39 thoughts on “BlackBerry Tablet, PlayBook, a Notable Debut”

  1. Om, great review with fair comparison. Any updates on battery life or some reported screen heating up issues?

      1. Ooops, I posted before your answer showed up.
        Walt is reporting just 5hrs in his running video test – Will be interesting to see what you find.

  2. This product is DOA except to diehard Blackberry users. I would imagine most of those will choose iPad, but outside of the RIM Eco-system I just can’t imagine who would buy it.

    1. DOA? Common. Bought one on the day it came out. Ever since then, great apps are popping up daily and it’s a stellar smooth experience. Typical iboy comment. I have 6 iMacs in the office and a Macbook Pro, so I understand Apple. Nothing however will match the productivity of the my BB Torch and BB Playbook combo as a business owner. From what I can tell, this thing will have awesome productivity and entertainment options and apps. They’re putting stuff out to make sure they don’t skip anything. On the other hand Apple’s iPad, which will have another version in no time, will be just a little better than the last so they can sell more. That’s why I never jumped on that band wagon. They constantly underbuild to have a next generation ready yearly.

      1. “will have awesome productivity and entertainment options and apps”

        The operative word is W I L L
        At the rate they’ve been going, there may be a couple new versions of iPad

  3. Om, great and exciting review. More choice is a great thing for consumers. Lets see what this platform, plus iOS, plus Android and Palm OS bring to consumer choice.

  4. Great, fair and honest review. I enjoyed reading this over Engadget’s iFan review.

    I am a diehard blackberry user and bridge will suffice for me until native clients are realized as I am never far from my leash. Also being able to tether to my BB and not have to have a separate data plan is a game changer for me. This will only get better with time!

    1. Corey

      I think this is one are I disagree. I am a former Blackberry user and much as I like the device, I think it is crazy of them to not build email and calendar into the device. They have limited their market potential because of these shortcuts and i hope they fix them.

      1. I couldn’t agree more with on this, Om. For someone who ruled the smart phone segment from a email, messenger perspective it was obvious expectation to offer even better. Perhaps, they are still working out kinks here an there with QNX and old Blacberry platform sync.

  5. Om, nice writeup, but now that Playbook reviews are now coming out all over, I’m noticing some of the points you make are quite disparate from those of others. For example, here’s what TechCrunch says about the Playbook’s browser:

    “This also speaks to a larger problem the PlayBook has: the browser simply isn’t very good….Twitter is a great example. Even though Twitter is one of the “apps” bookmarked by default on the PlayBook’s main screen, it runs like a nightmare in the PlayBook’s browser. Because New Twitter is fairly JavaScript-heavy, everything seems to slow to a crawl. And sometimes things just don’t work at all.”

    How does that jive with your experience? TechCrunch also had an iffy experience with Flash. Worked okay watching YouTube video, but visiting a Flash-heavy site like ESPN.com caused everything to slow to a crawl. Just wondering because your experience and TechCrunch’s seems so vastly different.

    1. As a web developer I tested out a couple of my sites when playing around with a Playbook the other day, and they worked pretty much as expected, there were just a couple of issues with Javascript events and Geolocation.

      Anything with a 1Ghz processor is going to have issues if you throw too much flash animation at it, (I should know, I was using a 1Ghz laptop recently for a few weeks while my computer was in the shop).

    2. @lava

      I retried, and it all seems to work fine for me. If there are any slowdowns, I have not encountered them but then browsing is such a subjective comparison.

      I watched one of the IPL T20 games and that was fine and that was Flash. I would say, I have not spent that much time on ESPN but YouTube qualifies as a Flash-heavy destination and that seems to work fine 🙂

  6. The playbook is the toughest platform to develop for. I attended a pitch by blackberry and the last slide was about the whole process for signing into their dev programme. Don’t recall details, but it was like spend a thousand dollars and a few months to start building anything. Till they fix that they cannot expect a good app eco system.

