A PlayBook and iPad Owners Comparison
First of all, I am not a writer, so be nice.
A little background: I have owned BlackBerry and Apple devices for the past 5 or so years. I own BlackBerry phones, but also have a MacBook Pro (which I barely ever use though) and a bunch of iPods/iPod Touches (which I use every day). My fiance also has an iPhone 4 which I have used quite a bit. The point is, I am fairly unbiased. However, I absolutely can't stand the way Apple does business and hate the way they tell their customers what they want. That being said, my opinion of their devices is based on my personal experience with those devices, not the fact that I hate their corporate mentality. Also, I have my own problems with how RIM is run. Now lets get to my personal unbiased comparison between the two devices...
OS: After using both devices, the iPad OS feels like it was made for a 3-4 inch device, not a 10 inch Tablet while the PlayBook OS feels like it was made with 7 inches in mind. The bezel gestures also make it feel perfect for a Tablet while the iPadís button feels out of place and tough to hit at times. Where the iPad excels though is with features such as Auto Correct while typing, email integration throughout the core applications, and consistency. The PlayBook is missing any sort of auto correction while typing which is a standard feature with touchscreen devices. In fact, itís omission is a little embarrassing for RIM. Also missing is the ability to email pictures from within the Pictures app (hopefully this will come when the email app comes). Speaking of the pictures app, itís hard to say the iPad is a perfect device when you canít even delete pictures from the iPad unless you hook it up to iTunes.
I didnít even mention multitasking because that subject has been beaten to death and we all know which device multitasks better.
Itís hard to say which OS is better because the PlayBook OS is currently not a finished OS. There is no doubt about it though that the PBís OS has FAR more potential and if RIM combines the fluidity of the BB OS with the power and sexiness of the PB OS, the PlayBook will have the perfect OS. As for the iPad, it clearly has a very smooth and easy to use OS, but I feel like it is limited without a complete overhaul which I doubt Apple will do anytime soon. Anyways, the iPad has a better OS as is, but the PlayBook will certainly have a better OS later this year.
Size: The reason I held off on getting the iPad is because of the size. When I test drove it in the Apple store, I felt like it was awkward to hold and a bit top heavy when using it in portrait mode. After owning one and using it quite a bit, I have to say that my opinion stands. It isnít the most comfortable device to hold and use and I often feel uncomfortable using it. Also, the overly advertised thickness (or lack thereof) actually makes the device harder to hold. Iím sure if I put a case on my iPad I would be happier with the thickness, but naked, it always feels like it is about to slip out of my hands. As for the PlayBook, it feels lighter (donít care about actual weight, only what it feels like in my hands) and is without a doubt easier and more comfortable to hold. That being said, the smaller size also means a smaller screen (which I will get into later on).
For me, I prefer the size of the PlayBook, but this is something that people will have to judge for themselves. No one is right or wrong with their preference (except for Steve Jobs who said people donít want a 7 inch Tablet).
Screen: This is another tough topic because it ties in directly with the size of the device. It is obviously nice to have the screen real estate of a 10 inch Tablet, but with that comes less portability and comfort while using the device. After watching videos on both devices, I think the PlayBook has a crisper and higher quality screen however; the iPad has a very nice screen as well. (Again, I donít care about stats and specs, only what I see while using both devices).
Browser: In my tests, the browser speeds are very comparable, but it does seem like the iPad may be a bit faster with loading pages. However, where the PlayBook excels is with Flash and automatically showing the ďFull WebĒ when browsing. There are many websites that will give the iPad the mobile version (or a choice) while the PlayBook automatically sees the Full website. Also, I find scrolling within frames to be very annoying on the iPad (you have to use a two finger scrolling gesture) while the PlayBook works more naturally.
I have to say that the browser on the PlayBook definitely wins in this comparison even though the iPad *may* be slightly faster.
Apps: We all know the iPad is known for apps, but what I donít think many people realize is how expensive the apps are on the iPad. Iíve seen a ton of apps/games that are free or under a dollar on the iPhone and cost $4.99 on the iPad. I know $5 isnít going to break someoneís bank account, but added up a bunch of times, it will become expensive. The only place the PlayBook excels at the moment is with its RIM and TAT developed apps. The Pictures app, for example, is much sexier on the PlayBook than the one on the iPad. Also, the calculator app on the PlayBook is very nice and TAT-like while I donít even have a calculator app on my iPad (just noticed this and I find it very strangeÖ).
Having said all those nice things about the PlayBookís apps, there is no doubt about which device excels in this area. The iPad is known for its apps and rightfully so. Iím not sure if the PlayBook will ever win this battle, even when they have access to Android apps.
