iPad shows age in Blackberry PlayBook video

RIM takes a (somewhat cheap) shot at the iPad in new video.

Research in Motion is taking shots at Apple with its new Blackberry PlayBook video, in which it shows how the PlayBook's web browser embarrasses the iPad's in speed tests.

The demonstrator loads several Websites side-by-side on the PlayBook and the iPad, with cache and cookies cleared. Websites UEFA.com and CBS.com are both rendered several seconds faster on the PlayBook than on the iPad. The demonstrator also points out how the Blackberry PlayBook can load Adobe Flash content.

In another example, the iPad and Playbook take the Acid3 web standards test. Although both tablets score 100 points, the iPad is left with a rendering artifact, which supposedly translates to lower fidelity on real-world Websites. A final test shows the tablets running JavaScript and HTML5 animations on the Pocket Full of Canvas website. The PlayBook runs the animation smoothly, while the iPad looks like it's running the animation at about two frames per second.

As plenty of YouTube commenters have noted, the video is a pretty cheap shot. It compares a six-month-old product with a device that won't be available until early next year. Given Apple's tendency to refresh iOS products on a yearly basis, there's a fairly good chance that a faster iPad will launch around the same time as RIM's PlayBook.

I, personally, would have liked to see more of the PlayBook browser in action: does it scroll smoothly through web pages the way the iPad does? Does it share the iPad's annoying tendency to only render part of a page at a time? Initial load times and animations only tell part of the story.

What RIM's video does demonstrate is that the Blackberry Playbook still looks promising. Even if it doesn't blow the next iPad out of the water, it'll hold its own--at least when it comes to loading Web pages.

And, for better or worse, it'll run Flash.

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Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
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