Once again, analyst Shaw Wu is pushing the claim that the PlayBook will have poor battery life. The calm and rational response is that we don’t really know, and will have a much clearer answer when it is released in a few weeks. The vindictive response is however more fun and interesting.
Despite being an analyst for Kaufman Bros. Wu’s record is actually quite poor. Daring Fireball’s John Gruber has publically dismissed him, and macstories.net has described him as having “a history for being wrong”, and for sounding “pretty confused”. But even if you ignore the messenger there is plenty to find wrong with the argument.
The first main point against battery life is that Flash is a memory hog, and is the only point with some merit behind it. Flash is not known as being resource friendly, but that does not apply to the AIR platform, and is only really applicable when actually using Flash. A number of Android devices have had Flash on them now without causing battery life to suffer anywhere near extent that is claimed.
Another of Wu’s arguments is that RIM’s implementation of the power management system is not up to par with Apple’s. Obviously RIM has stated that they haven’t even implemented theirs yet, but even then RIM’s track record speaks for itself. When it comes to smartphones, BlackBerry has consistently gotten better battery life then Apple and Samsung, and there is no reason not to expect that experience to transfer over to tablets. RIM has always taken pride in their efficiency, and a new OS is not going to change that.
The final argument is the QNX is not designed for mobile devices. While this is technically true, the same could be said for the Linux that Android is based off of or Mac OSX which is the basis for Apple’s iOS. In fact the QNX system is almost perfect for mobile devices. QNX has a micro-kernal design that can run on a RISC based architecture, and is designed for embedded devices. You can not ask for a more battery friendly core then that.
Wu also chooses to ignore the reasons why battery life will not be an issue. Downloading and uploading data over the 3G network causes more battery drain then using wi-fi, recording video, running flash, or ever playing back HD video. Yet this is one potential battery drain that will not be an issue.
The final and most important point is that the PlayBook will be a low heat device. Back in early October I explained why this would not be an issue.
One of the reasons why people are worried about the battery life is because of the PlayBook’s impressive processing power. The specs indicate the kind of processing that usually requires a 4-inch heat sink and a few fans to cool off. Instead however they have placed all of this technology inside a 9.7mm shell. This implies that they have solved the heat problem, and if the heat problem is solved it is low power, and if it is low power it will minimize strain on the battery.
As a low-power low-heat device the BlackBerry PlayBook will also be kind to your battery.
Let us know what you think!