1. torndownunit's Avatar
    I have owned a Playbook for about 4 months and am a big fan of a lot of aspects of it. They had a sale on Nexus 7's last week at Staples here in Canada though, so I picked one up. I don't own another Android device, so I thought it would be a good chance to play with Android.

    Does anyone have any questions about it vs. the Playbook? I want to be clear I am not looking to start a thread to bash any device, I just know when I was considering buying the Nexus and wondered how it compared to the Playbook, I found it hard to get answers to a few questions on the forum. There may be people in the same situation, so I thought it might help.

    Some initial impressions mainly based on the things I use my tablet for:

    Construction:

    - It seems to be built quite well, I definitely wouldn't say it feels cheap compared to the Playbook. The Playbook is one solid device though, and at this point I know it can take a bit of a beating. The Nexus, I have no idea at this point.
    - Nexus similar in weight to Playbook, but slightly smaller dimensions
    - back bevel makes Nexus nice to hold
    - Nexus speakers suck compared to the Playbook. No real comparison
    - Screen is nicer on the Nexus though. Pretty significant difference actually to my eyes.
    - I really don't use cameras on a tablet, so I am not going to comment on them. Spec wise, I am sure the Playbook has an edge.

    Software:

    - Being that I am new to Android, I am in a similar situation as when I bought the Playbook. The OS is new to me. The Playbook get's a big edge as far as just diving in and being able to use it. My girlfriend who is just horrible with computer stuff never even has to ask me a question about the Playbook. She can pick it up and figure out anything. I'm sure as I tinker with Android I will start to like the customization, but I think the ability to just pick up a tablet and use it is cool, and the Playbook has an real edge there.

    - I likely don't need to say it's nice to be able to access some apps I use on iOS again. An app I use multiple times daily is Pulse Newsreader, and it just does not run very well side-loaded on Playbook. Nor does Playbook have a great alternative (in my opinion). The Android version seems as good as the iOS version and runs blazing fast. I am going to guess I will run into this scenario with a lot of apps. It's fantastic to be able to pick from a bunch of great Podcast apps again as well.

    - A big issue why I wanted to experiment with a new 7" tablet is web browsing. Experiences on the forum seem to vary regarding the Playbook's browser, but I have always found it to be slow. I kept reading on the forum that it's superior to other mobile browsers. I am finally getting a chance to test that. On the surface, my regular sites seem to load much quicker. I don't know if this is an issue of perception due to lack of checkerboarding that I run into constantly with the Playbook. I can scroll down a page though without checkboarding which is great. So far I have only played with Firefox and Chrome, and I find them to be much better than the Playbook browser in both features and speed.

    Other:

    As mentioned I don't use all of the Playbooks hardware features, but one thing I have found it fantastic for is travelling. It can be loaded up with movies and plugged into hotel TV's with the HDMI port. And again, this is so easy my girlfriend can do the same thing with it. I do look forward to playing around with the Nexus DNLA options, but it can't replace the Playbook for me in this regard.

    Basically, so far I am finding most things I do online much better with the Nexus. But the Playbook as a media player is fantastic. It's not going to be replaced in that regard any time soon for me.

    This might all completely useless info, but I thought I would post it just in case.
    Last edited by torndownunit; 04-02-13 at 05:06 PM.
    FF22 likes this.
    04-02-13 03:28 PM
  2. Technology83's Avatar
    Will you replace the PlayBook????
    04-02-13 05:20 PM
  3. Enyigma's Avatar
    Thanks OP for the report on your impressions.

    I'm not suprised the Nexus has a faster browser. I hope BB10 on the Playbook improves this.

    Have you tried running multiple apps on the Nexus 7 and can they run simultaneously?

    Does the Nexus 7 appear to have good flow (e.g. not stuttering and no hesitation with scrolling, switching between apps, pinching and zooming)?

