Monday, December 5, 2011
Determining Which PlayBook is Right for You (16GB, 32GB, 64GB)
One question I hear often is, which PlayBook is right for me? Is the 16Gb PlayBook enough? Perhaps the 32Gb or maybe the 64Gb?
As you probably guessed, it all depends. With the only real difference amongst the PlayBooks being storage, (there is no difference in weight & functionality), you need to understand what you will store locally. This is based on 3-dimensions: Content Consumption, Content Building, and Fidelity
The first factor to consider is how much content you want to access. More storage means more movies and music and games etc. Remember the PlayBook has the best resolution from a pixels per inch perspective and is capable of delivery video in true 1080P hi-def so having those really big files for optimal resolution and quality is going to take up a large amount of storage locally. If you are using your PlayBook as a high fidelity multimedia powerhouse a 64GB is definitely the way to go.
Considering the portability of the PlayBook and the phenomenal 1080P video recording compared to the iPad's 760/30p video and bulkiness, creating videos is quite popular. This resolution comes at a cost and recording an hour's worth of footage can easily get up to a few gigabytes in no time. However, keep in mind that with no flash, you will be limited to only outdoors and brightly lit environments and today's video recording devices are so small and convenient that I typically only use PlayBook recording for ad-hoc times, which usually doesn't require hours of recording. Besides video recording, you are unlikely to create gigabytes of content so from this perspective unless you knowingly are planning on doing a lot of video recording you can get by with a 32gb or even 16gb assuming you will transfer your content elsewhere.
Fidelity and The Cloud...
As a parent, I occasionally succumb to the need for video to help entertain the kids. At home I have 1TB collection of videos and music files on an external 1TB hard-drive to draw from. Obviously, I can't fit all of that on my PlayBook. However, leveraging the built-in flash capabilities of the PlayBook along with some free software from Orb and the fantastic Orb Launcher available in App World, I can easily stream content from my house to my PlayBook so I really don't need all that storage. The compromise however is fidelity. If you really need that 1080P resolution, you will lose some of that while streaming a compressed file but the quality via Orb however is pretty decent and I have to say, my kids have always been quite happy that I have access to everything at home. My point here is that if you don't need high fidelity for everything and have either wifi access or a really really good data plan, then a 16GB or 32GB might just do the job.
What do I have? Well currently I have a couple of 16GB PlayBooks but I will definitely be getting a 64gb once the new models come out. For most folks though I suggest a 32GB, which will allow you to easily carry a bunch of HD videos so you can plug into HDTV's along with lots of lower resolution where you don't require as much fidelity. Combine that with some direct streaming of content from your home or cloud, and you're pretty much set..