BlackBerry PlayBook Review

BlackBerry PlayBook
By Kevin Michaluk on 5 Jan 2011 10:30 pm
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** Check Out CrackBerry's Updated Official BlackBerry PlayBook Review **

A Hands-On Pre-Release Review of the BlackBerry PlayBook

I've FINALLY gone hands-on with the BlackBerry PlayBook and thus it's time for me to report back with my initial review and impressions of Research In Motion's first tablet device featuring the all-new QNX-based BlackBerry Tablet OS. The time I had to prep this post to go live for the embargo was tight and we'll have even more opportunities throughout CES to play with the PlayBook, so I'm going to keep this initial review as concise as possible and we'll likely add to it over the days ahead. Oh, and as for those questions of pricing and release date, those are still TBA, though RIM is still sticking to their Q1 release which means you'll be able to buy a PlayBook before the end of March.

This isn't just another new BlackBerry we're talking about here... the PlayBook is ALL new for RIM. Suffice to say, the way too long review will be coming once we log some real hours on it. But in the meantime, we still have a lot to say (hint: it's pretty awesome!!), so start reading!

BlackBerry PlayBook Technical Specifications and Features

BlackBerry PlayBook

If you're not familiar with what the BlackBerry PlayBook is packing for heat, here's the quick recap of its key features and specs:

  • 7" LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen with full multi-touch and gesture support
  • BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor (Cortex A9 Processor), w/ GPU
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Memory: 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions to be available
  • 5300mAh battery
  • Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing), supports 1080p HD video recording
  • Video playback: 1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV
  • Audio playback: MP3, AAC, WMA
  • HDMI video output
  • Wi-Fi - 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Connectors: microHDMI, microUSB, charging contacts
  • Open, flexible application platform with support for WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, Java
  • Ultra thin and portable:
    • Measures 5.1"x7.6"x0.4" (130mm x 193mm x 10mm)
    • Weighs less than a pound (approximately 0.9 lb or 400g)
  • Additional features and specifications of the BlackBerry PlayBook will be shared on or before the date this product is launched in retail outlets.
  • RIM intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future.
Unlike BlackBerry Smartphones where RIM has typically been a bit behind the ball in terms of technical specs, with the BlackBerry PlayBook they're much more positioned on the leading edge of hardware. The dual-core processor makes for a SNAPPY user experience.

BlackBerry PlayBook Hands-On Videos

Before personally getting to hold and go hands-on with the BlackBerry PlayBook for the first time, we got a nice tour of the BlackBerry PlayBook by Ryan Bidan, who is the Sr. Product Manager on the BlackBerry PlayBook team for RIM. Check out the video below:

After Ryan walked us through the PlayBook, it was my turn to touch it. Seriously, I'm not sure I've ever been so excited to play with a new gadget before.  It was a bit overwhelming... even though I was prepped for the event, I went a bit blank. I didn't know where to begin! Ahh well, you can see the excitement for yourself below:

After the videos above we're recorded and my excited hands calmed down, I spent some more time on the PlayBook getting to know it and experience its, for lack of a better word, pure awesomeness. 

BlackBerry PlayBook First Impressions

BlackBerry PlayBook
Yes, it really is a BlackBerry!

My first impression of the BlackBerry PlayBook is that it does not feel like a BlackBerry. Don't get me wrong, it still has a BlackBerry look and familiarity about it, and the hardware has that quality BlackBerry feel, but the second I touched the screen with my index finger I could tell this was really a NEW BlackBerry. When I think back to all of the BlackBerry Smartphones I have owned since my first BlackBerry 7290 (old blue), every one of them has largely delivered the same experience. Within BlackBerry 6 was OS 5, and within 5 was 4.5 and within 4.5 was 4.2, etc. While the graphics got prettier, the camera megapixels went up and the experience got snappier (and on some devices slower), it was largely the same BlackBerry experience. The good things were always good about BlackBerry and the bad things were always bad about BlackBerry (random lag, not being able to install apps on flash memory, etc. etc.).

