iPad 2 vs. PlayBook 2.0: Tablet Smack Down!

A 10 Round Head to Head Smack Down comparing Apple's iPad 2 w/ iOS 5 against Research In Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook on it's newly updated 2.0 operating system software

Apple iPad 2 vs. BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0
By Gary Mazo on 24 Feb 2012 04:03 pm EST

Two months ago it might have seen crazy to speak of the iPad 2 and the BlackBerry Playbook in the same sentence. The iPad 2 is the grand-daddy of the tablet world and the Playbook was received like the poor step child. No native email, contacts or calendar - only useable with a BlackBerry Smartphone - the list was lengthy and the comparison of the two tablets was not a fair fight.

Enter Playbook 2.0. Now we are back to square one and the battle is on. Much is new in Playbook 2.0 and much is improved from when the Playbook first hit the shelves last April.

One factor that we are not looking at for the "competition" but users should think about is price. Currently, a 16GB iPad 2 will set you back $499.00 and a comparable PlayBook 2.0 can be had for $199.00.

So, now its time for the ultimate battle - it is David vs. Goliath - Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Mohammed Ali. There will be 10 rounds in this battle. We will use the 10 point must system - meaning that the winner of each round gets 10 points and the loser gets a lower number. We will look at both devices in detail and put them to the test. Will it be a knockout? Will it be a draw? You might be surprised to see the results....read on.

iPad 2 vs. PlayBook

Round One: User Interface and Gestures

Ding Ding Ding.... Let's keep it clean.... FIGHT!

iPad 2

The iPad set the bar for user interface. It is clean, simple and powerful. While it is debatable who invented "Pinch to Zoom," there is no question that this feature is buttery smooth on all iDevices. Add the swiping through pictures and the ease of moving apps and you had a very easy and intuitive interface.

iOS 5.0 added some great new features. Now, four fingers swiping up will bring display the mutil-tasking bar and a four finger "closing pinch" of the hand will close open apps if these gestures are activated in the Settings app.

That leads to one major interface flaw that still plagues the iPad 2 (and all iDevices, for that matter;) To adjust settings of any application, you need to first leave the application and then go to the Settings app and make adjustments. You then need to go back to the app you were "tweaking." At times, this process can be quite cumbersome.

PlayBook 2.0

PlayBook 2.0 adds to some great features that have been there since launch. PlayBook 2.0 also does a bit of iPad imitating with the enhanced functionality of the App Dock now located at the bottom. Users can choose which apps to move in and out of the Bottom dock. The process is remarkably similar to that of the iPad - just touch and hold until the icons shake and then drag them to a new location in the dock.

Where the PlayBook really shines is the many gestures available. Where the PlayBook can be a challenge is in the multiplicity of gestures the user needs to remember.

Swiping to "wake" the device is very cool and convenient. Swiping from the lower left hand corner to the center will bring up the keyboard. Swiping from either corner (while in an app) to the center will show the Status bar.

One feature that the PlayBook gets spot on is the "swipe down from the top" gesture which brings up the Settings app from the Home screen and brings up the Options menu from within any app. This gesture becomes intuitive and extremely useful especially in the Browser, Calendar and Message apps.

RIM likes to refer to the experience of making these tasks simpler as "BlackBerry Flow." The PlayBook almost seems to know what you want to do and makes tasks easier and more intuitive.

Possibly the most powerful and fun gesture is the "Swype up" to reduce an app and then the swipe up to "throw away" and close the app. While this is very WebOS like - it works and its great.

Round One Tally:

Both devices shine in many areas, but when looking at the totality of the gestures and the user interfaces of both devices the PlayBook takes this round with 10 points and the iPad comes in a close second with 9 points.

Round 1

Round Two: App Organization

When the PlayBook was introduced, we had different views available from the Home screen - All, Favorites, Media and Games. Apps could be moved into each category giving us some sense of organization to the apps.

PlayBook 2.0

PlayBook 2.0 has taken quite a few cues from the iPad 2. The App dock (as mentioned above) is now a place to store up to five apps. The PlayBook 2.0 also lets us create folders by simply holding an app until they start to move and then dragging the app onto another app. Folders can also be placed in the App dock giving you access to a full folder of apps right in the App dock.

Swipe up from the App dock and all remaining apps are displayed. If you have more than one page worth, simply swipe to the left to get to the next page.

iPad 2

App organization on the iPad 2 is now, quite similar to the PlayBook 2. Apps can be organized in folders and folders are created in exactly the same manner. Folders on the iPad can hold more apps than the PlayBook, but you can't reproduce the clean look of the PlayBook when the App dock is at the bottom and only the wallpaper is viewed above. The iPad always has apps or folders populating the entirety of the screen.

Round Two Tally:

Both devices are very similar when it comes to app organization, using folders and having the ability to populate a dock with "Favorite" apps or folders. It is hard to pick a clear winner in this round so both the PlayBook and the iPad 2 get 10 points.

Round 2

Round Three: Multi-Tasking


When we thing about multi-tasking, we usually think about our desktop or laptop and all the windows from all the apps open at the same time. It is easy to just jump from the Word document to an email we are composing to the website we were just viewing.

Given the limited memory and the hardware constraints of many tablets, true multi-tasking can be a challenge. Multi-tasking actually came late to iOS since Apple felt they could not do it "right" in the early iterations. With iOS 5 on the iPad 2 and OS 2.0 on the PlayBook, we can now really compare two very different ways of working with multiple apps.

iPad 2

There has been much written about "true" multi-tasking on iOS devices. For argument's sake, let's say the iPad has very good "limited" multi-tasking built in. To get the most out of multi-tasking on the iPad 2, users should enable Multitasking Gestures in the iPad Settings app. This will allow you to move between your open apps by simply using four fingers and swiping.

I have tried this with about a dozen apps open at once and, for the most part, I could successfully swipe between the apps. If I was matching a movie, it would pause when I swiped to a new app and then I would have to hit the Play button again to restart.

The other way to multi-task on the iPad is to double click the Home button or, if multitasking gestures are enabled, move four fingers up from the bottom to reveal all "running" apps. This is a bit clunkier than simply swiping, but it is the only way to actually see which apps are open. This is my biggest grip with iOS multi-tasking - when you swipe through apps, you don't really know which one is coming next - only by using the second method of seeing all open apps and then choosing the right one can you figure it out.

When you iPad starts to slow down, you may want to close and app or two. The only way to do this is to bring up the list of running apps, hold down until the little "x" appears and then touch the "x to delete it.

The bottom line is that you can multi-task on the iPad, but you have to go through a few steps to get back to the specific app you are looking for.

PlayBook 2.0

I have always been a fan of WebOS and its multi-tasking abilities. The QNX software on the PlayBook takes one of the best features of WebOS and improves upon it. Start an app on the PlayBook and then just swipe up from the bottom of the screen. You now see all of your open apps right before you. Just swipe left or right and touch the app you want to go back to - that's all there is to it!

Perhaps the coolest feature of multi-tasking on the PlayBook is the ability to keep your apps "active" in the background. In the Settings menu, you can select the Application Behavior dropdown menu to read Showcase, Default or Paused. When choosing Showcase, even though minimized, a vide keeps playing while you look at all of your open apps.

I have found that I could actually have more open apps on my PlayBook than on the iPad. When I do need to close apps on the PlayBook, I just swipe the minimized app up and away. This "throwing" away apps is not only cool and visually fun, it makes it much easier and quicker to keep only the apps I want open at all times.

Round Three Tally:

Both the iPad 2 and the PlayBook 2.0 can multi-task. Both have the hardware to handle multiple apps open at once and both can allow for plenty of apps to be simultaneously running. The PlayBook just handles multi-tasking better. It is clear that the PlayBook was designed from the ground up to multi task; for the iPad, multi-tasking seems like an afterthought that was tacked on. Seeing the app minimized on the home screen and still running is cool and helpful. Swiping through open apps to find just the one you want is way more efficient on the PlayBook.
The PlayBook gets a perfect 10 in this round and the iPad gets an 8.

Round 3

Round Four: PIM Functions - Contacts and Calendar

If you use your tablet to help manage your life you will need a solid Contacts app and a powerful Calendar app to help get that done. Both the iPad 2 and the PlayBook 2.0 can handle each of these functions, but they go about it in fundamentally different ways.

PlayBook 2.0

Let's just get this out there...the PlayBook has, hands down, the best Contacts app available on any mobile platform at this time. Now, it took a while to get here as early PlayBook users were required to use the BlackBerry Bridge and connect their BlackBerry to see their contacts. Now, there is a native Contacts app right on the device.

What's so great about the Contacts app on the PlayBook 2.0? When you set up your Contacts or Calendar app on the PlayBook 2.0. you are prompted to input your login information for your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Email accounts. The PlayBook then "sucks in" all your data and groups it together by contact.

For example, if I search for Kevin in my Contacts app, I see his PlayBook video chat address, his emails, his LinkedIn and Twitter pages and a full bio pulled from LinkedIn. Whatever I touch launces the appropriate app.

Along the right hand side of the Contacts app are soft keys for: Information, Status Updates, Company Information, Shared Meetings, Shared Connections, Shared Locations, Favorite contact indicator, Edit and Link - to link to even more accounts for Kevin.

PlayBook left; iPad right
PlayBook left, iPad right

The Options are staggering and the usability is incredible. I can see Kevin's Twitter update from the Contacts app. It is easy to search and scroll through contacts and the usability of the information present is further shown when using the Calendar app.

The Calendar app on the PlayBook also adds some new features to the tablet world. When the calendar is launched, the default view shows the month. Days on which you have appointments are shown in larger, bold numbers. The Day view is shown to the right of the monthly calendar. You can choose the Weekly or Daily view from the top left hand corner. Choose Agenda from the top right of the app and your appointments for the day are listed.

One of the coolest feature of the Calendar app is the People view which you can select from the top right. If you have a scheduled meeting with a contact on a particular day, select the day and then People view and the list of people you are meeting with shows up. Just touch the Contact icon and you go right to the Contact app. Imagine you have an important meeting and you need to do a bit of research on him/her before you meet. If a meeting invite was created and they are listed under People, you just go right to the Contact app from the Calendar and can read up via LinkedIn or Twitter or wherever you need to go to get the information.

To sum up, the core PIM functions of the PlayBook give you more of a "social hub" for your contacts and appointments.

iPad 2

Contacts and Calendar are two, isolated and not interconnected apps on the iPad. Not that that is inherently a bad thing, but the integration of a "social hub" present on the PlayBook is not an option on the iPad.

The Contacts app is functional if not underwhelming on all iOS devices. On the iPad, visually, the Contacts app looks very nice. Imagine a large address book and you can visualize the iPad 2 address book. Touch the Search box and type in a name and the contact info shows up on the right side of the address book.

When I look at Kevin's info on the iPad, I can touch an email address to send an email or touch the URL for his LinkedIn profile - but I can't do any of the options I spoke of above like I could on the PlayBook.

One nice feature on the iPad Contacts app is that I can see all of my "groups" in my address book (assuming I have set up groups in either my google or iCloud account.) I can't create a new group on the iPad, but being able to see the various groups is welcome.

The Calendar app on the iPad has lots of eye candy built in. I can easily shift between Day, Week, Month, Year and List view by touching the corresponding button at the top of the screen. I can also "flip" through the pages of my calendar like a book - a very cool graphic feature that is both intuitive and fun.

Setting up a new appointment is just like any other iOS device. If I choose my iCloud calendar I can invite attendees to meetings - but I can't do that if I select one of my Google Calendars.

In the upper left corner I can touch the Calendars button to see all of my synced calendars and decide which ones I want to actually "see" on the app itself. One differentiating factor between the iPad and PlayBook calendars is that all of my Google subscribed calendars showed up on the iPad while I had trouble locating them on the PlayBook.

Round Four Tally:

This one surprised me a bit. Now, realize that my primary phone is an iPhone 4s and I wrote a full book on the iPad 2 - I was not expecting to be blown away by the PIM features of the PlayBook, but I was. Quite simply, the merging of all data in the Contacts app and the ability to have a People view in the calendar make the PlayBook 2.0 PIM functions superior to the iPad 2 experience. The PlayBook gets another perfect 10 and the iPad gets a 7.

Round 4

Round Five: Media Capabilities

So far, the PlayBook 2.0 is off to an impressive start. Now, we come to the bread and butter of all things iOS related - Media Capabilities. You would expect, and rightly so, that the iPad would have a huge advantage in this round. In this round, we will look at both getting media onto the device as well as the "consumption" of media through the various players and apps once it is loaded.

iPad 2

iOS devices live and breathe media consumption. "iPod," after all, is synonymous with "music player" in today's vernacular. The one caveat with iDevice media consumption is that the user needs to buy into the iTunes ecosystem. (For the brave of heart, you can "jailbreak" your iPad, opening up more media options - but make sure you know what you are doing first!)

Assuming we use the factory settings, most of your media will arrive via iTunes. iTunes has the most extensive music library, a very extensive Video and TV Show library and tons of Video Podcasts and Music Videos to load onto your device. Most media costs you money, but there are always lots of freebies around.

We also need to consider the vast library of iTunes U video files - lectures and guides from top Universities - which are very informative. New to iOS 5.0 is the ability to use Wi-Fi Sync to get your music and videos onto the iPad. Your settings as to what goes on the iPad and what gets updated will be the same as when you connected via the cable - but now there really is no reason to have to plug the iPad into the computer to get music.

One more other very cool option on the iPad 2 is the ability to "Home Share" your complete media collection over your network. In a nutshell, just enable Home Sharing on your primary computer and put in your Apple ID and password in the Settings app for the Music and Videos apps. Once enabled, you can see all your home media content and essentially stream it through your iPad.

Once your downloadable content is on the device, the fun really starts. The Music app is beautiful and powerful. You can organize the view by Artist, Album or Song and you can display your view by your Playlists. You can also create a new playlist right on the iPad itself.

Once you find your music you have the standard music controls and the ability to repeat, shuffle or use the Apple Genius feature to find similar style music to what is currently playing.

