Battery Life

With no native email client we had to modify our general use battery life test a bit for use on the PlayBook. Here we're just playing MP3s and going through our (non-Flash) web browser battery life test, there's no active email checking in the background (which is present on both the iPads and Xoom in this chart).

General Usage - Web Browsing, Email & Music Playback

General usage battery life, at least today, appears to mirror that of the Motorola Xoom. At 7.66 hours of battery life the PlayBook is noticeably worse than the competition, and that's without checking emails in the background as well. Over 7 hours is still enough to get you through the majority of the work day, but heavy users should plan on charging the PlayBook at least once a day.

Video playback is a bit better. Running the same 720p base profile test as the rest of our tablets, the PlayBook managed 9 hours of video playback - comparable to the Xoom.

Video Playback - H.264 720p Base Profile (No B-Frames)

I also threw in battery life when running a 1080p main profile clip, something the other tablets can't do. There is definitely a negative impact on battery life for more complex videos, so keep that in mind if you plan on taking advantage of the OMAP 4430's flexible video playback support.

Pictures, Video Playback & Maps Accessories and Charging
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  • Ethaniel - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    ... great job, Anand. Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    Did you have anything running in the background there? Gizmodo and Engadget both got within 10% of the iPad 2's score, the one here seems to be much slower.

    Anyways, as usual this is easily one of the best reviews.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    This may be a sunspider 0.9 vs. 0.91 issue, RIM said the same thing but 0.9 for some reason gives us the scores you see on the PlayBook vs. the competition (just re-ran again to be sure).

    I'm still waiting for a response from RIM as to why the relative performance comparison is much worse under 0.9. We've stuck with 0.9 to maintain backwards compatibility with our older smartphone numbers but if need be I'll switch over to 0.91 for tablets.

    I'm running 0.91 numbers now, let's see what I come up with.

    Thanks for reading and your kind words :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, April 14, 2011 - link

    This is definitely a 0.9.1 vs. 0.9.0 issue. I'm not sure what is causing the PlayBook to choke on 0.9.0. I will update the article with 0.9.1 numbers as well.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • 8steve8 - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    very high black levels on the screen is disappointing. (samoled/samoled+ is amazing)

    Also the bezel looks like its a huge percentage of the surface area, which is ugly.

    7" seems to be the worst size, too big for pockets, too small for ideal consumption of entertainment or web.

    The Base OS seems decent, although without email or calendar, we will have to give this another look in august.

    That said, I still find tablets a niche device that few situations actually call for. Usually I find myself wanting a physical keyboard, or at least more screen space while typing. Also if you have to constantly hold it up, or buy a stand, why not use little laptops laptops, the screens don't need a stand : )

    I find it a good device for a coffee table or any profession where you are standing/not at a table. Otherwise I'll stick to smartphone/laptop or desktop.
    Reply
  • Solandri - Thursday, April 14, 2011 - link

    The contrast ratio is the same as the iPad 2, so the high black levels is an artifact of the high white levels. In other words, if you turned down the brightness to match the max brightness of the iPad 2, the black levels should be the same as on the iPad 2.

    Along the same lines, I'm wondering what was the brightness setting during the battery tests. Usually reviewers do something like set brightness to half during the battery tests. But that seems a bit unfair since the Playbook's screen is so much brighter than the competition's. Wouldn't a more fair comparison be to set its brightness output to be the same number of nits as the iPad 2 in its battery test? In effect, think of the screen as the same as the iPad 2, but with the option to really crank up the brightness if you're outdoors in sunlight.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, April 14, 2011 - link

    So our old method was to set everything to 50%, but lately I've been doing brightness matching right around ~150 nits on these tablets.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • HilbertSpace - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    Conclusion page:

    "I'm glad to see RIM experimenting with form factors. After using the Galaxy Tab 8.9 at CTIA I felt that may be the perfect balance between portability and functionality. The 7-inch PlayBook "

    - something got mixed up there.
    Reply
  • Aikouka - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    I wonder if the browser would be better if you had the option to hide the menu/address bar? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, April 14, 2011 - link

    You actually do have the option to hide the menu/address bar, it's in the upper right corner of the browser. That does improve things but it also makes it less convenient to navigate to the next website.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply

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