One of the videos I put together for our BlackBerry PlayBook Review was a head to head web browser comparison of the BlackBerry PlayBook vs. Apple's iPad 2. As you'll see in the video, the PlayBook holds up pretty well against the iPad 2. The BlackBerry PlayBook of course supports Adobe flash, which means you can visit a whole of websites and do a whole lot more things on the PlayBook's web browser that you simply cannot do on the iPad. Within websites like Facebook, on the PlayBook you can play videos from within your updates stream, use Facebook chat and even play Farmville. The 7" display can make things a little tight depending exactly what you're doing, but for the most part you can access and use the full internet. Also worth noting is that the PlayBook will ship supporting Flash 10.2 vs. the 10.1 version RIM initially announced on the device. The first software build on my review unit still showed flash at 10.1, but an OS upgrade brought with it 10.2. Good stuff.
The downside of flash support is that it does add a little bit of page load time to websites that might not use flash in their content, but make use of it in their advertisements. I found quite a few sites where the iPad 2 would beat out the PlayBook's page load time by a few seconds, but if we then disabled Flash and did the test again (with cache cleared of course) the PlayBook would be equally quick and in some cases faster. I also have compared my PlayBook to my old iPad classic, and the PlayBook tends to beat the original iPad pretty consistently. With pages fully loaded, I find the experience to be a bit smoother still (panning, zooming, etc.) on the iPad 2, but it's pretty darn solid on the PlayBook as well.
All in all, it's definitely the best web browser on a BlackBerry device to date, and I think it's just going to keep getting better. Check out the video above!
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