Then you toss is all the available steaming music apps - Pandora, Slacker, Spotify and hundreds of others into the mix and you have quite a powerful music playing machine. Sound quality is also top notch.

Likewise with video, there is a plethora of content in the iTunes store to download. One very cool feature is the way iTunes movies handle chapters and divide the movie into quickly accessible chapters for jumping right into a desired scene.

The iPad 2's resolution is not quite "retina" quality but it is still 1024 x 768 which is pretty darn good.

You can utilize high speed scrubbing to move to a very specific section and you can adjust the picture from full screen to wide screen. If you have an Apple TV you can also send your video to your home theater using Apple's proprietary Airplay technology.

Toss in the Netflix, Flixter, ABC, XFinity and so many more apps that allow you to stream video content to your iPad 2 and you are never at a loss for media to consume.

PlayBook 2.0

Getting content onto the Plabook can be done in a couple of ways. If you utilize the BlackBerry Desktop Manager software, you can easily choose music, videos and photos from your desktop library to transfer onto the device. Desktop Manager is a bit slower than iTunes, but it is effective for getting media on the device.

One advantage the PlayBook has over the iPad is the ability to use Wi-Fi Sharing to move files from your computer to the PlayBook or from the PlayBook to the computer. Just pull down the Settings menu and touch Storage and Sharing and enable Wi-Fi Sharing. What is very cool about this is that your PlayBook will appear as a connected device on your computer. Just click on (in this example - the Media folder) and copy and paste or drag and drop media from your computer to the appropriate folder. Using the Wi-Fi file transfer I could copy a non-iTunes movie file from my Mac right onto the PlayBook.

Music can be purchased from the 7 Digital Music store. It is organized well, but there is simply no where near the content you can find on the iTunes store. Prices were comparable to iTunes.

Videos can now be purchased at the Video Store powered by Rovi. The video store will keep track of purchased items and has a very small collection of movies and TV shows for download. Movies can also be rented from the Video store. Typically, new releases rented for $3.99 and could be purchased for $19.99 and some older movies could be had for $9.99. one gripe is that you can't just have all content stores tied to your BlackBerry ID. For example I had to log in three different times to buy an app, music or video.

The Music app on the PlayBook is certainly functional. The usual Play/Pause, Stop, Next and Previous buttons are present. Also present are the Shuffle and Replay buttons. Expand the bottom pane and you can see album covers for upcoming songs in a Playlist or on the album to which you are listening.

Testing the sound quality of the PlayBook compared to the iPad 2, the PlayBook came up a bit short. I used high end Klipsch Earphones and turned on the Headphone Audio Boost in the Sound settings on the PlayBook. The PlayBook was a bit weak in both the Lowest end the Highest ends of the register giving a bit more of a "muddled" sound on the sample tracks I tested. One unique feature of the PlayBook is stereoscopic sound which does enhance stereo output in certain circumstances.

Couple that with the fact that while Slacker Radio is included with the PlayBook, there is no Pandora, Spotify, NPR Music or many of the other iPad apps that are available as of yet for the PlayBook. (Later in this piece we will talk about side loading Android apps onto your PlayBook which can solve some of this.)

The Video Player app is also pretty "bare bones" but functional on the PlayBook. The usual video controls are present along with one feature that is not present (out of the box) on the iPad. Connect an HDMI cable to the PlayBook and your TV and then touch the Presentation Mode icon in the upper right hand corner and you have a very powerful presentation tool in your PlayBook. For PowerPoint presentations, this would be awesome! Resolution is 1024 x 600 - a hair under that of the iPad 2.
We know that while DLNA support is not yet present on the PlayBook 2.0, it is in development; meaning that wireless media streaming should be coming to the PlayBook in a future update.

No Netflix, no Flixter, no Cable TV apps mean that finding streaming video content is tricky. The fact that Flash Player is built in does give you access to some web based streaming content that is not available on the iPad. Factor in that Apple's battle with Flash is making HTML5 the video standard means that this distinction won't mean so much in the future.

Round Five Tally:

As expected, the iPad 2 delivered a knockdown to the PlayBook in this round - our first "standing eight count" of the fight. The iPad takes a perfect 10 in this round and the PlayBook gets a six.

Round 5

Round Six: Email/Messaging

This is the area where the new OS in the PlayBook 2.0 changes the game considerably. Prior to the OS 2.0 upgrade, the only way to email or message was to "Bridge" your BlackBerry to the PlayBook. Now, native messaging means this is a good battle for these two tablets.

PlayBook 2.0

Earlier we spoke of the "imitation" of some of the best features of WebOS in the PlayBook 2.0. The PlayBook surpasses virtually every other platform with the inclusion of a unified messaging inbox. What that means is that in one place - the Messages app - goes not only your email, but also Facebook messages, LinkedIn messages and Twitter Direct Messages.

The beauty of this is that you don't have to open the dedicated app (i.e., Facebook or Twitter) to respond. You can respond to and compose messages in all of your logged in account right from the messaging app. Just touch the Titter icon along the left hand side of the Messaging app and send a Direct Message - it couldn't be easier!

Email only gets better! Touch the Compose button to send an email. What you immediately notice is that the PlayBook gives you a full rich text email editor. You can change the font, the size, the color and easily change the style of text right from the editor - just like using a full featured email editor. Attach files that are stored locally on the device, change the priority - you name it and you can do it from the PlayBook Email app.

Perhaps the best email feature is that you can swipe down from the top to see the Options menu and then select Compose Email up to four times! That means that you can have up to four separate email compositions going at any one time. You can then swipe up to minimize the app and do something else. That is a level of email power unmatched in any device today.

The PlayBook has one of the best predictive (link to swipe tech) text systems I have seen in a mobile device. When you start to type, the PlayBook will show you five possibilities for the word you are typing along the top of the keyboard. Simply touch the correct one and it is inserted into the email.

Connect your PlayBook via BlackBerry Bridge to your BlackBerry Smartphone and you can take advantage of your BlackBerry Messenger app on the PlayBook.

iPad 2

Email on the iPad is...well, its email - just email. You can set up multiple email accounts, you can have a unified inbox of email - but at the end of the day you still get only email.

The iPad offers some nice features for email organization - adding messages to various folders and the like. There are no rich text editing features, however, in the Email app.

Typing offers Apple's version of predictive text, which I find somewhat annoying. The ipad will suggest one word and you can touch the Space bar to accept that or try to touch the small "x" to get rid of it.

One built in iOS feature that is great which the PlayBook lacks is the built in dictionary. Just hold down any word in an email (or other app,) choose "Define" and the iPad will give you a contextual definition.

iOS 5 introduced a new way to communicate with your friends; iMessage. iMessage is in some ways similar to BlackBerry Messenger - it is "instant," you can see when your messages are delivered . You can attach an image to your iMessage and send that along in the body of your iMessage as well. iMessage can be sent to any iDevice - that means you can send it to the phone number of an iPhone or the email address used as the ID on any iPad or iPod.

You can certainly send Facebook messages, Direct Messages via Twitter and LinkedIn messages - but you will need to load up each app first to have that option.

Video Chat

We are looking at Video Chat as a sort of messaging/communication aspect of both devices here. Both the PlayBook 2.0 and the iPad 2 offer front-facing cameras for video chat. Both have video chat apps - PlayBook's is called Video Chat and the iPad used Apple's FaceTime.

Both video chat apps are proprietary - you can only use Video Chat with other PlayBook users and you can only use FaceTime with other iOS users. Clearly, if you have lots of friends with other iOS devices, the iPad 2 will give you more people to talk to via FaceTime. Anyone with an iPhone 4, iPad 2 or a newer iPod touch can use FaceTime on their devices.

Functionality is fairly similar on both devices. The PlayBook does a nice job of knowing which of your contacts have a BlackBerry ID for Video Chat calls - this is done automatically as all your contact data is sucked into the PlayBook. On the iPad, you need to specify your contacts for FaceTime. You can use your Apple ID or your iCloud login to set up FaceTime. You can call people using their iPhone phone number - assuming they are connected to Wi-Fi. You can also use an associated email address if they have that set up.

Both apps let you search your contacts and both allow you to move the smaller video camera on the screen so that it is not blocking the view of the person on the other end. One of the very cool features of the PlayBook is that you can minimize the app and still see the video while you swipe to see if you may have a message to check or perform another task.

Video chat is pretty much a wash between these two devices. The one are where the iPad has the advantage is that you can use the Skype app. We do hope this will be released soon for the PlayBook, but it doesn't look so good.

Round Six Tally:

After getting knocked down in the last round, the PlayBook got back up and delivered its own knockdown in this round. In fact, the iPad 2 was knocked down twice. The powerful Messaging app, unified inbox with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, rich text editor and more made the PlayBook an email king - BlackBerry email is back in a big way! The PlayBook gets a perfect 10 and the iPad 2 gets a 5.

Round 6

Round Seven: E-Reading

The Kindle has revolutionized the way we read - no question about that. E-Books are now taking over as a preferred way of consuming books. There are options for E-Reading on both the PlayBook 2.0 and the iPad 2. Each options sort of forces the reader to "commit" to one particular e-commerce system (iTunes, Kindle store, Kobo store, etc.) The size of each device was also a factor in this round.

iPad 2

The iPad 2 is big; for E-Reading, that is both a negative and a positive. The big beautiful screen is a joy to use to read books. The size can make the iPad somewhat fatiguing to hold for long periods of time and that is something to factor in.

The iPad shines in the options available for E-Reading apps. The built in iBooks app is visually beautiful. It has a built in dictionary, the ability to adjust screen resolution, set for night time viewing, adjust fonts, search within the book and more. One of the coolest features of iBooks is the ability to literally turn the pages with a page turning animation - you can even see the words on the back of the page.

The iPad also has a Kindle app, a Kobo app, Comic Book readers, interactive kids books and more. With the new update to iBooks, you now have textbooks that are mind-blowing available for $14.95. In short, if it can be read, it can be read on the iPad 2. Add in the Newstand app and one of the thousands of magazines or newspapers to which you can subscribe and the quantity of content is staggering.

PlayBook 2.0

Out of the box, the PlayBook has a Kobo app - but not much else. The size of the PlayBook is much closer to that of an actual paper back book making it feel more natural in the hand. It is also much easier to hold with one hand as you hold your coffee cup in the other.

The Kobo app functioned well. Switching to night view (black background with white text) is very helpful - especially if you don't want to wake up your spouse/partner in the middle of the night. You can adjust the Font size, jump to the table of contents and use bookmarks to keep your place.

There are no page-turn animations, but you just tap on the right side of the screen to turn a page and the left side to go back a page.

The Kobo store has most of the popular titles and most of the public domain works for free. The problem is that the Kobo app is the only "official" app available now. This brings us to the issue of "unofficial" apps. If you have been reading about the PlayBook on CrackBerry, you may be familiar with the fact that the PlayBook 2.0 has a built in - behind the scenes - Android player. Some Android apps are available in the BlackBerry App World, but you can "side-load" Android apps - by following the directions very carefully - onto the PlayBook. Now, this is not for the faint of heart - but it is not too difficult. Once you side-load the Kindle app, you will be able to utilize the Kindle reader and have access to your library.

Round Seven Tally:

E-Reading is not a strength of the PlayBook. I love the size and I like the way the books look on the screen, but the iPad simply has too many options for consuming printed material. We seem to be going back an forth with knockdowns in this battle. In this round, the PlayBook goes down hard and the iPad 2 wins by a score of 10 to 5.

Round 7

Round Eight: Photography and Videography

Neither the PlayBook or the iPad will replace your SLR any time soon. You will also look like a major league geek if you go around taking lots of pictures using a tablet. That being said, both the iPad 2 and PlayBook 2.0 have built in front and rear facing cameras. Both shoot HD video and both can manage your photo library.

PlayBook 2.0

The PlayBook comes with a 3MP Front facing camera for video chat and a 5MP camera for stills on the back. The PlayBook will shoot 1080P HD video as well.
The camera is pretty bare bones but it does offer some nice options.

Taking a picture is pretty straight forward on the PlayBook - just choose the Photo or Video icon (in this case, Photo) and then touch the Camera icon to take a picture. The picture goes right into the Camera app (the equivalent of the Camera roll on iOS.)

Swipe down from the top and you have the options for image stabilization, 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio, Action (for a moving subject) or Whiteboard (for an image that can be used with a whiteboard.)

Image quality was about what you would expect from a 5 MP portable camera. There is no flash so you are somewhat limited as to the pictures you can take. That being said, I took a couple of indoor shots with the PlayBook and the exposure seemed OK.

Taking video is as easy as touching the Video icon and then the start button. Press the Stop button to end the video. You then need to swipe down from the top and select Videos to see your videos. There are no editing functions built in to the PlayBook 2.0.

The Pictures app is where you go to manage your photos on the PlayBook. There you will find your Camera Pictures folder as well as folders (or albums) of all the pictures you loaded on the device using Desktop Manager. Touch an album to see all the photos in the album. Touch one image to fill the screen. To have the pictures displayed in a slide show, touch the large Play button in the middle. To go forwards of backwards, touch the appropriate icon.

Swipe down from the top in any album to see all the pictures in that album, to delete a photo or to set a photo as your wallpaper.

There are no photo or video editing capabilities at this time in the PlayBook Pictures app. You do have the option, however, to connect your PlayBook via HDMI to your TV and use the PlayBook in presentation mode to display your pictures.

iPad 2

The iPad 2 has a much lower, .7MP camera on the back of the device and a .3 MP camera on the front. The front camera is used for Skype or FaceTime video chat and you might want to use the rear camera for a quick picture - but you will be disappointed with the image quality. The iPad 2 shoots 720P video out of the back camera lens, which is most likely the way you would use the device.

You can zoom in by touching the screen and getting the slider bar, but the more you zoom the lower the already poor picture quality will be. The only option in the Options button is to have a grid on or off.

Once you take the picture, it goes into your Camera roll. From there you can easily Email it, send it via iMessage, Assign it to a Contact, Use as Wallpaper, Tweet it, Print it or Copy it.

