09-21-12 02:30 PM
42 12
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  1. masqueofhastur's Avatar
    I've thought, as of a few years ago, that the 7" form factor was ideal for tablets because when it's held in portrait mode it's about as easy to type on as a larger sized smartphone in landscape mode. The PlayBook ended up proving me wrong in that specific point, the keyboard was so low in portrait mode that the device was very top heavy, and it was incredibly uncomfortable to use that way.

    The Nexus 7 is the opposite, it's lighter, the keys on the keyboard are taller, and the soft keys at the bottom of ICS/JB move the keyboard higher to a more ergonomic position. It's actually very enjoyable to use the Nexus 7 keyboard in portrait, moreso than the PlayBook keyboard in landscape. I quite liked that RIM understood this with the QWERTYbar phones. The BlackBerry logo was at the bottom of the phone, so that the keyboard was a bit higher, and a bit more comfortable to use.

    I think that's probably the most significant difference between the two. Obviously being lighter helps the Nexus 7 a lot, and it has a more ergonomic design overall, but really it comes down to how you're going to use it. If you're using it in portrait mode, the Nexus 7 is a clear win, if you're using it in landscape mode, the Nexus 7 sometimes doesn't want to cooperate at all.

    The OS front is the other big difference. PBOS is overall way better. Notifications are annoying with the Nexus 7, even swiping them away is a bit tedious. On the PB it's just a couple taps. With multitasking you know exactly what you're getting with the PB, on the Nexus 7, it'll show all your recent apps and there's no way to tell which ones are actually open. My GF's not very tech savvy and has already taken to using a task killer app regularly.

    The app side the Nexus 7 wins again. I'm quite impressed with Google Play. It's better than the iOS App Store, the Windows Phone Marketplace and BlackBerry AppWorld in my estimation. Obviously the app selection is a lot better there as well. I'm mainly interested in the gaming application, and the PB hardware is quite good for it, especially with the front facing stereo speakers, so it certainly has an edge in some areas, and it has a fine selection of good games, but otherwise it's trite to point out that the Nexus 7 just has way more. It's also a little disappointing that it would be so much better for Netflix, but it doesn't have it.

    Really the biggest change I'd like to see on the PB in the software side is improving the keyboard. The landscape keyboard needs to split, and the portrait keyboard needs to be raised, even if that means having an empty space at the bottom, as well as having taller keys. I'm fine with the decreased screen real estate otherwise, as usable with less is better than unusable with more. That would also fix one of the major drawbacks that the PB has compared to 7" ICS/JB tablets, and something like this is a bigger deal when you're spending $550 on the LTE version (I guess there might be some 64GB WiFi ones still in stock for a bit).

    As an aside, the leaked pics of what'll probably be the BB10 all touch device looks like it has enough space between the bottom and where the screen starts that portrait typing will be fine, so that's at least not something we need to worry about, and PBOS is already way cleaner and more functional than Android, iOS and Windows Phone, and BB10 has to be at least as good.
    09-19-12 12:09 AM
  2. Hawnz's Avatar
    Hey, there is an app in Google Play called Nexus Media Importer ($2.99) that let's you connect a USB OTG to add a USB flash drive or SD reader, without rooting the Nexus 7. Yes, I know this is off topic.
    09-19-12 12:42 AM
  3. HCL425's Avatar
    Hey, there is an app in Google Play called Nexus Media Importer ($2.99) that let's you connect a USB OTG to add a USB flash drive or SD reader, without rooting the Nexus 7. Yes, I know this is off topic.
    I've both these devices. Though PB is very good, Nexus 7 is way better.
    mike in nc likes this.
    09-19-12 01:29 AM
  4. Motoberg's Avatar
    OMG ! You have said something derogatory about the Playbook, many people will be along shortly to abuse you
    09-19-12 02:11 AM
  5. Bakamushi's Avatar
    I was able to use it with friends.

    Comparatively the playbook looks stuck years back. Software AND hardware.
    09-19-12 02:14 AM
  6. Donnee's Avatar
    OMG ! You have said something derogatory about the Playbook, many people will be along shortly to abuse you
    Fear not citizen their treachery shall not go unpunished!!!

    Oh wait they were actually quite unbiased and made some good points... Damnit foiled again!

    I must admit I find the portrait keyboard on the pb awkward to use aswell. Landscape is pretty decent for me though, can get quite a decent speed out of it. I guess it comes down to what they were made for, pb is landscape, nexus is portrait so it makes sense they should work better that way.

