Those who prefer the BlackBerry now need not compromise when it comes to tablet computing.
Though late in making their foray into the tablet market, Research-in-Motion (RIM) isn’t making any apologies and users won’t be regretting if they’ve been waiting around for the BlackBerry Playbook.
Described as the world’s first professional-grade tablet, RIM’s first tablet reflects the company’s intention to meet the competition from Apple and Android head on.
At first sight, it is easy to overlook the PlayBook given its miniature built and minimalistic appearance.
The 7-inch display screen coated with black rubberized plastic back and sides, resembles a digital album rather than a tablet.
Yet, this 400-grams-tablet is light and fits snugly into the palm, making it much more comfortable and portable for out-of-the-home use.
It is also the perfect accessory for tech-savvy ladies as it slips comfortably into handbags, without taking up much valuable space.
More importantly, the PlayBook is proof that great inventions can also come in small packages.
Beneath the cool black body is a 1GHz dual core processor powered by QNX. This processor packs a ton of processing capability while its impressive 1GB RAM allows multiple applications to run simultaneously without any signs of slowing down.
The apps loaded quickly and switching from one to other was quick and responsive.
The one downside was it began heating up pretty quickly.
The battery lifespan lasted for close to seven hours while surfing web, streaming videos, and accessing emails, not the 8-10 hours of battery life while multitasking which RIM promised.
With the PlayBook’s support of Flash video playback and HTML 5, it is the first mobile device that provides something close to a full desktop Web experience.
The PlayBook also offers a quality multimedia experience with its 1024 x 600 pixel resolution LCD display that delivers stunning images which appear just as good even when played out on HDTV through its Micro HDMI port.
What makes this an alluring package is the work and play option since the tablet comes loaded with Word, Sheet and Slideshow to Go from Datavis, giving users the ability to view DOC, XLS and PPT files on the go.
What disappoints is the lack of an application for email, calendar or address book on the PlayBook! That leaves users with only being able to access email over the web.
Connectivity can be through the in-built BlackBerry Bridge, a somewhat controversial feature that could alienate non-BlackBerry users, or tethering with a Bluetooth-enabled phone.
Navigating the PlayBook can get a little tricky when you first lay hands on it as there are no buttons save for the power on/off button and the audio-video keys.