You can also choose Edit and Rotate, Enhance, fix Red Eye or Crop it.
Choose Video instead of Photo, touch the Record button and start to record your video. One area where the iPad shines is in the options after the video is taken. You will see a timeline of the video at the top of the screen and you can simply drag the handles to "trim" the video. From there you can Email the Video, send it via iMessage, Send to YouTube or Copy it.

You view your Photos and videos in the Photos app. The Photos app organizes your pictures into several different views depending on how you synced your device. For example, if you have a Mac and synced some of your Faces albums to the iPad, you will have a tab that says Faces. Similarly, photos are categorized into Events, Albums, Places and Photo Stream. What is nice about Photo Stream is that if it is enabled on any iDevice or Mac, any picture taken on any device goes into this cloud based Photo Stream which then adds the picture to all your other connected devices. You can also choose to create a slide show, customizing the transitions used and which music to use from your device - you can even send the whole thing to your TV using AirPlay.


BlackBerry Playbook Camera Image  iPad Camera Image
PlayBook (left) vs. iPad (right)

Round Eight Tally:

This was a tough round to call; the iPad 2 has a horrible camera, but great photo and video editing built in. The organization and options after a photo or video are taken are also more plentiful and more intuitive on the iPad. The PlayBook as a pretty decent camera - certainly way better than that on the iPad 2. Where the PlayBook falls flat is in what you can do after you take a picture or video. With virtually no editing or transmitting options all you can really do is scroll through your pictures or have a basic slide show.

Since most of us won't really be using the camera for taking lots of pictures but will using the video perhaps for HD video, this comes down to what you can do after the photo or video is taken. That being the case, the iPad 2 wins this round by a score of 10 to 7.

Round 8

Round 9: Web Browsing

Web Browsing

One of the features users are looking for the most in their tablets is a good web browsing experience. Historically, it would be hard to put a BlackBerry web browser up against an iOS browser, but the PlayBook and its QNX operating system (maybe Torch browser)made for a very capable browsing experience - but how capable?

iPad 2

The iPad 2 uses an optimized version of the mobile Safari browser. Launch the browser and the iPad screen fills up (rather quickly) with a full featured browsing experience. Pinch to Zoom works like a charm on the Safari browser, scrolling is smooth and fast with very little if any pixilation.

The options within the browser are limited; you can view Bookmarks or your History by touching the Bookmarks icon. You can also view those article you have saved to your Reading List.

Touch the Action button to Add a Bookmark, Add to the Reading List, Add to Home Screen (web clip,) Mail Link to Page, Tweet or Print.

You add new tabs by touching the "+" icon in the upper right hand corner. Safari works very well through multiple tabs.

Options for the browser are found in the separate Settings app. From here, you can choose your search engine, use AutoFill, enable Private Browsing, Clear History, Cookies or Data, Enable JavaScript and Block Pop-ups.

All that being said, the important thing about the iPad browser is that is just works and works well. Web pages loaded quickly and scrolling through the page, touching hyperlinks and zooming in and out works just as you would expect. Having the Google Search bar right up top next to the address bar made navigating to a new site very easy.

PlayBook 2.0

Fire up the PlayBook browser by touching the Browser icon. Web pages loaded up reasonably quickly. The most touted feature that the PlayBook browser has which is missing on the iPad is Flash support. Now, for some this is not a big a deal, but even on our own CrackBerry.com site, having Flash support allowed for much more dynamic content in the ads to the right of the page. Flash also allows you to experience video content that would not be available on the iPad 2.

Scrolling through web pages was very fast and reasonably smooth. I did experience some lag - some pictures had trouble loading when I would fly through a page. Pinch to Zoom worked very well on the PlayBook which is a good thing. The 7" screen often needed to be expanded for my aging eyes to clearly make out the text.

There are a few options available in the upper bar of the browser. A Reader icon is at the top left; if an article is available in Reader Mode, touch the icon and it will be displayed in a cleaner, easier text based reader mode.

Touch the Bookmark icon (Gold Star) to see visual thumbnails of your bookmarks. Next to that is the Add icon - touch that to Add to Bookmarks or Add to Home Screen (web clip.) To the right of that is a Full Screen icon that will take away the Title bar to give you maximum viewing of the web page.

Swipe down from the top to see the Browser Options. You can see a visual of your open tabs, add a New Tab, see your Downloads from the web and access the web Settings. Settings can be customized for what to show when you land on a new page, what your Home Page should be, your default Search Engine as well as font and coding options.

In the Content tab of the Settings, you can Enable Flash, Load Images and Enable Java Script. You can allow Permissions for Location based queries from web sites and adjust your Privacy and Security settings. All in all, the PlayBook Browser offered more in the way of adjustments and settings than did its iOS counterpart.

The most important part of browsing the web, however, is the smoothness and speed of the browsing experience and the visuals of the page. This is where the 7" screen of the PlayBook has a disadvantage. Pages still looked, well...small on the PlayBook. More real estate would provide a better web experience. It is important to note that in the independent HTML5 Test, the PlayBook ranks highest of any mobile device.

Round Nine Tally:

Both devices offer a quality browsing experience. The size of the iPad 2 gives it a huge advantage over the PlayBook 2.0. Couple that with a smoother scrolling and zooming experience and quicker load times and, even though the PlayBook gives us Flash support - the iPad 2 just squeaks by in this round. The iPad gets a 10 and the PlayBook gets a 9.

Round 9

Round Ten: Gaming

Both the iPad 2 and the PlayBook 2.0 have powerful processors, good graphic chips and plenty of memory to handle visually stunning games. Both offer accelerometers to allow you to say "steer" a car just by turning the device.

PlayBook 2.0

The PlayBook comes pre-loaded with Need For Speed Undercover and Tetris and there are many other apps available in BlackBerry App World. Apps from big time companies such as Electronic Arts and Gameloft can be found for both devices.

For purposes of comparison I looked first at identical games on both devices. The two I chose first were Angry Birds and Need for Speed.

Need for Speed was a joy to play on the PlayBook. This was one of those games where a slightly smaller device proved to be a real plus. I always enjoyed playing racing games on the iPhone, but found the iPad a bit big to hold and "steer." The screen size of the PlayBook, coupled with the great resolution and powerful processor made Need for Speed really shine. Load times were quick, frame rates were very good and cut scenes played beautifully. What I really enjoyed was minimizing the game and having it run in the background while I checked an email.

Angry Birds is Angry Birds. That being said, load times were very quick, and the game play was very smooth. I could pinch to zoom out or in easily to give me a better view - just like on most other devices. One area where the PlayBook surpassed the iPad 2 was in the graphics. At least for Angry Birds, the PlayBook was sharper and crisper than it was on the iPad 2. As far as pricing goes, Angry Birds HD is $4.99 for both the PlayBook and the iPad.

The challenge for the PlayBook in this round is in selection. App developers simply don't put out the volume of apps for the PlayBook as they do for the iPad. Some of the games are of a very high quality, but they are few and far between. There is also a lot of "junk" to be found in games for the PlayBook. We certainly hope that now that Android apps are supported on the PlayBook, more of them will find their way into BlackBerry App World.

iPad 2

iOS has really exploded as a true platform for mobile gaming. Many developers have released HD versions of their most popular apps which take advantage of the added horsepower and graphics capabilities of the iPad 2.

I tested both Angry Birds and Need For Speed to give a true comparison of "identical" games on both devices. Angry Birds, as I mentioned above, didn't seem to "pop" on the screen as much as it did on the PlayBook. Graphics were certainly smooth and pinching to zoom in and out looked great. Load times were about as fast from screen to screen as they were on the PlayBook.

Need for Speed looked great on the iPad 2. The game was fluid and steering was precise. Where the experience breaks down a bit is with the overall size of the iPad. For games like this, I find the iPad to be too big. I feel kind of like a moron holding and steering my iPad - it is much more comfortable on the iPhone and on the PlayBook.

Where the iPad 2 shines is not only in the quality of games like Infinity Blade, Dead Space and so many others. From music games, artistic games, strategy games and so many more - the iPad 2 shines as a Gaming device. The PlayBook simply cannot compete with all the available apps for the iPad.

Round Ten Tally:

Both devices really do excel as Gaming devices. Angry Birds even looked better on the smaller screen of the PlayBook and Need for Speed was easier to control on the PlayBook.

The iPad 2 not only looks and plays great (although its size is not a plus for all games) but it has thousands of quality games from virtually every major developer and studio to load on the device.

The PlayBook now supports Android apps and more and more of them should make their way into the BlackBerry App World. You can also follow the link above to learn about side-loading Android apps onto your PlayBook. BlackBerry is still giving away PlayBooks to developers who will write apps and over 6,000 responded. Hopefully, that means that BlackBerry users will soon have many more apps from which to choose.

After all is said and done, the iPad 2 wins this round based mainly on the volume of apps available for download by a score of 10 to 8.

Round 10

iPad 2 vs. PlayBook 2.0 - And the Winner Is...

iPad Wins. Boo.

After 10 rounds of head to head fisticuffs, here's where things stand. 


One Round is a Tie

iPad 2 Wins 5 Rounds - Score: 89

PlayBook 2.0 Wins 4 Rounds - Score: 85

The Winner - iPad 2

Which should you buy? Keep Reading...

Closing Thoughts - Picking the Tablet Best for You

This was a very close, hard fought battle. The PlayBook 2.0 jumped out to an early lead due to the superior multi-tasking abilities and the stellar (best in the business) PIM functions. The Contact and Calendar integration is truly ground breaking on the PlayBook 2.0.

The iPad 2 took the Media (Music and Video,) EBook, Gaming and Photography rounds - which is not surprising.

When looking at the results, we see two very different, yet, very good devices. It all boils down to why you want a tablet and how you plan to use it. Last year, Kevin wrote a very important piece about the Hierarchy of Smartphone Needs. That logic can certainly apply to the world of tablets as well.

For content "consumption," the iPad 2 reigns supreme. If your primary reason for getting a tablet is to watch videos, have lots of streaming music options and have more "entertainment" apps than you can shake a stick at - it is hard to beat the iPad 2 and will be hard for some time.

For content "creation" and content "management," the PlayBook is the best tablet on the market today. If you want to read and send emails, have unified messaging, have true contact integration and management and a better "typing" experience - the PlayBook is the best in the business.

Now you have a difficult choice. An iPad will manage your media and excel in consuming content, but it struggles in the core PIM functionality that those with busy lives crave.

The PlayBook gives you really unparalleled PIM functionality, a great predictive text keyboard, true contact and calendar integration - but it is just OK as a music and video player and lacks the media options found in the iPad 2.

So, even though the iPad 2 wins on points, the strengths are really so different that the user needs to decide what is her/his own hierarchy of needs for a tablet.

One last consideration, but not insignificant, is price. At $199.00, the PlayBook is a steal. No, it doesn't do everything the iPad 2 does. However, it does much of what the iPad does and does it better. In other areas, the capabilities of the PlayBook will only grow. With iPad 3 around the corner, we still don't know how high the bar will be set in the future but we are eager to find out!

I cant help but think that when Moses walked down the mountain, he was holding not one - but two tablets. Each was unique and each has served humanity quite well since then. There is room in our world for two stellar tablets to meet all of our tablet needs.

Reader comments

iPad 2 vs. PlayBook 2.0: Tablet Smack Down!


Welcome to the Mobile Nations team Gary!

Great first post. 

For those who don't remember Gary, he's been here on the blogs before with his series of BlackBerry Maximus articles. We also co-authored the CrackBerry book together and he's written solve help books for all mobile platforms under the Made Simple Learning titles. Gary will be helping us rock and roll things across all our sites.

Props to Jared and Alicia for the help with the videos in this post too. Good stuff. 


As for the post... Seriously, at $199 the PlayBook is a steal. And it's only going to get better as things progress to BlackBerry 10 and RIM gets more apps in to App World. And as Gary wraps up with.. it really is all about that tablet hierarchy of needs.

No round comparing apps? That seems to be a pretty big omission. Price could have been a round too.

Apps are a way of "doing something". The guy compared the basic stuff people do on it. For example I sideloaded the android winamp app for shoutcast on my PB, but the browser does a great job of playing shoutcast anyways, plus I can put a shortcut on my homepage directly to my favorite station. I touch the link and I've got music. So Wimamp doesn't get used. As price comparison would have been nice though.

App selection is a huge factor when comparing tablets, and is probably one of the most influential factors when a customer is making their decision. It's always been a pain point for BlackBerry, and hopefully with OS2, that gap will decrease with an influx of new developers and ported Android apps. It's nice to see that OS2 has recharged the PlayBook and made it a very solid competitor to the iPad2. It has come a long way, that's for sure.

The iPad has many months head start on the Playbook since iPad 1. It is not possible for Playbook to have the same amount of app as iPad on day one.

What's important is to attract more developer to develop apps for playbook. Meaning better approval process, more margin and most importantly, kill off rooting and let's the developer not to worry about piracy in Playbook.

Android is rooted. iPad is jailbreaked. If the Playbook is indeed inherited the same security DNA from RIM it should be also "non-rootable".

Yes, app selection is huge, but as another reader said, it's something to help you get things done. I think the article was laid out as it should be, categories of productivity, all of which may include app availability to aid those productivity goals.

The review is fair but the photos are not accurate.
There should be two Playbooks and a 100 dollar bill
on one side and an iPad on the other.

Hello Kevin and Gary,

I have to say this is very unbiased review and contains a lot of good points. I didn't want to concede on all of them, but I can respect that fact that you wanted to have valid input from both sides of the arguments in order to keep things as fair as possible.

This is the most unbiased and fair review of the PlayBook and the iPad that I have ever seen... and trust me... I'm a nerd for tech blogs.

Thank you on behalf of BlackBerry fans everywhere.

Well , whoever the dude was that did the videos , you need to tell him to blow his nose , and drink a big glass of water before he does a video-verbal review again . Please ! . .

Didn't mention that the PlayBook does flash very well, iPad doesn't. PlayBook also does HTML5 much better than iPad. Forget the screen size in browsing, if the device doesn't render the page well enough so I can interact with the site, then its not that useful.

