RIM is better known for producing the Blackberry smartphone, a phone which until recently was considered king of the smartphone world. Some very silly mistakes though cost them this position. They decided to try their hand at making a tablet and came up with the BlackBerry PlayBook. This is the first tablet from Blackberry but what’s important is if it’s any good.
It’s a bit of a strange name really for a company specializing in business phones – Play. And it’s not a notebook, so why book? That isn’t particularly important, what’s important is how It performs.
- 7 inch display – 1024 x 600 resolution
- 3 Mega Pixel Front Facing Webcam
- 5 Mega Pixel Rear Facing Camera
- High Definition Video Playback supported
- Micro USB
- Micro HDMI
- 1 GHz Dual Core processor
- 1 GB RAM
- Support for Flash and HTML 5
- Connects to Blackberry Phone for Internet Access
- Runs Blackberry Tablet OS
The Blackberry playbook looks almost the same as many other seven inch tablets. The only real noticeable difference is that it has the blackberry logo at the bottom under the screen. Even so, you will get plenty of people who know nothing about computers asking whether it’s an iPad.
This is a seven inch tablet and so is smaller than the iPad and iPad 2. Even though Steve Jobs said that there is no market for such a tablet, they seem to be selling reasonably well. Saying that, this is quite expensive for a 7 incher.
It’s about the same thickness as an iPad 2, and just a little bit lighter. It feels very high quality and is nice to hold.
Ease of Use
The Blackberry Playbook doesn’t have any physical buttons around the front of the screen. However, there are four buttons at the top. One of these is the power button, It’s very small, is somewhere where your fingers aren’t when you’re normally holding the tablet. Another problem is that the button is very small. You need to use your fingernail to press the button and that is a bit of an issue especially when you need to press the button to lock the screen.
At the bottom of the tablet there is a Micro USB and Micro HDMI port these allow you to connect it easily to your computer. As it can play back high definition video, it is possible to play back the video in all its glory on your television.
There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top of the tablet computer. This allows you to connect a pair of headphones or speakers.
All versions of the Playbook support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for wireless connectivity it is also possible to connect this to a Blackberry smartphone wirelessly to use the internet. In the next couple of months, Blackberry has said that they will be releasing a number of different types of 4G enabled Blackberry Playbook Tablets.
The battery life of any tablet is very important to find out about, because it only serves a purpose for as long as the battery still has some juice left. The blackberry battery is average, not great, but not bad either. In various tests it has lasted a couple of minutes over 7 hours. This is nowhere near the 10 hour mark that the iPad 2 has set as the benchmark to match or beat.
This tablet doesn’t run iOS or Android, it runs Blackberry’s own Blackberry Tablet OS which based on QNX. This operating system has been heavily influenced by WebOS, so much so that if they tried to copy iOS this much that Apple’s lawyers would be on a lot of overtime right now!
It’s a very intuitive and easy to use operating system which you should really enjoy using. The keyboard is reasonably good at normal letters. However, most symbols are buried in other pages which can become a bit of a nuisance. Even the apostrophe is in the symbol page which means if you are trying to type anything with an apostrophe then you will need to press an extra button.
Check out the full Blackberry Playbook specs here.