BlackBerry PlayBook vs iPad: tablet showdown

Which is the better tablet -- RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook or Apple's iPad?

Research in Motion (RIM), makers of BlackBerry smartphones, recently unveiled the "enterprise-ready" 7in touchscreen BlackBerry Playbook tablet, which is set to go head to head with the Apple iPad.

More about the BlackBerry PlayBook Australia release.

Read our comprehensive iPad review.

RIM has not confirmed an Australian launch date for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, or how much it will cost when it arrives down under in the second quarter of 2011. The PlayBook will be targeted at users who want to browse the Web, view multimedia and read electronic books, newspapers and magazines. It has been described by RIM as "the world's first professional-grade tablet".

With a 7in display, the BlackBerry PlayBook is smaller than Apple's iPad and therefore easier to carry around. Unlike the iPad, and most other competing tablets (including the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Dell Streak), the BlackBerry PlayBook will not have built-in 3G connectivity. Users will instead have to pair the tablet with a BlackBerry smartphone for mobile Internet access. RIM has confirmed it will offer 3G connectivity in future models of the BlackBerry PlayBook.

BlackBerry PlayBook vs iPad: tablet showdown

Unlike tablets like the iPad and the Samsung Galaxy S, the BlackBerry PlayBook will require users to pair with a BlackBerry smartphone for 3G connectivity.

With this in mind, how does the BlackBerry PlayBook stack up against the Apple iPad?

Feature Apple iPad BlackBerry PlayBook
Operating system (OS) Apple iOS BlackBerry Tablet OS
Display technology Capacitive LED-backlit IPS Capacitive TFT
Display size 9.7in 7in
Display resolution 1024x768 pixels 1024x600 pixels
Multitouch Yes Yes
Camera None Rear: 5-megapixels, 1080p HD video recording. Front: 3-megapixels
FM radio No No
GPS Yes (Wi-Fi + 3G models) No
Internal memory 16GB, 32GB or 64GB 16GB, 32GB or 64GB
Expandable memory No No
Dimensions 242.8 x 189.7 x 13.4mm 193 x 130 x 10mm
Weight 730g (Wi-Fi + 3G models) 400g
Application store Apple App Store Unknown
Processor Apple A4 Coretex A9 dual-core (1GHz)
RAM 256MB 1GB
3G networks HSDPA 850/1900/2100 None
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP 2.1 with A2DP
HDMI-out No Yes (microHDMI)
Quoted talk time N/A N/A
Quoted standby time Up to one month Unknown
Adobe Flash support No Yes

While RIM hasn't revealed the BlackBerry PlayBook's full specifications, we do know that it is running a 1GHz processor, has a hefty 1GB of RAM and like the iPad will come in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models. Unlike the iPad, the BlackBerry PlayBook will also have dual cameras; a 5-megapixel camera on the rear for still photos and video recording, and a 3-megapixel camera on the front which will allow video conferencing. The PlayBook will also support Full HD 1080p video recording.

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Tags apple ipadRIM BlackBerry PlayBook tabletRIM BlackBerry PlayBooktabletsiPadbroadband

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

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