CrackBerry Poll: Would you rather have a 7" BlackBerry PlayBook or 10" BlackBerry PlayBook?

By Kevin Michaluk on 6 May 2011 04:29 pm EDT
 7" or 10" BlackBerry PlayBook?

Since the BlackBerry PlayBook was first announced we have been adament that it wouldn't be too long before RIM would follow up with a 10" version of the device. Afterall, when it comes to their smartphones they have always provided plenty of form factor choice to consumers and this past philosophy on phones should transfer over to tablets as well. We've been hearing about a 10" PlayBook being in the works for a while now (oh yeah, and a 7" WHITE PlayBook is on the way too), and the 10" rumors are starting to really picking up now. This week BGR put word on their site about the 10" PlayBook being in the works and having confirmed it with their sources, and we even received an email this week of a 10" airplane PlayBook sighting that I personally believe to be true (I've spotted a lot of unreleased BB's on flights to and from Toronto over the years). Here's the word:

Today, On a flight from Dallas to Toronto I sat across the aisle from someone who had BOTH a 7" Blackberry playbook and what looked like a 10" Blackberry playbook as well. The 10" unit looked identical to the 7" unit and had the telltale vertical slotted speaker slits on the right and left side, forward facing camera (top middle) and some type of round sensor to the left of the camera sensor.

The larger unit had visibly better screen image quality than the 7"unit, significantly better contrast, brightness and viewing angle. I had a Xoom with me and it looked about the same size. I was able to see the menus/screens and it looked very similar to to the 7" screens. Additionally, the person who had this larger playbook was playing Need For Speed.

So with a 10" PlayBook in the works (I personally don't think it's a rumor at this point... it's happening), the question really becomes which size of PlayBook would you personally want to buy? I know in our BlackBerry PlayBook Review I was a little critical of the 7" form factor, feeling that it sacrificed the user experience for certain activities such as web browsing, but now that I've owned the PlayBook for a few weeks I have to say I've really fallen in love with the more portable 7" form factor and am more than happy with taking a few screen size tradeoffs in favor of a device I use way more often. I take my PlayBook with me everywhere!!

I know for some of our CrackBerry readers and myself the answer to this question is I'd buy BOTH... but really.. if you had to choose between 7" or 10", which would you go for? Cast your vote above and be sure to sound off in the comments with your reasoning. 

Reader comments

CrackBerry Poll: Would you rather have a 7" BlackBerry PlayBook or 10" BlackBerry PlayBook?


I guess.. the more choice the better. Though personally having played with Samsung's 8.9" I don't think 8.9" is for me...

It's definitely nice in the hand... a sweet spot between 7" and 10".... so in the store I could see it would seem like a good purchase decision. But once you buy it then I feel like the sweet spot gets a bit bitter.. it's not as portable as the 7" for carrying around (at least me as a guy not having a purse or manbag so relying on pockets to tote it around) and then for in-home type use if you're going to non-portable, you might as well go 10".  8.9" is sort of a compromise of compromises... not really best at anything. But I guess that's an ok thing.  For me I'd just own a 7" and 10" :)

I haven't heard about RIM working on a 8.9"... if and when we do I'll re-run the poll and put that in as an option! 

The whole draw of the playbook for me was that it was small enough to carry around with ease, but still had the feel of a tablet. I have an ipad as well, and that thing stays on a leash attached to my house. The playbook is convenient enough that I don't have to be worried about lugging it around.

The 10" PlayBook is the way to go,at least RIM should offer it as an option. IMO,as much as we might hate to admit it, Steve Jobs is right and people will want the bigger screen.

lol. Not for me. The current size is perfect, however very funny reference... Lets just put a magical knob on it that will adjust the the screen size to 11 on a whim haha. Win!

Why only the two choices? 10" is too big for me and 7" is a little small. Re-do the poll and add 8" and 9" options.

no. because i'm talking about PlayBooks and not tablets in general.. and right now there is a 7" available and a 10" in development. read the article that goes with the poll.  if and when there's a 8.9 or 9 that we know about i'll redo it.

I was going to say that I would like the 10 for home use and the 7 for portable use, but the 7 has yet to be too small for anything I have done. That said, once a good RDP app hits the market the added screen size would probably be better for that, but until i see RDP on the 7 I will assume that 7 is still my preferred size.

