Here's how the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook stacks up against other top LTE tablets

PlayBook vs iPad
By Adam Zeis on 9 Aug 2012 10:43 am EDT

See how the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook stacks up against the new iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and the HTC Jetstream

Enter Here for a chance to win a FREE 4G LTE PlayBook from CrackBerry! * 

If you're curious as to just how the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook stacks up against other LTE tablets - you've come to the right place. Here we take a look at the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9, the HTC Jetstream and the Apple iPad. We've seen the great specs of the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook, and here we've got a comparison of the stuff you really want to know like size & weight, battery life, memory and processor. Keep reading to see just how the BlackBerry PlayBook 4G stacks up against the competition. When it comes to pricing, the 4G LTE PlayBook is $50 cheaper than everything else listed here based on carrier no contract pricing. As for the iPad, a 32GB iPad sells for $599 and that's only for WiFi, if you want LTE you'll be handing out $729 retail.

4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook vs.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE / HTC Jetstream / Apple (new) iPad

  4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook
(Wi-Fi + 4G LTE)
Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE
(Wi-Fi + 4G LTE)
HTC Jetstream
(Wi-Fi + 4G LTE) 
Apple new iPad
(Wi-Fi + 4G LTE)
 7.0" (1024x600)
8.9" (1280x800)
 10.1" (1280x800)
9.7" (2048x1536) 
Size & Weight
Battery Life
Up to 9 hours
Up to 10 hours
Up to 7 hours
Up to 9 hours
Wireless Connectivity
wifi + LTE
Bluetooth 3.1 + EDR
wifi + LTE
Bluetooth 3.0
wifi + LTE
Bluetooth 3.0
wifi + LTE
Bluetooth 4.0
HD Video
1080p playback
1080p recording
1080p playback
720p recording
1080p playback
1080p recording
1080p playback
1080p recording
Flash + HTML5 
Flash + HTML5
Flash + HTML5
HTML5 (no Flash)
5.0 MP rear
3.0 MP front
3.0 MP rear
2 MP front
8.0 MP rear
1.3 MP front
5.0 MP rear
VGA front
1.5 GHz Dual-core
1.5GHz Dual-core
1.5GHz Dual-core
Apple A5X Dual-core
32GB internal
16GB internal
32GB internal
up to 32GB microSD
16GB, 32GB or 64GB internal
Thanks @acolagro
Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Here's how the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook stacks up against other top LTE tablets


Should be a no brainer getting thesePB tablets out to our many governments around the world, and then there is enterprise, nice work RIM!


Wish you quoted retail prices! You would show the real great value of the PlayBook, and the hardware quality is as good as or better than the rest.

I'm actually pleasantly surprised. This bodes well for BB10 hardware checking all the right boxes. No randomly missing or deficient hardware features.

Looks like you need to fix the decimals for the depth. 10mm vs 86mm vs 12.9mm vs 94mm - I assume it should be 10mm vs 8.6mm vs 12.9mm vs 9.4mm

All the tablets listed are higher priced from carriers ($650, no term.) with the exception of the iPad which maintains Apple retail pricing and I know you know that.

Yea seriously...unless they took unsold PB's and re-worked them to upgrade the processor and add the wireless chip (if that is possible)

Little disappointed to not see NFC/ BT 4.0

Not to detract from the issue, but there will be little if any impact to layman jack and the common user. Besides, BT 2.1 is the most popular variant and makes it easier to pair with different devices.

I'm onboard with that.

I can see why they didn't upgrade the screen - probably required major work and it wasn't worth it at this stage - so fine. Good for them.


Bluetooth 3.0 is now, basically, tablet standard and 4.0 means you are current - not upgrading that is really too bad.


Am I the only one who thinks that upgrading the RAM would have actually leapfrogged the playbook PAST its competition?

Think about that - this playbook with Bluetooth 4.0 and 2 GB RAM would have been a superior product.


Why isn't the SIMM card upgrade being touted as what it is - a massive upgrade in functionality? Don't see it on feature lists anywhere. Big loss in terms of marketing opportunity.

Truth be told this is still PB 1 just catching up with the competion by adding radios. RIM were a bit late with all their internal changes.
I wonder if it would have served them better to make a redesigned PB 2.
- They really could have upped the specs,
- and changed the overall external design.

Upgrading to Bluetooth 4.0 isn't as trivial as you might think. To ensure the security of the BlackBerry Bridge technology, they had to stick with 2.1+EDR in the 4G PlayBook. That's what is present everywhere today. Few devices use 4.0 anyway, and RIM had no real reason to switch over without delays in re-engineering the BlackBerry Bridge to support BT 4.0. I'm sure you will see an upgrade in BB10 just to keep pace with the competition.

