BlackBerry PlayBook NYC Media Preview Promo Video

By Kevin Michaluk on 8 Mar 2011 12:21 pm EST

Last week I flew to New York for a media event to check out the BlackBerry PlayBook once again. It was a good mix of RIM peeps and press and we got to check out the BlackBerry PlayBook with some more hands on time. Nothing super new was shown off (same device builds as we did our videos and BlackBerry PlayBook review on back at CES), but it does make me want to get one of my own more and more each time I pick one up. Knowing that there is already newer software out there that we haven't seen yet has me thinking final gold code is close at hand.

A couple items of interest did pop up when playing with the PlayBook this time around. One thing to note that we haven't seen before is the low battery indicator on the screen. As you can see here at the 0:26 mark, the upper left of the screen glows red when the battery is low - super cool. Odds are that other notifications should tap into that real estate as well. I was also happy to see system settings that allow you to automatically pause minimized apps (so if you're playing a game and minimize it to open another app it pauses vs. keeps playing).

Be sure to check out the quick video above and see if you can spot my two voice-over appearances!

Reader comments

BlackBerry PlayBook NYC Media Preview Promo Video


I've been really negative on this device lately, but that indicator system is cool. Especially if you could customize different alerts around the "frame" (or maybe an app can do that, like BerryBuzz does on phones).

Funny, I see people in these videos using this in the streets or in outdoor courtyards, but do we have any confirmation that anything other than WiFi will be available at first? If not, then I think they should be required to show people going through the tethering procedures at the beginning of every ad, unless they're at a hotspot. ("Searching for Bluetooth"....Connecting....Connecting....Connection Failed....Retry?)

Hi ‘StormJH1,’

Alex from RIM here. Glad you’re a fan of the notification system. I’m confident that, once you get your hands on a PlayBook, you’ll get a true feel for everything it brings to the table. In terms of connectivity, our Wi-Fi PlayBook will be available in stores this quarter, and we’ve announced three 4G models to follow soon after:

- BlackBerry 4G PlayBook with Wi-Fi + WiMax: this summer via Sprint

- BlackBerry 4G PlayBook with Wi-Fi + LTE: second half of 2011

- BlackBerry 4G PlayBook with Wi-Fi + HSPA+: second half of 2011

In addition to the Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity referenced above, each tablet can also support mobile hotspots (e.g. a MiFi™, smartphone or other portable device equipped to act as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot), as well as our BlackBerry Bridge technology (

Be sure to check out our Inside BlackBerry Blog ( for all the latest BlackBerry PlayBook news.

Alex, RIM Social Media Team

hahah wow I've seen Alex's name come up here and on PCMag's website clarifying and correcting mistakes people have made about the PlayBook.
Looks like you're doing one heck of a job hombre.
You should run across the street and preview the PlayBook with some UW engineers because I'm DYING to get my hands on one of these bad boys...

Hi 'StormJH1',

John from RIM here. Glad you're a fan of the notification system. I'm sorry for the massive failure on our part for not releasing the Playbook months ago. I bet you were almost going to jump ship and buy the iPad, which is discounted by $100 now that the sleek iPad2 is going to be released in a couple of days. Yes we have lost lots of traction in the tablet market to our competitors because instead of innovating, we have been following and there has been a huge costly delay in releasing our Playbook. I want to convey some reasons why you should continue to wait and buy our Playbook once it's released:

- Email: Yes our screen is half the size of the iPad and you do lose most of the ability to type quickly like a full QWERTY keyboard so typing full fledge emails might be a little cumbersome for users, but no other tablet can handle email like the Playbook. Can we say push email and the best notification system?

- Flash: iPad can't do Flash. This is so important for your web browsing experience. Yes on the iPad you can install other web browsers that support Flash, but the Playbook does it natively!

- Security: RIM is known for having the most secure devices. Since tablets are such an important device to run a business, RIM is dedicated to securing your tablet so your apps and email won't be compromised.

Yes, the iPad does look sleeker, has a bigger following and has more apps available and does have a silky smooth OS and better multimedia experience, but we appreciate customers like you who don't mind the fact the iPad1 and iPad 2 will be available on the market before our Playbook debut later this month.

We appreciate your patience. Be sure to check out our Inside BlackBerry Blog ( for all the latest BlackBerry PlayBook news.