The PlayBook is different. There is no longer any BlackBerry baggage of the past. RIM got 10 years out of the old BlackBerry OS and they're setting up this QNX-based OS for the next ten years of BlackBerry. It's still in its infancy, and there are a lot of things in the works and still to come (we'll get into that below), but RIM's future is looking much brighter now in my opinion. To me there's no doubt that the QNX-based OS will make its way into BlackBerry phones. I hope RIM can make that happen on the next generation of phone hardware to hit the market, but I digress. We're talking PlayBook here!

BlackBerry PlayBook Hardware and Performance

Overall, after having used the BlackBerry PlayBook I'm wayyy more excited for it than I was prior. Though I detest the iPhone for use as my primary mobile device (I've tried it, I hate it... too inefficient for me for what I do with a phone when it's in my hand 90% of the time), I also own an Apple iPad which I really enjoy using (especially for killing time on flights). Steve Jobs' comments of 7" isn't big enough for a tablet had me worried that RIM went the wrong direction with the PlayBook and that they should have started out with a 10" model. I now think going 7" was a smart starting point for RIM though - the PlayBook is portable.

BlackBerry PlayBook BlackBerry PlayBook
BlackBerry PlayBook BlackBerry PlayBook
I'm starting to think 7" is a good thing

It fits in my coat pocket and is light enough that I'll actually carry it around with me on a daily basis. When I walk out of the house, I'll toss my Bold 9780 in my front pocket, and my PlayBook in my coat pocket. The iPad just sits around my home (where it doesn't get used that much as I have computers and laptops around) until I'm going somewhere like a trip where I then pack it into a backpack.


A BlackBerry Smartphone in my front jean's pocket and PlayBook in coat pocket will fill out my
hierarchy of mobile needs nicely!!!

For a person who wants an uncompromising mobile experience (filling out both the top and bottom of CrackBerry Kevin's Hierarchy of Smartphone Needs), I think the combination of BlackBerry Smartphone + BlackBerry PlayBook will be hard to beat. The BlackBerry Smartphone maintains its status as that uber-efficient communication tool (get sh!t done fast), while the PlayBook becomes that ultimate killing time device BUT ALSO an extension for my BlackBerry in the form of a bigger screen. Let's look at some of the hardware specifics.

BlackBerry PlayBook Exterior/Build Quality - The BlackBerry PlayBook really does feel just awesome in the hands. It's not too heavy, not too light, not too small, not too big, it really is just right. BlackBerry has always had a knack for making their phones feel nice to hold, and they've done the same with the PlayBook. The back of the PlayBook has a nice rubber-touch finish to it that makes it easy to grip (not slippery at all). There are very few buttons on the whole device, which is very un-BlackBerry like but works with the BlackBerry Tablet OS experience. In using the PlayBook I actually found myself initially looking for that home button at the bottom like on the iPad, but instead RIM uses a gesture to bring you back home (only took a few seconds to get used to that). The device definitely has a quality feel about it. I think on BlackBerry phones the sheer number of buttons (keyboard, convenience keys, menu/back keys, etc. etc.) could sometimes give off a feeling of plastic-ness that could come across as cheapness, but the PlayBook is a lot more like a solid object. The lack of a removable battery door also lends to that feeling.

BlackBerry PlayBook BlackBerry PlayBook
BlackBerry PlayBook BlackBerry PlayBook
BlackBerry PlayBook BlackBerry PlayBook
A tour around the BlackBerry PlayBook's Hardware

Processors / Performance - The BlackBerry PlayBook is seriously snappy, thanks to its dual core processor, and seems to be very stable, thanks to its QNX OS. Unlike the traditional BlackBerry OS, which tends to have a bit of a glass jaw (it's fast until something glitches or hangs up), you can tell the QNX OS has a stableness about it. The PlayBook I went hands-on with was still running some unfinished apps, but you could tell any glitches weren't going to slow things down or cause a hiccup. I have a lot of faith RIM will be able to deliver a super polished user experience with the PlayBook and new OS. Again, this isn't a BlackBerry Smartphone where we sometimes need to wait for a couple OS updates to leak out before things get rocking - with this OS we're starting a lot further ahead to begin with and further improvements are going to make it that much better. 