I think I'd still go for the 7" version... Though if I win the lotto I could always buy both... one for home and one for travel! Maybe they can offer a bundle discount? :-)

Hell RIM should just make 5", 7" (well that's already done), 8.9", 9" and 10" oh and a 11" just for good measure. Then no one can say they have a better form factor than RIM :p.

I like my 7" but I can see why a 10" would be nice as well, I want both :D

P.S. Size isn't everything ;p

I was quite disappointed by the present form factor. I just can't justify paying that much for something that is still relatively inconvenient for browsing web pages.

As far as I am concerned, the width is fine, and the thickness is equally okay. But it should be, at least, the length of a paperback novel. That's one of the main things I would be doing with the tablet; reading novels, among other things . . .

If, and thats a big if, the 10" was engineered to almost be a laptop replacement....with a killer processor, enhanced connectivity, SD card slots, RAM to the ying yang?!! Probably. But if its essentially a 7" scaled for a 10" form, most likely not.

Aww Kevin what you gotta do that giving us the "one or the other" scenario? Personally I think you needed a "Both" option in your poll. :)

When RIM first talked about the size and portability of the 7" PlayBook, I thought it was a bit of a marketing gimmick... that it was too small. But now that I've owned and played with it extensively, I absolutely love the feel and portability.

Therefore, I'm guarding my 7" PlayBook... but a 10" version would be great for even more PlayBook goodness!

Main reason I picked the blackberry PB over the ipad is the 7" form factor. For extreme air travelers out there, the 7" playbook is perfect. With a 10" tablet, I would rather just have my laptop.

A 10" would be less portable. I also have a 7" Galaxy Tab. Ipad is too big. I want portability...meaning pocket size. 7" wins!

Unfortunately I think the "visibly better screen quality" in the airplane report confirms it is false. If they release a 10" this year (and I think it's possible they will), I'm pretty sure it will have the same overall resolution as the 7". That will make the pixel density lower and the screen won't look better. I don't think that's a bad thing BTW - just a necessary engineering and marketing concession.
At this stage they don't want to render the 7" 'obsolete' or 'under-spec'd' (it can't be seen as a PB2). Next year they'll release PB2 and they can raise the resolution (although this will require careful thought because 1080p is a practical upper limit for video)

indepedent of this person's report we've heard the display on the 10" is a bit more vibrant. so i think it may likely be true actually.. at least at this point. agreed though that this isn't being made as a better device.. moreso the same device in a different size...  maybe they found a better supplier for the 10" size or something....

Don't get me wrong - I hope you are right! I just don't want to get my hopes up too much, and I do think they have to tread carefully with this (and get the phones out ASAP!!)

The ipad in our household is rarely picked up, let alone taken outside. We find its size to be its biggest drawback. The highly portable 7" PlayBook, by contrast, is in constant use in various parts of the house and is taken outside nearly every day.

i wonder what the starting price for the 16GB 10inch display will be. although 499 would be nice to compete with the ipad 2 won't they peev off all those who shelled out 499 for a 7inch device....i know i'd be peev'd.

make it more expensive than the ipad 2 doesn't make sense either.

price dilemma!

yep. my thoughts exactly.  if they sell it for more than the 7" playbook they need to be able to justify it... maybe at that point the 7" gets a price cut and 10" sits at ipad pricing?  kinda sux for early adopters but not sure selling one for more than ipad will work.

But isn't that what always happens to early adopters? You want it new and you want it now, you pay more than those who can wait for the prices to come down.

Seems like a good solution to me, thou. At least it is better than, say, both devices priced at $499...

Given the actual cost of a 7" and a 10" screen as components you are probably only going to see about a $50 reduction anyway which shouldn't be enough to piss anyone off after they have had their more portable playbook for about 6 months anyway.

Well.... for a high performance notebook PC, smaller actually makes it more expensive. It's harder to engineer for the small size. It's conceivable it will be priced the same - they'll have to assess what the market will bear.
To keep the price the same, that's another argument why it can't be perceived as a PB2 - because they don't want to be forced like Samsung to drop the price on the original product.

definitely need to mention the pricing issue.

since the playbook @ 7 inch is already equal to the ipad which is 10 inches, there is a price disparity if the 10 inch playbook comes out. will they drop the price? probably not. will they sell the 10 inch pb for higher than the ipad? probably.

either way its a lose lose situation for RIM.