John, RIM Public Relations Team

Is it only me or should this be released already?
A year ago I was really exited to buy this.
6 months ago I was still trilled about the Playbook.

Now it seems like the waiting period is never ending. I don't even want to buy this tablet anymore.

I think I'll wait a couple months or more to see the replies from the competition ( I have a feeling I'm not the only one).

You realize it was only announced just over 5 months ago (Sept. 27th), right?

Admittedly, it would have been great if they can announce and release a product right after that announcement ala iPad 2 but RIM needed to develop interest in it by showing it off and courting developers. Otherwise, it would have launched with nothing to go on it and people would have complained and you would have to wait 6 more months before it was any good (almost like happens with their phones unfortunately).

I think an end of February/early March release date would have been ideal myself. Still want to buy one though as iPad 2 looks boring and same for some of the other tablets out there. Of course, wont know for sure though until you can try it out for yourself.

it's crazy how apple get's a total pass. On the day the iPad was released who didn't know it would have cameras. it took apple HOW LONG????? to put the two cameras in the stupid thing???

And I quote: "I need one as soon as possible".
That and the money for it, unless Crackberry sends me one ^^.

Why does it seem like everyone has had a hands on demo but me?

Edit: Kevin, how can you be sure it's a red low battery indicator in the left hand corner and not a photo orientation marker?

Having a low power indicator in a professional demo video is usually a big no-no.

It makes me sad I have been bothering my friend forever (he got to play with one already) here we are comenting that we want one :( I also want blackberry os 6.1.

"There's a lot of anticipation for the PlayBook..."

uh.....maybe not so much right now. For some. Maybe.

duh.....#notwinning....not yet

I like the 7" more than the 10". With Playbook you can hold in 2 hands and type by using with thumbs. However, iPad is almost impossible to hold in both hands and type with thumbs. With iPad you have to hold in one hand and type with other or put it down. Clearly a thumbs up for Playbook and thumbs down for iPad.
(Is there a way to speed up the clock to 10 April?)

IMO this is the best promo ad so far. Lets get that sucker on TV and popping up on every social network site out there. Lets go RIM! We need the rest of the world to know how great this is going to be.

seriously, they need to let the masses know there is more to the tablet market then a xoom and the ipad. i mean thats a perfect add it doesn't hate on any other tablets, it just tells the facts in simple terms. cmon rim new ncis tonight my pants would light on fire to see this on a commercial break. seriously do it for me.... and my pants. btw totally agree :3

huh? a million playbooks what are you smoking? And droid your days are numbered playbook= blow tablet competition to pieces. QNX on bb phones = motorola bankrupt again.

Hi All,

I have been to the Cebit 2011 (international ICT exhibition) in Hannover, Germany. I hoped RIM would be there. I was a bit disappointed when I discovered, they where only having a very small spot at the IBM site.

But then the magic started, the guy from RIM. I told him that I had expected, RIM would be there with a big spot because the Cebit is such a big exhibition in Europe. And that I drove up from the Netherlands specially to see the playbook for real, and now it was not available because he was just there to show the RIM software. He then got a playbook out it was covered with his jacket all the time.. He handed it over and I could ask and try everything I wanted. Although I still think it misses a few things. It worked like a charm. The multitasking, the way it works with your BB. And even "Need for Speed" was fun. And I don't even like car games. Just wanted to share this. And Oh yeah I'll be buying one.... :)

the 20 second mark gives a better confirmation that the red glow = low battery.

it shows red glow and low battery and he goes to the main screen.

Does anybody knows if it will be possible to run Online Poker Sites like Poker Stars or Full Tilt Poker on the Playbook ??

So great to see this! Thanks, Kevin, for posting. To show PlayBook to random folks on the street, it means that the product is just a week or so away from being ready and released. RIM won't take that risk unless they know the OS and installed apps are completely stable. We're definitely at RC2 (release candidate #2) or better :)

Great, great news indeed!!!

"the powers there" can you be any more excited hahaha.

the indicator whilst in a program or game is a good thing since you don't want to be losing any work but options like that will probably demand an off option :P

ah... did anyone notice not one second of video in Portrait mode? I've used a 7" tablet.. you will type out emails in portait with your thumbs (just like a blackberry) the landscape has the keys too far apart to hold the device and type effectively.. unless your in the NBA , little disappointed here.