With the Blackberry Playbook on the shelves for over a week now, many business owners are asking which is the most suitable, appropriate, and downright productive choice for a tablet. We’ve had a chance to get our hands on both and weigh in on our official review.
The most noticeable difference right away is the size of the two devices. The iPad 2 rings in at 9.5″ wide and 7.3″ high compared to that of the Playbook which is 7.6″ wide and 5.1″ high. Although both are convenient, there’s an obvious size difference. Personally I found the Playbook to be easier to hold and more portable. This ultimately comes down to a personal choice though, and as such, the BlackBerry PlayBook will probably suit organizations that value portability over a larger display, and the iPad 2 appeals to companies looking for the most screen real estate available, regardless of portability constraints.
The Playbook supports full Flash compatibility. So what?? Well a majority of sites are utilizing Flash in their online presence. It also means you can view any Flash videos (YouTube, Vimeo), directly within the browser, or embedded in a website. The browser on the Playbook also appears to slightly quicker than the one on the iPad 2. That being said, the larger screen on the iPad2 certainly makes web browsing slightly easier as you have more screen real estate to deal with.
The Playbook is likely to appeal to Blackberry smartphone users as the two integrate seamlessly through the Blackberry Bridge App, albeit slightly tricky to setup. Once it’s going though your emails, contacts, memos, and data on your Blackberry smartphone are accessible from your Playbook. The browser on your Blackberry Smartphone is also accessible on your Playbook eliminating the need for a separate data plan on your tablet.
The iPad 2 isn’t as fluid on the integration with your Blackberry or iPhone and requires you to have a separate data plan on the device to pick up internet access when not in a Wi-Fi zone. Although you can use the tethering mode on your iPhone to create a mobile WiFi hotspot and use the internet that way.
At this point in time there’s really no debate on this one. The iPad and Apple’s awesome App Store are a hands down winner. This is due to many factors, but ultimately what you need to know is this: If you’re purchasing a tablet primarily for apps, then you’re going to be disappointed with the relatively weak offerings from the Blackberry App World. That being said, there are rumors that Google Android apps will be available for the Playbook later this year (Fingers crossed)
Looking for a cool side-by-side comparison of the two devices (albeit slightly biased towards the iPad)? MobileBurn.com compiled this video of the two devices battling it out: