RIM has today fired a bold shot across Appleâ€™s bows in the tablet wars with the release of a video directly comparing the browser on its forthcoming BlackBerry PlayBook with that of the iPad. Maximum PC, reporting on the story, says that if the video is anything to go by (bearing in mind it does come from RIM, so it is a bit biased!), the iPad may have â€œmet its matchâ€, at least as far as its browsing experience is concerned. I'm not so sure.
The comparison between the two shows the PlayBook loading pages faster than the iPad, but itâ€™s hard to say how accurate the video is when the device isnâ€™t even on the market yet, and given that the iPad usually loads web pages very quickly anyway, I canâ€™t see there being much difference between the two once theyâ€™re both released. A comparison between a retail-available iPadâ€™s browser and a retail-available PlayBookâ€™s browser would surely be more convincing. There is one area, of course, where the iPad really does get beaten by the PlayBook, and thatâ€™s in loading Flash content, which the iPad canâ€™t do at all due to Appleâ€™s policy of banning Flash from all iOS devices. RIM is clearly hammering this home as a big selling point for the PlayBook, so it will be interesting to see what sort of reply Apple comes back with, if any! Also, has RIM made a mistake by showing the PlayBook and iPad side-by-side and inadvertently highlighting how much smaller the PlayBookâ€™s screen is in comparison with the iPadâ€™s, and especially how the PlayBookâ€™s keyboard takes up almost all of the screen space?