Id be really pissed if in 6 months the PB was dropped 100$. early adopters always get punished

i was a major skeptic of the 7" size, and i bought an iPad 2. My wife claimed that, so I got a PlayBook. Definitely like the 7" better. Way more portable.

I got the PlayBook initially simply for the 7" form factor. But I love the thing for so many other reasons now.

I think that RIM PR/Marketing/Senior Management really need to get their act together. At the time when we should all be excited about the really significant developments that RIM are making, we're constantly wondering how much credence we should give rumours, and trying to figure out RIMs timetable for future releases.

RIM are doing themselves precisely no favours by announcing/being subject to leaks about forthcoming products, taking ages to release these products, then announcing/having leaked a seemingly improved product shortly after.

People will argue that this is how things are in the tech/devices world but it's not. Sure, new Android phones are released each week, but that's because phone manufacturers are in a constant tech arms race to out-spec each other. People hate to say good things about Apple but their approach works - certainty and predictability with release dates and cycles.

When I saw the BGR article about the 10" Playbook earlier this week my initial thought was 'great, this sounds perfect', but now I wonder already when the next iteration will come, with this 'announced' so soon after the release of the original.

I'm really looking forward to getting the 9900, and will get it no matter what, but I fully expect rumours about the new QNX phones ro show up shortly after too.

Sure, people will say that I'm hating on BB but I'm not, I love my BB and would never consider switching. I just thing that Mike L and the gang would be wise to consider the effect that their current strategy could have on consumer confidence in device life cycle.

I'm in the portability camp, totally. The 7" goes with me everywhere. I don't need one device to be all things for all situations.

I'm with you on this. Even if there was a 10 inch option right now now i would still take the 7 inch Playbook. It is perfect to be portable and hold in my hand. the people I know with ipads seem to always have them on a desk or table. That's ok I guess, but that's how I use my laptop. I want the tablet to be used in my hand.

I want both but what I wish more than anything is that they would have let us know about the 10" coming. They gave us ample time for the 7" I think if they've intended to launch this year with a 10" too we should have known and had the opportunity to wait. I honestly am happy with my 7" but I know my husband would have waited.

To 3Dee, many manufacturers will put something new out and continue on working on the next big thing. Case in point iPad and iPad2 or iPhone 3S and then iPhone 4. I think the iPads were about a year apart and the iPhones about 8 months. They can't stop development and design because they've released new products. They just need to get a super sharp marketing dept or guru to market for them I think like many PB users on this forum we probably sold or demoed more of these units than any other retailers out there. I took mine to dinner and was showing my friend how it worked and how amazing it was I ended up wtih two diffeent tables of people looking over my shoulder and even asking me about it. In fact one man had an iPad 2 and was trying to tell me he can tether his iPad to any phone and we had a lively discussion about that! And my friend who said she now just really wants one of these. I took it to my hair stylist and was showing him how it worked and he loved that you can tether any phone to it. He has an iPad2 and that is what he didn't like about the iPad and that it's too big to take around everywhere with him thus he uses his iPhone, but really it only has a 3 inch screen...

I have not heard of anyone being able to successfully tether an iPhone 3GS to the Playbook. I have been searching for over week to figure out why it will not connect.n

it's a freaking fault with the iPhone 3gs and not the playbook. One had similar problems when they tried tethering the 3gs even with a laptop, it is more of a standards issue than the devices.

I could see them releasing a larger PlayBook, though I think they would need to reduce the price on the 7" version in order to justify a competitive price point on a larger PlayBook. If they come into the larger market at too high a price point than the iPad, then they will have difficulty selling them.

The average consumer now in this early stage of the tablet market, is not informed enough to compare hardware specifications or features. The comparison will continue to be screen size, weight, and quality of finish. Apple and Research In Motion have the premium quality construction capability over Android running tablets, but they will come under pricing pressure from lower priced competitors.

Those who want a tablet only at home, or only in the office, might find a larger tablet more useful. My own usage need is for greater portability, since I am always on the go. I think the portability aspect of the smaller tablets will gain more attention as people use these more as laptop or netbook replacements.

