BlackBerry PlayBook Wi-Fi vs. 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook - Does the extra power really matter?

By Bla1ze on 13 Aug 2012 12:00 pm EDT

Now that the 4G LTE PlayBook has arrived on the scene, many owners of the original Wi-Fi version have been wondering whether or not that updated 1.5GHz processor is there just to make up for the LTE connection or if it has any sort of affect on the OS as a whole. Overall, it does appear to help in the case of multitasking, opening apps, installing apps but it's not always consistent either. Check out the video above to see what I mean and let us know in the comments what you all think. And don't forget, while you wait for our full out review, you can enter our contest to win a free 4G LTE PlayBook!

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BlackBerry PlayBook Wi-Fi vs. 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook - Does the extra power really matter?


I totally agree, I cannot wait for the the 10" BlackForest to drop. It is roadmapped for 3Q 2013. 3 additional inches provides better usage for business purposes, i.e. reveiwing spreadseets also looking at movies on that size of screen cannot be all that bad. Transporting a tablet that size not a problem for the advantages. B1aze can you guys provide us with any updates on how this is progressing???

I'm also holding out for the "Jesus christ that would be a gigantic PlayBook!" PB. It's a tough wait, but it'll be worth it even if I'm still limping along with my Torch9800.

Interesting how much faster it seems for most processes. What about the mail and calendar apps? Are they faster on the LTE version?

Yes, they do tend to load faster more often than not. Sorry I never included that, was however going to be a point of the full review for sure. Maybe I can do a quick video for that to show it.

So here is the thing, I have a 32 GB from day 1 and then I received a 16 GB from the developer give-a-way and I can tell you without a doubt that my 32 lags more then the 16 GB.

I am sure my 16 GB will lag more then this new LTE version as well but I think there are a lot of factors to consider and not just the 1.5Ghz processor.

Thanks for the vid!!!

Something just occurred to me. This test is invalid because to test a processor it should be wifi vs wifi. Not wifi vs 4g.
Playbook, the one and only

Is it me or the LTE version in the video has yellowish tint on the screen (like my wifi Playbook 64GB).

It's the lighting. That's not to say there isn't a difference though, the display on  the LTE version is slightly birghter than that of my WiFi version. It doesn't reflect well in the video because there was a lamp on closer to the LTE version.

It is a good comparison. How about a comparison of the LTE using wifi compared to the wifi-only so it is a true comparison to see what is faster. Using the same network only difference is the processor speed, instead of the variables being the processor and the network. This would be the true comparison. This should be the next video. But a good video showing the difference in LTE over Wifi.

A few things to say after using and passing along several PlayBooks.

I have two 64GB units. The first one was bought during the first discount round months ago, the second one during the second round ($299). I used to call the first one 'slow PB' because it was indeed, slower than the second one I got, which also had a softwer power button.

After security wiping out, and 'repair' the 'slow' PB, it got faster, almost at the same speed of the newer PB.

However, there are a couple of things that I noticed, which kill the PB:

- Flash HD streaming while paired to the Music Gateway. It just won't keep up, making the stream impossible to watch.
- Slow, choking PB during maximum rate wireless transmission. This happens either when I'm downloading a large file (GBs) or when I'm watching HD movies using StreamingNow or FileHub.

I truly hope they fix this issues related to wireless transmissions at maximum rates without killing the RTOS.

A test I would like from the CB team for this 4G PB is to do the HD stream test (, for instance) while hooked to the Music Gateway.

I agree that RIM still has to work on performance enhancements before turning on the RTOS option in PlayBook OS/BB10. I would like to blame a lot of that on Adobe AIR & Flash integration into the core, but I could be wrong. We don't want to go back to run-time environments such as Java -- go native whenever possible! I'm accept the compromise only for the Android runtime.

Weird, at the 8 minute mark in the video, the WiFi version loaded the video in 720p and was still faster than the LTE version which loaded the video in 480p.

Remember that the LTE version is using LTE, not Wifi. With Wifi vs Wifi the LTE version would likely load as fast as, or faster.