Also, display ppi is much better on the PlayBook. Cameras are much better on the PlayBook. Multitasking is MUCH, MUCH better on the PlayBook.

What you didnt mention is the stellar display screen on the Playbook. Pics and vids on the iPad look washed out in comparison. Thats worth 5 points, making the Playbook the winner, even at 500 bucks which is a non issue now.

Round 11 and Round 12.... PlayBook Wins! :)

PlayBook OS is still evolving into BB10. I bet our BlackBerry 10 PlayBook vs. iPad 3 Smack Down the PlayBook will with by a bunch!

Agreed. I think if a screen comparison was included that may have turned the tables a bit. But then it was only 10 rounds.

He who lives the longest will know the most.

Isnt the Mobile Nations lady going to weigh in with her new Playbook. I wonder what she is going to say...or wear...

I agree, especially the browser. Turn off Flash and cripple the browser and it's super smooth. And multitasking on iOS got an eight? That was a joke!

I said the same thing. There are some fair comparisons here, the browser wasn't one of them. And how come there is no mention of the the PlayBook's ability to stream video in one browser tab(eg. Youtube), while browsing in other tabs simultaneously???????

Depends on what apps are needed or wanted. I have all the apps I wanted and needed on the Playbook (except for a decent PDF reader... stupid, lazy Adobe :@ ). For me, I just want quality apps anyways, and they both have those :)

I don't... I want Rdio, Skype, Netflix, Pandora, Last.FM, Dropbox, Wunderlist, Read It Later, etc. And Yes, for most of them, I can install the version made ​​for Android, but that's not an excuse. Basically turns the Playbook into a giant phone, because these android apps were made considering screens smaller than 5 inch. It does not take a genius to see differences between an app made ​​for a phone and an app made ​​for a tablet, such as elements, icons, etc, and how they are arranged on the screen, how they're easier to reach with your hands.

It pains me to have to say this, but this is closer to the truth right now than most will care to admit. For example an entire music album was created using apps on Ipad. We do not have the apps to even begin to think about doing this. Their video and photography apps are also better.

The thing that needs to be remembered is that the Ipad ecosystem has been around nearly 3x the length of time as the PB. It is like comparing the development of a 3yr old to New born. Until people start looking at more than the usual bandwagon of Skype and netflix we will stagnate. I for one want a collectorz app so I can keep track of my movie collection. This baby has much more growth potential than it. People give it.

I posted in their forum about the Collectorz app. The head guy, Alwin, said he was looking into it. I am not sure if it will happen as they are fairly small and tend to put most of their resources into that damn online version.

Meh. ipad/android still win. yes PB is excellent with OS2 - a giant leap in the right driection. And I use it until the battery drains every day in fact. And for some all they need. But for me, no Skype, no Sonos, no Netflix = no sale. Much as I support and respect RIM (Canadian , eh)I have to say that were there to be a viable 7" tablet - Samsung 7.7 for example - available, I'd buy it, put the PB in a closet somewhere until the apps I ned, want , use , were available , then go back to the PB.

Hmm i really believe ipad web browser is overrated I mean the pb render almost any Web pages as a desktop! It even beat my netbook in term of video playback! I use fedora on the netbook...

Edit : also hooking the PlayBook to a hdtv is not awkward and the browser experience is way better... And cost much less.

Not sure how the playbook gets a "perfect 10" for messaging when there is essentially no way to video conference with anyone. Also, 11th round should be apps, iPad gets a 10, playbook gets a 1.

I like the playbook, but app selection and no video conferencing are big challeneges RIM needs to meet fast for this to have a chance.

My biggest complaint with Playbook from day 1 has been Messaging - not just Skype which I desperately want, but AIM, Google Talk, Win Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger do not exist natively on the Playbook and the only way to get them all this time later, is IM+. Now I am an IM+ fan - they were the only way to get AIM and MSN Messenger back on my 7520 and that license is on my 9810 today. However IM+ for Playbook is wonky - doesn't work as well (no built in spell check for example) as the apps on Ipad do and you can get them all on the Ipad.

No Google Voice for Playbook at this time that I know of.

I think a point or two swing for this oversight on Playbook (for now I hope), and belongs on the list of things RIM could do better.

I also hope as the BB10 phones get closer we will finally get native BBM on the Playbook too. Of course Ipad wont get that and that will be a good thing!

I agree. And also, The messaging app in Playbook OS 2.0 is not that great. Integration with Facebook is horrible at best. Messages take too long to arrive, while on my Blackberry and computer, they arrive at the time I got the message. The Contacts app is also not the best: it is bugging a lot lately, and sometimes I try to link the information of two contacts, and the app quits or freezes, and sometimes, the only solution is to restart the Playbook.

$200 vs $500 isn't significant? Give me a break. And the small size could also be listed as an advantage. I don't have to lug a backpack or briefcase around when going around with my PlayBook because it's small enough to fit in any of my coats/jackets and even my suit. iPad is quite heavy and NOT a joy to carry around.

As for media - PB supports more video formats than the iPad, plus you can simply drag and drop files to it instead of wasting time with iTunes. Files also don't have to be converted. I think it even supports MKVs now.

The speakers on the PB are also much better than those of the iPad, and also stereo. The microphones are also stereo which makes a big difference in almost all videos.

While the iPad still towers over the PlayBook when it comes to app selection, iTunes/media integration /sync, cloud integration (iCloud and iTunes match is fantastic!) and general developer support, the PlayBook is still my preferred tablet of choice overall. Plus I save $300. With even $100 I can buy all the top apps for the PlayBook and still have $200 extra in my pocket.

So you're saying the last 4 mkv videos I've watched on my PlayBook shouldn't have worked?

Weird. Perhaps you're mistaken.

Yes it does (os2), go check docs.blackberry.com playbook supported media. What it does not support is ac3 audio codec which is used in mkvs frequently.

I disagree. People mindlessly buy Apple products without ANY sort of factual, comparable information. Whoever said the PlayBook was the Avro Arrow was totally right (in the forums).

I think the Facetime advantage over PB video chat is very wide right now as it is very useable with the number of iOS users out there that support this feature.

That can be advantage or disadvantage on case to case basis. Example in my case - All my family and brothers have now PBs and not all have iDevices, so I would anyday prefer PB Video chat which is great with awesome and better cameras and microphones than iPad.

It should be noted that FaceTime is also available on OSX too, so its not just limited to iOS devices....

Or just use Skype, works on Android, iOS, PC, Mac, etc.

For this basic VOIP, video conferencing, online texting stuff etc, it's not just iOS vs PB, it's PB versus _everyone_ _else_.

i just printed this from my computer to my Playbook using PrintToGo.... now to read it on the go.... awesome!

Lol@ Kevin!

Great breakdown of these devices Gary. I found the whole article interesting and enlightening. (In fact I learned a few things I didn't know my Playbook could do). Nice to read the comparisons broken down that way. Thanks!

The PlayBook is a better all around tablet not to mention the current price. If both tablets had the exact amount of apps and the apps did the same functions, and the same amount of advertisement and the same MEDIA attention the PlayBook still would win hands down

This article should be ran across all the Mobile Nations because, I like to hear what others think... But, I guess I could go to the forums for that, too!

Blackberry will soon be on top.. They will only get better! Apple has everything to lose.. since they hold the top spot.. #BLACKBERRY

A lot of it comes down to preference. But it will be interesting to see you do this again when the next iPad is released which looks like may be weeks away with a retina display and a better camera and a quad-core processor.

Cool.. now lets compare


WIFI DRAG AND DROP file transfers

LED notification


Bridge functionality (not talking about internet, but things like opening up files from phone to pb, or remote control)

Cool... now let's compare again.

AirPlay to speakers or Apple TV

iCloud file transfers and backups

Notification Center


iCloud again

AirPlay costs money (u need Apple TV) and you won't find on every HDTV (you go to your friends or in office). PB provide easiest and cheapest HDTV access. With DLNA support, it will be even better and beat Airplay hands down.

Get ready kid, class is in session so sit the hell down:

-The PlayBook has come with me all week.
-It does PIM sync better than anything I've ever seen before.
-The UI is snappier and more attractive than the iPad, in my opinion.
-The app selection, I have noticed, has grown exponentially over the past month and is continuing to do so.
- Media Playback is better in every form. (The speakers cant be beat for a device that size).
- What it lacks in video and photo editing software, it makes up for in other areas.
- BlackBerry Bridge has done with a device based micro web server what pretty much no other company has done. It has dozens of uses. Get creative.
- You don't have to move app icons around to view the nice high resolution photos of your family that you have set as your background.
- The battery life is better.
- I prefer the 7" form factor as it fits in my casual and work jackets, and even my cargo jeans when I'm fishing by the lake. (Bridge browser)
- The typing experience is better.
- The browser demolishes any other browser on any mobile device that ive seen (html5test.com).
- The social integration added was phenomenal, and hasn't really been done before. (I checked)
- The enterprise capabilities seem just as efficient and secure as BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
- The new price is incredible for what you get.
- The OS is rock solid.
- The neutrino micro kernel that it leverages is a remarkable achievement in OS development, even moreso than the iOS hybrid kernel.
- I can drop my PlayBook without having to return it.

I can do on for days. I am a software developer for enterprise in house applications and was an electronics engineer in the military for 5 years.

You lose.

Android Apps = runs some apps only, and not all of them work right.

Speakers = really, they suck. The speakers are bad on the iPad, and the speakers are bad on the Playbook. The quality of the iPad speaker is horrible, and the Playbook, which has a bit more quality in this regard, it has a bizarre design, in that when I hold it horizontally, my hands are covering the Speakers.

LED notifications? It is helpful, but honestly, if I was between buying an iPad and a Playbook, this would be one of the last things I would consider.

Bridge = only works if you have a Blackberry.

Nice to see such a *we try to stay neutral* test here at crackberry.
At least i would count some rounds in another way (in fact...nearly every phone-test is still judged by camera-quality, not by counting the opportunities to edit the pictures later...because there are some apps for that :-D )
Also i would have made the web browsing a tie too, because a full experience with flash is still worth the small delay in loading the pages.

But nevertheless... with this result, the iPad just looks for winning because it is just bigger...so thats ok for me.


C'mon Man with the PB we get a software upgrade with the Ipad you have to buy a new one to get and upgrade in by book the PB is a big winner

You are spot on. Poor iPad 1 users had to shell another 500$ (considering 16GB) to get somewhat OK camera (still pale in front of PB). You can count many other shortcomings.

My mother is still using it the iPad, bought at launch. It has been updated to iOS 5. Some things in it are slower, such as multitasking, but it is a device from two years, and was the first of his generation. Your assertion that a user of a first generation iPad need to buy a new one to receive update is ridiculous.

The Outlook syncing problem for Playbook BIS users should have been considered in the contacts and calendars. The need for workarounds is not going to be a plus for ordinary consumers. Ditto for memorizing so many gestures. Of course, Playbook doesn't have video calling or the equivalent of Facetime and it also loses big time in the aps department -- at least for now. The Playbook also has many pluses not mentioned in the article. All things considered, I think that the Playbook is a bargain, but still an inferior tablet -- and it will be perceived as such by consumers.Fingers and toes crossed, but I don't think OS 2 is going to attract lots of converts or new users (the latest surge in Canadian sales notwithstanding).

Correction for you - PB has video calling capabilities. And if you are comparing with Facetime (which is only iOS devices specific), Video chat app is equivalent for that in PB and works much better from my personal experience due to much better cameras and microphones in PB.
I don't feel like spending time for commenting on your rest of naive remarks (last part of your comment).

I don't completely agree with all of your points, but then again this is to be expected. The fact that I can hook up my PlayBook to my hdtv and control it remotely with my BlackBerry smartphone makes it the ideal media entertainment system for me. Welcome back to Crackberry

What's the point, really? So, I buy a $25.00 HDMI adaptor for my ipad2 or ipod4th gen and hook it up to my HDMI in on my TV and use my Netflix app from either ipad2 or itouch 4 (no Netflix now or posible never on the PB) on my TV without using a wii or xbox or special adaptor for it. It works teriffic! Bottom line it's a choice. We're consumers, and a free market.

I would like to add one more advantage to the playbook when compared to the ipad...


I'm not talking about the portability in which you can take the tablet with you. I'm talking about the portability in which the tablet replaces your laptop when going places.

The one flaw that ipad has is that it does not have mouse support. On the ipad, you can pair a bluetooth keyboard and that's it. On the playbook, you have a bluetooth keyboard AND MOUSE support with an actual mouse cursor on the screen.

So what does this mean? Well, for starters, both tablets will allow you to Remote Desktop into an actual computer using 3rd party software, but the difference is that on the ipad, you have to be where the tablet is whenever you need to move the mouse. So imagine the tablets (ipad and playbook) connected to a 60" tv or projector via hdmi cable that is 1 foot long. The playbook user can sit at a comfortable distance of 10 feet and do everything there whereas the ipad user needs to be sitting at his ipad unless he decides to use all keyboard shortcuts to navigate around Remote desktop program. Not convenient. The other alternative is to get a 10+ foot hdmi cable for the ipad and hope nobody trips over it. Still not convenient.

With the playbook and an internet connection, I can truly leave my laptop behind whereas with the ipad I am restricted by it's lack of mouse support.

PLEASE EXPLAIN 1 the Multi tasking Apple gets an 8??? R U NUTS?? the pad should get more like a 6 and 2nd the Camera REALLY? the pics below show the PB better quality It looks more REAL the Pad pic is 2 bright? PB wins by a few points in my Book... again an 8 for mulitasking ??? more like a 6

Awesome comparison! Even though the playbook may have lost, its still my one and only tablet!!!

Good review, but you HAVE to talk about the one unbeatable app that PB has over the IP2... Bridge! That's a 10-0 round 15 knockout!

And that app with the support of the Canadians prevented Telus, Bell and Rogers from forcing down a tablet data plan in addition to BIS on phones. :)

All the people that ask me what's the best feature of my PB and I always anwser that the Bridge feature is the ONE that i bought it for! Getting connection all the time without spotting wifis is the best!

