| | 12-08-2011, 05:49 PM Thread Author #1
Playbook vs Toshiba Thrive 7
I just bought my thrive 7 locally here in Canada for $379, and I had already purchased a blackberry playbook about a two weeks ago when it was only $199. I have only had the Thrive 7 for 1/2 of a day, but here are my first opinions.
Build and usability:
Both devices seem to be well made, and solid. The Playbook gets the nod for usability. It is configured in landscape mode, with two very good front facing speakers that are well separated and sound very good. You can listen to music on them without the need for headphones. The cameras are also well placed in the middle top in landscape mode, making them easily usable. The thrive is configured in portrait mode with the speakers at the bottom. They sound tinny and not too suitable for listening to music. The cameras are on the top in portrait mode, meaning they are on the side when viewing in landscape mode (the most common), and therefore it is easy to get your fingers in the way of the lens when taking pictures with the main camera. Also the functionality of the thrive cameras is not as good as the playbook.
Both seem to weigh about the same, but the Thrive 7 is a little easier to hold with one hand because of the rubberized back. The thrive is also a little smaller all around.
Both have very similar hardware specs. The thrive gets the nod because it has a micro sdcard slot, the playbook does not. The screen on the thrive is a higher resolution, but in comparing, it is hard to tell the difference. Both show text very well. The Thrive was easy to set-up and has worked flawlessly so far. The Playbook did a firmware upgrade right away opening, and screwed up the wifi abilities. It took a frustrating day to figure out I had to reconfigure the wireless router to a g setting only to make it work. It has worked fine every since, but many less computer oriented people would have given up and returned the product. RIM needs to work hard at improving the OS.
The playbook wins here. The active bezels make navigation a dream as you can minimize an app, go to the home screen, see the apps menu, see the system menu and activate the keyboard with a swipe of the fingers from one of the bezels to the screen - nice. The thrive is like most other tablets and has a home and other navigation icons.
No question, the Thrive wins here with apps like email, contacts, calendar and file managers built in. The playbook is missing most of these but some free third party apps can be installed to provide some of the functionality, but native email is still missing, at least until the software upgrade in Feb. The browser in the Playbook is a little quirky, but the Thrive has access to the droid market where there are great browsers available, such as the Dolphin HD browser. And this access puts the thrive way ahead of the playbook in apps availability.
The playbook is supposed to get some access to the market in Feb., but there is no guarantees. I must admit, that for most users, the playbook apps that are available, look after most needs or wishes, and more a coming.
Both devices play videos very well, but both could use a wider selections of codecs for movies. Both have good picture apps, but I do prefer the one on the playbook. There are probably other picture apps on the market that can be used on the thrive, I just haven't had time to check them out.
Both have apps available for reading ebooks, more apps are available for the thrive 7 than the playbook, but both work well as ereaders. Both screens are optimized for viewing outside. By setting the brightness high, I was able to read ebooks in direct sunlight with no problems, with a very slight edge to the thrive 7. Setting the brightness low makes both devices excellent ereaders in low light situations, with no eye strain. My two e-ink readers are going to gather a bit of dust I think.
The 16 g playbook at $199 was a steal. It would be worth $299 in my opinion. The thrive 7 is a little overpriced at $379, and I think it should be around $329.
That's my two cents worth, I will add to the thread when I have more experience with the Toshiba Thrive 7.