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?