T-Mobile G-Slate vs BlackBerry PlayBook vs Apple iPad 2 vs Motorola XOOM

Introduction and Design

For the better portion of the last month, we’ve been toiling away getting comfy with some of the newest tablets to hit the market of late, and now that we’ve gotten a feel for all of them, it’s best to sit down to compare and contrast them all in one major showdown. With the Apple iPad 2, BlackBerry PlayBook, Motorola XOOM, and T-Mobile G-Slate all on deck waiting for their turn in the spotlight, we have to focus our attention on all of them simultaneously to better gauge how they differentiate with one another – and at the same time, what categories they excel at. Naturally, it’s rather hard to concretely say which one is the best out of the bunch, especially when user preferences come into play, but nonetheless, we need to look back and meticulously figure out which one is probably agreed as being the most balanced. So without any further delay, let’s get right into the thick of the battle!


Visually, all four tablets basically rely on the same foundations when it comes down to their designs, and none of them necessarily deviate from the usual slate form factor. However, we’re still at a gaze and really have to marvel at the design and construction of the iPad 2 since it embodies a combination of quality materials and attention to fine detail. Compared to the other crop, its remarkable razor thin profile impressively sets it apart, but it’s only marginally thinner than the BlackBerry PlayBook. With RIM’s model, we have to applaud it as well since it’s very sturdy for a 7-incher – while retaining a pocketable design. As for the two Android tablets, we favor the G-Slate’s design over the XOOM slightly because it’s more comfortable to hold and looks cleaner thanks to its soft touch rear cover.  Still, the iPad 2 clearly has the striking figure from the onset that will easily attract any prying eyes from far away.

Evidently, the screen size of a certain tablet will more than likely dictate whether or not it’s favorable to an individual, but in all honestly, the PlayBook’s quality display shines above the pack. Sure it’s the tiniest out of the bunch at 7-inches, but combining its iridescent color production, stunning clarity, and high pixel density, it soundly comes together to offer an unbelievable experience. Adding to its sheer prowess, the PlayBook edges out the iPad 2 in delivering the highest brightness output, which contributes in making it visible under the gleaming eye of the sun. Apple’s pride and joy follows closely with its 9.7” display, but you can distinctively notice its jagged looking on-screen text. Moreover, the G-Slate still boasts a nice looking display at 8.9-inches, but there is a slight yellowish tinge with its output. And lastly, the XOOM’s 10.1” display provides the most real estate, but it’s recognizable that it’s employing the lowest quality display because of its weak luminance.

Not something you’d necessarily think about, especially taking into account the larger size of tablets, we’re still presented with the ability to shoot photos and videos on the go with all four. In terms of sensors, both the iPad 2 and PlayBook employ fixed focused cameras that lack any flash, but the PlayBook manhandles the iPad 2 since it packs a 5-megapixel one as opposed to the less than 1-megapixel count of the iPad 2. Conversely, both the G-Slate and XOOM carry along 5-megaixel auto-focus cameras with flash, which is handy for macro shots, but the G-Slate has the novel feature of shooting videos in 3D with its dual cameras.

Turning on a tablet shouldn’t be a frustrating experience in any sense, but unfortunately, the PlayBook’s annoyingly small dedicated power button is a nightmare to press. Thankfully it’s not much of a problem with the other three tablets, however, you can bypass on having to press the PlayBook’s power button because you can still execute a swipe gesture from the bottom bezel all the way to the top one to power it on – sadly, there’s no gesture to do the opposite.

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