Touchscreen Display - The 1024 x 600 display looks really great. Colors are bright. CrackBerry.com looked stellar when loaded up in the web browser. The touchscreen performance is EXCELLENT. Super smooth, super fast. It's very iPhone/iPad like in terms of the feeling of use. It doesn't feel like it's translating your finger's touch into an input and then moving the display - it feels like it moves with you. Part of this smoothness must come from the GPU on the processor, and it sounds like RIM is going to open that up to developers as well to take advantage of. It should make for a great UI experience everywhere. The gesture areas outside of the display work smoothly as well. Would a bigger display/device be better? Hard to say... if you think about the existing BlackBerry operating system, I'd argue that the bigger the display, the more enjoyable the BBOS experience is and with a lot more screen space you can do more with apps. But I do think the 7" experience on the PlayBook is REALLY awesome. I could see it being even better if RIM builds a bigger tablet down the road (which I'm sure they will - just look at how many form factors they have for their phones). But tablets are definitely different than phones. Once a tablet is too big too carry, then it almost makes sense to just go as big as you can. I think the PlayBook really fits that take it with you everywhere you go niche better than the iPad. So a bigger RIM tablet would come at that expense of ease of mobility. 

Can you use the BlackBerry in portrait mode? That's been a hot question these past couple of months as RIM has only ever shown off the device in landscape. Currently they have not enabled portrait mode, but it will be there and there will be detection for orientation switches and movement. I really want to see it in portrait.

Battery Life - RIM is targeting 8 hours of battery life with the PlayBook (I'm **assuming** based on video playback), so it should have plenty of power to get people through a day or two or three of normal type use between charges.

Memory - The PlayBook will be available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB configurations and.... wait for it.... all of that memory is shared! So if you want to, you could use it all for apps, apps, apps if you want to, or music, movies, etc.

Keyboard - There's no physical keyboard on the PlayBook (I wonder if RIM will ever make a tablet with a sliding form factor and physical keyboard?! :)) but the few seconds I spent typing on the software keyboard went pretty smooth. Being able to pull out the keyboard with a gesture is sweet as well.

Everything Else - In the limited time we had with the PlayBook, it's pretty hard to get into too much detail on it, but everything seems to be in check. WiFi was working well for our web browsing, and the camera seemed to be snappy and grab a decent photo. All in all, it's looking real good!

BlackBerry Tablet OS First Impressions

BlackBerry PlayBook BlackBerry PlayBook
Un-BlackBerry like, yet still familiar

I'm liking the BlackBerry Tablet OS a lot. At first glance, it does seems a bit non-BlackBerry. If the PlayBook didn't have any branding on it and you handed it to somebody and told them to use it, I'm not sure if they would even realize it was a BlackBerry device. The touchscreen is silky smooth and really built for a touchscreen experience. The multi-tasking card/app metaphor should remind people of the Palm Web OS homescreen experience, though Palm's re-launch with Palm WebOS gained so little traction among the mass consumer audience that I'm not sure it's even relevant to compare it to that - people will just accept the PlayBook as having a new BlackBerry homescreen.

Traditional BlackBerry influences to do start to appear after a few seconds though. The homescreen maintains the "views" that are in BlackBerry 6, and icons have that BlackBerry feel about them. When you open an app, like the web browser, then things feel very berry again - the web browser has the same sort of look and feel to it as it does in BlackBerry 6, except of course for the fact that on the PlayBook it runs flash and seems to be super duper fast. There are lot of little touch points that look promising and I'll need more time on the PlayBook to really explore them all. Tapping the gear icon in the top right corner of the display brings up device options, which seem very logically laid out. Tapping the date on the homescreen pullls down a calendar - a very nice touch. 

