RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook and Apple’s iPad. Browsers Compared, Playbook Wins

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RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook and Apple’s iPad

RIM have recently announced their upcoming Playbook tab and although we’ve only got their word for the specs and performances, a lot of fuss has been made on its possible success based on the great image (and market share) that BlackBerry smartphones currently have. The only thing is that success is a relatively wide term and while HP might be surprised by the fact that their Slate 500 has sold in 9000 units, Apple are still trying to extend the number of 42000 iPads that are distributed to customers daily, all around the world. It doesn’t take rocket science to tell that RIM would never launch a product that aims to get mediocre reviews, so their battle will be against the earlier mentioned Apple table, as well as against the Samsung Galaxy Tab. In order to prepare the arrival of the Playbook, a clip comparing browsers on the iPad and the Blaybook has gone viral during the past days among gadget fans.

Before taking a look at the actual head to head test, we should stress that seeing the 9.7 inch display of the iPad near the 7 inch one of the Playbook gives you that first impression that you’re comparing a toy car to a real one. Now that we’ve got this behind us, the movie was conceived in order to pint out how well the Playbook performs in terms of internet access, compared to its main rival. The first step of the testing process is the most intuitive one and consist in a simply loading the same web page on both tab to see which one gets it right first. This is done after the cache and cookies have been cleared on both competitors (again, we’ll have to take their word for it) and the result is pretty straight forward: the Playbook renders the full site practically before the iPad browser starts loading any single detail of the page.

RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook and Apple’s iPad Head to Head Web Fidelity Test

Furthermore, the test proves how well the Playbook performs when “asked” to load Flash sites. While the iPad isn’t able to display pages that are based on Flash properly (it provides users with a “boring html version”), RIM’s product is able to reproduce the original sites with richer content. In order to put together a more objective test, its producers have included the Acid 3 evaluation, where although both tabs get 100 points out of 100, the Playbook also has the edge because it doesn’t have any rendering artifacts, meaning that it will perform better on “real world sites”. Lastly, the Playbook overpasses the iPad when it comes to JavaScript rendering, which can be translated as better overall experience when playing online games or accessing JavaScript based sites.

To wrap things up it’s obvious that RIM’s tab provides better browsing quality compared to its rival. It isn’t less true that we haven’t had a full comparison between the two and that Apple are a little disadvantaged by the fact that they don’t have access to Playbooks in order t come up with their own movies showing how well their tab performs in other areas. All in all, we’re impressed by the performances of the tab and we now know, if it was any necessary any longer, that RIM have targeted Apple’s device as their main competitor. We’ll have to wait and see how much the performance will weigh when put in balance with the big display, coolness and popularity of the iPad.