BlackBerry PlayBook (Research In Motion)
Announced just a few days ago, the BlackBerry PlayBook is RIM’s answer to the iPad. From its dual-core CPU and dual HD cameras to its new-look OS and ability to pump out video, the PlayBook has a lot to offer in the hardware department while offering a fresh new operating system (it does not run BlackBerry OS 6).
|RIM BlackBerry Playbook|
|Operating System||BlackBerry Tablet OS|
|Display Size, Reolution||7", 1024x600|
|CPU||1 GHz Cortex A9 dual-core|
|Onboard Storage||16 GB or 32 GB|
|Camera(s)||3 MP front, 5 MP back|
|Ports/Expansion||USB, HDMI, microSD|
|Connectivity||WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G, 4G (some models)|
|Availability||2011, Multiple US Carriers|
The OS on the PlayBook is a new frontier for BlackBerry devices. The QNX-built (a company recently acquired by RIM) webOS-looking BlackBerry Tablet OS promises to be multitask-friendly. Furthermore, RIM already has an App World for its BlackBerry smartphones, so the company has experience when it comes to delivering applications to consumers. Sure, the RIM App World has its pros and cons when compared to Apple’s App Store, but it’s certainly a good start. Other pros for the new OS? Support for Abobe Flash 10.1 and AIR-based applications, and HTML5 support.
As for the hardware - the PlayBook looks very impressive. The PlayBook comes equipped with a 1 GHz dual-core CPU (Cortex A9) and 1 GB of RAM, and while the graphics hardware hasn’t been confirmed yet (neither has storage, but we’re pegging it at 16 or 32 GB), RIM says the PlayBook can handle 1080p video without a problem. Plus, with the included HDMI ports, pumping that HD goodness to a nearby HDTV is quick and painless. While the iPad has no camera to speak of, The PlayBook has two – a 3 megapixel video camera in the front for videoconferencing, and a 5 megapixel sensor on the back for photos and video. The iPad doesn’t have a USB port either, while the PlayBook comes with MicroUSB onboard. Other connectivity includes WiFi and Bluetooth.
BlackBerry devices have come in CDMA and GSM flavors for years now, so it’s only natural that the PlayBook be the same way. Nothing is confirmed, but seeing the PlayBook on Verizon and AT&T would not be surprising in the least. RIM has confirmed that 4G-friendly models would be available farther down the road.
From what we’ve seen so far, the PlayBook wins out on hardware versus the iPad. We can’t speak to display quality at all, but that might be the only area in which the iPad can beat the PlayBook. As for CPU, graphics, RAM and cameras, the PlayBook wins in this theoretical matchup. As for software, the PlayBook makes a strong argument with its Flash support and multitasking, but the iPad has an edge in application selection. The PlayBook isn’t due until 2011, but we think this device has the best position against Apple when it comes to hardware and software.