The Samsung Galaxy Tab and Playbook show how the convergence in the tablet market is playing out. While one is somewhat smaller and thicker, both tablets are priced nearly identically at about $499 and offer almost the same specifications.
A quick side-by-side comparison makes the similarities clearer:
|Display size||7 1024x600||10.1 1280x800|
|Processor||1 GHz dual-core processor||1GHz Dual Core Processor|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR support||Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR|
|RAM||1 GB||1 GB|
|6-Axis Motion Sensor (Gyroscope)||6-axis motion sensor|
|Cameras||3 MP Front, 5 MP Rear||2 MP Front, 8 MP Rear|
|Storage||Up to 64 GB (16, 32 and 64 GB models)||Up to 64 GB (16, 32 and 64 GB models)|
|WiFi||802.11 a/b/g/n connectivity||Wireless-N|
This isn't a complete list, but given the similar price points it shows that the convergent evolution of the tablet is happening. The biggest difference between the two is the OS. The Playbook will be operating with a Blackberry-designed tablet OS and the Samsung runs on Android. But for many users that might not make much difference.
The iPad has certainly driven the pricing, but it's worth noting that while Apple refuses to say whether the iPad 2 even has RAM (an Apple Store employee said, Well, RAM doesn't work the same way given that it uses flash storage and would not say more) these two tablets both advertise what they have.
The biggest difference is the size of the displays. Apple's Steve Jobs famously said that a 5-inch screen was too small, but it isn't clear yet what the market for a 7-inch will be. The Playbook also seems to be marketed as much to businesspeople as to casual users, which is a bit of a different tack from the iPad and its imitators.