Motorola XOOM and RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Head To Head

 

 

Today is a great day for tablet enthusiasts, as you have two new options available at your local RadioShack store. The Motorola XOOM and BlackBerry PlayBook are both available today, and both are pretty awesome devices. It can be tough to choose between them, so we decided to help you out and pit them head-to-head.

Portability

The Motorola XOOM sports a 10.1-inch WXGA (1280×800 pixels) resolution touchscreen display, while the BlackBerry PlayBook has a smaller 7-inch VGA (1024×600 pixels) resolution touchscreen display. The PlayBook’s smaller display definitely makes it easier to carry with you throughout the day, though the larger high-resolution display on the Motorola XOOM makes it better for watching movies and browsing the Web.

The Motorola XOOM measures in at 249.1x 167.8x 12.9mm (9.8x 6.6x 0.5in), while the BlackBerry PlayBook is smaller and thinner, measuring 130x193x10mm (5.1×7.6×0.4in). Weighing in at 730g (1.6lbs), the Motorola XOOM will feel like a lightweight netbook in your bag, which isn’t that bad, considering its larger 10.1-inch display. The BlackBerry PlayBook is nearly half of that, coming in at 400g (0.9lbs). Of course, the PlayBook has a smaller 7-inch display, as well.

 

Processor

Both the PlayBook and XOOM are powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor paired with 1GB of RAM, so speed and power are definitely not a concern on either device. The Motorola XOOM uses Google’s Android v3.0 platform, which was specifically designed for tablets and offers multiple homescreens, background multitasking and a host of customization options. The BlackBerry PlayBook, on the other hand, uses RIM’s BlackBerry Tablet OS, which uses QNX technology and offers real-time multitasking and gesture support.

The BlackBerry PlayBook and Motorola XOOM both have a 5-megapixel autofocus camera on the back, so you can snap great photos on the go, and both also feature a second front-facing camera for video calling. The PlayBook’s front camera is 3-megapixel, while the XOOM’s is 2-megapixel, so if you plan to do a lot of video calling, that might be something to consider.

 

Apps

The Motorola XOOM uses Google’s Android v3.0 (affectionately nicknamed ‘Honeycomb’), which gives it access to the Android Marketplace for tens of thousands of applications. It should be noted, however, that not all apps will work correctly, given the new screen resolution and platform version of the Xoom. Fortunately, most of these applications are being updated to fully support Android tablets, but it’s still a factor for some. The PlayBook, at launch, has precious few applications available, instead relying on its built-in Web browser to give access to various services, such as Facebook and Twitter. For some, this is preferred, as you don’t have to worry about constantly updating various applications, but others will see this as a huge downfall. BlackBerry has stated it will update the PlayBook shortly after launch with additional core applications, so that should be resolved with a bit of time.

 

Connectivity

The Motorola XOOM and BlackBerry PlayBook from RadioShack both include Wi-Fi connectivity, so you can easily get online anywhere there is a wireless hotspot. These tablets also have Bluetooth connectivity, which not only lets you transfer files, but also connect a Bluetooth headset for convenient wireless audio. In addition, if you already have a BlackBerry smartphone, the PlayBook can connect to your phone via Bluetooth for Internet connectivity (note that this might require an additional fee from your carrier).

 

Which tablet do you think is a better fit for you? The smaller, more portable BlackBerry PlayBook, or the bigger more media-centric Motorola XOOM? Both tablets are available today at RadioShack.

 

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6 Comments

  • Toad

    What about GPS? and orientation sensors? and USB ports? and HDMI?
    Not much meat on this blurb.

  • Gordo

    I would also like to know about USB ports and HDMI. However, I would really like to see a "price comparison" of these two products. It is hard to believe that this is a head to head comparison with no prices listed in this ad.

  • Mike in Maine

    Would love to see these compared to Apple i-Pad. I bet either would blow Apples product away if compared.

  • Edward

    are the units 4g ready? price? warranty available? can either unit connect to my 50"plasma tv? this comparison you guys did is missing information! Hey Rick before you do another head to head, dig up at least a price tag or two. This wasnt very informative. No real insight! Just some fluff to sell a product!!

  • Tom Westheimer

    does the bluetooth support both microphone and earphone?

  • rambelt

    The larger the screen the better for me. I own an iPAD but the lack of native support for flash is a real pain in the neck. Considering these two devices, and the fact that the Motorola will have more apps to choose from I would get the Motorola Xoom.