T-Grid: BlackBerry PlayBook vs. the iPad

By  |  Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 10:26 am

Hey, it’s been a long time since we’ve done a T-Grid–a very simple comparison chart comparing two at least vaguely comparable products spec-by-spec. Let’s do one on RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook and the iPad, shall we?

The point of a T-Grid is never to determine which product is better; it’s just to see how the specs stack up. From what we know so far, the PlayBook’s specs stack up rather well–it’s powerful, thin, and light, and has a robust OS in the venerable (if low-profile) QNX. But there are a few speeds and feeds that RIM hasn’t disclosed yet, and one particularly crucial fact remains unknown: How’s the battery life?

After the jump, the details we know so far.

Device RIM BlackBerry PlayBook

Apple iPad

Released “Early 2011” in U.S. 4/3/2010
Price Not announced. My guess: $599 or $699 Starts at $499
Weight .9 pound 1.5 pounds
Dimensions 5.1″ by 7.6″ by 0.4″ 7.47″ by 9.56″ by 0.5″
Operating system QNX Neutrino iPhone OS 3.2
Number of apps TBD. It’ll run apps written with RIM’s WebWorks platform, Flash, and AIR 250.000+ iPhone apps; 25,000+ iPad ones
Multitasking Yes In 4.2, due in November
Display 7″ LCD; 1024 by 600 resolution; 170dpi 9.7″ IPS LCD; 1024 by 768 resolution; 132dpi
Input Capacitive touch; on-screen keyboard Capacitive touch; on-screen keyboard
CPU 1-GHz dual-core CPU; type unspecified 1-GHz Apple A4 CPU
Storage Unspecified as far as I know 16GB flash (base model), not expandable
Battery Type unspecified; sealed; life unspecified lithium polymer; sealed; 10 hour life
Wi-Fi 802.11n 802.11n
Bluetooth Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Mobile data None at launch; 3G and 4G to come in the future AT&T 3G (optional)
USB ports 1 MicroUSB 0
Video out MicroHDMI VGA via optional Dock Connector cable
Cameras 3MP on front; 5MP on back; can record HD video simultaneously None
Accelerometer Presumably Yes
Ambient light sensor Not sure Yes
Browser WebKit; HTML5 support WebKit; HTML5 support
Adobe compatibility FlashPlayer 10.1; AIR; presumably PDF PDF
Other software E-Mail, calendar, photos, videos, YouTube (?), camera, contacts, office apps or viewers; presumably other stuff not yet seen Safari, Mail, Calendar, Contacts, iPod, Photos, Videos, YouTube, iTunes, App Store
Application store BlackBerry App Store, I presume iTunes App Store
Entertainment store Unspecified as far as I know–will it have one? Apple iTunes Store
Video formats supported H.264, MP4, WMV, DiVX H.264, MP4
Audio formats supported AAC, MP3, WMA AAC, MP3, VBR, Audible, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV
Tethering Yes, using BlackBerry as wireless modem No
Special phone integration You can “opt to use the larger tablet display to seamlessly and securely view any of the email, BBM™, calendar, tasks, documents and other content that resides on (or is accessible through) their smartphone. They can also use their tablet and smartphone interchangeably without worrying about syncing or duplicating data.” None

Like all T-Grids, this is a work in progress. Got any corrections, additions, or questions?


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10 Comments For This Post

  1. Straker Says:

    Re: Phone Integration
    MobileMe is great for synching data (web bookmarks, notes, calendar, contacts, mail) while the free iDisk app allows moving documents between iOS devices. For the ease of use seamlessly organizing my data (I have a laptop, iPhone, and iPad) the yearly fee is well spent.

  2. Steven Fisher Says:

    I think you might want to put "Optional" somewhere on the iPad's "Mobile data" line.

  3. BOB MISH Says:

    Very weak BlackBerry PlayBook … they copied everything but the apple logo

  4. gree3da Says:

    It is such a carbon copy…outside the CPU, RAM, USB port, video out, cameras, Adobe capability, video formats, tethering and phone integration its exactly the same….well thought out.

  5. arevireba Says:

    whavever. the very idea of the playbook being released is merely a copy of the iPad in the first place. great job, RIM, take an apple product developed and released at least 8 months before yours, tweak it, add a couple of features and proclaim that it beats apple.

    silly me, i have been always thinking the winner of the race was the first to cross the finish line. come to find out it's the one that comes in second but comes with tethering and phone integration. my bad.

  6. @dingerc Says:

    This is an interesting comparison — the just announced PlayBook, that will not ship until sometime in 2011, with last year's iPad, that will likely be fully refreshed in January 2011. Can't take anything from this chart as to what product would interest me.

  7. Harry McCracken Says:

    Very true that by the time the PlayBook ships, there's a very good chance that Apple will have announced (and possibly even shipped) a second-generation iPad.


  8. Synth Says:

    The iPad is on the cusp of iOS 4.1–big upgrade.
    Also, the unknowns are HUGE–price, battery life, brand new tablet OS which means they are starting the ecosystem from scratch.
    And yes, I'll be very surprised if Apple doesn't have an iPad refresh out the door by the end of the Jan/March quarter. They will want to clear the decks for the iPhone5 intro in June.

  9. ahow628 Says:

    According to Engadget its a Cortex A9 on both cores. http://www.engadget.com/2010/09/27/live-from-the-

  10. Cidral Says:

    Apple will release a new iPad version until 2011
    and the new "version" includes a camera, and USB, and more storage (laughts).