In the incoming wave of tablet devices the BlackBerry PlayBook and the Samsung Galaxy Tab are the closest of competitors in terms of their form factor – the curious 7″ screen size. But underneath the exterior, there’s a number of key areas where the two square up quite differently. Click through for our full BlackBerry PlayBook Samsung Galaxy Tab stat clash…
Both these tablets have 7” screens. The BlackBerry PlayBook 7” LCD screen clocks in at 1024 x 600 screen resolution. The Samsung Galaxy Tab has the same screen size and resolution, with 7” at 1024 x 600, but is built of the tough stuff: Gorilla Glass. That’s the stuff the iPhone 4 screen is built from, and the same stuff that’s used on helicopter windscreens. We found it to be bright, and responsive, with good viewing angles. There’ll be little difference between the two screens, but the Tab might stand up to more wear and tear.
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Battery life is one of the big sticklers. We got a good day of intensive use out of our Samsung Galaxy Tab, which the spec sheet states as giving seven hours of video playback. The PlayBook on the other hand has no official line on battery life yet, but BlackBerry is committed to squeezing power out of its devices, and has promised a good full day of battery life, so hopefully neither will cause a problem.
The BlackBerry PlayBook comes with the all new BlackBerry tablet OS, which barely anyone has had a good look around, since even the developer kit that was handed out was sparse on details. What we do know is that it has BBM, Flash and HTML 5 support, and push and sync with your BlackBerry smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy Tab runs on Android Froyo with a Samsung skin, which is very similar to what you’ll find on a high end Samsung smartphone.
One of the big differences here, as it we found with the Toshiba Folio 100, is that the BlackBerry PlayBook will not be launched with 3G, whereas the Samsung Galaxy Tab will have 3G built in as standard. There’s no big impact on the PlayBook over and above the lack of 3G though, as the PlayBook will have the BlackBerry App Store, and won’t lose out on app stores like Android devices without 3G. It does mean it’ll be harder to use when you’re out and about though, and there is around 90,000 fewer apps on the BlackBerry App World.
Size and weight
The Samsung Galaxy Tab and the BlackBerry PlayBook are closer in size and weight than other close competitors. The PlayBook is 194mm x 130mm x 10mm, and weighs in at 400g. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is 190mm x 120mm x 12mm and weighs in 20g less than the PlayBook, at 380g. That puts the Tab a tad wider and thicker than the PlayBook, and weighing a fraction less. Unless you’re a real stickler though, you shouldn’t notice any difference in the size and weight of these two devices.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab has two cameras, one rear facing 3.2MP camera, and one front facing 1.3MP camera for video calls and the like. The BlackBerry PlayBook goes one better, with a 5MP camera and a 3MP front facing camera for sharp video calling. If you want to be taking snaps with your tablet or want high quality video calls then the BlackBerry PlayBook is the better option by far.
Under the hood
Both the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the BlackBerry PlayBook have 1GHz processors under the hood, but RIM claim that the BlackBerry PlayBook is the “fastest tablet ever”, with a 1GHz dual core processor and 1GB of RAM. The Samsung Galaxy Tab has a 1GHz processor with PowerVR SGX 540, which also powers the iPad and iPhone. We found the Tab to be super speedy, but until we put the BlackBerry PlayBook through its paces, we can’t say for sure who’s the fastest here.
These two tablets are very similar, with key differences being the camera capabilities and connectivity, as well as the very different proposition of a BlackBerry OS and Android Froyo OS. Prices are not out yet for the PlayBook, but the hints that have crept out place it in the region of the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Whether that will turn out to be a £100, or £300 difference could be the clincher between the two, or, as feedback on the Galaxy Tab is suggesting, could be a deciding factor in its success.
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