Apple iPad 2, BlackBerry PlayBook, HP PalmPad—Which Do You Want More?

pic via gadgetgo.net

The year of the tablet will be here in only a few months and everyone wants to make one. Apple will most likely be releasing its iPad 2, Research In Motion (RIM) will be debuting the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, and even HP will be releasing its own PalmPad tablet with Palm’s WebOS. So many choices. Here is a quick guide to the three of them. Sure, they might not have come out yet, but they will. Count on it.

Screen Size:

The current iPad has a 9.7” screen. Rumor has it that a 7” model will be coming out soon though. The BlackBerry PlayBook will be sporting a 7” screen at 1024 x 600 pixels. Expect HP’s PalmPad to have a similarly sized screen.

Operating System:

The iPad 2 will be running iOS of course. The PlayBook will have an all new OS designed by RIM’s recently acquired QNX Software systems—BlackBerry Tablet OS. The PalmPad will have Palm’s WebOS and may even get WebOS 2. Both Apple’s and HP’s operating systems have been well tested, but no one has ever used BlackBerry Tablet OS before. Expect it to be either a flop or a smashing success. If you’ve ever used a Palm Pre or Pixi, you already know what to expect on HP’s tablet.

Processor:

Here is where things get tricky. The current iPad has a 1 GHz processor and Apple is expected to upgrade it even further with its next model. The PlayBook will have a 1 GHz dual core processor and hardware acceleration for Adobe Flash. No word yet on what HP will choose. Expect it to be in the same category though: faster than most high-end smartphones.

Storage:

The next iPad will more than likely have the standard 16, 32 and 64 GB options we’ve come to expect from Apple. Don’t count on a microSD card slot though. The PlayBook will most likely come in 16 and 32 GB models according to Engadget and will have microSD support. Expect the PalmPad to have microSD support as well.

Cameras:

The iPad 2 is rumored to have at least one camera for FaceTime video calling. Since even the iPod touch 4 has one now, I would say that it’s pretty much a done deal. RIM’s PlayBook will have both front and rear facing cameras that are both capable of doing high definition video recording. Again, no one knows what the PalmPad will be packing but if it doesn’t have at least one camera for video calling, I would be shocked.

Connectivity:

The current iPad comes in both Wi-Fi only and 3G cellular network variates so expect the same for the next model. The first model of the PlayBook will only have Wi-Fi but can Bluetooth tether to a BlackBerry smartphone to get on the web in a pinch. RIM says later models will have 3G and 4G support. Expect HP to choose the same route.

While we don’t know that much yet about the PalmPad, it could be a very strong contender and mark the reemergence of Palm. The PlayBook looks almost too good to be true. Of course, the next iPad will certainly be impressive as well. As always, more competition means better products for us and cheaper prices! I really can’t make up my mind yet as to which of these I will end up buying.

Let me know which one you are most interested in.

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