    Just curious.
    04-02-13 05:39 PM
  4. Gooseberry Falls's Avatar
    Yeah, you got it right. I recommended a 7 to my sister that needed skype. Came across the same conclusions: bad speakers, no HDMI, mediocre front-facing camera, nice screen resolution but peppy (it's quad core so it should be). It will operate pretty similar to iOS (e.g. you'll be using the back button alot) and only swiping between screens and removing notifications. Pricewise, the 32gb 7 is about the same as the 64gb PB (though you can get a good deal on the PB and 7 is rarely discounted more than 10-20%). The Nexus will be updated by Google pretty quickly (faster than other manufacturers); I think it one of the only devices with JB 4.2 right now. If you root it (pretty easy), it will probably be updatable for a very long time. Perfect for the update freak dissatisfied with the PB.
    04-02-13 05:54 PM
  5. BB_Bmore's Avatar
    Considering the PlayBook browser is written in air I can't see how anyone would expect it to be "fast".

    I believe the PlayBook stacks up very well against other tablets considering it's age.
    04-02-13 06:42 PM
  6. blueberrymerry's Avatar
    BB10 needs to come to the Playbook ASAP. I'm not interested in it just for the sake of it being new, I want it because it offers a much better development environment compared to Adobe Air. BB10 uses Cascades which sits on top of Qt, so it should be easier to port apps over (not repackage as with Android apps but convert the code to Qt/QML and C++).

    I love Android tablets because of the apps and ecosystem. Hardware, not so much, the Playbook's build quality is amazing. On thing the Nexus 7 has over the Playbook is USB OTG support - you can hook up flash drives, hard drives and other phones to it through a USB host adapter. The Playbook has the necessary OS drivers but Blackberry don't want to enable it... same bad news with BB10 too.
    04-02-13 06:54 PM
  7. Gooseberry Falls's Avatar
    I don't think anyone's ever said the PB browser was fast (e.g a lot of checker boarding complaints), it is just capable of a desktop experience. Most sites open without the need for special apps (sans those requiring Silverlight, ugh Netflix). I like Simple browser, too.
    04-02-13 06:59 PM
  8. torndownunit's Avatar
    Considering the PlayBook browser is written in air I can't see how anyone would expect it to be "fast".

    I believe the PlayBook stacks up very well against other tablets considering it's age.
    My post is not made to knock the Playbook. As I said, I like mine. But, I can't even count the amount of threads I have been in on this forum where the Playbook browser is touted as the best browser on a tablet. It's mentioned enough that being a Playbook owner, it actually made me shy away from trying another tablet. All browsers I have tried so far on the Nexus are faster, and have more features than the Playbook browser. While I am fond of Simple Browser on the Playbook, it does not compete speed wise either.

    Enyigma, as another poster mentioned while there are some gestures, you do find yourself using the 'home' button. Although even though I am just learning Android, I use it less than iOS (eg there are swipes to close open apps etc.). As for the speed, it's very peppy. I don't notice any lag anywhere. On my Playbook, even freshly security wiped, I get slight hesitations with the keyboard and apps opening. With any Android apps running on the Playbook, I find it can really slow down.

    I will not get rid of the Playbook. It's an awesome media player, and great for travel. But I find internet tasks and email to be just way quicker on the Nexus.

    It makes me curious to see the next Nexus for sure. I was going to wait, but they were having a pretty decent sale on them last week as mentioned, and I want to try Android so I can get an idea of what is has to offer before I decide about my phone upgrade in July. The Z10 is leading the pack right now, but I want to keep an open mind.

    It also makes me really want to see what BB10 and it's browser could do for the Playbook.
    04-02-13 07:33 PM
  9. blueberrymerry's Avatar
    My post is not made to knock the Playbook. As I said, I like mine. But, I can't even count the amount of threads I have been in on this forum where the Playbook browser is touted as the best browser on a tablet. It's mentioned enough that being a Playbook owner, it actually made me shy away from trying another tablet. All browsers I have tried so far on the Nexus are faster, and have more features than the Playbook browser. While I am fond of Simple Browser on the Playbook, it does not compete speed wise either.
    Dolphin, Opera Mobile, Firefox, Aurora, I use all these on my Android tablet. They're faster and less buggy than the Playbook browser too. Quill on Android is a fantastic app for free-form note taking for tablets with active digitizers. I haven't written on paper for a while.

    Where the Playbook actually shines is getting things done. I can have a bunch of apps open in Showcase mode and I can quickly switch between them, flipping between a spreadsheet, email and the web browser without worrying if the OS will kill any background apps.

