BlackBerry PlayBook vs Motorola Xoom – Full Specs Compared
BlackBerry PlayBook and Motorola Xoom are two devices released during the first quarter of 2011 by Research in Motion and Motorola respectively. BlackBerry is based on the QNX operating system, while Motorola Xoom is the first Android Honeycomb tablet. Following is a review on the similarities and differences of the two devices.
Blackberry PlayBook is a tablet by Research in Motion; the famous Blackberry company. The device was released to consumer market during the first quarter of 2011. In contrary to the flood of Android tablets in the market, Blackberry PlayBook offers a different flavor. The operating system in PlayBook is QNX. QNX is an embedded system based operating system used even in fighter jets. Blackberry PlayBook is a 7 inch tablet, which is reportedly lighter than iPad 2. With a 3 megapixel front facing camera, and a 5 megapixel rear facing camera Blackberry PlayBook is satisfactory for taking photographs as well as video conferencing. The camera application allows switching between video mode and picture mode. The Blackberry PlayBook has a multi touch screen with 1024 x 600 resolution.
Blackberry PlayBook has a dual core 1 GHz processor with 1 GB memory and internal storage is available in 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB. Research in Motion has introduced an array of accessories for the tablet as well. A number of cases are available for RIM to protect Blackberry PlayBook in style. A convertible case is also available, which can be doubled as a stand as well. BlackBerry rapid charging Pod, Blackberry rapid Travel charger and Blackberry Premium charger are the other set of accessories available, and sold separately for BlackBerry PlayBook.
Switching between applications is quite easy in BlackBerry PlayBook. This is done by simply swiping inwards from left or right side of the screen. A tap maximizes the application, and throwing it up will cause the application to shut down. The responsiveness of the operating system is also much commended. Blackberry QNX facilitates a multi-touch screen, which recognizes many interesting gestures any tablet user will love. The operating system supports gestures such as swipe, pinch, drag and many variants of them. If a user swipe from bottom of the screen to the middle it will be possible to see the home screen. If a user swipe left or right while viewing an application it’s possible to switch between applications. A virtual keyboard is available for text input, however finding special characters and punctuation needs some efforts. Precision is also another factor where the keyboard can improve.
BlackBerry PlayBook comes with many necessary applications pre-installed. A customized Adobe PDF reader is available, which reportedly has quality performance. There for it is no surprise that PlayBook comes with a complete suite capable of handling documents, spreadsheets and slide presentations. Using Word to Go and Sheet To Go applications users can create word documents and spread sheets. However, slide presentation will not be possible to create, while excellent view functionality is provided.
“Blackberry bridge” allows the Tablet to be connected with blackberry phone with Blackberry OS 5 or above. However, the performance of this application is below expectations. The calendar application will unlock only if it’s used with a Blackberry smart phone.
Users can download more applications from “App World”; where applications for BlackBerry PlayBook are available. However, comparing with its competitors, App World needs to come up with more applications for the platform.
The email client available with BlackBerry PlayBook is called “Messages”, which is quite misleading to SMS messaging. Basic functionality such as searching email, selecting multiple messages, and message tagging is available in the installed client.
The browser of BlackBerry PlayBook is much raved for its performance. The pages reportedly load fast and users are able to navigate even before the entire page is loaded which is really a neat functionality. The browser boasts Flash Player 10.1 support, and heavy flash sites are loaded with smoothness. Zooming is also reportedly very smooth.
The native music application available with BlackBerry PlayBook categorizes music by song, artist, album and genre. It is a generic music application, which allows minimizing if user needs to access another application. The video application allows users to access all their downloaded and recorded videos in one place. An option to upload videos from the device is not available. Quality of recorded video is acceptable.
In Conclusion, BlackBerry PlayBook will be a good tablet device for the enterprise market. Though, names with the “Play” moniker, BlackBerry PlayBook is perhaps more suitable for a more business minded users.
Motorola Xoom is an Android tablet released by Motorola in early 2011. Motorola Xoom tablet was initially released to the market with Honeycomb (Android 3.0) installed. The Wi-Fi version, as well as the Verizon branded versions of the tablet support Android 3.1, making Motorola Xoom one of the very first tablets to run Android 3.1.
Motorola Xoom boasts a 10.1 inch light responsive display with 1280 x 800 screen resolution. The Xoom has a multi touch screen, and a virtual keypad is available in Portrait and landscape mode. The Xoom is designed more for landscape mode use. However, both landscape and portrait modes are supported. The screen is impressively responsive. Input can be given as voice commands as well. In addition to all above, Motorola Xoom includes a compass, a gyroscope (to calculate orientation and proximity), a magnetometer (measure strength and direction of magnetic field), a 3 axis accelerometer, a light sensor and a barometer. Motorola Xoom has a 1 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage.
