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RIM posts PlayBook vs. iPad video, shows Flash slowdowns

updated 10:55 am EST, Tue November 16, 2010

PlayBook vs iPad clip shows both edge and weakness

RIM today posted a video (below) pitting the BlackBerry PlayBook against the iPad in a browsing test. The newer tablet's dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor appropriately gave it an edge in the comparison, as most pages, especially those heavily dependent on JavaScript and more complex code like the ACID3 test. A visit to Adidas' website also took advantage of RIM basing the BlackBerry Tablet OS on Adobe's Flash platform, as it can render Flash on the web properly where the iPad simply turns up an error.

The test nonetheless also obscures some of the concerns going into the PlayBook launch. Although only briefly shown, the Flash animation on the Adidas site appears to move slowly, albeit better than is usually the case for large Flash content on slower, single-core Android devices. The user testing the iPad is also inexperienced as he types out ".com" by hand, making a comparison test seem slower.

RIM's timing with the video is also significant. It comes just days before iOS 4.2, which could improve the web rendering, and also months before the PlayBook is released. Despite having unveiled the tablet in September, RIM won't ship until roughly February or March, or about half a year later. Apple is expected to have a new iPad at or near the PlayBook's ship date and is likely to have its own dual-core processor, dual cameras and many of the other features that RIM is claiming as temporary advantages.

Apple has nonetheless expressed indirect concern about the PlayBook. CEO Steve Jobs attacked seven-inch tablets as having disproportionately less screen area and negating much of the advantage of a larger screen. Smaller tablets also don't necessarily cost less, although RIM has been targeting a price below $500 that would be competitive with what Apple may offer later.

by MacNN Staff



  1. MacDocDave

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Flash is Dead

    Give it up already Flash is Dead.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. onehere

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nook Color is better for $249

    Nook Color is better for reading than iPad and better for everything else than Kindle. Nook Color is better for $249. Nook Color screen is supposed to be better (less reflective) for reading than iPad thanks to new LG screen with anti-reflection coating. It allows to watch videos, listen to the music, view Office documents and PDF's. Barnes & Noble special Nook SDK runs on top of the standard Android one and gives developers access to exclusive extensions and APIs for the Nook and its interface. So porting Android apps is not difficult. B&N says it is more like optimising them for Nook than porting them.
    Nook Color specs:
    - $249 with free shipping
    - 7 inch Color LG Touchscreen 16 million colors with anti-glare coating 1024 x 600 delivering 169 pixels per inch.
    - 8GB built in memory expandable to 32 GB with microSD card.
    - Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), USB port
    - OS: Android 2.1
    - Processor: TI 800 Mhz ARM Cortex A8-based, 45nm OMAP3621

  1. howdesign

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Flash isn't quite dead yet

    Flash won't be quite out of the picture until there are developer and end user tools that allow easier creation of HTML5 and other content. Hopefully Adobe or even Apple has their own Flash killer in the can.

  1. Tofino

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Looks rigged

    Seems to me that the iPad had to do a dns resolve, and I'm suspecting the rim job had the pages cached.

  1. facebook_Alberto

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Nov 2010


    RIM's prototype

    This test is not valid and biased, RIM's tablet is a prototype, which may be optimized just to beat iPad (which does in this video). I'll wait for a test using a production device for both, and the newest iPad. Come on RIM, you look really desperate!

  1. bdmarsh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nook Color gets shorter battery

    than either the Kindle, or the earlier Nook

    "the Nook Color gets only eight hours of use with the WiFi off (for comparison, the regular Nook gets 10 days with WiFi off)."

    considering the price not bad, but still a factor to consider.

  1. rvhernandez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Real artists ship...

    losers sit around and compare prototypes to shipping products. Hey RIM, here's news for you: while you're comparing your prototype against the current iPad, Apple's working on the next iteration in their labs.

  1. dpicardi

    Joined: Dec 1969


    hmmm to each his own...

    I much prefer the ipad to the playbook because of the screen size. Look how much more of the page you see without having to scroll. Look how little of the page you see on the playbook when you are entering text. That is going to be a really pain when you have to fill out online forms.

    Looks like a nice product...but certainly no ipad killer.

  1. Rezzz

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Wow.. You mean a device that has yet to ship a year after the iPad might have better performance? Truly amazing! And I suppose Apple won't be improving the specs of their device when it is released early next year.


  1. Parky

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Screen size

    He forgot to mention look how our screen is only half the size of the iPad!!

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