With rumors about the imminent launch of the new iPad 2 doing the rounds, it does not seem entirely justifiable to pit a product that is half-a-year old to a tablet that does not launch until later this year. Nevertheless, assuming that these are the three devices that will see competition during the holiday shopping season this year, here’s a brief rundown on the features and specs. This is NOT a comprehensive review by any means.
Platform : The new iOS 4.2 is likely to be big with the introduction of multitasking functionalities on the iPad. Also, if you also own an Apple TV, the iPad will bring features like AirPlay. On the other hand, the QNX built Blackberry Tablet OS is completely untested at the moment and so there really cannot be a comparison between platforms until we get to know more. HP PalmPad should however be popular among those who are fans of the WebOS.
Screen Dimensions : Is the iPad too big at 9.7″? If so, you should go for a smaller tablet like the Blackberry Playbook that comes with a 7″ screen. The size is significant for a media consumption device like a tablet since users will not only want a screen large enough to view content clearly, but will also need a device small enough for an easy hold.
Processor : Things are still not clear on the HP PalmPad front. The other tablets though will come with a 1GHz processor. The Blackberry PlayBook though is expected to come with a dual core processor that is equipped with hardware acceleration to support Adobe Flash.
Storage Capacity : Apple does not really encourage microSD support. So do not expect to store anything more than the standard 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variations even on the upcoming version. On the other hand, Blackberry Tablet and HP PalmPad are expected to come with 16GB and 32GB variants with support for a microSD slot.
Camera : Now this is a contentious issue right. With FaceTime here, Apple is most definitely going to offer a front-facing camera on the next generation iPad. But is that going to be enough. Blackberry PlayBook is a clear winner here. The device will have a 3-megapixel frontal camera and another 5-megapixel rear facing camera. Expect the camera to be available on the PalmPad, but no idea on whether there would be just one or two.
Connectivity : The iPad cannot tether. But it does have Wi-Fi and 3G variants available. The Blackberry PlayBook on the other hand does not have 3G but can tether to a Blackberry phone besides connecting to Wi-Fi. The PalmPad is expected to have both Wi-Fi and 3G though that is not entirely clear.
What is your choice?
The headline of this post can be a little misleading in the sense that this is not actually a new thing. Hewlett Packard filed for the trademark for ‘PalmPad’ back in July this year that have got us speculating that this could be one possible name for the upcoming webOS tablet. However, the rumors just got a major boost when Todd Bradley, an Executive Vice President at HP seemed to confirm the news. In a statement over the company’s upcoming products, Bradley said,
“We’ve already announced the expansion of our future product portfolio well beyond smartphones. We’ll have a webOS-powered PalmPad that will be set for release early in 2011.”
Of course this is not a confirmation of rumors since PalmPad has been prominently been used to reference the upcoming tablet and hence Bradley may simply be playing to the gallery. Nevertheless, with an official acknowledgement of this name, it only makes sense to hold this as the most likely name until HP announces otherwise.
Most of you would know, and possibly awaiting, the new tablet PC from the stables of Hewlett Packard. So far, we have only heard it being referenced plainly as the HP Slate. However, it now appears that the company may be looking at calling the new webOS tablet as the PalmPad.
Folks at PreCentral have dug out information from the USPTO files that reveals that the computer manufacturer has filed for the trademark for “PalmPad“. Describing the product, the applicants write,
“Computers, computer hardware, computer software, computer peripherals, portable computers, handheld and mobile computers, PDAs, electronic notepads, mobile digital electronic devices”
The upcoming HP PalmPad (or Slate) has been frequently in the news of late. Earlier this month, there were reports that Hewlett Packard may have tabled their plans to launch multi-platform tablet devices and may have instead chosen to go ahead with a WebOS based tablet alone. While these rumors are yet to be confirmed, the latest trademark filing just gives us hope that we may be nearing the launch date pretty soon.