BlackBerry PlayBook BlackBerry PlayBook
The browser rocks! I like the little calendar drop down

Tapping around the PlayBook, opening apps, using the gestures, the keyboard, using native apps and utilities like the camera, etc., really made for an enjoyable experience. It's definitely a different feeling though for me. I am SO USED to the traditional BlackBerry experience that any departure from it seems abnormal, and the PlayBook is definitely different. But it seems to be different in a good way. Having used most smartphone platforms a decent amount (iOS, Android, Palm Web OS, etc.), you almost get a feeling that the PlayBook has a bit of all of them in it. It'll take some getting used to, but it seems very complimentary to the existing BlackBerry operating system. I'll be curious to see how the homescreen experience feels in portrait. I have a feeling it'll feel a bit cramped in comparison to landscape mode, especially for the sliding card apps, but I could be wrong there. While Ryan didn't have too many details to share with us on this, it does sound like the PlayBook/Tablet OS experience will offer at least some homescreem experience customization. I'm not sure we'll see theming to the extent we have on BlackBerry Smartphones, but hopefully there'll be enough customization offered that themers will be able to put their talents to use on the PlayBook as well.

I was hoping to see more of the talked about BlackBerry PlayBook/BlackBerry Smartphone syncing in action today, but that wasn't shown to us just yet. It could be still under construction, but will be there for launch. Pairing your BlackBerry to your PlayBook is going to allow your PlayBook to really be used as an extension of your phone. This is great for both enterprise and for individuals. For enterprise, it maintains security and for consumers, it's like having a monitor for your BlackBerry. We'll definitely dive more into this in our next hands-on.

** Update: We were able to see the pairing in action the next day at the BlackBerry booth at CES:

The paired BlackBerry Smartphone/PlayBook experience allows you to use your PlayBook as a big screen for your BlackBerry phone. The BlackBerry bridge is carried out via bluetooth, and the means for pairing is really simple. You'll download a BlackBerry Bridge app onto your phone from App World. On your tablet, you'll tap the options icon on the top right corner of the PlayBook (the gear) and from there will be an option to display a barcode. You'll scan the barcode of your PlayBook with your BlackBerry and that will pair the two devices. From there, you can run BlackBerry Messenger, your calendar, emails (and maybe more??) from your PlayBook. Check out the video above to see it in action! (note, we do the BBM pairing at the very end).

Apps. That's the big thing here. I have no doubt that the native BlackBerry PlayBook experience is going to be awesome. The hardware rocks, the homescreen experience is cool, and the user experience is fluid, fast, silky and smooth. It'll be a great device out of the box. But these days it's about expanding the out of the box experience with apps, apps, apps. With a web browser that embraces flash, the need for a lot of apps goes away. In the Apple world people tend to look for an app instead of a website. That lack of support drove a need for apps. So immediately the PlayBook's support of flash allows for flash games, etc. to be played. That said, RIM is still going to need a BIG app catalog in order to be considered as a top player in the smartphone/mobile game for years to come. It looks like they're doing the right things here by making it easy for developers to port over apps to the PlayBook and by giving plenty of options in developing for it. Off the bat it seems to about pulling in flash apps and turning them into PlayBook apps, but it seems pretty clear that RIM is going to support everything.  Given a few months time, it's going to be a no brainer for every decent app on other platforms to be pulled over to BlackBerry. So I really think we'll see some huge numbers fairly quick on app count. It may not bad that mobile developers build for BlackBerry first (although I'm sure thousands will), but it should be a no brainer for them to also build their app for BlackBerry. That should lead to a big app catalog and a lot of quality apps. Interesting to note is that it sounds like RIM is only going to allow apps to be installed onto the PlayBook via App World. At least at launch. Hopefully they'll extend this functionality so other app vendors (like the CrackBerry App Store!) can also offer free and paid PlayBook apps. On the gaming front, the BlackBerry PlayBook should live up to to the play in its name - with its awesome processor and support for 3D graphics, the PlayBook will be a gaming machine which is something that has never been said about BlackBerry before.

