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Comparison - BlackBerry PlayBook vs Apple iPad 2

April 4, 2011
by Lim Pei Hao

04 April 2011 - Tablet devices are being introduced by various manufacturers everywhere, notably the Apple iPad 2, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and more. Perhaps, this is the reason that BlackBerry jumps into the tablet bandwagon, pursuing the same trend as its competitors are following, crafting its PlayBook tablet. On the other hand, the Apple iPad 2 was announced in early March with a few core components upgrade, such as the dual-core processor and dual-camera from its predecessor. In this comparison, we shall compare both WiFi-version of the Blackberry PlayBook and Apple iPad 2. 

At a glance, the Blackberry PlayBook is definitely smaller as compared to the Apple iPad 2. The PlayBook has a 7-inch display while the iPad 2 has a 9.7-inch display. Despite the bigger size on the iPad 2, the iPad 2 is thinner than the PlayBook by 1.2mm. Of course, the iPad 2 is still heavier than the PlayBook (601g vs 425g). However, both tablets have similar screen resolution. The PlayBook has a wide-screen resolution of 1024 x 600 and the iPad 2 has a standard-screen resolution of 1024 x 768. The iPad 2 has a fingerprint resistance coating on the display, which makes it an advantage over PlayBook.  

Under the hood, both tablets are equipped with a decent 1GHz dual-core processor. The PlayBook has a 1GB of RAM and the iPad 2 has a 512MB of RAM. The bigger RAM capacity in the PlayBook could be allocated for the real-time or seamless multi-tasking across apps which the iPad 2 does not have. 

In terms of camera, the PlayBook is a clear winner as it has higher megapixel cameras than the iPad 2. The PlayBook has a 3-megapixel front facing camera and a 5-megapixel rear camera. The rear camera could capture images up to 2592 x 1944 resolution. On the other hand, the iPad 2 has a VGA front camera and 0.7-megapixel rear camera. 

The BlackBerry PlayBook is running on the BlackBerry Tablet OS which supports Adobe Flash 10.1. Plus, it will be supporting Android and Java apps soon via an “app player” that will be releasing this coming summer. The Apple iPad 2 is running on the iOS 4.3 and has the advantage of the new Nitro JavaScript engine which allows users to browse website in a faster speed. 

When comparing the battery life of both tablets, the iPad 2 has a 6930 mAh battery capacity while the PlayBook has 5300 mAh battery capacity. No doubt the iPad 2 has a higher battery capacity than the PlayBook, but it is hard to decide who the clear winner is, as the battery performance of each tablets depends on the power management of both hardware and software of the tablets. Both tablets are offering 16/32/64 GB internal storage.  

Looking at the comparison above, we think the BlackBerry PlayBook is definitely suitable for people who always work while commuting and are looking for a tablet that is small enough to fit into their bags easily. On the other hand, the Apple iPad 2 with a bigger screen would be suitable for people who are more into multimedia or gaming.  

BlackBerry PlayBook 

7-inch screen + 1GHz dual-core processor + 1GB RAM + WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n + dual-camera + BlackBerry Tablet OS  

The pioneer BlackBerry tablet has a 7-inch screen with 1024 x 600 resolution, 1GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. It is running on BlackBerry proprietary Tablet OS that is equipped with user-friendly QNX technology and built in to support the latest web standard HTML 5 and Adobe Flash 10.1 support. In addition, the PlayBook has a 3-megapixel front-facing camera and 5-megapixel rear camera that is capable of recording HD videos. Plus, the tablet also supports 1080p HDMI output via the Micro HDMI port. All BlackBerry PlayBook tablets supports WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, and will offer to support various 4G cellular standards such as HSPA+, LTE and WiMAX.  


Apple iPad 2 

9.7-inch screen + 1GHz dual-core processor + 512MB RAM + WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n + dual-camera + Apple iOS 4.3 

Apple iPad 2 photo 2
Apple iPad 2 is the successor of the iPad that promises a thinner, lighter and faster tablet than the original iPad. The key highlights of the iPad 2 are the dual-core processor and dual camera. With the dual-camera in the iPad 2, users can use FaceTime to perform video calls just like the Apple iPhone 4. Unlike the original iPad, the iPad 2 comes in two colours, black and white. The Apple iPad 2 has two variants, WiFi and 3G plus WiFi. Each variant has the option to choose an internal storage of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB.  


ModelBlackBerry PlaybookApple iPad 2
Market StatusComing SoonComing Soon
TechnologyWiFi (3G & 4G version for future release)WiFi model / WiFi + 3G (GSM/EDGE 850, 900,1800, 1900 MHz, UMTS/HSDPA 850, 1900, 2100 MHz)
Dimension(mm)194 x 130 x 10241.2 x 185.7 x 8.8
Item Weight400613
Screen size7 inch LCD, 1024 x 6009.7 inch, 1024 X 768, Ambient light sensor, Multi-touch
Screen Color
Line of Text--
Menu Type--
Design TypeTabletTablet
Navigation keyMulti-touchAccelerometer sensor, Proximity sensor
Soft Key--
Other keys-Three-axis gyroscope, Magnetometer
Keypad Lighting--
Internal Memory1 GB RAM512MB RAM / 16GB, 32GB, 64GB
Memory Expansion--
Battery TypeLi-Ion25Wh
Talk Time(minutes)
Standby Time(hours)Web Surfing :3G up to 9 hours
PolyphonicNot AvailableNot Available
Video Support1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV
HDMI video output
H.263, H.264, MPEG-4, MOV
Voice Support--
Audio SupportMP3, AAC, WMAAAC, MP3, WAV, Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
3.5-mm stereo headphone jack
BluetoothYes, ver 2.1Yes, Ver 2.1 + EDR
Infrared (IrDA)NoNo
USB portYesNo
Support 3GNoYes
Data Types/GPRSNoYes
WIFIWi-Fi – 802.11 a/b/g/n(802.11a/b/g/n)
HSDPANullYes (with 3G version)
Data cablemicroUSB-
EmailYes, Push EmailYes, Push Emai
Instant MessagingYesYes
WAPNo InfoNo Info
Platform/OSBlackberry 6Apple IOS 4.3
BrowserWebKit - HTML 5Safari
Predictive Text
Speech Coddecs--
Caller ID
Profile ID--
Camera Features
Mega pixel5.00.0
Max. Resolution2592 x 1944 pixels (Secondary 3MP front camera)(Secondary VGA Camera)
Digital Zoom5X
Night ModeYesYes
Extra Features-Geo-tagging, FaceTime Support
VideoYesYes, 720p HD (1280 x 720)
Photo Format--
Video FormatHD 1080p-
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