    The PB is a suitable laptop replacement if paired with a Bluetooth keyboard. Add USB host support and I will forever be in debt to the powers that be at Blackberry
    04-02-13 07:59 PM
  10. jpash549's Avatar
    I have had a Nexus 7 for almost 7 months now and a Playbook for about 15 months. I haven't sideloaded apps on the PB nor have I rooted the N7. So my viewpoint is for strictly what comes through the app stores.

    For the N7 I use
    Nova launcher
    Perfect Keyboard
    Chrome, Firefox and Boat browsers
    Nexus Media Importer (allows stock use of OTG port)
    Battery Graph and Gauge Battery for keeping track of charging and battery
    WiFi analyzer and WiFi manager for helping with wifi problems
    Fing may help with network
    Office Suite Pro, Picsel and DocstoGo (too many but they were on sale)
    Quick Pic and Camera
    Ghost Commander and Disk Usage
    Tubemate which I downloaded from another Android site.
    Goto settings/security/device administration/unknown sources to allow download from other than Play Store
    MX Player, Pandora, Apollo beta
    Pocket, Zite, Appy Geek
    Too many book options to list.

    The lists goes on and on with many free apps which are ad supported and often can be replaced with paid versions

    Doesn't seem to be any good way to stream content from the N7 to a TV since it has no HDMI port and does not seem to support DLNA or other protocols perhaps due to hardware limitations.
    04-02-13 09:23 PM
  11. torndownunit's Avatar
    I have had a Nexus 7 for almost 7 months now and a Playbook for about 15 months. I haven't sideloaded apps on the PB nor have I rooted the N7. So my viewpoint is for strictly what comes through the app stores.

    For the N7 I use
    Nova launcher
    Perfect Keyboard
    Chrome, Firefox and Boat browsers
    Nexus Media Importer (allows stock use of OTG port)
    Battery Graph and Gauge Battery for keeping track of charging and battery
    WiFi analyzer and WiFi manager for helping with wifi problems
    Fing may help with network
    Office Suite Pro, Picsel and DocstoGo (too many but they were on sale)
    Quick Pic and Camera
    Ghost Commander and Disk Usage
    Tubemate which I downloaded from another Android site.
    Goto settings/security/device administration/unknown sources to allow download from other than Play Store
    MX Player, Pandora, Apollo beta
    Pocket, Zite, Appy Geek
    Too many book options to list.

    The lists goes on and on with many free apps which are ad supported and often can be replaced with paid versions

    Doesn't seem to be any good way to stream content from the N7 to a TV since it has no HDMI port and does not seem to support DLNA or other protocols perhaps due to hardware limitations.
    There seems to be a few apps to stream to my Apple TV (and other boxes), so I am going to give that a shot. Not a great solution if you don't have an Apple TV or similar device I guess. I already have, and love, one though. I guess it will function like Airplay on my phone. Which has come in handy for me streaming live sports events to my TV.

    I agree with blueberrymerry's as far as ease of use making your way around the OS and apps on Playbook. But, I am finding the overall speed of the Nexus overshadows that a bit for me. It all depends on what you are using it for I guess. EG I'd love to see the Playbook with this kind of browsing speed.

    Where the Playbook actually shines is getting things done. I can have a bunch of apps open in Showcase mode and I can quickly switch between them, flipping between a spreadsheet, email and the web browser without worrying if the OS will kill any background apps.
    So far I haven't run into this happening. I have had 5 applications open, and have been able to switch between them. Maybe I just haven't been using it long enough.
    04-03-13 08:36 AM
  12. mmarco's Avatar
    can't compare PB with Nexus 7. PB is 2 years older!!

    The PB processor is ARM cortex 1GHz, some news android tablet (Nexus, BQ) have simillar or better processor.
    04-05-13 06:28 AM
  13. Barracuda7772's Avatar
    android is a decent platform but when I had an htc one x the amount of choice really started to bother me .....now hear me out I'm talking what launcher to use (because htc sense was horrid on one x) what keyboard to use.flr the same reason as the launcher. ect...... and the list goes on

    most my gripe comes from the fact that that if the launcher and keyboard and other pre installed apps were good.to.begin with there wouldn't be like 150,000 apps in the play store that are all launchers, keyboards, and themes for both
    04-05-13 06:58 AM
  14. joshua_sx1's Avatar
    I got both, PlayBook and N7... the overall experience in PB is still one of a kind... but N7 screen is way better and it is faster in almost every aspect (it is expected anyway)...