All in all, things are looking solid on the BlackBerry PlayBook. We'll have a lot more to say once we have a chance to spend more time on it.

Concluding BlackBerry PlayBook Thoughts for Now 

BlackBerry PlayBook > Apple iPad
I like my iPad, but have a feeling I'm going to LOVE my PlayBook

My brain was in ga ga land while playing with the PlayBook for the first time. Now that I'm writing this intial review, a million more little questions are popping up that I want to address. We'll have more time to play with the PlayBook throughout the week, so you'll want to stay tuned for our follow-up posts. If you have questions, be sure to let us know in the comments.

RIM is really introducing two products with the PlayBook. A new operating system, and new hardware in a different sector. There's a lot of new-ness here. It definitely feels like they're doing the right things. The hardware has great specs and the operating system is fast and stable already which means it's only going to get better as it's refined and more and more features get added.

It's a new race for BlackBerry, and with the PlayBook they've come out of the starting gate sprinting.

Related BlackBerry PlayBook Links

Kevin Michaluk Kevin Michaluk "Founder, Editor in Chief " 3922 (articles) 3285 (forum posts)
149 comments

thegoodboy66

Kevin has an iPad, for me it says everything about it...

Even if it's bad or not, Apple did it first, and Kevin is using it...

So how can you say the iPad doesn't give options, etc... and then, why do you have one if you don't like it... I just don't get it?..

"It's too big" but you carry one!, I know you have a Blackberry site but be real.

Just my opinion

q649

Apple didn't do it first. Apple did it well.

Never bought anything that you later didn't like? It's doubtful that Kevin hates the iPad. More likely there are some things about it he just doesn't like.

Rlin5741

You just answered your own question - Apple was the first to create a good, consumer oriented smartphone, and up until late last year was the only choice (I'm excluding those laptop sized and weighted "tablets" running a desktop OS like Windows). Thus, Kevin probably only had one choice when he made his tablet purchase...

soybean63

Perhaps kevin being a gadget/electronic guru has the IPAD just because its available and was curious about all its goodness and quirks...now its time to move on to next innovative and exciting gadget (the playbook)...just my opinion...

jwmax

Maybe he has an iPhone too but who cares. I had one and it's one hell of a mistake. iPad = totally useless pos. Unless Gdd Jobs eats crow and adds flash to iPad2 it's DOA for anyone that knows anything about useful gadgets. I mean why would anyone give up the internest when they don't have to? I wonder how the media is going to report the PLUNGE in apple's share of the tablet market? At 100% there is no where to go but down and I have a feeling the going down is going to feel like falling off a cliff.

Just my opinion ;)

phone9

How could he possibly be "in the know" and evaluate one thing versus another, without owning an iPad and using it?

Wouldn't you laugh if he wrote a review saying "The Playbook looks good, I can't say how it compares to the iPad because I've never really gotten to know the iPad."

jiminbarrie

I've got 3 Playbooks (and one Samsung Galaxy and 2 I Pads) - and I have to say, there is no clear winner... yet.

Ipad was there first, and they have the content (Itunes) and feel of an Apple. Samsung has ANdroid, and is much more convenient to carry around. Playbook definitely has the best form factor, but is lacking in content at this point. Once they get Android apps, they will be the clear leader.

For business, the Playbok is clearly my favorite. I don't need to take my laptop now when I travel because Playbook gives me a large enough screen for email and attachments - and has Word, Exel and PowerPoint.