I noticed that the wifi PB was on low battery (orange level). Could that have made a difference to the performance? Maybe the PB goes into some sort of 'battery save' mode? I am not saying it does (I dont know) but was just wondering.

Im wondering the same thing. Both devices should be fully charged before testing. That may be picking nits but it may not be.

Thanks for this video. To me the issue is not that LTE will be a little faster, something you may not notice at all if they were not side by side, but the additional capabilities of being able to surf the web from anywhere.

I'm assuming that we can VideoChat with the LTE.

The new pricing plans for ATT and Verizon could make it interesting.

I'll probably get one when it comes out and give my existing PB to my sister.

Why do I get this msg that tells me the video is not available? It happens time to time... And I ccan't watch the video.
I have a bold 9900.

If you're using Firefox you need to update a software on your computer... I can't recall which it is atm. Might be Flash or RealPlayer. I'll check back later.

I believe the poster is trying to watch the video on his BB 9900, not his desktop PC. I to run into the same issue from time to time, and believe it is a network issue. If I don't have solid 3G or WiFi when I attempt to pull up a video I get that same "video unavailable" error, on multiple website.

What about the speed of your internet connection. I also would like to see the LTE version using just wifi to have both on the same network. I like the faster LTE but did not notice enough of a difference to justify buying it just for an increase in processor speed.

waiting for kevin's review...


BB 9780 white os 6

BB Playbook 32gb os

You mean the green Matrix-styled screen on the left? Its true, screen looks better on the right, but i assume thats just a thing of the space around the Playbooks.

You guys really need to watch the volume levels between the intro and the video itself.... scared the hell out of me when Bla1ze started talking as it was MUCH louder than the intro.

As long as the OS is based on AIR, it will suck. The browser is still way behind in terms of features compared to the competition. A high HTML5 score matters for devs, not end users.

The OS is not based on AIR. The browser is not WAY behind in terms of FEATURES compared to the compeition.. what the hell are you even talking about? sniff more glue.

Quick question on the browsers: Was the WiFi PB running 2.1 beta or just 688?

CPU speed counts for a lot in any computational device but then eventually you're going to hit some sort of I/O wall - The new LTE machine is about 30% faster than the older model but it still will eventually have to go to it's storage for some things and then the CPU can get bogged down waiting for memory to catch up. So - onboard videos may look the same (I/O issue) but content from the web (page gets and deciphering HTML) would be faster.

HTML5test should be the same because it's al functionality and not speed. might be an interesting challenge too - but make them both on WiFi to see if the CPU matters there.

Thanks for the review blaze like many others i have been waiting for it. A couple of points though, if this comparison was intended to compare processor speed then you ought to have set identical controls meaning that both should have been on the same wifi connection and fully charged and also both should have been rebooted around the same time to ensure that they both had the same exact amount of ram available. Please do another one while keeping it scientific by setting controls and it would be great to also compare the boot time as well.

RIM is the best and I am a crackberry addict

They were both booted up at the same time, obviously never showed that because I'm sure not everyone wants to watch approx 5-6 of nothingness but I'll do a boot-comparsion video. The results, are well... you'll see.

You see what too many doobies can do Bla1ze, you can't even figure out how to do a simple comparison of processor speed!

As an Europe user pretty happy to see that the new model is not that much faster (it's only 500MHz anyway) so pretty happy. Video is a bit lenghty tho.

While I doubt the differences will be earth shattering your test is anything but scientific. How many updates, installs, resets, wipes, have each of these PB's had. The only way to do this right is to take one of each a 4G and a WiFi off the shelf at a retailer and try their initial boot and several more after to test the speed difference. Then when the test is over, you'd have to give them both away here on crackberry for the sake of science...

It didn't matter much AT ALL,
I never did find out if they were both Texas Instruments though as in the CPU's?

Sorry to bring this old ass thread back, is that against policy, I am still curious why no other video was done though. I am guessing somebody gets a little ticky for the tocky from BB for advertising as in no ticky no laundry and as well he should, must be hard to run a site like this plus it cost $ so giving back is all!

If you wanted to be able to insert a sim then it mattered! This test was invalid, sorry B1aze.