Galaxy Tab and the Playbook: Two strong iPad competitors … and counting

I just watched the sneak peek video for the Blackberry Playbook and it looks like a terrific device:

It has a 7 inch LCD display with 1024 by 600 screen resolution (the iPad is currently a 9.7 inch device with 1024 by 768 resolution by expect that to change when the next iteration comes out with the new Retina display). It has front and rear facing camera (3MP and 5MP cameras, respectively) and supports a variety of video output options and playback.

What is interesting is that you can pair the Playbook with a Blackberry smartphone via secure Bluetooth for access to push technology, email, contacts, BBM and other Blackberry services. This mode of connecting to the Blackberry service is presumably intended, at least in part, to ensure that users don’t wind up using the Blackberry Internet Service for all their media requirements and instead either pay for that like they would if they paired their laptop with their phone or use wifi for that sort of data consumption (802.11a,b,g and n).

On the processor side the Playbook sports a 1 GHZ dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM. It also supports symmetrical dual-core processing. What is the technical term for “whoosh”?

Of course the Playbook is ready for the enterprise right out of the box … what else did you expect?

(Source: Simon Dingle)

Another device which looks pretty exciting (although it is already starting to look a little dated in terms of its specs given what the Playbook has and what the next generation iPad is likely to have) is the Samsung Galaxy Tab. The Galaxy Tab is an Android device which will apparently run Android 2.2 aka Froyo out of the box.

The Galaxy Tab is also a 7 inch device with 1024 by 600 screen resolution and 169 ppi (the iPad has 132 ppi but that will probably change with the next iteration which will probably have the Retina display with its 326 ppi). The Galaxy Tab supports a shopping list of media playback formats, will play video back at 1080p and will record video at 720p (30 frames per second). The front facing camera is a 1.3MP camera and the main, rear one is 3MP camera with an LED flash.

This device will also come in 16GB or 32GB versions and will have a MicroSD port supporting another 32GB of storage. That potentially puts the Galaxy Tab in line with the iPad which supports up to 64GB of onboard storage.

As an Android device the Galaxy Tab will give you access to the Android Market although it remains to be seen how conventional Android apps scale for larger screens and what will happen when the anticipated Android 3.0 comes out for tablet devices? I imagine the Android Market will go through a similar transition to the iTunes Store with the introduction of apps optimised for the tablet form factor. Of course, if you are a heavy Google services user then this is going to be a very attractive offering. The integration looks amazing, just based on this video.

Another interesting feature is the Galaxy Tab’s 3G capability in addition to all the current wifi flavours and Bluetooth 3. That is a lot of connectivity love right there.

While the Playbook and Galaxy Tab may not be quite the same as an iPad (which may soon leap ahead with version 2.0), these are pretty compelling devices. The more I use my recently hacked and upgraded HTC Desire, the more I like Android. The platform is terrific and although I miss some apps available on the iOS platform (mainly OmniFocus and one or two others) and I am tempted by the iPhone 4, I could live happily in an Android environment.

If you are a Blackberry fan then the Playbook looks like a no-brainer. The device is a perfect companion for your phone and it looks like a pretty spectacular device in its own right.

Apple may have created this new category but its competitors are making headway with their own innovations. This is terrific news for consumers and I think we are going to see even better devices in the near future.







What do you think?

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