Another thing to mention is, this is the first generation bb playbook and second generation OS. The ipad is on its second hardware change and I lost count of how much OS update they received. What about portability, touch, feel of both devices. I'm not saying you did a bad job with your article (you did a great job actually), but the I-maxi-pad could never be better than the bbpb.

Peace CB- users and abusers (me)!!

Seems that the author is not aware that "Dead Space" is available on the PB. Real push email. BB handset remote control. 1080p video. The list goes on and on. Also interesting to note that as the author uses an iphone that he has no idea of the power of the super combo.

To be honest this review is more about comparing the two platform's software ecosystems then the device's hardware.

If RIM doesn't fix the different ecosystems (apps and media consumption) surrounding the platform before BB10 launches, BB10 will also struggle with gaining US market share.

I also see that it is going to be very hard to fix either one before BB10 launches.

Whatever @shootscores said :)

The combination is just out of this world!
Bold 9900 - Playbook 32GB

Although i really like this article i do have three criticisms:

1) This is SOFTWARE only from the looks of it. There is no mention of the BETTER PB screen, the HDMI function!!! or the BRIDGE capability. If those are worth ONE point each then this becomes a virtual deadlock...

2) The e-reading on the playbook is a FIVE... I have MoonReader and i LOVE it. it is not a barely passing app... the PB should have at least a 7 in this category

3 IPAD gets NINE for web browsing... sorry, but the difference of ONE point and PB has FLASH and does not need apps to fill the void of an incredibly unstable browser

Im sorry... this is a great article, but it clearly shows that the 'failures' of the ipad gets looked over because of popularity. There is NO WAY that NOT having flash is worthy of a 1 point discrepancy but the 'e reader' category is FIVE points off even though it is STELLAR.

The browser comparison is what I disagreed with as well. It's almost as if Apple is making it okay to not include something. The iPad is lacking Flash, but no one seems to care. It should matter and the iPad should be knocked (quite heavily, in my opinion, as it lacks something other competitor products have) for what would seemingly be a basic function. Thank goodness RIM decided to use a full browser!

Definitely disagree with a few points in this article such as the ipad2 winning the Browser round and the media round, but apart from that, good writeup

as far as i can tell, the music player and video player on playbook is accurate. its sound quality is equal to the mid to high fi gear i own.

i was absolutely delited to see no eq settings on playbook when i got it.

I found this an excellent and fair review I am a tech-bound dabbler, who doesn't mind a few hoops and loves a challenge, but my wife ended up with an ipad because that works for her. Unless. BB10 is a major disappointment, I will be happy to continue to support blackberry.

Curve 8330 CDMA (eww, I know, u/g to Torch soon!)
Winner of EA Mobile SE Playbook - rockin' it!

And just to spell it out, one of the beauties of the bridge is the cost savings if you have a BB phone. I only have one data plan on top of a much cheaper tablet. A cheaper tablet that meets my needs better than the iPad.

Dude, Playbook multitasking kicks the ipad's butt and then sits on it. IPad should have gotten a lower score for that. And what about price? That should earn the PlayBook some more points. And you gave web browsing to the IPAD?! Don't even get me started!!!

N.O.V.A 2 Blackberry Playbook BOSS.

Somewhat depressing. Although the review is fair give or take a few points. While its great to be totally objective when giving comparisons, I feel that no other fan site or blog would ever claim their device to be lesser than a competitors. A friend of mine just poked fun at me saying "you could never say your PB measures up to my ipad, even your own site doesn't agree with you" I don't care if your team is better than mine, you never admit it. Can't feel bad for RIM for all the bad press when supposed fan sites drive a shovel in the dirt helping to dig the grave spearheaded by rivals.

P.S. I'm typing this on my PlayBook via my torch 9850 Remotely controlled hooked up to my 50inch screen hdtv. How do you like them APPLES.

I completely agree. This is just horrible..

I think he really did do his best to be objective and non-biased, I really do. I mean I haven't seen a reviewer be objective to this degree before.. But unfortunately he really did give some wrong points on this one in favor of the iPad.

His closing comments were partially correct as well, but there is much more use for this tablet other than native PIM. If that's all we got, then what was the PlayBook before 2.0? Let's fill in the blanks..

I love the playbook i just can't understand the bezel. Seems too big and makes the screen look smaller. I'd really like to have an edge to edge screen!

do you really think that?

No mention of the HDMI or Bridge abilities and the browser scores are a bit smudged.

I think that this just proves that people are ingrained to think that the ipad is better and if another tablet DOESNT HAVE something the ipad DOES then it is BAD, but if another tablet DOES HAVE something the ipad doesnt then it isnt really that much of a difference.

My cousin has an ipad2 and just sent me a text saying the PBs remote function on the HDTV is 'SO SICK' ... isnt that worth at least a couple points?

This should easily be a tie if done properly

Gary, it's PlayBook, not Playbook... I'm sure you would never say Ipad. Also, in my opinion Media should be much closer. MKV support with the HDMI out, and ability to play Flash Video are huge plusses. The web browser should be a tie or win for the PlayBook too. There is still a lot of Flash out there that needs playing and the HTML5 performance is superior on the PlayBook. Front facing camera on the iPad sucks and the speakers and mic quality are no where near as nice as the PlayBook. Also, no where in the comparison are added benefits like the Remote Control feature of Bridge. Overall though, pretty good article.

Nice and unbiased comparisson. You forgot two major rounds : Office productivity and hardware, mey be the lag between tabs is lesser... Go Playbok ! Go !

The iOS also has DocsToGo, and other applications for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations (like Keynote). I do not see what advantage the PlayBook in "office productivity".

About hardware ... you mean the camera? The PlayBook has a better camera than the iPad, but doesn't mean it is not crap. Honestly, no tablet I've used so far had a decent camera.

And the rest ... iPad and PlayBook have similar internal configurations, and the PlayBook has more RAM, but the iPad makes up for with a better graphics memory.

round 3 - multitasking. should have been scored 10-2 in favor of playbook, not 10-8 ( what is with the charity points for ipad? ) ipad's multitasking is terrible. how can you even call what ipad does "multitasking"?

round 9 - web browsing. should have been 10-6 in favor of the playbook. the fact that ipad gives you a mobile page and not the website's TRUE form is a joke. how did ipad get a 10 when it is not capable of displaying the REAL webpage?

round 11 - price. 10 - 6 in favor of playbook. how do you leave out 1 category that favors the playbook so heavily? you might as well have left out the media capability catagory as well, then. i mean, if we are going to leave out one tablet's biggest strength, then you should leave out the other's biggest strength, right?

this article was a lame read!

Oooh! Shiny!
You should have added in a android one as well. I'm a died in the wool apple fan and think the playbook is way better than any google powered device. If I was a bit more tech savvy ( read geek) I would get a playbook. A lot of device for your money..

A wash in video chat? LOL at that. 10-2 for the iPad would be generous to the PB.
And the PB owns web browsing, that's its bread and butter. Of course it appears smaller, the device is smaller. But the PB can display content the iPad simply cannot.

Overall a great article. My biggest disagreement would have to the the new PIM apps. Sure the new calendar and contacts apps are great, but they only list 2 of the 4 "pillars of PIM" mentioned in the hierachy posting you referenced. Todos and memos still leave a huge voide. Syncing with my current system (outlook) is still not there. After 10 months and the release of 2.0, they still don't have basic necessities for a true "professional grade tablet." Don't get me wrong, I own a playbook and love it. The size, price, a mouse compatibility are different from the ipad and awesome. But I look to RIM for tools to make me more effecient/productive, and I don't think 2.0 is completey there yet. The tablet for consuming still seems to have the tablet for professionals beat (as far as PIM goes) in my mind.

The review seems pretty good, but playbook won 5 rounds as well not 4. The apps argument was something that led to the iPad's win in the categories it won, so an 11th round is pointless. The remote and bridge functionality of the playbook is an amazing feature and serious coolness factor. Overall the playbook is the best tablet, but like some have said, preference does come into play. I carry my playbook everywhere, and all the people with iPads talk about them but rarely have them with them or really actually use them for more than anything past there couch. Personally I think itunes sucks and is one reason I hate idevices.

good read and good article but I disagree with round 6 email/messaging. At this point for me the playbook gets a 1 for email (and please help me if I missed something) ipad, ipod touch and HP touchpad all bring across my Yahoo email folders and ignores the emails that get sent to the spam folder. Playbook does not show my folders and brought over 300+ spam emails (it doesn't even do this on the BB) so even though I can reply in rich text format I am better off using bridge email or Browser when on the playbook. Oh and on the topic of messaging the Bridged BBM app only launches 50% of the time.

I am loving the new remote function though!!!

This is really well-done comparison. Pretty neutral too!

I do think app selection should have been a category too, as that's why Apple devices are chosen over everything else in the market.

About the PlayBook's App World, RIM is trying. It tires me to see this amazing device with an awesome OS with so much functionality be brought down because of the attention third-party developers give to it. Hopefully, by BlackBerry 10's release, the app catalogue will be much improved. All RIM can do is try to improve their place in the market, improve their developer relations (Alec Saunders is the man!), and get devices into people's hands.

This is a great article for us techies that visit the site. I think this was pretty fair. But let's be real, some of this is not really looked at by the everyday consumer.

The elephant in the room isn't user interface, multi-tasking, or app organization (Kindle Fire sales proved that). The thing that attracts consumers to a tablet device are the big name apps and price. And yes, there are many things you can do with my PB using the web browser...but the big things are still lacking.

When my parents go looking for a tablet, they're not asking interface questions, UI fluidity questions, camera pixel questions, or anything about flash and html5. What they (and I believe most consumers) want to know is how do I connect it to the internet, can I access the big apps that I use often on my laptop (Netflix, Skype, etc), and how much is it going to cost me. Those are the selling points...everything else is just...icing on the cake.

My PB can link to my phone, do email and contacts, multi-task like no one business, has the processing speed of a god...but all that wont push millions of units out the door. 2.0 was a nice add...but Netflix or Skype support...that pushes units.

I tend to agree about the "Elephant In The Room". I already own and love my PlayBook, I'm even a developer who just released a new app and expecting a free PlayBook for developers program any day now (sweet!).

But the "Elephant In The Room" is related to the media attention and "Sheep Mentality" of the masses. Every day I see articles about Apple *this* and Apple *that*, like "iPad saves person from drowning", or "iPhone survives fall from plane", or "Chinese student makes iPad for girlfriend".

The MEDIA has made "iPad" synonymous with "tablet computer". In the minds of the MASSES. For example, in the last example (Chinese student makes iPad for girlfriend) the TITLE of the article suggests an actual iPad was being made, but IN FACT the student made a tablet computer out of a Windows laptop by rotating the screen around and adding touch-screen glass, and then he stuck an APPLE LOGO on it!!! It was running Windows!

And the article on "iPhone survives fall from plane"... I mean who the f*ck cares. The screen was shattered and basically needs to be repaired anyways. But once again iPhone and Apple got "headline time". If you dropped just about ANY phone from an airplane it would be random luck how and on what surface it lands on what damage it would sustain. The fact that it was an iPhone, somebody made the headline sound like they are freakin' indestructable!

My point is this... MEDIA attention and the constant use of the "iPad" in these mostly misleading headlines is constant affirmation to many people that "iPad" is THE TABLET to own. Because of the NUMBERS of iPads and iPhones shipped, because of it's market dominance, because people LINE UP to get them when they release ("raving fans"), because it was out of the starting gate and carved out the tablet niche (and perhaps many people in the media adopted these early on), every other tablet out there is having a tough time pushing through... for reasons other than hardware specs and app availability or usability.

Most people walk into a store and I can guarantee you 9 out of 10 will ask for an iPad or iPhone because of "sheep mentality" and want to join the masses to protect their investment, even IF it is over-priced and inferior, with these factors in mind:

(a) their family and/or friends have it
(b) they already bought content on iTunes
(c) they think they will be more "cool" to be like others
(d) it is a bigger device
(e) the idea that more cost = better device
(f) they don't understand or care about techno-specs

Let's face it, most of us who have side-loaded apps and figured out how to do all sorts of cool things on the PlayBook OS 2.0 needed to have some techno-knowledge. But we managed to make the PlayBook do everything we wanted, at less than half the price of an iPad. But the MASSES need something easy, and they have the money to pay for it.

Your grandparents and kids, your non-technical average consumer, who can't figure out how to program their VCR clock so it always blinks 12:00 (remember those things) wants a device that is SIMPLE and has ONE BUTTON. The MASSES need to be spoon-fed and controlled inside of a system like iTunes. The MASSES want to have what their friend has so if they run into a problem they can go to their friend's house and figure it out over a cup of tea or cool-aid.

So, I'm not saying iPad is a bad product... In fact, I believe the iPad is a great product, and the market is confirming this. But the MASSES and media do more to sell tablets than the tablets themselves. Look at the Amazon Kindle Fire, which is the first REAL competitor to the iPad (in some sense, although we can argue about the crappy specs on the Fire and how it doesn't compare). You can see that the Fire created a HUGE interest in tablets, had a large existing Kindle user-base who wanted a color device (for the first time) with a giant content store and an app market (even though it is Amazon-controlled and limited compared to Google). Kindle Fire's processor is just ok? Cameras on the fire.. None? Size, yes 7". Touch-screen and resolution mediocre. But it pushed so many units, and had pre-orders... It was almost like seeing an Apple product launch. Somehow Amazon managed to create a fire around the Fire, and take a bite out of Apple for the first time!!!

So now back to the PlayBook. It is also a great product. Some would argue it is the BEST TABLET for their needs (like myself). But each tablet has it's strengths and weaknesses. What RIM needs to do is headline articles like "Indian student makes Blackberry PlayBook for girlfriend" or "Blackberry Bold survives fall out of an airplane". It needs to create MASS MARKET appeal. But if that means compromising core values then it's not worth it. I don't want my device to necessarily be something my grandmother or 3 year old kid can use, or to have too many software controls on it that I need to do everything through some proprietary locked-down software to transfer files.

