BlackBerry PlayBook Review

Speculation is swirling about the forthcoming release of the Playbook, BlackBerry’s version of the tablet, since the introduction by Research in Motion on September 27, 2010 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  For consumers, the biggest question may not be whether the PlayBook can dethrone the iPad or Galaxy Tab, but whether BlackBerry fixed the operating demons that have plagued their mobile devices. The PlayBook was designed with more of a business executive in mind, but it may still be an alternative to other comparable consumer-friendly tablets. Read this BlackBerry PlayBook review to see if the tablet surpasses speculation and the fervent hype surrounding it.

Design

As far as first impressions go, BlackBerry’s demons seem to have been defeated, as the tablet has both a user-friendly styling and improved functionality. The BlackBerry PlayBook is incredibly thin and sleek, but the 7-inch LCD screen is still quite impressive. Compared to other tablets, 7 inches is extremely small, but users will hardly notice the size difference because of the screen’s clarity. Weighing in at less than a pound, the BlackBerry PlayBook does not feel flimsy or delicate, but sturdy, indicative of its detailed styling. Though not a physical design feature, toggling between applications is easy and simple without unnecessary lag time, which allows for improved efficiency.

Features

Users can synchronize contacts, emails, and applications seamlessly between the BlackBerry PlayBook and other BlackBerry mobile devices, making it ideal for business professionals. Further, wireless connections between the PlayBook and the BlackBerry mobile device work flawlessly for real time access cross-platform interfacing. Dual HD video cameras and stereo speakers allow consumers to video conference without relinquishing performance. The PlayBook has front and rear-facing cameras, providing stunning 1080p high-definition pictures and videos. Additionally, BlackBerry is creating a specific application marketplace to support the PlayBook instead of using their current choices for mobile devices.

Performance

The BlackBerry QNX Neutrino is a real-time operating system designed to simplify performance. Without relying on the technology of traditional operating systems, QNX Neutrino is not sluggish, due largely to the fact that it processes information in smaller bits, not traditional large chunks. In the current state, the BlackBerry PlayBook is Bluetooth connected, but not through conventional cellular data. BlackBerry promises that 4G will be available in the future on Sprint, a definite plus over the 3G network AT&T uses for the iPad. Finally, the ability to expand internal storage is yet unknown, but is suspected to be readily available upon launch.

Specifications

  • 7-inch LCD display
  • WSVGA 1024 x 600 screen resolution
  • Capacitive multi-touch screen
  • 3 MP front-facing camera, 1080p HD
  • 5 MP rear-facing camera, 1080p HD
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • 0.9 lbs
  • 1 GHz Cortex-A9 dual core processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB internal storage
  • 5,300mAh battery
  • MP3, ACC, WMA audio playback
  • 1080p HD, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV video playback
  • MicroHDMI, microUSB, charging contact connectors
  • Flexible platform supports WebKit/HTML5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, Java
  • BlackBerry Tablet OS (QNX Neutrino) Operating System
  • HDMI digital video output
  • Supports HTML5 and Adobe Flash

With the release date of the PlayBook still under much speculation, BlackBerry is poised to challenge the newest version of the iPad and other Android-based tablets. With basic models starting at $399 for 16 GB storage, pricing places the BlackBerry Playbook in the upper range of available tablets. The PlayBook has its own, specifically designed OS, so it does not have to rely on a third party platform. This BlackBerry Playbook review is speculative, though the hype suggests that the tablet will be a fantastic alternative to other tablets, especially the iPad.

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