I Pad is still better for video content on long trips (like China where you can't get decent English programming). It is limited for business use.

I've given the Galaxy to my son, because it's OK for busienss - but also has 3G - which the Play Book does not.

When Playbook has Android and 3G - it will be perfect.

the brother

WOWOWOWOW! Lucky dude!!!!

CASH

I told that dumb guy from Mobility Insider there wasn't going to be an 8GB model.

jav3lin

Your impression on anything Blackberry is automatically one sided...

Lets face it....your obviously not gonna say it sucks. It's like hearing an Apple fanboy saying apple products suck....NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.

I'll wait for a non-biased first impression thanks.

CASH

Of course it is. He founded a site about RIM/BlackBerry.

But really, why so pessimistic? Just based on specs and the videos/pics, this thing is awesome. Get it in YOUR hands and make a decision about it, don't state the obvious. Funny how I just did that very thing. LOL

sk8er_tor

Let it go down in history that this is the dumbest comment I've ever read on here.

jav3lin

Why? Cuz I'm stating the obvious?

Fanboys are stupid...and Kevin is the biggest fanboy of all...not because he created this website, but because he just seems to refuse to say anything bad about anything RIM/Blackberry. He should really be pointing out any downfalls as well instead of just focusing on the positive and not say that everything is "rockin'"

Apple fanboys are bad? Blackberry fanboys are worse cuz they are trying to grasp onto something that is slowly being phased out. Honest Truth.

I have a iPhone4 and don't use it as my main mobile device because I truly do like my Blackberry Bold 9700 over anything. I've even had the Torch and actually exchanged it to go back to the Bold.

I would just like to see the pitfalls as well as the positives.

gregorylkelly

The product is unfinished at this time. Anything that isn't good about it can change in the next month, so why waste time harping on it? If some features are perfect now, then they will be perfect when the PB comes out.

Plus, the man is clearly excited to use this thing and his first impressions are all positive. Who knows, maybe this thing worked perfectly when Kevin used it!

Nesquik

i remember a video of a guy who started criticizing the playbook when mike the co-ceo was showing it off in one of the events. i strongly doubt that guy is ever going to get a "preview" of a device after that showing.

its all about politics. you be nice to them they will re-invite you to another preview.

that being said i think kevin handled this very nicely. he didnt have to criticize the device because the blackberry guy was already explaining the pitfalls by admitting there is a problem and they are working on it and it'll be fixed and ready by release.

and when a device is good are you really going to be hunting for all of its flaws? seriously man. cynicism is so overrated. get over it.

Culex316

I agree 100%, this incessant cynicism and bitching for no good reason is getting old.

soybean63

good point...are there any negatives about the playbook we should know about? Even with negatives though I would still buy a playbook...The playbook seems to be a welcomed diversion to the tablet market.

coloronpaper

THIS IS CRACKBERRY! WE ARE BLACKBERRY USERS!

And not a non-biased first impression review site...

WillieLee

You don't strike me as a very intelligent person. What's your next move? Surfing over to Ford and asking them why they don't list GM cars?

caligrl7

Even a reporter from BGR had very few negative things to say about the Playbook (http://www.bgr.com/2011/01/05/blackberry-playbook-hands-on/). It's not only Kevin who was impressed by it.

landorghini

What's wrong with being excited about a product..wheter its positive or negative...u most likely will still buy it..its unfinished just wait til an actual full product comes out and we can test from there

jinxednuance

I'm sorry, but if he's biased, why the hell are you here? go play with your toy somewhere else, and don't rein in on our parade!

as for the PLAYBOOK: I CANNOOOOOOOT WAIT!!!!

ReccaKun

learn to read which site you are on... this is crackberry nation, not your everyday stupid CNET review site. Oh and thank you stating the obvious, GENIUS.

