Nexus 7 vs Playbook | 7-inch Form Factor is Here To Stay

Nexus 7 has emerged as a tablet to beat, offering outstanding features at an ultra-affordable price. In this showdown we will be comparing Nexus 7 vs Playbook, the first popular tablet that started the trend of 7-inch tablets.


First a head to head comparison of the two tablets in a tabular format. This will be followed by a detailed point by point comparison of the two tablets.

Nexus 7 vs Playbook Comparison Table

FeaturesNexus 7Playbook
Size 198.5 x 120 mm194 x 130 mm
Thickness 10.45 mm10 mm
Weight 340 grams425 grams
Screen size 7 inches7 inches
Display 1280 x 800, 221PPI1024 x 600, 169PPI
Processor 1.3 GHZ, Quad Core1 GHZ, Dual Core
Storage 8,16 GB16,32,64 GB
OS Android 4.1QNX
Battery Life 8~9.5 hours9~10 hours
Expandable Memory NoNo
GPS/Gyroscope YesYes
Front Camera 1.2MP3MP,HD
Rear Camera No5MP,HD
Network WiFiWiFi
Blue Tooth YesYes
*Current Prices May Vary

Form Factor

  • Nexus 7 –  198.5 x 120 x 10.45 mm
  • Playbook – 194 x 130 x 10 mm

As mentioned in our Nexus 7 vs iPad comparison, Google and ASUS have given some thought to the design of Nexus 7 and ensured that it looks different compared to other 7-inch tablets in the market.

Nexus 7 has a textured (dotted) curvy back compared to Playbook and Kindle Fire’s rectangular and flat backsides with no grains (soft-touch).

“We wanted to make the textured back cover feel like a pair of premium driving gloves that will not slip out of your hands.” – ASUS

In terms of thickness, the Playbook is thinner than Nexus 7, matching iPad’s 10 mm thickness.


  • Nexus 7 –  340 grams
  • Playbook – 425 grams

Nexus 7 is currently the lightest tablet in the market beating Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.7.0 by 19 grams!. Nexus 7’s light weight combined with its textured curvy back make it the most hand-friendly tablet in the market.

Nexus 7 vs Playbook | Display

  • Nexus 7 – 1280 x 800, 216 ppi
  • Playbook – 1024 x 600, 169 ppi

Nexus 7 has a better display compared to any 7-inch tablet in the market (until others matches it).

Notable comparison would be Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 with 196 ppi and Kindle Fire with 169 ppi. Nexus 7 can even take on Apple Macbook pro which has a 221 ppi Retina display.

Camera & Speakers

Compared to Nexus 7’s single front facing camera (1.2 MP), the Playbook has superior 3MP front facing and 5MP back facing cameras that can record in HD (1080p).

Coming to the speakers, Nexus 7 has both its speakers placed next to each other which negates the stereo effect (if any).

In comparison, the Playbook provides a comparatively richer audio experience due to its dual stereo speakers placed on both sides of the tablet.

Nexus 7 vs Playbook | Processor & RAM

  • Nexus 7 – 1.3 GHZ Quad Core Processor, 1GB RAM
  • Playbook – 1 GHZ Dual Core Processor, 1GB RAM

Nexus 7 packs a lot of power for a budget tablet, it is as if Google wanted to blow away every tablet in the market (including iPad). In comparison, the Playbook comes with a dual Core 1 GHZ Processor and a matching 1 GB RAM.

Again we will be repeating that more cores do not necessarily translate into better performance (at least for now).

Nexus 7’s Quad Core Processor will come into play when game developers begin to develop games for Quad Core Architecture. Currently, most of the games are being written for the common factor (Dual Core Processors)

Nexus 7 vs Playbook | Battery Life

  • Nexus 7 – 4,325 mAh, Lasting upto 9.5 hours
  • Playbook – 5,300 mAh, Lasting upto 10 hours

The Playbook has a 5,300 mAh battery rated to provide up-to 10 hours of battery life. In comparison, Nexus 7 has a smaller 4,325 mAh battery that can last anywhere from 8 to 9.5 hours.

The longer battery life in Nexus 7 with a smaller battery appears to have been achieved by tweaking power usage in the tablet’s LCD display and this possibly explains why the display on Nexus 7 appears to be a shade less in contrast levels.