    It would be nice to have some different keyboard options though, one I would really like to see is a split type that puts half the keyboard under each thumb (something similar to a Microsoft natural keyboard with each half floating at the side and roughly centred vertically)
    masqueofhastur likes this.
    09-19-12 02:30 AM
  7. Bakamushi's Avatar
    I guess it comes down to what they were made for, pb is landscape, nexus is portrait so it makes sense they should work better that way.
    I have just checked on my Galaxy Tab, and it it seems that no Google app is published unless it can do portrait AND landscape.
    09-19-12 03:11 AM
  8. Motoberg's Avatar
    Ive been researching buying a sat nav unit then realised the nexus 7 may do the job with a proper sat nav app, looking on the nexus forums it seems the OS can become sluggish once there's less than 3 meg storage available, funny how all our tablets, no matter who they are made by have there own little foibles ?
    My 64 meg PB has 30 meg free so i doubt i could jam it into a measly 16 meg nexus
    09-19-12 04:32 AM
  9. walnuts1024's Avatar
    Fear not citizen their treachery shall not go unpunished!!!

    Oh wait they were actually quite unbiased and made some good points... Damnit foiled again!

    I must admit I find the portrait keyboard on the pb awkward to use aswell. Landscape is pretty decent for me though, can get quite a decent speed out of it. I guess it comes down to what they were made for, pb is landscape, nexus is portrait so it makes sense they should work better that way.

    It would be nice to have some different keyboard options though, one I would really like to see is a split type that puts half the keyboard under each thumb (something similar to a Microsoft natural keyboard with each half floating at the side and roughly centred vertically)
    This review is so such a one sided review of the.... Oh darn it, the review is very well thought out. OP did a good job comparing the two products discussing the strengths and weaknesses fairly.

    My PB doesn't leave my side but there is still some areas where there is room for improvement. With that said I really do enjoy the keyboard in both directions.
    masqueofhastur likes this.
    09-19-12 07:52 AM
  10. esk369's Avatar
    Initial impressions of Nexus 7 compared to the PlayBookquote)The OS front is the other big difference. PBOS is overall way better. Notifications are annoying with the Nexus 7, even swiping them away is a bit tedious.
    I will give a big amen to that being my 1st droid experience.
    I also agree about google playstore although I do find it a but disorganized like being lost in a huge warhouse.
    09-19-12 08:00 AM
  11. kretch's Avatar
    We should not be angry or put back when people post comparisons of our beloved PlayBooks.

    It is only human nature to try and knock the best anything down.

    HEY......... Even a Bugatti Veyron has flaws.

    So I'm going to sit back, smile and think how great the PlayBook is compared to any device.

    .
    bungaboy likes this.
    09-19-12 08:29 AM
  12. masqueofhastur's Avatar
    Initial impressions of Nexus 7 compared to the PlayBookquote)The OS front is the other big difference. PBOS is overall way better. Notifications are annoying with the Nexus 7, even swiping them away is a bit tedious.
    I will give a big amen to that being my 1st droid experience.
    I also agree about google playstore although I do find it a but disorganized like being lost in a huge warhouse.
    Yeah, there definitely is that to it. It gets a lot more challenging to organise that much content well, but it is a far site better than iOS - showing top 500 instead of top 25 is far more dev friendly. The lack of content on the PB is a small plus in some ways, makes up for App World not being as robust, and there really isn't analysis paralysis.
    esk369 likes this.
    09-19-12 12:47 PM
  13. masqueofhastur's Avatar
    OMG ! You have said something derogatory about the Playbook, many people will be along shortly to abuse you
    It's quite nice that on this forum this is really just a joke, and not a warning of things to come.
    09-19-12 12:50 PM
  14. Xopher's Avatar
    I keep looking at the N7 as a replacement for my heavy 10.1" gTablet. I love my PlayBook, but there are some apps on the Android side that keep me carrying multiple devices. I was wondering how well OTG works on the N7. I might actually pick one up after the Jam.

    The PlayBook keyboard is one thing I really want to see improved as well. On my gTablet (and on my wife's 7" Android tablet), having a choice of keyboards really makes a difference. The split-format of Thumb Keyboard makes landscape typing so much easier, and having keyboards that swipe in portrait mode (Swype, FlexT9, TouchPal) also makes typing so much quicker and accurate. I keep hoping the BB10 keyboard will make its way onto the PlayBook, or at least more typing-friendly features.
    bldshd and masqueofhastur like this.
    09-19-12 01:30 PM
  15. mikeo007's Avatar
    Ive been researching buying a sat nav unit then realised the nexus 7 may do the job with a proper sat nav app, looking on the nexus forums it seems the OS can become sluggish once there's less than 3 meg storage available, funny how all our tablets, no matter who they are made by have there own little foibles ?
    My 64 meg PB has 30 meg free so i doubt i could jam it into a measly 16 meg nexus
    Any computing device that is RAM limited will get extremely sluggish once storage space begins to run out. This is true for Blackberrys, idevices, androids, and even laptop and desktop computers. The storage space is needed for a RAM swap file.