    1. A thousand dollars and a few months to build anything? All the Playbook development tools are FREE; you go to the Blackberry website, download the tools, and start; if you have any development experience at all, you can have an App built up in a matter of hours. iOS development requires you to buy a Mac, so there’s a thousand+ dollar expense right there.

  7. I was able to play with one for a few minutes on the weekend and really liked it. I don’t have a tablet at the moment, but held up an iPad, (original), for the first time a few weeks ago and was surprised at how heavy it felt.

    I think that the increased portability of the 7-inch size is a real selling point. It’s small enough to go in a suit pocket, (albiet a large pocket), and still incredibly fast and responsive.

  8. Lolzzz. In whole review not a single mention of HP WebOS and RIM stealing WebOS UI completely. Also no mention of touchpad. Really?

  9. Great Review, Om. Though I have a question regarding the apps available for the Playbook – Didn’t RIM announce that the Playbook will be able to support Android apps? Is that still a WIP in progress or am I missing something?

  10. Hi Om,

    We’re the developers of two world #1 Blackberry Applications (LED Notifier and Photo Editor) and we are also the first company to come out with a native email client for the Playbook. Excuse the “play” on words, but the email client is called Early Bird and here’s the URL:


    So your deal-killer is no longer an issue 🙂

    Best regards,
    Mahe Zehra,

  11. iPad Challengers (including Blackberry) Face a Steep, Uphill Battle

    Om, good review. Thank you for posting.

    As I mentioned in comments on Kevin’s review of the Playbook (http://j.mp/fo4Uxn), iPad challengers face significant hurdles. Blackberry is currently in the middle of the pack of OEMs on Brands consumers would Consider and Prefer for a Tablet. In our recent survey (findings posted at http://j.mp/gPhXq7), among 15 PC and Mobile OEM brands examined, Blackberry ranks 6th on consideration – 37% include Blackberry among the top 5 brands they would consider for a Tablet, while 43% rate Blackberry as “most preferred” or “close to preferred” compared to other Tablet brands (this # is 73% among those who ranked Blackberry in their top 5, similar to that of other OEMs). Since Blackberry has historically targeted business users, these #’s aren’t too surprising. However, the iPad is creating a much, much larger mass market – some 4 in 10 households say they are “very or extremely interested” in purchasing a tablet PC. To compete in this rapidly growing market for Tablets, PC and Mobile OEMs will need to invest significant marketing dollars to boost consideration and compete on preference.

    Dr. Phil Hendrix, immr and GigaOm Pro analyst

  12. “To be clear, I don’t really consider myself a professional device reviewer”.. I stopped at that point.

    1. That is Om’s modesty – he did a superb job! Too bad you missed it but stayed long enough to write this!!

  13. i lost my thai language layout . i don’t khow to reset with my self. and my storage is not install plese help me to reset all error and not sopport in windows mobile6.1 pro in htc touch viva t2223 . thank so

  14. There is a lot being made of the Playbook not having a native e-mail client. I have only used web-based e-mail (Yahoo & Gmail) for more than 10 years. The only reason you need an app on a phone or tablet is because the browsers are not usually as good as you can have on a full sized PC. Given the power of the Playbook’s browser, why do I need an e-mail app, when I can just use the web like I do on my laptop?

    I think this is much ado about nothing.

    1. Jim, I agree with you in that a web client will work just fine: it’s how I use the iPad for work mail, which is primarily a fun device for me. The only problem with using the browser for mail (at least for my usage patterns) is that you miss out on the real-time nature of mail: no notifications and it’s a pull use-case (you have to actively go check) instead of a push use-case.

      1. Also Jim,
        Since the inroduction of apps the old thing of going into the email website and actually getting into the inbox looks obsolete now.Like kevin said pull use-case nobody wants to do…it needs the notification rightaway….
        Think they should concentrate on the apps heavily if the playbook wants to compete with apple.

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