RIM, you may not be top dog in the market, but you offer something unique which a good proportion of people appreciate. The "masses" and "sheep mentality" don't necessarily produce the best products. And just because the majority of people buy something doesn't mean it is the best either, as I mentioned before... Media and what your friend has, doing the "sheep" thing, that has a big influence.

But we have to ask ourselves WHY are there raving Apple fans and no mass hysteria regarding any other product launches? What will be making people line up for days in front of Apple stores to buy an iPad 3? or iPhone 5? Tap into that socio-psychological phenomenon and see what happens.

Oh, and as long as the iPad/PlayBook numbers are skewed this way, companies will not justify spending time/money bringing apps over (like Skype, Netflix, etc). That's why bringing Android emulation on board was a SMART MOVE. Even Angry Birds took a long while to port over natively (that is another MASSES-fed phenomenon of a silly game that I won't get into... it actually copies an older game called Crush the Castle which has been around for years). One could argue that at one point, Angry Birds became the "killer app" for iPad. By the way, the Flash version of Angry Birds was playable from day-ZERO on PlayBook but nobody non-technical would have known how to load it onto their PlayBook.

All I am missing on my PB is SKYPE and a 3rd party MP3 and Movie/Video APP like AMAZON MP3 and AMAZON Prime.

Bold 9900 & PlayBook 64GB Wifi

The review is cool but NOT entirely accurate for comparing apples and oranges!!

A few points I want to make:

Pseudo multi-tasking from the iPad that can lose data when the website is reopened / refreshed is VERY annoying=BIG FAIL

LOW quality cameras on the iPad=BIG FAIL

Flash content games or videos CANNOT be opened is annoying=BIG FAIL


I did learn a few things about the PB I didn't know on there.
These are cold hard facts the articles is using and I guess that is how you run a 'review'. You do not do what some 'analysts' have been doing reviewing cars they have never been in, driven, or seen.
That said there are intangibles that cannot be clearly quantified but weigh in heavily in ultimately deciding what to buy.
- Snob value,
- Cool factor (believe these are two seperate things,
- The feel of the thing,
- The smartphone you use.

I think that the other thing worth mentioning is that you do not need to buy another gadget to Conner the PB to an HDTV.

Regarding the ability to watch a video on the TV while doing something else on the PB without interrupting playback, I do not know if it can be done on the iPad 2. If it cannot, this it is another plus for the PB.

lol this is funny- did RIM pay for this smackdown? I don't even own a playbook or ipad but the iPad 2 is almost considered out of date already when talking of Apple's standards. The iPad 3 is 3-4 weeks away, the playbook is just catching up to yesteryear's devices. sad. oh and flash is pretty much dead which was a major selling point of the playbook. get what you pay for.

1 - flash isn't dead. it is on 90% of websites.
2 - HTML5, the successor to flash, is better on playbook than ipad.

either way, playbook is better, both now and in the future.

the fact that every apple product is obsolete within 13 months of introduction shows how bad their products are.

you are living proof that there is a sucker born every minute.

That's not about what the tablet can do for you, but what you can do with your tablet!

With PB I'm accessing my office remotely with full functionality on daily basis, leaving my laptop at home. I do that with many other apps opened for free without having to subscribe anything from the park and pushing email. I render a 3D objects and send them directly to the client with no lag nor any extra effort.

Sorry iFans (many are customers) but the PB is my one and only tablet.

This was an awesome review and the playbook 2.0 is still my choice for a tablet :) Excellent job RIM I can't wait to get a BB 10 device in my hands even though its gonna be hard to just give up my 9900. Please make a BB10 device w the 9900 keyboard and a bigger screen and front facing camera compatible w video chat for the playbook and other bb10 devices. I'm so excited for the future of blackberry!!!!!

Stay tuned for round 11: Android Runtime, which brought us such treats buried inside of it like DRM monitoring (aka Big Brother) and the question on whether the new android apps actually close properly.

The Playbook has better hardware and the iPad has more content. I will say that I don't agree with the final decision but I guess I can accept it. However, since the PB has better hardware and getting a ton of content, I believe it will continue to improve faster than the iPad. Therefore, for people looking at a purchase that will last over the next two or even three years, I will suggest the Playbook.

RIM purchased a digital editing company that is web based and I believe we should see this soon. If that is the case, and we have reason to believe it is, we should have a rematch after the better cameras on the Playbook get a web based video and picture editing software.

I guess the bottom line is that with a few tweaks and software upgrades the PB will be clearly ahead and will still have better hardware.
Frankly, for the price the PB is hands down the best device out there. Infact, for the full 499.00 price it is still a very nice option.

However, I will say this. The iPad1 sucks but the iPad2 is a nice tablet. Just too big to be a bridge between a smart phone and laptop. To each his own.

I do not agree with the camera round, not in the slightest.... Stand alone, PB pics and videos are outstanding. Edit on a desktop if you want to do that stuff...

I like my playbook with OS 2.0. I understand that people want their playbooks to run things like netflix, hulu, skype, and other type of apps that aren't in the blackberry app world and all of that, but as for hulu and netflix, there are workarounds to that. There are way too many other alternatives than just getting netflix or hulu on to a playbook. I'll share something with you people here. In the event that I can not get the netflix or hulu app onto my playbook, I don't sweat it. I simply go to my playbook, type in, for example www.filmlair.com, and I can watch a movie on the playbook as if I was on a desktop or a laptop. Can Apple do this? (Last time I checked, none of their devices can do that, and I have an iPod Touch) So in my opinion, The playbook is good with certain things, and the Ipad is good for certain things. It does, at the end of the day, boil down to personal preference. I prefer the PlayBook.

I own both, an IPad2 and a PB, both 32gb. As much as I am a bb fan and want the PB to succeed, there is no comparison at this moment, the iPad is a zillions times better. Forget about the specs, I have both tablets next to me but when it comes time to pick one, I gravitate towards the iPad2 just because it is more useful and faster. Playbook UI does not have the fluidity of the iPad by a mile. There is also a lack of Apps. Video chat though I feel the PB is superior and I am hoping Skype will become available soon. The OS2 is an improvement but not enough to attract non bb users. There is a lot of room for improvement and it seems RIM is headed in that direction.

Great article, but a little disappointed about how some of the scores are decided.

For example, the author seems to prefer functionality over performance. But the thing is that some of the functionality limitation, can often be compensated with using an online solution (web based) or an available or future app solution also. Measuring based on stock functionality is not very fair. For example, what if (as I don't know) Playbook has a great app to do post shot camera or video editing? Would that give Playbook a higher score? Similar thing happened in the scoring for the email / messaging part.

And while both functionality and performance are higher, it got a lower score! In web browsing, having the fastest HTML5 score, and the capability of a super smooth (1080P YouTube video with no problem at all) do not count as much as what gave the iPad 2 a higher score: a larger screen (but a lower resolution!), only because the author has "aging eyesight" (his words, not mine). Clearly this is a very personal and subjective point, and this makes it an opinion piece, not an objective A vs. B comparison as the title might suggest. What if the Playbook is hooked up to a larger monitor? (granted, then iPad also hooked up to same size monitor too), would that make a different in scores? I cannot believe that the iPad 2's Mobile Safari beats the Playbook's browser at all: no Flash, and worse HTML5 performance. And I can't see how the iPad 2 runs faster either in web rendering. (remember Playbook might have to process Flash at the same time).

And in my opinion, video chat is not "messaging" but more a "video phone" functionality. You don't call a phone call "messaging" do you? For me, whatever platforms get Skype wins, as there is no place for proprietary platform. Unfortunately, last I tested imo.im (is that the site?) using web based Skype, I cannot get video to work, only audio. So iPad indeed is better until Skype releases for Playbook.

And another utter surprise is how can a 5Mp, 1080P video cam lost to a 0.7Mp, 720P video cam? Only because of post processing? That can easily be fixed by third party apps, and actually who really do post processing on a tablet anyway? shouldn't it be done on a real computer? This point is really moot. Although I never even want or need a cam on a tablet, but the better quality shot video or still should be the winner, not the counting of how many post process feature it has , BUILT IN.

I own the iPad (1), have owned iPhone before (3G and 4), and so I'm very familiar with the iOS side of things. I'm fairly new to Playbook but have already done rooting, side loading, and 2.0 beta with hacking the Android Market into it, so I have some experience with the Playbook also. The Playbook replaced my Custom ROM Nook Color.

What would be even more interesting is a comparison with a 7" Android tablet, such as Acer A100, samsung Galaxy Tab, etc.

I like both devices, but I wouldn't have bought the Playbook in its original retail price though. Given the number of good apps, if Apple makes a 7" iPad, I probably would be very interested / likely to buy one (depending on price) too. To me, the Playbook really lost on the apps front. They are too late to the game. Having great hardware might not leverage their share, unfortunately. So although I think Playbook could have won if I were to do this comparison, on book, but in reality, the iPad actually has won in the real world already.

How about web experience? I'd say not having flash capability is pretty crippling for the iPad 2's web capabilities.

I guess depending on your wallet, if you got money and want apps so badly then iPad wins. If you just want to browse net and do not wanna spend over $500 then PB is better choice.
From Geekey, OS, spec and performance perspective PB is winner.

Skimming the rather heated responses, I am reminded that when Moses came down the mountain with the two tablets in his hands, he threw them down and broke both of them at the way the people were behaving...

This comparison review was deplorable. The review lacked any semblance of impartiality and failed to show any actual analysis of either product based on a standard or controlled method.

If I recall, the playbook with 2.0 was stacked against the kindle fire and it flat out lost because the kindle has access to a massive media library.

Playbook owners basically stunt themselves from getting a device that has access to more applications, which are being consumed heavily by consumers worldwide.

This comparison was a giant, biased FAIL despite the iPad still coming out on top.

The ELEPHANT in the room has to be mention again. The browsers are not even close and yet the iPad wins?

First let's look at it from an equal stance, both are great and they both do HTML5 very well. But by your own words the PB has the best HTML5 rating on any tablet or "mobile device" period. Not to mention its hardware accelerated which means that devs can make better use of it is an even bigger advantage.

Second the PB has flash. FLASH is not something apple fanboys can say they don't care about because as soon as opera put there browser on the iPad it was a top ten download, in hours. So to leave it out in itself is something to look at, but the same BS remains, its not really needed. The PB gives you a true desktop browser in a mobile package not a striped down version of it.

Either way the article was good(very good IMHO) but you can't say something has the best HTML5 rating period and then have it lose to the competitor because of speed.

App less playbook is like a nice car without gas....So sad such a nice device and without apps which is the life and soul of a tablet and Rims failure again and lies about this the thousand of Android apps that was vaporware, this nice piece of what was a top of the line hardware a year ago is now closed to an end with the release of upcoming quad core and what not tablets.

I just bought my ipad and I must say they shine in different areas. The web browser on the blackberry is 10x better. The ipad might be big but all web pages look so pixelated. The ipad iphone and ipod take the lousiest pictures. Trust me I know I have had all apple products since 2006. They all look grainy and blurry unless you have a photographers lighting equipment. The applications all depend on what you want. I thought that I was going to be super busy with the apps on the ipad but no. They didn't have anything I wanted. The only thing I say the ipad is better at and it's just because blackberry doesn't have them yet are magazines. Even some are very pixelated on the ipad. Harpers Bazaar for example then again that could be the magazine itself.

Think of how many people are in your life who have no idea of what a "sideload" is and would want no part of it if they did. We need to remove that from major apps before the parents and grand parents who want their tablet to work like their toaster does.

Excellent review especially video comparisons.

I have a playbook, ipad and a iphone so I've been a long time apple user ..anyway I've always been drawn to the underdog (which apple was at one time) and don't want to be associated with that all or nothing attitude that seems to come from the bewildered iheard.

Apple has done a great job but so has rim and motorola and nokia etc etc. Change is good.

This is a classic closing line...

"I cant help but think that when Moses walked down the mountain, he was holding not one - but two tablets. Each was unique and each has served humanity quite well since then. There is room in our world for two stellar tablets to meet all of our tablet needs."

Nice article. Very detailed and well written.

Although I am typing this on the playbook I know it is hard to say the playbook beats the Apple since the ipad sells a ton and the playbook isn't even close. I must add however for those saying the ipad is so much better I think you are over doing it. In the last 8 months or so I've seen the rise and fall of the ipad in my organization. I went to meetings eight months ago and almost everyone was brining an ipad. Now I never see ipad at meetings really I sh*t you not. The only tablet that goes to meetings now is my little playbook.

The story of the ipad is form over function beauty over usefulness. At the end of the day my playbook is used most for reading and in that the size beats the ipad hollow.

One thing I will say is that since OS2 and the ability to finally type on the playbook something that emulated the cover of the ipad, that gives the playbook a little tilt would be very much appreciated.

In my opinion the playbook is the better of the two...my playbook has practically replaced my laptop I can do most things using the playbook...its Web/flash capability are great...portability is important to me and the playbook fits easily in my purse...the bridge allows me to use my unlimited mobile devices phone Internet so I can pull out my playbook anywhere and do a quick web search etc...the screen and resolution on the playbook is beautiful...the onliy category I think the ipad beats playbook is the app selection but apps aren't important to me...however if I ever do need an app for something it will be a nice option to have a wider selection available now with the android apps being added to the blackberry app world

So the playbook seems to excel at being an oversized blackberry phone without the call capability. Hmmmmmm lets spend $199 to get exactly what you have with your BB phone. Good job.

Good job! Your assumptions clearly makes you an expert amongst others that also base their assumptions/opinions on opinions.

As opposed to the iPhones and iPads that do exactly what differently than the iPod? Lets spend 5-600$ "to get exactly what you have with"...get where I'm going with this?

I did a comparison between my iPad and PlayBook based on my "opinions" and the iPad lost. Opinions are awesome!

I must admit that this was a very balanced review IMO.
I wish other Tech sites put as much effort/thought into reviews rather than showing biases towards who gives the best perks.
Very well done.

PS yes I am a playbook owner

Add a connectivity round. The bridge has to count for something. That's a huge convenience and savings!


