Both the Acer Iconia Tab A100 and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets have been out for many months, and the prices are starting to come down, so here's how they compare. In fact, both are well under $300 now, with the 16 gigabyte PlayBook going for just $200 due to a recent price cut.
Beyond the comparatively low prices, the tablets are quite different. The PlayBook does not run the Google Android system, although an update expected soon will give it access to the Android Market for apps. It runs a system called QNX, and because it's a BlackBerry, it's a very stable and secure system.
Additionally, compared with the Iconia Tab A100, the PlayBook is a bit chunky, and perhaps not as eye-catching. The PlayBook is a boxy looking tablet, but it counters that with a nice rubber backing that makes it super-easy to grip. Acer's tab is more stylish, but has a smooth plastic back that feels very different from the PlayBook. The A100 is going for $260 right now at Best Buy, and it features the Android system, eight gigabytes of storage, full gigabyte of memory, microSD card slot, micro-HDMI port, front and rear-facing cameras and GPS system.
For $60 less, the BlackBerry has more storage (16 GB), a better front-facing camera (though it's close), and is slightly lighter. But, it's the same size screen and has all the same ports and system memory as the A100 minus the Android system. That means it won't get the Android 4.0 system when it comes out, but Acer hasn't said when the A100 will get it either. That could be a determining factor for some, as could the look and feel of either device.
We recommend the PlayBook for its lower price and very underrated QNX operating system. It may not stay $200 for long, and if the price goes up, then it's a tougher call, but for $200 it's a great choice. Tell us in the comments if you're tablet shopping or if you've used either of these devices before.