I wish there would be a trade-up program for my old PB. Cause the fact that I was an early adopter and paid 500$ for my 16gig tablet when they are not 250$ is a real bummer for me. Now I can't afford to pay another 500$. Suxs

PB is 549; or 349 with 3 yr contract
Galaxy is 649; but only 199 with 3 yr contract (either Samsung or Bell/Rogers are further subsidising it)

$150 more buys you faster processor, more storage, better camera and HDMI output to big screen.

Playbook - 1.5GHz dual core CPU, 32GB memory, 5MP rear facing camera, 3MP front facing camera, HDMI output, bridging for BBM

Galaxy Tab 8.9 - 1GHz dual core CPU, 16GB memory, 3MP rear facing camera, 2MP front facing camera, No HDMI output.

Agreed bluetooth 4 would be current but an SD card and moving the HDMI port to the side for watching video on dock hooked up to tv might make it worth an upgrade for me but not this time my 64 gb playbook works just fine would like to see Skype soon and use my blackberry ID to buy music and video ! Also a slick keyboard like the new surface tablet would be excellent!

The iPad 3's CPU is Dual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9, which is slower than the 4G PlayBook's 1.5GHz.

Processor maybe slower on the iPad, but they make up for it with the GPU.

Try viewing a large.pdf on both devices...

Try viewing a PDF with annotations on an iPad and the annotations don’t even show. The Playbook is the only tablet where I have seen a perfect rendering of PDF files as you would see them using a PC.

To be honest, this is the first time I have seen people liking PlayBook's PDF abilities. PlayBook may be great for viewing PDFs (speed wise), but the problem is Adobe's PDF app is absolute, pure garbage.

Did Adobe update their app (I don't use it anymore)? Or did RIM finally decide to just correctly make Adobe's app for them? Or are you talking about the PlayBook's ability without a quality made Adobe app?

Oh, and I am not blasting RIM, I put the fault on Adobe here.

You only have a small case here if there is intense graphic rendering required. The 4G PlayBook will outperform an iPad 3 with its superior CPU.

I wonder if the PB is H/W ready for BT 3.0 or 4.0 and will upgrade with BB10?

I also wonder if this release is mainly adding radios for government/enterprise orders?

Add BB10 to PB 4G and I think it is a winner over the competition as is.

We will all get a new PB in February when we get that nice little S/W upgrade to BB10 !!!

I don't know where you are located, but in Canada the best price I can find on an iPad 3 32 GB Wifi + Cellular is $729 cdn. Just saying .....

Right, the point was even a WiFi iPad costs more than the PlayBook LTE. Updated with clarification since, I'm sure others didn't get that either.

No problem, that's kinda what I figured. I just couldn't bare an iPad looking remotely like a reasonable alternative to the PlayBook.

One of my biggest pet peeves is the misuse of the word "then" instead of the word "than" like in this sentence:

"When it comes to pricing, the 4G LTE PlayBook is $50 cheaper then everything else listed here based on carrier no contract pricing."

Sorry, just a thing with me. Carry on.

Not just you...
It's on par with getting there and their wrong. Or in Kevin's words, typing Blackberry instead of BlackBerry. smh

On my phone, I shortcut "bb" to "BlackBerry" and "pb" to "PlayBook" -- keeps me sane :) Hope shortcuts make it into BB10 as I can't live without them!

And let's not forget about the misuse of the "your" and "you're". According to my experience native English speakers do these mistakes as well - and they have no excuse not using their own language properly.

My pet peeve is when people leave comments addressing mistakes, then we fix them and the comments have to remain because people get upset if we delete them. Instead of filling the comments, you can email or tweet us and we'll fix them accordingly. I promise. Pinky swears! :)

I have two teenage cousins who always post this on Facebook:

"Your stupid."

It takes every ounce of control I have in my body not to reply, "No you're stupid."

And my favorite of all posts ever:

"My phone got tooked away in English class."


GREAT ARTICLE! Can I see a comparison on software compatibility such as SKYPE, OOVOO, MS Applications, etc..??

Actually, it's not bashing at all. The article is a great article if all one's concerns are device specifications, but it fails to articulate what is the biggest problem that the Playbook faces in comparison to other platforms; namely, the lack of a robust App store.

For example, CourseSmart, StatsPro, Nova's 3D Brain Atlus, The Human Genome Project App, DSM-IV-TR, MMPI Psychometric Interpretation Testing Guide are apps that I use for my work. They do not exist on the Playbook; they do on other platforms. The respective companies have indicated that they have no plans to support the Playbook; they do support other platforms.

