The Apple iPad has been the only tablet device out there for quite a while, and its success has competitors running hard to introduce their products. Several tablet devices are now poised for their debuts, including the just-announced PlayBook from BlackBerry.
The BlackBerry PlayBook offers a big, bright screen and stereo audio for a rich multimedia experience. Of great importance to corporate customers, the PlayBook promises tight integration with enterprise e-mail, and easy syncing with an existing BlackBerry handset. There's much yet to be seen about how the BlackBerry PlayBook's specs and how it works in the real world, so we will update this comparison as we learn more about the product.
Display: The Apple iPad remains the tab to beat for display size, with its 9.7-inch, 1024 x 768 pixel resolution screen. The BlackBerry PlayBook has a 7-inch screen with 1024 x 600 pixel resolution. Size is a two-way sword, as the iPad is physically larger and heavier overall, but there is no beating the impact of a larger display for movie viewing, slide shows and a one-on-one presentation.
Camera: The Apple iPad has no camera, a big drawback in our visual age. The BlackBerry PlayBook has two cameras: a 3 megapixel front-facing camera and a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, and the PlayBook can record 1080p HD video. With its cameras, 3G and WiFi capability, the PlayBook can do videoconferencing.
Compatability and Wireless: The iPad can't display Adobe Flash content, which includes a variety of entertainment and video-game animations. The BlackBerry PlayBook is compatible with Flash 10.1 and can smoothly show Flash animation. Neither the iPad nor the PlayBook can make phone calls, but both have WiFi connectivity.
The iPad uses Apple's popular iOS, which has legions of fans and at least a year's head start in the marketplace. The PlayBook will use BlackBerry's proprietary BlackBerry Tablet operating system, which the company says is based on QNX technology. Zillions of applications are available for the iPad (and its kissing cousin, the iPhone), while there is little known about apps for the PlayBook beyond an array of important enterprise applications such as e-mail, calendar and document syncing.
Multitasking: The iPad features some limited multitasking. The PlayBook promises "true multitasking" with its dual-core 1 GHz processor.
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