For the last year, the Apple iPad dominated the tablet market, although Samsung released its Galaxy tab to seize the tablet market, but the attack culminated in failure. Now, The iPad finally has some serious competition, the iPad¡¯s one-year anniversary will bring major competition, including RIM¡¯s BlackBerry PlayBook, Motorola¡¯s Xoom. We lined them all up to see whether any of them will ultimately manage to topple the reigning champ. In the mean time, if you just want to buy a tablet pc, this comparison text will be a good reference.
This is the biggest difference between the three tablets. The iPad runs Apple's own iOS, the Moto Xoom Android 3.0 Honeycomb and the BlackBerry PlayBook runs RIM's own bespoke Tablet OS.
All three units use ARM-based silicon. The iPad runs Apple's own A4 processor clocked at 1GHz (it's less in the iPhone 4), while the Xoom plumps for a dual-core Nvida Tegra 2 processor, capable of 720p video or sending 1080p full HD to your TV via HDMI. The PlayBook is also running a dual core 1GHz Cortex-A9-based processor, though there are no more details on who has manufactured it. It's probably an Nvidia Tegra 2.
The Motorola Xoom has a 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 display. The PlayBook is only a 7-inch tablet and to us it can feel small. The touch on the PlayBook does extend right across the bezel though, which is a nice touch and pretty important for navigating around the OS.
The screens on both the PlayBook and Xoom look pretty spectacular even under the bright show lights where we checked them out. The PlayBook's size gives it an advantage though, as we said in our hands on:
"The PlayBook's 1024 x 600 resolution isn't far off the 9.7-inch 1024x768 iPad, but because of the Playbook's 7-inch display, the increased pixel density makes all the difference. It's sharp and crisp, and 1080p HD video looks fabulous."
Tip: The three tablets are all stunning portable media player because of big screen and high resolution, so if you want to convert your favourite DVD movies, home videos or HD videos to these tablet, you may interest in our other articles about Motorola xoom video converter, DVD to Xoom, DVD to playbook etc.
Camera and quality
The first iPad is missing a camera, but we expect the iPad 2 to have a 5-megapixel camera on the back and a 3.2-megapixel on the front. This is similar to the Playbook. Next is the Xoom with a 5-megapixel on the back and a 2-megapixel on the front. For video conferencing, you don¡¯t need a lot of resolution and the tendency is to want to keep the quality of the stream low so you don¡¯t blow out your data plan (especially your foreign roaming charges). In terms of recording video, the Playbook does a whopping 1080p, creating huge data files (I¡¯m sure you can dial it down).
32GB is likely enough for a device in this class, and you can get there with every device. However, the Xoom starts off with 32GB, but you can add 32GB of Flash memory yourself. Neither RIM nor Apple provides an upgrade path, so while you can buy a 64GB device, if you find you need more memory with your 16GB starter system, you have to replace it. To put this in perspective, a high-speed 32GB SD card costs about $50 on Amazon, going from an iPad 16GB to an iPad 32GB will cost you $599, (a $100 difference, even if you were able to sell your first device at face value). You can clearly understand why Apple and RIM want you do be motivated to buy a new tablet rather than new memory, but as a consumer this is a huge disadvantage. The Xoom leads, followed by the Streak 7 and the RIM and iPad bring up the rear.
It doesn¡¯t do you much good to have a device you don¡¯t carry. The smaller the device, the more likely someone is going to carry it. This gives the 7-inch products from RIM an advantage. However, since you¡¯re only likely to buy one of them, this advantage depends on which one you buy. The rest are on a one-size fits all tier. While that clearly has worked for Apple, I can¡¯t think of any other CE product, including the iPod, that didn¡¯t benefit from a deeper size range in the line.
The latest counts I have suggest that Blackberry has 4,000 applications, many of which likely don¡¯t look too good on the larger screen. Android has 200,000, but many have not yet been optimized for Android 3.0 yet, and iOS on the iPad. On total numbers and application quality, I give Apple a strong edge here, but folks only seem to buy a few applications on their iPad. You may be surprised to find the ones you want on both the Apple and Google platform offerings. RIM, however, just isn¡¯t as widely supported.
The three tablet devices have pluses and minuses, and Picking your best tablet depends on your budget and your needs, so hope this comparison text will help you.