RIM BlackBerry Playbook Review

Introduction and Specifications

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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