RIM BlackBerry Playbook Review - HotHardware

RIM BlackBerry Playbook Review

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When RIM Revealed the BlackBerry PlayBook in September 2010, the tablet was met with great excitement and hype, particularly from the professional, die-hard BlackBerry crowd. According to RIM, the PlayBook was designed to "give users what they want, including uncompromised web browsing, true multitasking and high performance multimedia, while also providing advanced security features, out-of-the-box enterprise support and a breakthrough development platform for IT departments and developers."

Those are some big promises and high hopes for a new tablet. After all, it isn't easy to give users "what they want" while also keeping IT personnel happy and personal data secured. Nonetheless, RIM set out to design a tablet that could do all of these things. And in many aspects, RIM has included key features that could deliver on these promises.

Today's most popular tablets (the Apple iPad, Motorola Xoom, Asus Transformer, etc) all use a large, 9+ inch displays. The BlackBerry PlayBook takes an approach that's more similar to Samsung's Galaxy Tab in that it features a 7-inch high resolution display that supports a resolution of 1024x600.  Here's a quick-take demo of the product to start things off.

In terms of power under the hood, the BlackBerry PlayBook employs a dual-core 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, a new BlackBerry Tablet OS (which offers "true simultaneous multitasking"), and QNX technology. The PlayBook also promises something that some tablets haven't been able to fully deliver: Flash support.

After what seemed like more than its fair share of delays, the Wi-Fi version of the BlackBerry PlayBook is now available at various retailers. Versions of the tablet with 3G and 4G radios tied to cellular networks have been announced as well, though no official launch dates have been given.

The BlackBerry PlayBook has been met with great anticipation and high expectations. Does it live up to the hype? Read on to find out in our hands-on review...

BlackBerry PlayBook
Specifications & Features

  • 7-inch LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen with full multi-touch and gesture support
  • BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor - TI OMAP4440, ARM Cortex-A9
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing), supports 1080p HD video recording 
  • Video playback: 1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV
  • Audio playback: MP3, AAC, WMA
  • HDMI video output
  • Wi-Fi - 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Accelerometer, 6-axis motion sensing (gyroscope), digital compass (magnetometer) and GPS
  • Connectors: microHDMI, microUSB, charging contacts
  • Open, flexible application platform with support for WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, Java
  • 5.1x7.6x0.4 inches
  • approximately 0.9 pounds
  • 3G and 4G models (WiMAX, LTE, HSPA+) in development
  • Pricing for Wi-Fi only versions:
    • 16GB: $499
    • 32GB: $599
    • 64GB: $699
  • Box Contents:
    • Safety and Product Information Booklet
    • Getting Started Card
    • Neoprene Sleeve
    • microUSB cable
    • microUSB folding blade charger
    • cleaning cloth

 

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We have one at the main display in my store and it was pretty responsive. Just like you said though the exclusion of an sd card is a big letdown for me.

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This tablet is definitely missing a few things, but some of those can be resolved with a software update. Overall, the look and the feel of the tablet seems attractive. The OS looks pretty sweet too. I'll be anxious to see what RIM has to offer with the future software updates. Hurry up RIM!

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I wont lie...from what ive seen in reviews, not only here but also other sites, i kinda want one. The main reason is the interface, it looks awesome. The only two things that would be nice is a lower price (Ain't it always the case), and better support for Android apps. Theres also the whole lack of email apps and what not but thats just because the tablet was a bit premature, seems to happen alot lately...*cough* Xoom *cough*.

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@pwrntspd I would check one out at your local Best Buy, they should displays of various tablets out. It would be a good way to comparison shop. While I was impressed with the hardware, I didn't like the size. It seems thick and the 7-inch screen was awkward.

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This tablet is amazing. I really appreciate how much work blackberry put into its first of many tablets. Normally when people think of tablets they think of i pad's or the i pad 2's but the playbook is the way to go. In my eyes this is way more practical than the i pad. Seriously who carries around 9.7inch i Pad 2 just waiting to be dropped when they can carry around a 7.0 inch Playbook which is easily protected in much less bulky cases and can be concealed as-well. Even though the 3G and 4G models are in development this is still a fantastic tablet. And anything that apple can do better now will be soon outdone by the latter developments of the playbook. Besides this is just the first model and there is always place for improvement and development cant wait to see what comes next. Thanks for the review =)

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I have the Playbook since it came out. There have been some very good improvements in the OS since I bought it. I like how it works and what it does for me. I use it both tethered and bridged to my Blackberry Torch.

I use the bridge feature for client type email. I can also log on line to my ISP email account, or Hotmail, or Gmail just like any laptop or computer using tethering or WiFi to the net. Hotmail is able to POP my ISP email, and I can get it from that. Most other public email services can also POP email accounts from ISP services.

As for security, I can do banking, stock trades, make purchases, and etc, and I know with the Play Book it is very safe, as just like the Blackberry phone.

If you are using the Play Book and the Blackberry phone for business where high security is necessary you would be careful about the applications you install. Many of the free and non approved applications could have spyware code.

I avoid using public WiFi hotspots unless I am very sure about who is administrating the service, and access is very limited. So far I have not heard of any problems with security using Blackberry products, but I have read a lot of articles conserning the other types.

IT security people love the Playbook because it does not hold any critical data files unless the user copies the data in to a folder in its memory. Everything works out of the phone which could be passworded, and could be on a secure VPN or some other type of private secure network.

As for the policies of RIM, they should have put more effort in to developing a product for the average type of younger generation user, who likes a lot of features and addons. Then maintain a level of product for the business users. This way they could have the best of both types of markets.

I personally think RIM should have done more with the user software and OS of the Play Book, and make it more refined before bringing it to the market place to satisfy more of the average type users.

Jerry G.

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