Auli

Have you ever read kevin's review on the 9780 , he 'hate's' it. Biased?

cjwild

For those skeptical of this review for "bias" reasons. Just check out Engadget's first hands on. They were just as impressed and said the only thing they were disappointed in was that it isn't available RIGHT NOW.

http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/06/blackberry-playbook-preview/

They've even got a nice video displaying the multi-tasking capabilities with Quake, a 1080P RED demo, Music, and a Photo Slidesow and it still runs pretty awesome.

BlakGost

If that were true you never would have even read the article yet alone commented on it. Next...

BlakGost

If that were true you never would have even read the article yet alone commented on it. Next...

KEEMZ116

Release date!?!?!?!??

lkveggie

Wouldn't it just be easier for you to answer the question instead of saying, "Watch the videos." over and over?

theruined

great questions, awesome answers, overall you've shed light on a lot of new issues...
Good stuff, keep it up, fingers crossed for more great news to come

jwmax

They are sticking with Q1 that sounds great to me. wuwuwuwuwuw!

Gajetman

They're taking way too long to release this. If they can't even show it in portrait mode, it's gonna never be released by the end of March.

Plazmic Flame

I was surprised he said that.... according to them it should be releasing soon...

jwmax

Can't know for sure I guess but it would seem unwise to consistently annouce a date you don't hit. It would seem to be inviting bad press and pissy comments from people like you. :)

jwmax

Can't know for sure I guess but it would seem unwise to consistently annouce a date you don't hit. It would seem to be inviting bad press and pissy comments from people like you. :)

BigR3dBri

The RIM exec said you would be able to see contacts, calender etc... what about BBM? I saw you asked but did not hear a answer.

That is a good question to clarify.

Thanks.

Excited and trying to be patient. :)

Plazmic Flame

Ryan said BBM is working but it's not active unless you have a device paired up with the PlayBook. He also said they're going to show that functionality tomorrow (January 6th).

blackraven

Does it support connecting to ad-hoc Wifi connections?

theruined

it's funny how people jump on and automatically bash this product and/or review when they haven't even taken the initiative to GO to CES and try to get their hands on this before anyone else (or just plain go to CES for that matter)...Kudos to Kevin for stepping up and reppin' it for the BB fans out there...

Plazmic Flame

I take back any negative things I've might have said about the PlayBook, it looks pretty cool.

The only thing is I pray to God that it will have wireless pairing with a Blackberry device, if it's wired...... then that will look dumb.

- "Oh wait, give me a moment to get the USB cord and pair up my handset..."

- "No worries, I already pulled out my [insert competitor tablet]..."

- "Oh..."

BurninatorX

It's wireless via Bluetooth. The guy says that during the demo and it has been mentioned before.

fabulous3030

Who cares about the playbook anymore? I know qnx is good but there's already so many tablets out. That's RIM for you. Just behind.

shlammed

Who cares how many have been released when most of them are useless and have shitty specs?

How many of those tablets can seamlessly integrate into corporate environments where companies have already spent thousands of dollars on BlackBerry infrastructure? Does the number 250,000+ BES deployments around the world mean anything to you?

carguy1101

Did they happen to say if you will need a tethering plan in order to use the bb?'s internet on the playbook or will the regular plan be enough?
thanks

xxplosive82

Kevin, could we watch Netflix Instant on the PlayBook? I would think Hulu is a no-go, but there's always hope.

jwmax

"That said, RIM is still going to need a BIG app catalog in order to be considered as a top player in the smartphone/mobile game for years to come."

I can't believe you fall for this shit. It's like saying my computer is no good because it doesn't have apps. Name one person that would give up their computer for a phone..........

The Gift

Considering apple will be releasing a mac app store pretty imminent, It would appear desktops or more appropriately windows machine may also be heading in that direction soon.

ReccaKun

nah I would not want a stupid apps in my computer. I like how my computer works, having apps in my computer is just dumb. Apple is making app a big thing because most of the programs out there are non apple compatible.

