Conclusion: What the PlayBook can do, it does very well. We thought this would be the dry middle-aged tablet, but we’ve been impressed by how well it’s been able to handle video, music (through the great 7Digital music store) and the internet browsing experience. But it’s what the PlayBook can’t do that lets it down. The apps section, one of the core parts of the tablet experience, needs strengthening- a lot. No embedded email client?
BlackBerry PlayBook: Great Tablet, But Not Much to Play With
5 June 2013
Excerpt: Once an industry darling, Research in Motion (RIM), the company that makes BlackBerry devices, has lately been navigating stormy seas. RIM’s market share has fallen in key markets like the US thanks to smartphones powered by a visibly aging OS and almost obsolete hardware specs when compared with other top-of-the-line competitors.
Summary: The PlayBook might be the ultimate diamond in the rough. It features fantastic hardware and great stock features, but with a disappointing app selection and a handful of weird bugs thrown into the mix. I can't recommend this tablet to the average consumer at its $499 entry price. But it may end up worth that a month or two down the line when (if) RIM gets a handle on their app situation.
Pros: +Great form factor, +Fast and very powerful multi-tasking, +Excellent camera and file storage
Cons: -Terrible at sharing media, -Buggy browser and mixed flash support, -No meaningful app selection
Conclusion: The BlackBerry PlayBook looks like an alien at first glance. While Android is becoming very fashionable at the moment and the apps for it are emerging fast, RIM's tablet is on the shelves with the proprietary operating system, BlackBerry Tablet OS 1.0 . The PlayBook's strengths are revealed when the user is open for the operating concept and the details of the BlackBerry Tablet OS. The manufacturer hasn't promised too much here.
Pros: Handy size, Stable case, Brilliant colors / good contrast, Bright TFT for outdoors, HDMI video out, Long battery life, Operating concept, The control concept with swiping over the lateral edges. The super bright screen is a knockout.
Cons: Only 12 month manufacturer warranty, Time Out can't be disabled, No virtual environment for Android apps, No email client, No SD card slot
Conclusion: The PlayBook is not an “iPad killer,” whatever that means. We doubt that anything can kill the iPad right now, just as nothing seems able to kill the iPhone. What RIM has done is widen the category, proving that a 7-inch tablet can be useful and offer up an experience as unique as the iPad’s.
Pros: Great design and sharp screen, Unique OS, Fun, intuitive gestures, Android, Java app support coming, Great keyboard, Best in class browser
Cons: Launch apps plentiful, but lacking quality, Screen size may be too small for some, BlackBerry Bridge has limitations, No native email, calendar apps
Conclusion: First and foremost, we need to commend RIM for crafting such a premium tablet while retaining that oh so firm pricing structure that’s increasingly appearing to be the golden mark at this point. Picking it up, there’s no arguing that RIM placed a lot of love in manufacturing this 7” tablet from the ground up – and it shows in nearly all aspects of its construction.
Excerpt: When BlackBerry released the original PlayBook it had some curious issues. Native email, contacts and calendar apps were missing, the app store was barren, and the price matched the iPad at £399. BlackBerry has addressed all these problems in the PlayBook 2.0, making this budget tablet a far more appealing option. The PlayBook OS 2.0 operating system incorporates the missing apps, there are more apps to choose from, and the price has been cut aggressively.
Summary: BlackBerry seemed to be giving up all claim to competition with Apple's iPad when it launched its PlayBook last April without certain key features. What use is a mobile device without email or a built in calendar? Didn't that rather miss the point? From a hardware point of view, the PlayBook was good – you can read our original review here .