I believe that every gadget has to be created with a purpose, and the 7" form factor is designed for portability. At home most people have a desktop o laptop somewhere and unless you need an extra "computer" i see no point for a 8.9" or 10" form factor that will likely stay unused most of the time, that is why i think apple is trying to make the ipad slimmer and lighter so people who doesn't need the power of a laptop will be able carry their tablet anywhere (like i do with my beloved Playbook)

I'd rather have a Playbook that can, oh I don't know, organized folders inside the browser; autocorrect, capatilize properly, customize where the apps can be placed on the home screen - 45 apps and counting is simply absurd on the homescreen to navigate, actually have some of the major apps available from companies such as MSN, Skype, TuneIn Radio (yes I know, not RIMS responsibility), the ability to crop and edit images directly on the playbook, the ability to delete pdf articles from the playbook instead of having to go through a computer, the ability to pay mkv container files considering how popular they are, and native Blackberry products such as Blackberry Protect, Blackberry News Reader, and the list could go on.

Yes, a 10" playbook is interesting - not for me as I prefer the protability of my 7" tablet - but I'll be blunt. And I am a huge RIM fan. I will never own an Apple product period. But RIM has left a bad taste in my mouth for releasing a product that is unfinished. There are too many little things that are missing or poorly implemented - things that should have been there from the beginning or actually tested before being the product went to market.

Until RIM sorts out the existing Playbook, I dont want to hear them talk about another playbook. It's bad enough that they seem woefully unprepared to support one tablet, I sure as heck dont put to much faith in them supporting another one.

Firstly the hardware and software teams are not going to be the same depts so people working on a larger model would not be moved to developing more software for the 7" model and secondly, an additional model would expand the audience for the playbook which would in turn make the platform more appealing to 3rd party developers.

I would prefer the 10" size PlayBook. It surprises me how many people have difficulties carrying around a 10" pad. Throw it in your briefcase. Or carry it; has no one ever traveled with a newspaper or magazine? To each, his own.

While that is true about a 10" model, with a 7" model it is small and light enough to be slipped into a jacket pocket even removing the need for a bag.

The 7" really is working great for me. But then I am an avid reader, who also owns a nook, but really needed that ability to quickly go out to google or wiki something I am reading. I used a friend's ipad and especially while lounging or in bed it was way to big and heavy. The 7" pb is so much like picking up one of those trusty but useless paperbacks.

I didn't think before I got the pb that I would be using it for typical pc things, but boy I see where this may be where I am going. I find the screen to only be small when the keyboard pops up and cuts down the screen size.

My thoughts are to consider getting a bluetooth keyboard for those times I am needing to do a lot of keyboard work. I see that someone has a keyboard/case for ipads. How about one for the pb?

I prefer the 7" screen. Given the option of carrying around a 10" version of the PB, I would just take my laptop and have full functionality and access to all my software.

I like the idea of a 10" better. As we get older, our eyes get worse as everyone knows. If I could read the screen without always having to take out my reading glasses to see what is on it. Having said that I also know that the price would be correspondingly higher. Of course, the 7" is more portable and can fit in over sized pockets like on cargo pants.

How about a screen with a docking station that a small cellphone size playbook would fit into that way any size you need you can get and only need one main unit.

Love the 7 inch. It is portable. If I want a larger screen, I will haul my entire desk top computer around.

I have 2 cameras. I big one that takes amazing pictures. A smaller one that takes great pictures. Guest which one gets more use when I am out and about ... especially on holidays?

The smaller camera.

Portability is where it is at. Do you see the NEW phones that will be coming out in 2013? They are a thin as a credit card, they are bendable, and can fit in your wallet !!!

I would need to experience both and see how they feel. Wanna send me one of each crackberry and I will get back to you? ;p

Add another vote for both, the 7" model is perfect to take everywhere with you and then you have the larger 10" model for the times when you are at home or have taken a bag with you or whatever.

I'd rather an 8 inch. sure that's what she said but 7 is just as good. 10 is okay but with this form factor, it'd be a pain to hold up for long periods unlike netbooks/laptops.

I'm pretty happy with the 7" tablet... the bigger, not so much the better in this case, of course, in my opinion... however... I'll be trumbled by the 4G version in the near future.


A choice if good. I was playing with the iPad2 the other day and it seems like a giant. I love the portability of my 7" PlayBook..... it's perfect.

