I used a Google Nexus 7 the other night.
I didn’t like the interface. All of the icons are too small. I find the swipe down functions of the Playbook very natural. I feel like I’ve got two handfulls of thumbs when I use the Nexus. The graphics didn’t seem too overwhelming but I didn’t play any games on it. The ereader application has that cool page turning graphic that the Playbook doesn’t have. There are more applications available from the Google application store than there are apps in the Blackberry Appworld, mostly because of popularity, and if the developers expect to make money they need to do it in a market where they expect to get sales.
The particular tablet I was using is owned by someone who sideloads apps that have been cracked, which I don’t really do with my tablet. I’ve sideloaded Android apps that were free but every other app on my Playbook is one I’ve paid for gladly. I have no problem paying an aspiring developer money for a good app. I spend between $30 and $45 a month on apps, some I use only once, most I keep. For the record, the best apps I’ve paid for are all the kids ones. “Land of Me” interactive storybooks, the Mister Men series of storybooks, and, most recently, an interactive Stella and Sam storybook. That one was expensive, cost me $4 but my son and daughter both love it. The best free apps I’ve downloaded are also kids apps, done by TVO. I refuse to buy one of those tablets for kids, the Leapster ones, because they speak down to my daughter and I imagine they speak down to most kids in this day and age. I’ll buy her a real tablet computer that she can get use of.
Like a Blackberry Playbook, which is what I am getting to.
After using the Nexus for about 10 minutes or so, nothing about the machine wowed me other than the speed. I gotta say that. The Nexus is fucking fast. Left my Playbook in the dust. No question. But that’s it. I honestly feel my Playbook works better for me on every level. The Blackberry Playbook has front and back cameras, not just one back camera like the Nexus (although tablets need flashes – does any tablet have a flash?). The interface is more fluid and intuitive on the Playbook. But the speed, though. The power of that processor, though, is impressive in the Nexus.
I only hope that when Blackberry 10 rolls around that there is a plan for a new tablet. Blackberry had the form factor right all along. They were right to come out with the smaller size. They were ahead of their time, damnit, but they were too scared and timid – dare I say too Canadian? – to stand up and say why they had it right and why the damned iPad was too big and clumsy to be of any real practical use. Apple tacitly admitted that with the release of the iPad mini.
My conclusion is this. The Playbook is an awesome tablet computer and goes everywhere I do. It interfaces seamlessly with my Blackberry smartphone and satisfies my every day to day computer needs. But I admit that it is woefully behind interms of the hardware supporting their systems. If there is not a plan for a tablet after the Blackberry 10 relase in January, I will have to start finding a new tablet and phone combination to serve my needs.