With everything being touch screen these days, Blackberry has introduced their very own touch screen tablet computer: the Playbook. The Playbook features a 7 inch LCD screen, a 1 Gigahertz dual core processor, and 1 Gigabyte of RAM. The Playbook is also capable of running Flash applications, which means that watching YouTube videos is not a problem. In contrast, the iPad 2 allows you to watch YouTube videos via a built in application, but users are still unable to view YouTube videos by visiting the YouTube’s website (due to the lack of Flash support).
The PlayBook is also backward compatible with Android applications, which means that you can have access to over 200,000 Android applets. For those busy users, the Playbook supports true multi-tasking, similar to Microsoft Windows platform. Users can have different programs and applets running at the same time, and switch between them through the user interface. Even though the iPad 2 has some kind of multi-tasking function as well, some applications do not support it, and your progress may not be saved when you “switch” between applications.
For work related tasks, the Playbook is capable of HDMI-output. You can connect your Playbook to an external display output, such as a projector, and your Playbook’s display is mirrored. Some applications do support presenter view, so you can perform a full-blown presentation using your Playbook. In addition, you may also extend your screen so that you can play videos on the external screen while you complete work on the Playbook.
The default browser of Playbook also supports tabbed browsing, which works seamlessly without any latency issues. The hardware also handles heavy flash websites with ease. A reputable website, Anandtech rates the PlayBook as the “best browsing experience from a pure software standpoint of any of the tablets”. Furthermore, Playbook’s browser is rated by nearly all websites as a full blown desktop browser; this implies that, websites would not force users into a mobile version of the website, which features less or condensed content most of the time.
However, even though the PlayBook has Java functionality and true multi-tasking capabilities, the iPad 2 seemingly wins in nearly all the other departments; the iPad 2 features a bigger display (9.7 inch compared to 7 inch), better aesthetics, and best of all, features much more applications for download. Another advantage of iPad 2 over BlackBerry is the support for native emailing, which makes the PlayBook ostensibly impractical for work related issues. You just do not get the same kind of prestige and sense of belonging with a PlayBook compared to an iPad 2.
The conclusion? If you prefer a smaller device for portability sake, views a lot of flash related websites, and has been using Microsoft Windows platform, get the PlayBook. If you prefer a bigger screen, a sense of belonging to the Apple community, and a huge application base to choose from, get the iPad 2.