Hardware: Both devices are VERY fast and sexy. I may be a little biased on this one but I never liked Appleís way of handling ports on their devices. They always try to be different which causes problems for people like me that donít want to carry around a charger for my iPad/iPod/iPhone and a different charger for my everything else (Personal Phone, Work Phone, E-Reader, Tablet, etcÖ). I also like the inclusion of the fast charging port and the HDMI with the PlayBook. As for the iPad, I know it can handle HDMI, but the reason I hate how Apple handles ports on their devices is why I personally donít consider the iPad an HDMI device. I donít want to have to spend $30-$40 to be able to plug a $10-$50 cable into my iPad. They do this with their computers as well and I end up using my Sony Vaio to stream to my TV over my more powerful MacBook Pro.
Anyways, I prefer the hardware in the PlayBook while I know others will prefer the iPadís hardware. Both are fair and I donít think anyone is wrong with their preference.
Overall: I absolutely love both devices and would recommend both devices to people. I know for sure that I will use my PlayBook more while traveling (or going to the doctors or barberÖ) but I may end up using the iPad more around the house. I personally donít think either device is ďBetterĒ, they just offer different options and really shouldnít be compared to much. One is ultra-portable while the other is more fluid and easier to use (at this point).Thanked by 40:
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BTW, they could also add bezel gestures if they wanted to with some trickery in their coding. All you have to do is look for a finger moving from the side/top/bottom edge of the screen towards the center to implement it. The bezel doesn't really have to be touch sensitive.
- CrackBerry User
05-12-2011, 12:31 PM #5
- 88 Posts
"the iPad OS feels like it was made for a 3-4 inch device, not a 10 inch Tablet while the PlayBook OS feels like it was made with 7 inches in mind."
Thats cause the ipad is an over sized ipod touch/iphone lol
But awesome comparison
- 05-12-2011, 02:00 PM #7
I too own both the iPad 2 and the playbook I couldn't agree more with your comparison. I love both of them and I'm glad that I own the 2.Blackberry Z10 10.0.9.348 / 32GB PLAYBOOK OS 184.108.40.2068 / iPhone 4 / iPad 2 32GB 3G wi-fi
RUNNING, CB Launcher, Twitter, CP24 Mobile, PocketBerry, TSN, Toronto Maple Leafs, ScoreMobile, NHL, Shazam, Food Network, Google Maps, Poynt, foursquare, Remote PVR Bell,
I'm happy to see all the positive responses! I've never done a review of any sort and was a little nervous. I'm a former comp sci major that used to be good at math. Writing was never my thing (as you can probably tell by my review).
- CrackBerry Newbie
05-12-2011, 05:12 PM #10
- 8 Posts
Great review. I own an iPad2 as well as the Playbook. I agree that both are great devices. I'm looking forward to the improvements that RIM will push out with their software updates. I just wish they decided to hold off on releasing the Playbook until they had the Software ready.
- CrackBerry User
05-12-2011, 10:35 PM #13
- 60 Posts
Great review and thread, but let's talk the big surprise
As a very happy iPad owner and a day 1 PlayBook owner, the original review resonates very well.
For me the ace for the iPad is the year head start on OS fluidity. The requirement to tether and uber isolated world we must live in if averse to jailbreaking are big negatives. The iPad is dead sexy.
Yes, messaging is RIMs win with Apple struggling to even show, let alone place.
The ace for the PB, and for me totally unexpected, is the fully OTA and wireless file exchange with my iMac. And secondly, the gorgeous video on screen, 1080p via HDMI out, and 5MP video recording. The video chat via Adobe Connect, ReelPortal, etc to any web connected computer with a web browser are already better than iPad. Finally, an ATT-free existence and economical web and email access worldwide via my BB data plan make the PB my preference except when I want a 10" screen on my counter or desk at home.
Media is traditionally Apple's ace, but can PB do more than just show and play Apple produced and purchased media better than Apple?BlackBerry 9900, iPad 32GB, BlackBerry PlayBook 32GB/wi-fi and 16GB/wi-fi
One more thing that bothers me with the iPad is that Apps developed by Apple (Garage Band, their office apps, and a few others) cost upwards of $9.99 per app, where RIM apps are all free. BlackBerrys are not known for their apps, but RIM makes GREAT apps! They may not look great (BlackBerry Traffic) but they function very well.
I feel that Apple is already making a ton of money on their product and app store, they don't really need to charge for their first party apps. It's a bit insulting!
Oh yeah, I left something out of the initial review. My iPad has MAJOR light leakage. It is only annoying when the screen is black, but with apps that have a black background or when watching a movie, it gets very annoying.
