Amazon Kindle Fire vs BlackBerry PlayBook

Vs Paul Briden 18:25, 29 Sep 2011

We see how the newly announced Amazon Kindle Fire compares to RIM's BlackBerry Playbook

Can Amazon's Kindle Fire take on the more established BlackBerry Playbook? We find out.

Amazon Kindle Fire - 190x120x11.4mm, 413g
BlackBerry PlayBook - 194x130x10mm, 400g

RIM has managed to produce a slightly slimmer and lighter device here, but apart from that there’s not much visually different between the two.

That’s no bad thing, as they both have a clean, compact and elegant shape to them and we like the fact that in either case there isn’t a vast expanse of bodywork around the screen – the screen to case ratio is looking pretty good aesthetically.

Both devices are uncluttered with no annoying extra buttons, medallions, nodules or badges to interrupt the expanse of black bodywork. We approve of this approach and find both tablets appealing visually.

Winner - Draw

Storage on the BlackBerry PlayBook is actually very generous and its remarkable that RIM itself doesn’t talk much about its capacity, even on the official product page.

There are three PlayBook variants and you can choose between 16GB, 32GB and 64GB for onboard storage. Whichever you pick you’ll also get 1GB of RAM to boost processing tasks.

Unfortunately there’s not so much as a whiff of external storage with no card slot in sight.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire carries 8GB of internal memory and 512MB of RAM. The 8GB in the Kindle is actually not too bad, it just seems quite small compared to the three generous options in the PlayBook.

Not only is 8GB perfectly serviceable but it must be said the Kindle has been designed with cloud storage and remote streaming services in mind, so clearly Amazon hasn’t been too fussed about loading it with that much space.

It’s not a bad idea, although it does require you to be near a wireless internet connection to access all your content, and assumes you’ll want to keep up a subscription to Amazon’s Prime service.

Provided you’re okay with all of that, it’s fine, but otherwise it feels quite limited in application compared to the PlayBook.

Winner – BlackBerry PlayBook

Both devices feature capacitive multi-touch 7-inch displays at 1024x600 pixels resolution and a pixel density of 170 pixels-per-inch. The Kindle also features scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass for its IPS LCD display.

There’s not a lot between the two here so it’s a draw this round. Winner - Draw

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