Quite frankly, these sizes aren't very portable. Phones are as portable as 'devices' can really be. Fit in pockets and are not obtrusive. You increase the size of the Playbook and you take away true portability, in the sense that, when you bring it with you, it's about as annoying as having a day planner. An iPad or any tablet at 10" is like a big binder without the thickness. Once you put a book cover on the device (that doubles as a stand for the Playbook) this thing becomes unwieldy and essentially, also alters your usage pattern. I thought the 7" would be stupid, like having a HUGE phone instead of a small tablet. But, it's light, and small and never becomes uncomfortable, and really, the screen size is dramatically bigger than my torch. I can now decide on a BB that doesn't have a quasi 4" display with moving parts, for my next phone, because I don't need the screen size anymore...Now I would just WANT it. The Playbook, at it's current form factor, becomes a truly portable complement to the phone, where at 10" it becomes questionable.

Disclosure: IMHO!!

And suddenly people now like the 10" form factor, when they bashed it for being too big and non portable than a 7" and that otherwise they would go with an ipad. Suddenly people like having android apps on the playbook when they were complaining that blackberry didnt need that many "useless" apps.

Why so many hypocrites? Seriously, im amazed...

Not everyone was bashing the 10" size before. Lots of people still seem to like the 7" size still. But it's always possible to change you mind after using it. As for the apps I have no idea about that. I still don't know what to think about Android apps coming to BlackBerry...sure it may bring more people to BB since a lot of people just care about numbers of apps.

Portability wins. I'd be willing to go up a little bit to maybe an 8", but I'm seriously loving the 7". The size was the main reason I never got a tablet before the PlayBook because I never saw it as useful for anything other than long flights or bus rides.

Seven inch option for me as well. Although, I love the idea of the 10 inch PB. But, it would not be my idea of fun. Sorry, Jobs, but the 7 inch form factor is not dead on arrival. However, I understand if you were just trying to use your Jedi Mind Tricks on us. "This is not the tablet you want."

Had them all 5,7,10.

At home always use the 10 , just easier to see the fonts.

5 is great for a smartphone tablet ... true pocket size in one device.

7 used the least too small often for reading, too big for my pockets,
Who wants to carry 2 devices.

10 will be a winner with QNX, add a 4.5 QNX smartphone too.

Not that I don't love my PPB but hearing this news abou a larger display kinda rubs me the wrong way. I thought all we were waiting for after the initial launch was a 3g version over the summer. Now this?

I mean, I spent $600 for this my 32GB Now I kinda want a larger screen if available. Wonder if I can sell mine to anyone?

I love the 7" form factor. I was worried it would be too small, but the portability is huge. Having said that, 10" would be nice to take to court to view docs on larger screen. 7" would still be main PB. Can't wait to pair PB with 9900.

7" for carrying in my purse. When I want a larger screen, I connect the HDMI cable and view it on my TV.

7" is for travel, working in coffee shops, etc. Portability, without sacrificing productivity, is key for me. I want something small enough to toss into my bag and go.

If I'm going to use a 10" tablet, I'm going to use that at home. I already have a nice laptop that I use while relaxing on the couch, so a 10" tablet doesn't interest me at all.

As long as us early adopter don't get screwed in terms of performance when the 10inch is released, I'll be a happy camper.

still the poll indicates users prefer the smaller size by 2to1. when i went out to buy my tablet the xoom ,galaxy,ipad,and playbook were on display side by side,also kindle but so what right? the playbook display was such a standout i felt better about being an early adopter. if the larger screen size maintained the brilliant display i would make more room for it. but as it stands for the display alone i prefer the 7incher.

7 is too small and 10 is too big IMO, my friend has the PB and his wife the iPad2, it is such a significant difference in size in person. I too am waiting to see how the new Samsung 8.9 looks and feels before I make any decisions. That being said, the PB does have a fantastic user interface and I don't love iOS that much, but the iPad2 is a very nice tablet.

7 inch is as close to perfect as possible. Perfect form factor when you're on the go. If you're @ home or in the office, you can always connect to a much larger hdtv. So, you get an even bigger screen.

10 inch could also appeal to some people. So, it's not a bad idea for RIM to release that. Pricing it though would be another bitch. I'd suggest knocking $50 off each of the current 7 inch models. Then the 10 inchers can sit @ the current 7 inch prices. I can't think of a better solution.