This is not a slight against the Playbook as I use my Playbook as my personal tablet, but let's not fool anyone and pretend that the app ecosystem for the Playbook is on par as is the app ecosystems of other devices.

Well I can't speak for all your needs, but there are plenty of substitutes for coursesmart in either the rental or purchase category. Likewise, several options in the brain atlas area as well. Not sure why you would use the app for the Human genome project. The Android app is pretty basic. Just better to use the browser.

Two best Playbook apps for me that I have found are the Maxthon (unified PC, mobile, tablet) browser and the OSmand (Open System Map Android).

Not gonna bash, but MS Apps have been supported in BlackBerry and PlayBook since the beginning of time... well, for the PlayBook anyway. MS App support came in BlackBerry OS 4.2 I believe (, perhaps earlier. Anybody?

Regarding Skype and Oovoo... BlackBerry 10 baby! I can live without these till then. Please don't let me long list the BlackBerry features STILL missing on the iPhone and Android or this will be a looong discussion.

Again, there is no one phone for everyone -- just like there is no one car or one camera for everyone. Android and iPhone have been taking a huge part of the market, but that doesn't mean there is no room for BlackBerry. How many car/camera models are there in the marketplace?

When RIM delivers BB10 in January, consumers will have more choice and RIM will get some of that marketshare back. I'm not saying RIM doesn't have their work cut out for them, but they have all the ammo to get the job done :)

your and you're is up there, affect and effect,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Any get ready for this one. Anyone says "actually" over and over and over again. It actually drives me to actually drink, actually everyday.

I am sorry I made everyone aware of "actually", once it starts grating on you, you are doomed, as I am.


I think now its time for some people that waited for the LTE to grab the original one, I think the original will be sold out first then the LTE will start selling. If you have a BlackBerry witht bridge, you don't need the LTE and for the price originals are selling is a good time to grab one before all are gone.

Since most Playbook owners have a BB phone as well, why would you want to have a LTE? To throw your cash out of the window for another SIM card and data plan? The most crucial deficiency that both Playbooks "feature" is useful software/apps whatever you want to call it. Documents To Go is a poor replacement for MS Office, no Skype etc. What can you do with this device? Typing emails, reading PDFs and surf the web more comfortably and that's about it. Under business conditions (that's what they are supposed to be made for?) they are largely useless and cannot replace devices like Lenovo notebooks. After a "trial period" of about 2 months I completely gave up taking my PB along on business trips and gave it to my son who loves playing "NFS Undercover" with it...

Obviously, I can not speak for the price of your potential data plan, but on my 6 gig plan that I have with my phone, I only have to pay an extra $10.00 per month to allow my LTE Ipad to use my phones data - hardly a bank shattering amount.

And having had an LTE device now on my tablet for the past two months, I can honestly say that I would prefer it on my Playbook as well. Bridge is simply too slow, too cumbersome, too awkward to use when compared to simply having a device that is always connected.

I agree with you that the useful or "real" applications has yet to be arrive on the Playbook (in general), but that's a separate issue. LTE in and of itself is a great addition and one that I'm fine with paying the extra $10.00 bucks for.

Try the Osmand app - offline map and navigation, better than Google!

Maxthon browser - make your own gesture.

There are good apps out there, but I had to look.

If you don't, like the first poster, he just sit and complain...there are no apps...have you looked?

I think the Playbook LTE was ment for enterprise more so then retail. The enterprise market is huge. We will see how sales go.

I noticed they changed this article to reflect the proper BT standard

From Blackberry webpage:
Bluetooth®: Bluetooth v3.1

I love my BlackBerry Plan Book however I still need to use my old Samsung tablet. You see there is no apps for my Audio books. I called them and they told me that they only support Apple and Android tablets. It is the same with marine boat charting apps. Maybe when 10 comes around things might be different.

I love my BlackBerry Plan Book however I still need to use my old Samsung tablet. You see there is no apps for my Audio books. I called them and they told me that they only support Apple and Android tablets. It is the same with marine boat charting apps. Maybe when 10 comes around things might be different.

Waiting for it to launch in INDIA. Will grab one immediately. But too bad we still don't have 4G here. Only 3G.

Go Rim, keep the momentum going! Persistence with new technologies. Reinvent yourself just as Apple did.


Delighted to see this newest release. I have an original pb...I will have a hard time waiting to get one of the new ones. It appears that they are not available yet with the carrier that I use. Go RIM!!