    Also, it's not "meg" as in megabyte, it's "gig" as in gigabyte. A meg is 1/1000th of a gigabyte.
    09-19-12 01:37 PM
  16. leticeberry's Avatar
    I bought the Nexus 7 for my husband's birthday a few weeks ago. He likes it, but is upset that there are some websites that don't work and some videos on some websites that he won't play on the Nexus 7. I haven't found a website or video that I can't play with my Playbook yet. I'm sticking with my Playbook.
    09-19-12 02:11 PM
  17. masqueofhastur's Avatar
    Yeah, Flash is one of those things that makes it possible for the PB to be a laptop replacement, whereas when you don't have Flash it really only works as a companion device.
    09-19-12 02:26 PM
  18. airbbtran's Avatar
    Yeah, Flash is one of those things that makes it possible for the PB to be a laptop replacement, whereas when you don't have Flash it really only works as a companion device.
    i don't think flash alone can replace a laptop. if the only thing you do on your laptop is visit website then yea, but you can make the case for any older android device that still support flash, or even webos, matter of fact there are apps on ios that supports flash too.
    09-19-12 03:24 PM
  19. Tre Lawrence's Avatar
    OP: no need for third-party task killers.
    howarmat and mikeo007 like this.
    09-19-12 03:36 PM
  20. Chrysalis1156's Avatar
    Thanks for the review. It was written in a non-inflammatory manner and may prove helpful to others looking for a 2nd tablet.
    masqueofhastur and FF22 like this.
    09-19-12 04:02 PM
  21. Donnee's Avatar
    I have just checked on my Galaxy Tab, and it it seems that no Google app is published unless it can do portrait AND landscape.
    I know most can, what I mean is when you see it advertised its typically always in portrait mode, the logos / camera position etc show its intended to be that way. The playbook from its layout is intended to be landscape.

    I wasn't trying to say the nexus can't ever be used landscape, just pointing out why the ergonomics are better because it's designed that way
    09-19-12 06:03 PM
  22. elbo's Avatar
    I bought the Nexus 7 for my husband's birthday a few weeks ago. He likes it, but is upset that there are some websites that don't work and some videos on some websites that he won't play on the Nexus 7. I haven't found a website or video that I can't play with my Playbook yet. I'm sticking with my Playbook.
    off the top of my head

    outlook.com
    cracked.com
    gizmodo.com
    radiocanada.ca
    virtualr.net
    skydrive.com
    comedynetwork.ca


    a few sites that don't work at all or dont work very well on the playbook...there are more, just can't think of them right now...
    Last edited by elbo; 09-19-12 at 06:47 PM.
    09-19-12 06:43 PM
  23. caanda45's Avatar
    I have both the N7 and the playbook. As far as flash on the N7 it can be enabled, which I have done. Here is how and where...How to Install Flash on the Nexus 7 and Other Jelly Bean Devices - How-To Geek

    The price I paid for my playbook make it a nice device for e-mail, video and music playback.

    The apps suck..... one can only hope that BB10 will come to our devices and make this ecosystem better.....overall I have room in my house for both devices.
    Last edited by caanda45; 09-19-12 at 08:17 PM.
    09-19-12 08:14 PM
  24. bldshd's Avatar
    I think (hope) we can all agree that all tablets/phones/devices all have flaws. Some features that people love others hate. Theres no product out there that i think everyone can say is the best. The only way to make everyone happy & stop disagreeing is if we could start with our favorite form factor and add all the fearures & software we love & leave out all the features we hate & start making our own devices. Since thats not gonna happen lets let our opinions fly & have fun with our disagreements. BTW nice comparison post. Honestly. But i still love my PlayBook & cant wait for it to get better & better
    09-20-12 01:04 AM
  25. rich_a's Avatar
    OP: no need for third-party task killers.
    It's a strange concept for new Android users, isn't it? To explain to non-Android users - Android manages applications in the background so the user doesn't have to. It tries to keep as many in-use applications in memory as possible and closes them automatically when a program needs more memory than is available, or when it determines that you really haven't used that app in a while.

    It's a bit unnerving initially as we've been taught since our first day of using computers that we need to close applications we no longer need, but once you're used to it - it just works.

    Personally, I prefer the Android approach. It's nice that third party apps (like music players) can run as background services, and other apps are managed by the OS. On the PlayBook you have to switch on Showcase mode and then keep your desired music apps running in the background and manually terminate the ones you're not really interested in. It's much less flexible, but I suppose some people like to manually manage those things.

    Anyhow, I've owned my Nexus 7 for over a month now and I'm loving it. I haven't used the Playbook much at all apart from check for new apps and software updates

    Areas where the Nexus beats the playbook:
    App choice
    App pricing (especially in the UK, where RIM discriminate against us with unfair pricing),
    Web browsing speed
    Much much lighter - I think the Nexus 7 + cheap leather case is approximately half the weight of Playbook + Convertible case
    Brighter & higher resolution screen

    Areas where the Nexus loses to the playbook:
    Speaker quality (I feel sad that now I finally have SlingPlayer, the sound quality is nowhere near as good as it would be on the PlayBook)
    Bezel gestures
    HDMI + Back camera
    09-20-12 06:29 AM
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