Overall good balanced article however your rating of browsing is off the mark. We have an iPad and a Playbook and the kids all prefer the Playbook for browsing the web. You don't release how much content you miss when browsing with the iPad until you try both side by side. Your comments about the size of the screen is personal preference and should not be factored into the review. Also my experience is that the iPad is slower rendering sites. Browsing was one of the main reasons you should pick the Playbook.

Thanks for the article and all the info. You might want to spell check first. This is from your article: "Just touch the Titter icon along the left hand side of the Messaging app and send a Direct Message - it couldn't be easier!"

If I actually spend the time to write an in depth article would it be considered for the site? I really want to do this right since no one else seems to be able to

This is the first time I've seen camera review that focuses on what you can do with the pictures afterwards... I think the reviewer was also too kind on the iPad with regard to multitasking/app switching. I would have preferred they rated the cameras on hardware (because that is what it is) and had a dedicated apps review which the iPad would win (which is ok right now).

All I see in this review is masking some of iPad's biggest deficiencies while exposing the PlayBooks.

This has GOT to be the most unbiased matchup I have ever read. Even though the iPad2 did win, I'm proud to have a PB, and a writer that would judge so fairly! Thanks for the job you did! You made us Cracked Berries proud!

Gotta say that PB browser is faster than ever since 2.0. Even CB, one of the slowest sites on the web, renders quickly now.

The review was written with a predetermined result in mind. The PB isn't as mature a platform as some others but it is a thoroughbred unlike the others.

Here is the deal:
If you have half a brain - there is literally no competition for the PB at the moment.
I own both the iPad2 and the PB. I’ve also messed around with the Android products at present. (regarding the Android, please excuse me while I purge the bile from my throat…) j/k.
Anyway, I won the iPad2 and PB in different contest at work. Frankly, I could care less about, “whose is bigger in the shower”. All I care about is, “what do I get out of it?”
Yeah, yeah, I know, “that seems very selfish, Dim-Ize”. Well, you are right!
Well, it is a tablet, after all. This isn’t a “water, food, shelter, clothing, or money, (etc.) discussion… Folks, this is a freaking tablet that we are discussing!
Anyway, after side-loading until my PlayBook’s free memory meter was tapped out… all the while – enjoying true multitasking, using a remote-control on a BB handheld, playing a game / watching a movie / moving files around, LOL… if you want to get whipped in a fight (ALA, “showdown”) come head to head with the PB. If I had $1M to put down in a virtual battle – and I could control the device of my choice – I would do it… PlayBook – hands down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Aside from two very specific things: Netflix and Skype – forget about it (and I have workarounds for those too - 100%)... The PB will spank you in every single category. Period. No “if” “ ands” or “buts” about it. I can literally go head to head with anyone in regards to this. Some would say, “but, my iPad has “Where is My Water”. Yes, you’re right. It does. That's a great game, by the way. I love it. I play it on the iPad2. It is fun! So, does the PB loose?
It isn’t that the PlayBook has nothing to offer. The problem, however, is that the average tablet user wants to be spoon fed. “They” literally want to be spoon-fed or have their bottom wiped. I find myself in this category sometimes – because I am so dang busy. Sort of like wanting the government to take care of your retirement… or something in that fashion. Are we that lame, these days? That we can’t get off the bed and go to work???? I digress…
I get it. The ecosystem is superior on the Apple tablet platform (ATM). No problem. But, for the ones who actually have a brain, a pair / sac, (or an interest in technology) – if you want to see the leader out there – you only have one choice: The BlackBerry Playbook!
Guys. Gals! Dig a little deeper. LOL. Once I started, I literally had a laugh out loud moment – like the first time I played, “D00M” or the first time I connected to broadband…. Seriously, for the technology troopers… there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can match the PlayBook. But, you must put a little investment in. Once you do… there’s no going back. Even for the entry level… The PB may not be the right platform for you. You may need a “kiosk”.
However, “platform” is the correct word, BTW. You seem, a “platform” incudes some sort of hardware architecture and software framework…
For the real heroes out there – I guarantee – you will have a “wow” moment. You will go, “dang, are you kidding me?”. You will, like me, realize, that there is nothing, currently on the market, that even comes close to the capabilities of this device, called, “PlayBook”.
One singular glaring error on behalf or RIM (or RIMM if you’re trading) – is their marketing. I give you that. They need a heavy hitter. It is like having a nuke in WW2 and just sitting on it…
RIM – if you want an executive that has ½ B under his belt in sales – contact me! You need to sell the sizzle in a unique fashion.

Comparing Cameras: Post processing is useless on a low resolution camera. it looks dirty and cheap. you cant post process anything that the camera did not see. look at the sample photos. Can you see the make of the bike on the photo the iPad took? while on the PB, isn't it awesome that the viewer can even read some title of the books!!!

what, the playbook needs are multi platform apps, such as viber, whats app etc.. and most important multi language (handwriting) input.When you have those apps wich you use for ois or android , it will make the playbook complete.

Fun reading! It is obvious that both tablet serve different needs. And I totally agree that people should be looking for products that are the best for themselves!

Doesn't anybody get tired of comparing things with one another? Why does it always have to be so fricken competitive?!

Get an iPad if you want
Get a Playbook if you want

But you're NOT bitchin' about why yours is superior to the other device. If everyone had the same device, life would be boring, but some people take it so seriously as if they own the company or made the product themseleves!

Also very important, Playbook is only WiFi ! One test should have been Apps : iPad 10, Playbook 1 ! I have both tablets so I know from experience. Most apps om the Playbook just suck.

If you think the Playbook, even with OS2 is in the same league as the iPad 2 you are having a laugh. The ONLY thing in its favour is the price. And even that doesn't apply to those who paid full price six months ago.

As others have said, it's ALL about the apps. Gorillaz made their entire album on an iPad. And it's an amazing album. Can you imagine making an album on the PlayBook? With the Drums app and the Piano app? That right there summarises the huge difference between the two tablets.

Worlds apart.

So, third party apps makes it better? Same mantra Apple has trained people to believe. Personally I couldn't care less about apps. The PlayBook has enough apps for me. Everything else I do is on the beautiful web browser!

Who the hell cares if the Gorillas wrote an album on an iPad? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!! That comment is ridiculous! Did they write it with a 3rd party app? If so, pointless. Probably an app that they bought! You pay $499+ for a device and still have to pay for the apps to make it useful. Apple has really hooked idiots on spending money, lol!

My PlayBook has replaced my laptop. I do everything with this thing, including writing this reply! And it goes everywhere with me! The bridge feature is simply on of the best innovations in the industry. Free internet connection on my tablet with my phone's data? Phenomenal!! If Apple did the same thing with iPhone and iPad, people would sing its praises. People love to hate RIM right now, no matter what the do.

I, for one, love BlackBerry products because they help me communicate with the world perfectly and I don't have to constantly spend more money to make them useful.

Proud 9930/PlayBook Owner...

"Free internet connection on my tablet with my phone's data? Phenomenal!! If Apple did the same thing with iPhone and iPad, people would sing its praises"

Apple already does this. And, yes people do sing Apple's praises.

"I, for one, love BlackBerry products because they help me communicate with the world perfectly and I don't have to constantly spend more money to make them useful."

If this were true, Then why use the bridge for sharing data? Just use your PB's 3G or 4G or LTE.
Oh, that's right it doesn't have that option, so instead you need to spend more money on other devices to make the PB useful.

"Apple already does this. And, yes people do sing Apple's praises."

WiFi hotshot doesn't count. For most carrier's, it's not free. The 9930 has this feature as well, no need to pay an extra $29.99 a month with the bridge feature. Nice try, but no cigar.

"If this were true, Then why use the bridge for sharing data? Just use your PB's 3G or 4G or LTE.
Oh, that's right it doesn't have that option, so instead you need to spend more money on other devices to make the PB useful."

I already owned a BlackBerry smartphone, no more money was spent. The bridge app was free to download. BOOM! Free data connectivity. If the PB had a 3G/4G connection, I would have to pay for another data plan per month. My 9930 is always with me anyway, why not share the data when I'm out? So let's do the math on that. I pay $76 a month, with taxes, and have data on 2 devices. Sounds like a no brainer to me.

Why don't people see this? Oh, that's right, Apple has trained you to spend useless money on stuff you don't need. ;-) God forbid another company do something different than the almighty Apple!

The point is that you need the BB to connect without wifi.

You assume that all tablet users have (paid for) a BB, but for those that don't they've got no way to get online via 3G, etc. simply put that's a weakness. That pretty much defeats your claim that the PB user doesn't need to spend more to connect without wifi: you need a BB

I can use an iPad anywhere without another device. You can't.

When you can say that about the PB then you can make the claim that you don't have to spend more money or buy more devices to make the PB competitive with other tablets

And Apple's Hotspot costs me nothing to use. Nice try.

I idthe math: I pay $30 for 6 GB of data on my iPhone that I can use on any other device through wifi with Hotspot.

the PB does not support background applications running and that is a huge problem. It should have been taken into account in multitasking.

If you want to have FB or TW notifications, the apps have to run in the foreground (ha wait no FB notificattions ).

Notifications on the iPad are also far superior

OK,hypothetical question to ask yourself:

Knowing what we know about the playbook and ipad2.....let's say that you are a new tablet manufacturer... and you can select the better features/components (hardware/software) of either ipad2 or playbook for your NEW tablet....which one would you be taking more from, ipad2 or playbook?

Well that's obvious! I would take everything from the PlayBook and apps from the iPad! Maybe a few from android! Oh and that new bump thing from android!

Playbook has a 5mp on the back, a 2mp camera to the front and iPad2 has a .7MP camera on the back of the device and a .3 MP camera on the front, Playbook records in 1080p and iPad2 in 720p but playbook looses in camera because of built in editing software? Does not compute Does not compute!!!!!

This is why I just have best of both worlds. My Sprint BB Bold 9930 is the BEST smartphone ever made...best qwerty keyboard and of course the great BlackBerry features that make it the best smartphone. ipod touch 4th gen BEST on the go for listening to music, watching Netflix, etc. the ipad2 , clearly by just entertainment reasons, blows the playbook out of the water! I can watch Netflix, watch Brighthouse Cable channels on it, great facetime app...and talk about apps! wow. While it is true you would be getting a lot of bang for your buck ($199.00 for a 2.0 playbook) it still really pales in comparison to an ipad2...and now with an ipad3 around the corner? Again, not an apple boy...just a consumer..WITH A BOLD 9930! :)

I personally believe Apps and Battery Life have to be included. I own both a Playbook and iPad. I do agree with a lot of people that say the App Store for iTunes carriers a lot of the same app and a lot of meaningless apps. However, the essentials are present. The iPad would win this category 10+ to 2.

Battery Life? The Playbook has a horrible battery. I cannot make it through a day on the Playbook Battery. The iPad? It lasts for a day and a half during heavy use. I understand the form factor of 7" doesn't allow the battery to be as large, but I believe the OS needs serious changes to allow for better battery life. I travel every week for work and need a tablet that lasts a while.

Web Browsing I thought was off in the article. In my experience the Playbook was extremely slow when rendering most webpages. Perhaps it's my area and 20 Meg Download / 5 Meg Upload connecting but the iPad takes about 2 seconds to render and the playbook around 8 seconds. That's a long time in today's age.

I LOVE BLACKBERRY, but I find myself using the iPad 2. Flash isn't important to me and isn't used on any website I visit, outside of advertisements.

Loving Jesus!

I hate how just because it's "cool" to have an apple product, people rush out to buy anything apple branded! They also put down anything that isn't apple, blackberry being their main target, it's because they are scared of what's coming! Apples motto is Think Different? I think not! Everyone has one! The PlayBook is the best on paper and will stay that way, on paper, I love my PlayBook so much but we really need more developers, let's steal Apples developers and see who has the best tablet then! PLUS the ipad is just a toy and the PlayBook can be anything you want it to be! I also think media on the PlayBook surpasses ipad in quality, which is funny because isn't the ipad a successor of the ipod? The most sold mp3 player on the planet? Maybe we should just let the apple fanboys buy it and keep the PlayBook to ourselves because I think apple users are just brainwashed!

A1+ Marketing and slick product. Apple has it, no one else does. I never follow the crowd but I give Apple an A+. RIM needs to market properly and over deliver on product if it wants to compete on tablets and smartphones.

Brilliant review, outstanding! Then let people decide. Both have it own strength n weakness point. Pricing consideration will be significant as well. But, PB will be the serious challenger. But, me myself will never jump. Considering my network, social, family, community in my country. BBM and BB PIN make it so personal, so myself. So, i strongly recommend to RIM to make BBM as native in the near update. Skype will enhance PB ability so it also important. Netflix, hulu, etc look's like dead or a live things just for American. They like playing so much.

Dearest CrackBerry,

Please do one of these for PlayBook 2.0 vs Kindle Fire. There is absolutely no reason the Kindle fire should be selling more than the PlayBook other than biased media.


Until now Playbook had no video store, they missed Christmas with the needed 2.0 upgrades. Kindle had e-mail, the Amazon media might and the marketing might behind it, that's why it sold. I don't recall any Playbook ads at Christmas - only a couple of $200 blow out promos with Best Buy, Staples etc.

If Playbook wants to play they need to advertise 2.0 now - tell people there is e-mail, books, video, music, Angry Birds and more now available. That's what Joe consumer in Ohio wants, tell them you have it! People just aren't aware of Playbook and RIM has done a lousy job of getting the word out.

