Apple unveiled its next-generation iPad on 7 March. Meanwhile, one of their rivals for the market - Canadian telecommunications company Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM), brought out the BlackBerry PlayBook on 19 April. A report by Pocket-lint suggests that when RIM first unveiled its tablet, it actually drew more attention and generated more searches (22 percent) than either the iPad 2 or Samsung's Galaxy Tab.

The recently launched new iPad features an improved Retina Display, Apple's new A5X chip and a 5 megapixel iSight camera. Meanwhile, the PlayBook boasts an updated Operating System (OS).

Check out a comparison of features...

Display- The new iPad features a 9.7-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen multi-touch, high resolution screen with Retina Display along with In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology. The resolution of the display is 2048x1536 pixels. The display, moreover, features fingerprint-resistance oleophobic coating and it supports the display of multiple languages as well as characters.

On the other hand, the BlackBerry PlayBook features a 7-inch, WSVGA, multi-touch, capacitive touch-screen with a resolution of 1024x600 pixels.

Processor- The new iPad is powered with a dual-core Apple A5X custom-designed chip and quad-core graphics whereas the PlayBook is powered with a 1GHz dual-core processor and carries 1GB RAM.

Operating System- The new iPad will run with iOS 5.1. A re-designed camera app with video stabilization technology, the ability to delete photos from Photo Stream, support for dictation in English, French, German and Japanese and personalised Wi-Fi hotspots are a few of the key features in the new iPad.

Research in Motion (RIM), on 2 February, officially launched the updated software - OS 2.0 for PlayBook. Some of the key features are (a) built-in email, calendar and contacts (b) social integration in calendar and contacts (c) BlackBerry Bridge and (d) Open On.

Connectivity- The new iPad offers Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth version 4.0. The Wi-Fi+4G model can run on both AT&T and Verizon networks (although each requires a separate model) and also offers Long Term Evaluation (LTE) connectivity.

The PlayBook offers Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n and Bluetooth version 2.1+EDR and it can access the Internet through micro USB and micro HDMI ports.

Dimension and Weight- The new iPad Wi-Fi model measures 241.2x185.7x9.4mm and weighs 652g (1.44 pounds). The Wi-Fi+4G iPad model is 241.2x185.7x9.4mm and weighs 662g (1.46 pounds). In contrast, the PlayBook measures 194x130x10mm in thickness and weighs 425g.

Battery Life - Both the Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi+4G models of the new iPad feature a built-in 42.5 watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery which can run up to 10 hours. The battery can be charged via power adapter or USB to computer. The PlayBook runs with a standard battery with a capacity of 5300mAh.

Storage - The new iPad Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi+4G models come in 16GB, 32GB and 64 GB version. The built-in-memory for the PlayBook is 16GB, 32GB and 64GB.

Camera - The new iPad has a 5 megapixel iSight camera with Autofocus, Tap-to-Focus and Face Detection for still images. It can record videos in HD 1080p and up to 30 frames per second with audio. It also has a Face Time VGA camera.

The PlayBook also sports a 5 megapixel primary camera, with a resolution of 2592x1944 pixels, according to GSMArena. The tablet has a 3 megapixel front-facing camera and records HD video at 1080p.