Once again, i'm going to bring up the PlayBook
So here's the thing... I'm typing this out on my Nexus 7. I'll be honest... It's nice. But... I've had a PlayBook since day one and it has many features that I much prefer over the Nexus 7.
I've been waiting to type out one of these posts until I had a "popular" device that I could compare it to. A friend of mine was looking to get rid of his Nexus 7 in favour of the Nexus 10 so I went ahead and bought it off him. After about 2 weeks of using just this tablet rather than my PlayBook, I must say, I'm not overly impressed. 7 inches is definitely the sweet spot for me when it comes to tablets so size is certainly not the issue.
Apps, apps, apps.
I think this might be the single differentiator between the 2 devices. Oddly enough, for the most part, I've found all the same 1st party apps on both platforms save 2. The PlayBook still has no native twitter client or Netflix app. Aside from both of those, I've managed to find all the same apps on both platforms. I suppose I should mention the app mentioned as much as Netflix when it comes to the PlayBook... Skype. There is of course no Skype app either. I considered leaving it out cause I don't use it despite having an account setup anyway but I did install it on the Nexus 7. Everything I use is available on both devices.
So... Here's what I've found so far. There's a part of me that wanted to hate the Nexus 7 cause I'm a BlackBerry guy down to the core. I know most don't get it but Crackberry Kevin's hierarchy of smartphone needs really does make it simple to understand. The devices I choose, I choose because they do what I need them to and I'm satisfied with that. But in end, it turns out that I like them both for different reasons.
I'm not going to dig too far into the hardware only because as we move forward, it's easy to see that the specs race is more and more a waste of time so long as the end user experience is good.
When I look at them side by side, I see a few major differences. The screens are quite comparable. Though, the screen on the Nexus 7 has a slight pinkish hue to it which skews all the colours. I assume I just didn't luck out.
The single speaker at the bottom of the Nexus 7 is garbage. It pales in comparison to the front facing stereo speakers on there PlayBook.
I haven't had the chance to play around with the front facing camera on the Nexus 7 so I can't say much with regards to that.
Because I mentioned experience along side the hardware aspect of things, I'm going to bring up a few of my biggest hicks when it comes to the Nexus 7.
First off, the multitasking paradigm. It annoys me that I have to tap a software button in order to view or switch between my recently accessed apps. There really is something to be said for the bezel gestures present in the PlayBook OS. The same can be said of having to tap yet another virtual button to access the home screen. I'm sure there's something to be said about the fact that I've gotten far more used to the UX of the PlayBook than that of the Nexus 7 but there's something about the PlayBook's UX that just feels more natural.
The keyboard is another thing. You need the keyboard on the PlayBook? Swipe up from the bottom left corner to make it appear. Need it on the Nexus 7? I have no idea how to make it pop up. If someone can tell me how without desperately tapping at text boxes please do. I would greatly appreciate it. And while I'm on the keyboard topic... The layout is nowhere near as good on the Nexus 7 as it is on the PlayBook. And the contextually aware keyboard of the PlayBook is definitely superior to that of the unaware keyboard on the Nexus 7.
The only other thing I feel needs mentioning is how you wake the devices. It's something that I rarely see or hear anyone else bring up but the gesture to wake the PlayBook is incredibly underrated. I find myself trying to use the bezel to bezel swipe to wake any touchscreen device. It's one motion and you're in. I don't really know why but the fact that I have to search for and then press a physical button only to then have to swipe to unlock the screen seems like a waste of time to me.
Maybe it's because I've only had this device for a couple weeks but I'll say this... No matter how much the guys at Google claim they've addressed the lag in OS with their project butter, I'm still seeing small lags here in there the OS.
I'd like to mention one more thing... The bezels. You can cry all you want about the size of the bezels on the PlayBook but the reality is that the narrow bezels on the Nexus 7 make it a little awkward to hold in portrait mode.
There are still more things to explore of course and I definitely like the Nexus 7. However, when it comes down to it I actually prefer the almost 2 year old PlayBook. To put a little perspective on why I even bothered writing this out is because both devices happen to fall almost in the same price ranges. I'm sure some will have some choice things to say with regards to this post but this is just how I feel about the devices.
I hope this engages some response and I look forward to what you all have to say.
Also, I was shooting for 1000 words and this last sentence puts me just over that amount.