RIM says PlayBook Web browsing beats iPad

RIM’s PlayBook isn’t available yet—and isn’t due to be reaching consumers until early next year, but Research in Motion is wasting no time in letting potential customers know they think they’ll be shipping an iPad-killer. First the company floats the notion that the PlayBook will be priced lower than Apple’s current entry-level iPad, and now they’re saying the PlayBook will significantly outperform the iPad for Web browsing—and the PlayBook supports Adobe Flash too.

In an online video, the company rolls a pre-release PlayBook and an iPad running iOS 3.2.2 through a series of comparison tests over a high-speed Wi-Fi network, including loading IFA.com, the Flash-intensive CBS.com, the Acid3 rendering test, and a Javascript performance test. In each instance, the PlayBook appears to trounce the iPad. The CBS.com site in particular fares better in the PlayBook—no doubt it was chosen in part because it is so dependent on Flash technology.

Although the PlayBook’s display is both physically smaller and lower resolution than the iPad’s (1,024 by 600 pixels for the PlayBook, versus 1,024 by 768 for the iPad), the PlayBook sports a 1 GHZ dual core processor, where the iPad runs on a single core 1 GHz processor. Ironically, both the iPad’s Safari browser and the PlayBook’s browser are based on WebKit, the open source Web rendering engine developed by Apple, originally from KHTML. The PlayBook is based on an operating system from QNX, rather than something home-grown by RIM, and is built entirely using Adobe’s Flash and Air technologies.

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