Playboo is a steal at $199. But let's face it. It is always been and always will be about software. That is why computer like ZX Spectrum was much more popular then more technically advanced Atari or Commodore. Same is today many years later. For PB to be more viable choice RIM needs to work with developers to bring more and more apps. I do not care about Netflix or Skype myself but public overall demands it. I think buyers will be willing to pay more money for Pb as long as software selection is better. so if it takes for rim to pay off skype or netflix to get their apps to pb then this is what rim should do. It will pay off in the long run imo.


yes. as many people have mentioned this here already, its ridiculous not to include the software comparison which i agree that the ratio would be in favor of the ipad 10 to 1.

and agreed that people would pay more money to buy a tab with more apps. the PB is great but i will be looking elsewhere because its missing some important things like language packs and skype.

and people tend to overlook that the ipad has apps which simply blows away any other tab including the android tabs in terms of productivity and business..

is there an app on PB where you can use it to print (actual paper print through wifi?). there are loads of them on ipad.
there are video apps where you can chat and make presentations at the same time which is perfect for video conferencing etc..apps for business on ipad are just simply on another level besides other productivity apps and other apps. my point is, its not about skype (which i would love to have) or netflix which i could careless for or some of the other popular apps.
ipad simply is so far ahead in the app game it will take some blood sweating to even come close to them.
im not sure if RIM has not offered those developers money to develop apps for them. maybe the developers just think its not worth the hassle to develop for PB. its interesting because for a new platform, the first to come out with a new app will have the best chance of selling and ipad has been out fora while and there are loads of similar apps which makes it more difficult for competing products to sell but i guess the sheer number of ipads out there outweighs what PB can offer in terms of being new and in terms of providing first mover advantage to app developers.

I do not have need for ipad. tablet will always be to me a secondary device for fun. truth is that any pc blows ipad away with software and productivity. pc is just way too powerful and it has 0 restrictions. sky is the limit. having said that i agree with you that rim should pay [subsidize] certain developers to get the apps. if people want skype rim should pay or get some licencing agreement in place to get it to playbook.

I have a Playbook and an iPad 2.

iPad 2 blows Playbook out of the water on apps, slick interface and media BUT I still tend to go to the Playbook more often because of it's form factor, better web and better gaming experience. The gap is narrowing with email finally and the ability to sideload Android apps.

RIM needs to get a 10" model and they need a 7" hardware upgrade this year if they want to compete in the tablet space. They also needs the big name apps - pay the vendors to make them if you have to!

Great smack down though - enjoyed the read.

Is this an f joke? PB has no apps... apps make the tablet tick. For example.

I want a video player that plays all video/audio codecs = app
I want to watch tv shows and movies with netflix = app
I want to share media (network or web) on the tablet = app
I want to browse other networks = app

PB has none of these.

I'm surprised that Crackberry published this silly review. The Playbook is nice and dandy, but it hardly has any apps in the market. That's why it costs now $200 compared to the $500 iPad, even though both probably cost the same to manufacture.

So the PlayBook wins the multitasking round even though it outright fails at two points in the video?
Check out 3:49 and 4:20 on the multitasking comparison video and you find two instances where the "multitasking" PlayBook simply fails to play the video, even though the VoiceOver is " boom! Hop right back in and resume," where it does not resume for fail #1, and "we can have it continue playing without the need . . ." where it does not continue playing for fail #2 at 4:20.
And yet the review goes on to say that the PB has "truer" multitasking.

How is a double fail in less than 30 seconds "truer multitasking"?

Pro tip : it ain't.

You achieve two things here: the first is that you actually demonstrate that the PlayBook sputters and stops when you're multitasking and that iPad is the superior multitasking tablet (even though you don't know to demonstrate iOS's message center) and the second thing you demonstrate is that your reviews can't be trusted to represent the actual PlayBook experience as documented in your own video.

That's truly pathetic.

A great read and I'm just proud to say my PB is almost an Ipad contender...it's been a door mat since last April

Kudos to RIM!

This article is another unrealistic puff-piece of poor journalism. As others have already pointed out, the author has failed to check several facts. I have both ipad and playbook: they serve different purposes, partly driven by form-factor, keyboard, audio system and apps. Bridge apps are excellent on playbook, though RIM missed an opportunity to expand them with features in new native apps.

But on many other comparisons, the playbook falls on it's face. This is almost entirely due to software: both an OS that has a long way to go to be considered mature and a serious lack of important apps available on iOS and Android. Hypermarketing by RIM highlights these further.

I'm a little disappointed that Crackberry continues this deceit: as bad or worse that iFanboys!

I sold my iPad 2 last week because I definitely prefer the PlayBook. But even so I have to say the multitasking comparison video really annoyed me, it was not only inaccurate against the iPad but poorly demonstrated the PB multitasking as the YouTube video on the PB stopped playing to buffer during the demo which will probably confuse some watchers.

They should really do this video again - after researching how the iPad gestures work.

You do not have to do a four finger swipe awkwardly from the edges of the screen you place four fingers anywhere on the screen (and the fingers can be spread out if whatever) and then move left right or up to perform the gestures. Also I feel it should be noted that on iOS if you are playing a video and switch apps / go back to the home screen; you can continue the audio from that video (including YouTube videos) by pressing play on the multitasking menu without having to resume the application from which the video resides.

Having said all this I still agree that the PB is very much superior to iOS with multitasking which is why I sold my iPad and kept my PB but I just don't like such a poorly researched poor quality video being used in an article in this way.

Why are you splitting hairs? The ipad won.

If your saying that ipads ( or any apple product for that matter )don't have some shortcomings or runs flawlessly is a joke.

I own and use both and believe the review although not perfect was objective and probably should of eliminated the point system and allow viewers to see the two side by side and come to they're own conclusions.

Apples flaws don't seem to make headlines. I guess it's that steve jobs distortion field permiatting the world. I use apple products and although I was satisfied in many regards they fell short in many areas that never seemed to deter people from making a decision to buy them.

Of the 3 Iphones I have owned all have been terrible at making or taking calls. (Remember were talking about a Phone) Over the years it has improved but please let's not talk about functionality. Apple still needs a lot of work but know one seems to notice.

Before buying the playbook I checked some consumer reviews at Amazon and other online retailers with a majority of satisfied customers and this was prior to os2 release.

Although not a perfect comparison it was nice to finally seen an biased comparison without production bashing. It shows the strong and weak point of both products. This why I own both... because they both serve a specific purpose for me.

Thanks for the effort in preparing the comparison

Great writeup on a very tough challenge. But you covered a lot in a way that helps users decide for themselves. No easy taks.
Obviously how much we personally weight each category or sub-category affects our personal preference.

Not so sure that this review is that "unbiased". It appears to me be deliberately skewed to get the end result. Designed to admit improvements in the Playbook, but not good enough.

If you want content, for now you're better off with iPad. If you want a device for almost any other purpose, the Playbook wins.

And if RIM ever gets its act together on content they'll have a winner on all counts.

I'd have given the PB at least one or two more points in the media consumption part simply because I can play back any kind of video (at least all the kinds I have tried so far). I download a lot of things to watch on the go and pop them into my playbook and go. With the iPad you would have to convert it to the correct type of file first, which is a very lengthy process usually, or buy what you want to get on iTunes (I already own a lot of these videos, why rebuy them).

There is a value, when you see something you want to do, to simply be able to do it. How many televisions would you think you would sell if before you could use it, you had to take a weekend to download software to your computer, connect the computer to the TV, change the security on the TV so that you could download the software to the TV, probably fail the first time, and then when its finally done you still would not be able to watch some of the shows you really wanted to watch anyway because the tweaks don't work on that. Why would I buy that TV when I can get one that all I have to do is touch my remote and go to the channel I wanted to go, every time, with no extra work.
Why are Tablets any different? Apple's "there's an App for that" plays directly to that. Want to do it - the iPad does it. See something you want to do - chances are it says right there "works with iOS" with a download for your iPad.
RIM has to get there. I want to see "works on a Playbook" or "works on BB10" every time I see something I want to do. And most importantly, just be able to do everything I want to do with a touch of a button. Before I get yelled at I don't have any Apple products, I have a 9810 and a Playbook, and just recently I bought a Galaxy Note to go with them both, to do the things I cannot do with my BB devices as the list was growing as was my frustrations.

"For content "consumption," the iPad 2 reigns supreme... For content "creation" and content "management," the PlayBook is the best tablet on the market today."

And that's why I bought the PlayBook!

As an owner of both a Playbook and an iPad, I disagree that Playbook is better for content creation and management - it certainly isn't better for business documents like word processing documents, PDF's etc. Apple's document editing apps for iPad are superior to the included apps on Playbook both in terms of functionality and ease of use. And, as with everything else, there are multiple superior 3rd party apps for editing manipulating documents for iPad that are simply not available on Playbook. When it comes to creation and editing of other media like graphic design, photos, video and audio, the iPad advantage is even greater - There is nothing that even comes close to Garage Band on the Playbook and there likely never will be.

That said, if I had to choose, I'd still take Playbook over iPad for it's price, size, superior multi-tasking and OS and the ability to seamlessly bridge/tether with my Blackberry. But I think it's a trade off.

App developers like me are starting to bridge this gap here. Office Apps and Musical Apps? Sure! (Now? Yup! Just search crackberry on side-loading black-market Android apps.)

I think this article is bias and it will be the otherway around if the website like modmyi.com post it. However let the customer decided what is best for them. So far by far people buy iPad instead of the already cheap PB. Alas my brand new use 1 week PB which I bought around 600 USD is now basically worthless.

I was hoping that 2.0 bring more into PB however its now final and its go back into becoming an expensive photo player...

Sorry guy... 2.0 is just come in to late and its nothing to compare with the already out there tablet. Hell Samsung is alot better then PB and YES!! they have more apps then PB....

Good review. Just one thing that i think you may have missed in the media round... The PlayBook can handle so many different formats of videos. WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY better than iPad.

MTS, M2TS, AVCHD? My Playbook doesn't handle those... my iPad does.

RAW files from DSLR's are also supported by iOS.

See, I still think the PlayBook should have taken it hands-down.
Sure, the iPad may have more apps, more features, etc; but what it comes down to me, in the end, is all the little things. The easy-to-navigate system, the hdmi output (and don't go on about that conversion-cable crap, lol), the web browsing. I just think that a lot of that is overlooked and taken for granted. Even multitasking on the BlackBerry 9900 is better than multitasking on the iPad2 - hands down.

So really... Who wins is all up to the buyer. What does make me sad is when you go to buy a PlayBook and the guys at Best Buy or Future Shop look at you like you just took a baseball to the head.

Posted from my BlackBerry PlayBook using my BlackBerry 9900 as a keyboard.

I think this is totally biased review because there is no comparison for number of apps.
In ipad's case, there are huge number of apps and those are variety. However, playbook nearly doesn't have apps. Although playbook accepted to have android apps, there are still few apps in playbook appworld. It is shame on calling appworld for few apps.
Tablet must be ready to use diverse apps not using only browser or few apps.

For media play, it seems like no one have used samsung tablets... Poor!! samsung tablets can play more diverse format than playbook. Samsung tablets have even much much more apps than playbook. I bought my playbook a month ago and I realized that it must be under $200. All factors of RIM, poor software, poor number of apps, and being lazy that so late response for market demands and trend, destroy playbook hardware.
RIM reflects Canadians are so lazy!! lol

Agreed that Playbook is much better value than iPad. My 32 GB Playbook is the best $250 I've spent in a while.
That said, I think that Playbook OS 2.0 falls well short of the iPad 2 in a very important category you failed to mention: Document Handling/Management. I am very dissapointed with the Playbook's handling of documents and e-mail attachments. One of the primary reasons I bought a Playbook was the frustration of dealing with e-mail attachments on my Blackberry Torch, particularly non-Word docs such as PDFs, spreadsheets etc. While the Playbook's bigger screen allows for easier reading of these docs, the Playbook's ability to manipulate and edit documents is extremely lacking. For example, for most attachments accessed over the Blackberry bridge, there is no "save as" function that would allow me to rename the document or to move the document from Blackberry to Playbook so I can access it later when not bridged. Further, there is no hierarchichal folder structure accessible from within the Playbook's included document reading or editing apps that would allow me to organize documents by category, client etc. Although I can side load docs into organized folders and subfolders or use an app like My File Manager to do this, when I try to retrieve those sideloaded documents from within Docs to Go or Adobe Reader on my Playbook, the folders disappear and I simply get an unmanageable list of every document stored anywhere on the device. Even my Blackberry Torch allows me to organize and retrieve documents from folders and subfolders on the device. It defies explanation why the Playbook does not have this functionality.
Perhaps the biggest downside of the Playbook for me is the inability to hi-light or mark-up PDF documents. There are several apps for the iPad that allow you to hi-light, mark-up and comment on PDFs and other documents. I have not found any app for the Playbook that can do this. For those of us trying to go "paperless" (one of the key potential benefits of a tablet)this is a critical shortcoming.
Given RIM's business focus, I am very surprised at the Playbook's limited document handling capabilities. I hope that these issues will be adressed shortly, otherwise I might end up forking out the extra $350 for an iPad.

If you feel that there are many Playbook users out there who needs this app/feature, please reply back and maybe I will write one up.

You do not have to do a four finger swipe awkwardly from the edges of the screen you place four fingers anywhere on the screen (and the fingers can be spread out if whatever) and then move left right or up to perform the gestures. Also I feel it should be noted that on iOS if you are playing a video and switch apps / go back to the home screen; you can continue the audio from that video (including YouTube videos) by pressing play on the multitasking menu without having to resume the application from which the video resides.

loved the review very informative also, but based on personal preference i would go with the Playbook not because it's cheaper but mainly because it's different...i don't want a device that everybody else says you must have. besides the playbook does almost everything the ipad does. i believe in buying something not because of it's name but because of it's performance..

Round 13 - Work/Life Balance - The new BB Balance technology is a great extension to the platform. It allows businesses to allow secure access to confidential data and also wipe them without affecting personal data. PlayBook wins.

Round 14 - YouTube support - What good is an iPad if you can't watch the video you just uploaded ? PlayBook wins.

Round 15 - Real-time Messaging - BBM is always-on, super-secure, real-time and has no competition at all even after a decade of launch. (Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, and other chat apps are too slow to be considered as serious competition)


Round 16 - Accreditation - PlayBook was the first tablet (despite late entry) to receive the Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2 certification for deployment within U.S. federal government agencies. PlayBook wins.


I'm an "Apple Fanboy" but I am thoroughly impressed with Playbook. I really don't see what all the negative reviews are about.

Pros: E-mail,calendar,full web browsing, plays just about any movie I downloaded from my computer on it.

Cons: limited apps (for now), No AirPlay (missing from this review).