It should be noted that the iPad mini (non-retina) is an iPad 2 in a smaller package. So you are comparing a 1 GHz processor with 512 MB of RAM to a 1.3 GHz processor with 1 GB of RAM. The retina version would give a better experience and be more similar in hardware than the Nexus 7.
I have an iPad mini stand
for work, and I definitely prefer its size to the ungainly iPad. Its not a pocket device, but it's just about right for reading eBooks on.