7 may lack a Home button, but it does have a Micro-USB port at the bottom, so I think its pretty clear which side is up. Ive never had an issue with the power and volume buttons locations: They are clearly located along the upper-right edge, and have a solid, distinctive design (unlike the flat, annoying buttons on the Amazon Kindle Fire HD).
CB: Hmmmm...I think that's a stretch. That tiny port isn't obvious to the touch, at least not as clearly obvious as an iOS devices Home button. On the other hand, I think the universal nature of the Nexus 7s USB port is a good thing. It means that you don't have to purchase expensive connectors and cables if the one included in the box wont do. However, Apples new Lightning connector is more flexible. With the Nexus 7 you cant do wired video-out (with or without an adapter), for example, and there's no HDMI-out, either.