    And "NO", both of them still cannot be charged using sunlight only... in case, someone is curious...

    Posted via Z10
    04-05-13 08:22 AM
  15. blueberrymerry's Avatar
    The main issue I have with Android tablets from Honeycomb to ICS and Jelly Bean is that you can't stop an app from being killed. I hate swapping between a document in DocsToGo and a browser, then finding the browser process has been killed and has to restart. Apparently memory usage and idle time determine when/if an app is killed. A lot of Android apps can't save state and reload properly and end up reloading data through the network - this even happens with some sideloaded apps on the PB. Seriously not cool when I'm on a plane with no network around.

    Any recommendations on a good Android media player app that I can sideload to the PB? I'm using Kalemsoft right now which is excellent for local files and as a DLNA client, but I sometimes need to connect to SMB shares using ES File Explorer and that can only pass files to Android apps.
    04-05-13 10:28 AM
  16. bitek's Avatar
    Nexus 7 is cool tablet and at least now is better than playbook. let's hope bb10 comes soon to pb and we get all goodies of z10

    Sent from Blackberry Playbook using Tapatalk 2
    04-05-13 06:21 PM
  17. bovcrx's Avatar
    My PlayBook is fine by me for Web browser

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2
    04-15-13 05:11 AM
  18. harold1064's Avatar
    Pb hardware is ok , but we are only missing APPS.
    We can sideload but it would be better to have those apps in our own market
    04-15-13 06:02 AM
  19. deepaero's Avatar
    having both as well.
    My thoughts are exactly the same - Playbook is amazing as a portable media player with proper stereo dynamics and good camera with stereo mic.

    Nexus 7 obviously gives you JB - but sound is **** and there is no Playbook's solid business product experience, just JB.

    If we would get proper JB launcher with hardware support for apps like Skype or GTalk on PB!... I wish it's came to us once upon a time =)
    04-15-13 12:00 PM
  20. torndownunit's Avatar
    android is a decent platform but when I had an htc one x the amount of choice really started to bother me .....now hear me out I'm talking what launcher to use (because htc sense was horrid on one x) what keyboard to use.flr the same reason as the launcher. ect...... and the list goes on

    most my gripe comes from the fact that that if the launcher and keyboard and other pre installed apps were good.to.begin with there wouldn't be like 150,000 apps in the play store that are all launchers, keyboards, and themes for both
    Mine has the current update of Jelly Bean on it, and so far I have not had issues with the keyboard. Not enough to seek out a replacement app. But that could be related to the fact that my other tablet keyboard experience with with the Playbook, and I have just never liked it that much. I get keyboard lag at times with the Playbook (goes away if I do a security wipe for awhile), so I am happy to just not have lag. I seem to be able to type fine on the Nexus though and it doesn't seem to be that much worse than a lot of touch keyboards I have tried. I'll probably try out some apps out of interest though just because I hear such good things about them. I do have a tough time seeing how choices in keyboards can be a bad thing though.

    I am using the Nexus most of the time now, but a Playbook update with this quality of screen, and a better web browser could definitely sway me back. And if it could get more apps, or run Android apps a little better. I just don't know if they could offer it for this kind of price though. The Playbooks were dropped down to the price they are now, the Nexus's were introduced at this price. And they are a crazy value.

    One thing I do really like about the Nexus that I would like on other 7" tablets is the beveled back. Something about it makes holding it in one hand much more comfortable.

    RE blueberrymerry's comments on apps being killed, I haven't come across it yet. I definitely am no Android expert, just reporting what I am seeing while I use it. I frequently have 4-5 apps running for long periods at a time, while switching back and forth between them. I have yet to see an app get killed or freeze. I definitely have seen that behaviour in the Android emulator on my Playbook though. When running even 2 Android apps, I have had one get killed or freeze or both have issues. So I do know the behaviour, just haven't seen it yet on the Nexus.
    Last edited by torndownunit; 04-16-13 at 03:15 PM.
    04-16-13 09:45 AM

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