Another reason being attributed for the lower contrast levels in Nexus 7 is its updated OS.

“We’re left to wonder if the brand-new Android 4.1 might be to blame for the lower contrast levels” – Techradar.

Operating System

  • Nexus 7 – Android 4.1, Jelly Bean
  • Playbook – QNX

Nexus 7 is the first tablet to be powered by Jelly Bean, Google’s latest version of OS for tablets. Jelly Bean addresses user concerns about the earlier versions of Android and is focused on offering faster performance, smarter notifications, and easy customization of the home screen.

Jelly Bean also addresses the difficulty of typing on a small screen tablet and offers improved precision while typing.

The Playbook operates on its dependable QNX operating system which is specifically designed for multi-tasking. For those who are not familiar, QNX is older than Linux Operating System and hence came way before Google’s Android and Apple’s famed iOS.

Whatever problems that Playbook had during its initial launch period nothing to do with its OS, they were more to do with the software side and its rather hurried and underprepared launch.

While the Blackberry OS2 update has addressed all the user concerns, the coming BB10 update is expected to make things even better for Playbook users.

Nexus 7 vs Playbook | Ecosystem

While Google does not yet have an ecosystem comparable to that of Amazon, it certainly is growing and offers a huge selection of books, magazines, and videos.

The Playbook in comparison does not have an ecosystem of its own. Out of the box, the Playbook comes preloaded with Kobo app which provides access to Kobo store where you can pretty much access most of the popular books and many books for Free.

For buying videos and renting movies the Playbook lets you access a Video Store powered by Rovi and for music there is 7 digital music store. However, the selection and overall experience is no match compared to tablets with native ecosystems.

Coming to Apps, Nexus 7 lets you access the whole Android marketplace while the Playbook has Apps specifically designed for the Playbook and also lets you play popular Android Apps using its built in Android player.

Google Nexus 7 | Selling Points

  • Growing Ecosystem – 4 million books to choose from, movies, TV shows in full HD and Over 600,000 apps
  • NFC capable – This feature is not available on Playbook
  • Built in GPS – Nexus 7’s GPS works without data connection. This is a very useful feature that allows the user to download Google Map for a particular area and use Nexus 7 as a GPS
  • Google Now – Provides weather, traffic and other info just when you need it. The cool thing about this feature is that everything happens automatically and Google Now cards start appearing on your tablets just at the right time and the right place.
  • Google Cloud – Lets you access and play videos, music, and movies from Google’s Cloud servers

Blackberry Playbook | Selling Points For Business Use

Blackberry has always been a favourite with the corporate world due to its security and productivity tools.

  • Docs to go: The playbook seamlessly links to work related Word, Excel, PDF and PowerPoint documents
  • Print to Go – Print documents from your desktop to Playbook and take it with you for review. You can virtually shred the document after review, saving paper and printing costs.
  • Data Security – Playbook is the first tablet to achieve FIPS 140-2 certification, making it trusted by governments and other organizations where security is important.
  • BlackBerry Balance – This feature allows the Playbook to be used for both work and personal use. Work apps and data are isolated and used separately to help ensure that work related information stays secure.
  • PowerPoint Presentations: You can use the Blackberry phone as a clicking device during your presentations (Integrating Playbook, phone and the projector)

Blackberry Playbook | Selling Points For Pleasure Use

  • Flash & HTML5 Support – Playbook supports flash video’s.
  • Social Media – Live Social media feeds via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn that you can access in your email.
  • Built in Android Player – Access and play Android Apps on Playbook.
  • True HDMI out – Lets you connect Playbook to your HD TV via a micro HDMI port
  • You Dont Need a TV Remote – You can Pair the Playbook  with your television and use Blackberry phone as a remote control
  • Dynamic Contacts and Calendar – You can get dynamic updates about all your contacts, see who is attending the events that you are going to and who has just decided not to go


Nexus 7 is a device meant for content consumption. You can safely go for Nexus 7 in case you are looking for a tablet to play games, watch videos, read magazines and books.

The Playbook is arguably the best work and play tablet in the market. Imagine a work related situation where you are able to share data and information right from your Playbook during a presentation and later in the day using the same tablet to play games during your train ride back home.

  • Best Work and Play Tablet – Playbook 16,32 GB
  • Coolest 7-inch Tablet – Nexus 7