With Android 3.0 on board, Motorola Xoom provides 5 customizable home screens. All these home screens can be navigated with touch of a finger, and shortcuts and widgets can be added and removed. Unlike earlier versions of Android the batter indicator, clock, signal strength indicator, and notifications are at the very bottom of the screen. All applications can be accessed using the newly introduced icon at the top right hand corner of the home screen.
Honeycomb in Motorola Xoom also includes productivity applications such as calendar, calculator, clock and etc. Many applications can be downloaded from Android market place as well. QuickOffice Viewer also comes installed with Motorola Xoom allowing users to view documents, presentations and spreadsheets.
A completely re-designed Gmail client is available with Motorola Xoom. Many reviews on the device claims that the interface is loaded with many UI components, and it’s far from simple. However, users can also configure Email accounts based on POP, IMAP. Google talk is available as the instant messaging application for Motorola Xoom. Though, the video quality of the Google talk video chat is not of the best quality the traffic is well managed.
Motorola Xoom includes the Music application redesigned for Honeycomb. The interface is aligned with the 3D feel of the android version. Music can be categorized by artist and album. Navigation through albums is easy and very interactive.
Motorola Xoom supports up to 720p video play back. The tablet reports an average 9 hour battery life, while looking a video and browsing web. A native YouTube application is also available with Motorola Xoom. A 3D effect with a wall of videos is presented to users. Android Honeycomb finally presents video editing software named “Movie Studio”. Though, many are not very impressed with the performance of the software it was a much needed addition to the tablet OS. Motorola Xoom has a 5 mega pixel camera with an LED flash at the back of the device. The camera gives good quality images and video. The front facing 2 mega pixel camera can be used as a web cam, and gives standard quality images for its specifications. Adobe Flash player 10 comes installed with Android.
The web browser available with Motorola Xoom is reportedly good in performance. It allows tabbed browsing, chrome bookmark sync, and incognito mode. Web pages will be loaded quickly and efficiently. But, there will be occasions the browser will be recognized as an Android Phone.
What is the difference between BlackBerry PlayBook and Motorola Xoom?
BlackBerry PlayBook and Motorola Xoom are two tablet devices released during the first quarter of 2011. BlackBerry PlayBook is by the famous BlackBerry Company; Research in Motion, while Motorola Xoom is by Motorola Inc. Motorola Xoom is one of the first devices to be released with Android 3.0 (HoneyComb), but BlackBerry PlayBook has a different operating system based on the Neutrino operating system called QNX. The QNX operating system on BlackBerry is proprietary, while Android 3.0 is free and open source software. Motorola Xoom appears considerably larger with its 10 inch screen size, while BlackBerry PlayBook appears rather small with a 7 inch screen. Both devices host include multi touch screens with 1024 x 600 resolution for BlackBerry PlayBook, and 1024 x 800 for Motorola Xoom. Both PlayBook and Xoom has 32 GB internal storage. BlackBerry PlayBook is available in 16 GB and 64 GB additionally. BlackBerry PlayBook applications can be used by connecting with a BlackBerry smart phone using the “Bridge”. On the contrary, Motorola Xoom doesn’t have a feature to use built in applications by connecting a Motorola phone. Applications for BlackBerry PlayBook can be downloaded only from the BlackBerry “App World”, while applications for Motorola Xoom can be downloaded from Android Market since the device has Android operating system. When most device manufacturers are keen to have their own application store, Motorola has not initiated a separate app store of its own. Following the path of BlackBerry smart phones, BlackBerry PlayBook is more focused towards the business user, while Motorola Xoom can be used as a consumer device as well. Motorola Xoom is more
Brief comparison of BlackBerry PlayBook vs. Motorola Xoom
• BlackBerry PlayBook and Motorola Xoom are two tablet devices released during the first quarter of 2011 by Research In Motion and Motorola respectively.
• Motorola Xoom is a 10 inch tablet, and BlackBerry PlayBook is a 7 inch tablet.
• The operating system in Motorola Xoom is Android 3.0, which is free and open source.
• The operating system in BlackBerry PlayBook is QNX, and it’s a proprietary software of Research In Motion.
• BlackBerry PlayBook is available in 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB versions, but Motorola Xoom is available only in 32 GB.
• Both devices include multi touch screens.
• BlackBerry PlayBook allows connecting the tablet with a BlackBerry smart phone and using applications such as calendar, but such connectivity is not available with Motorola Xoom
• Applications for BlackBerry PlayBook can be downloaded from BlackBerry App world, which is a dedicated online application store for BlackBerry devices, but Motorola Xoom doesn’t have a dedicated application store, but applications for Xoom can be downloaded from Android Market.
• Out of the two devices Motorola Xoom has more applications, since Android applications are available in a greater number than QNX applications.