Hands-on with the BlackBerry PlayBook and the iPad mini

Apple's iPad mini is now available to the masses and in the interest of science, I picked one up to put it through its paces.

After a few hours of testing it out, I bring you my thoughts on the device in no particular order...

  • It's incredibly light. Almost too light, if that's possible. I toss my PlayBook around a lot and the iPad mini feels as though I may break it if treated it the same. I'm sure that's not the case but it sure as heck feels that way.
  • Those bezels. I get why Apple opted to go with the smaller bezels and they do look great but overall, I would have preferred something a little thicker on the sides to hang onto. Landscape is fine, portrait simply annoys me. May change over time with use but that's how it is right now. It's a nitpick for me but maybe a fine point for others.
  • Much like the iPhone 5, the iPad mini has that slick backing on it. It's not ugly by any means and it certainly fits in with the rest of the device but it feels like at any moment the mini can just fly out of my hands, much prefer the grip on the BlackBerry PlayBook or even the Nexus 7 for that matter.
  • The PlayBook uses a 1024x600 panel with 169 ppi while the iPad mini uses a 1024x768 panel bringing in 163 ppi. Overall, kind of a toss up for me when looking at the screens. Some stuff looks better on the iPad and some stuff looks better on the PlayBook. Text, in my opinion, looks better on the PlayBook. All in the eyes of the beholder though, I suppose.
  • The speaker placement bothers me. I often end up just drowning out the sound of my games, music and videos. On the PlayBook you're less likely to do that and even if you do cover them, their loudness makes up for it.

Check out the video below for some further hands-on impressions and a quick run through of the iPad mini next to the BlackBerry PlayBook. Did any of you all out there pick one up? if so, drop some comments. It's OK to admit you're a filthy turncoat, promise!

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