I will probably be taking this iPad back and try to exchange it with a non light leaking one if possible.
I hear issues about the PlayBook having pixel issues (which mine has) and people ***** about it saying Apple would never have problems like this.....Well, it's well documented that the iPad 2 has major screen issues.
- 05-13-2011, 08:40 AM #21
I also have both, and appreciate your honest review. There are a couple of things I would add/disagree with.
1. Battery Life. The iPad 2 (and 1) win this hands down. I can be connected via bluetooth keyboard and wifi and I can get a solid 8-9 hours on the iPad 2. The PB will last about 4 hours (maybe 5) with both turned on and connected.
2. Web - The iPad 2 is faster, even with flash turned off on the PB. It's not by much, but it is faster. I also like how you can touch the top of the iPad screen while in the browser and it will fast scroll to the top. This makes web browsing easier and that functionality needs to be added to the PlayBook.
3. A2DP - there is really no excuse for RIM leaving this off at launch. I love connecting my iPad to a bluetooth speaker (jawbone jambox is awesome!) while watching movies or listening to music. For RIM to leave that off of a device in 2011 at launch is ridiculous. I'm sure it will eventually be added, but it should have been there from the start.
4. No auto correct in bridge or when typing on the net with the PlayBook. This goes without saying that RIM needs to add this in ASAP. Typing an email or in a forum like this one sucks on the playbook because there is no autocorrect.
5. The music/picture/video player is much better on the iPad. Scrolling through albums and events with pictures is more fluid and the organization of all three is much better. Apple does have a major leg up on RIM here as they built the iPod into the iPad's multimedia player. If you don't use/hate iTunes then obviously you won't like Apple's method though.
6. Movie/Music selection. The iPad has a much larger and better selection of movies to buy/rent, and their music selection is the largest in the world. Buying movies/music from the iPad is better than what the PB has to offer.
7. Business use: people claiming that the iPad is a toy and can't be used for business are woefully misinformed. I can easily sort, browse, and wirelessly print any work document that I need. Right now the exclusion of folders on the playbook makes document sorting messy, and there is no way to wirelessly print files (I don't believe). I'm sure the PB will get there, but as of now it's limited in it's use for business.
8. Multitasking. While the playbook does true multitasking, many people feel that the iPad doesn't. I can download a song or movie in the background on the iPad, as well as run apps (Pandora radio, music, as well as many other). The playbook does keep apps running, but I'm not sure why I would want a movie playing in the background if I'm not watching it.
Those are just a few things I thought I would add. I really like the playbook and want it to succeed, but it has a ways to go before it catches up to the iPad.
Last edited by donnation; 05-13-2011 at 08:43 AM.
The iPad pictures app and the PB pictures app are very similar on the surface. Both organize your pictures into folder that you create on the computer. Both then go into a thumbnail view of all the pictures when you click a folder. Where things become different, and imo better on the PlayBook, is when you click on an image. The transition between images is lightyears better on the PlayBook as opposed to the iPad. In fact, when I was using the pictures app on the iPad yesterday I felt like I was using something developed years ago. My biggest gripe though is that you can not delete an image from your iPad without using iTunes. And while I am on the subject, adding pictures to your iPad through iTunes is painful at best. I use a Windows 7 computer and all my pictures are in the "Pictures" library, in separate dated folders. The problem here is that when I tried to add the entire library to iTunes, it said that I couldn't add a library. So, I had to move all my pictures to a subfolder within the library in order to add everything at once. Once I had the pictures on my computer, I realized there were some pictures I wanted to remove. I could not remove those pictures without removing them from my folder on my computer. Now I am forced to change my entire picture structure that I have had for years on my computer just to accomodate my iPad. IMO, that is an epic fail.
- 05-13-2011, 10:10 AM #23
And the slide up to reveal the task bar is also good, since it's a more natural gesture in many scenarios. If you don't have to take your fingers off the screen to tap the home button, that's already an improvement.
- 05-13-2011, 11:02 AM #24
So the OP doesn't actually own an iPad but he played with one at the store? Okay then.
I own both and I can honestly say that the PB has a LOOONG way to go to be able to compete with the iPad. Having said that, I'm a BB for life guy and today the new owner of my iPad is picking it up. I'm keeping the PB for it's size and to monitor its progress over time.
edit: Scratch that, I re-read the 1st post and see that he does own one.
Last edited by xandermac; 05-13-2011 at 11:04 AM.
- 05-13-2011, 11:09 AM #25Sent from me using my fingers. Be pantless in 5K. Febreze - for more than smells.
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