Tobyus

You are confusing me. You say that you don't want apps on your computer, yet you turn around and point out the fact that your computer has more programs than an Apple machine. You do realize that programs=applications=apps right?

Have you ever heard of Steam? Stardock? Those are basically app stores for the personal computer...and I have bought many games (which are apps) through Steam for my desktop computer. Stardock offers utilities as well as games through their "app store" too.

Tobyus

"That said, RIM is still going to need a BIG app catalog in order to be considered as a top player in the smartphone/mobile game for years to come."

"I can't believe you fall for this shit. It's like saying my computer is no good because it doesn't have apps. Name one person that would give up their computer for a phone.........."

_______________________

A computer without any applications available for it would be useless. I would even let you get by with only having an operating system installed and still say that it wouldn't be very useful without any applications. Firefox, Internet Explorer, Notepad, Microsoft Word, Windows Media Player, Calculator, etc. are just a few applications (apps) for Windows.

sid_heart19

Buddy jwmax,
Here is the answer to your question :'Name one person that would give up their computer for a phone..........'

Name: Sidharth (thats me!)
Profession: Software Developer for Telecom Giant
Age: 27
Phone: Curve 8900 (looking forward to switch to 9780 AND 'may be an iPhone4 for fun')

My laptop use has reduced to 20%(1:big screen need - movies, net surfing, 2:Processing speed - photo editing, large file editing/opening), since I started using my BlackBerry for my day to day needs(social networking, music, google, mailing, chatting, photos, videos, minor document editing, to-do lists, tweaking photos, etc, etc).

Regarding the unbelievable dependency of the credibility of a smartphone on available Apps:

PC and SMARTPHONES are DIFFERENT in this regard! Just like in the old(before Mac started using Intel boards) days, when MAC and PC used to be worlds apart for a new buyer.

HOW?: Think about it this way, MAC sales compared to PC was LOW, because first time computer buyer know about a Computer by the softwares they wanted to use on it, say Microsoft Office, Virtual PC, Need for Speed, Eclipse, etc. They wouldn't buy even if the MAC's hardware was ages ahead of that of a PC. Hope it helps to see the perspective of this Article's Author:) He just meant number of apps available for particular Smartphone (rather the Operating System it runs) may(will?!) affect it's success in the market..

Cheers!!!
Sid

The Gift

But a one sided view of all praise was to be expected from Kevin. I'll still wait to hear an unbiased review from elsewhere before I make a proper judgement.
The same hyped up s*** was said about many other bb products on here and look how they turned out... yes im referring to the storm1 and storm2.

HTC_Droid_EvO

I'll still wait to hear an unbiased review...they hype the BB Style

So no I dont trust it lol

:)

fix your phones RIM...everyone has a tablet

dhyde79

yep, everyone has a tablet, but, at least the playbook and ipad offer some features that their respective phones don't, until 3.0 or later releases for the android tablets, they have nothing that you couldn't already do on your phone.....

for example, droidX and galaxy Tab, what's the difference, other than a forward facing camera, they run the exact same OS, and have fairly similar hardware specs so....it's a 7" phone (that can't make calls on verizon) or a 4.3" phone.....other than that, there's nothing you can't do on the X that you can on the tab.....c'mon, at least give credit where credit is due, the playbook is being shown as a companion to the phone and it does that job nicely.

BluCheze

Kevin, sounds good and all but what I really like to know is if you got any information in regards future smartphones. I mean really beat up a RIM exec if you have to.

bensonjunior

You're first mission Kevin:
How do you close an app fully. I know leaving the App open in the background will kill battery, all I've seen in videos is them opening the apps, going to a new one and not fully closing the old ones.

Joseph Holder

In other videos, we've seen a flick up gesture to "throw away" apps; it's similar to the way you close apps on a Palm Pre.  I'm pretty sure I've seen Mike L swipe up to minimize the app and then swipe up again to close it.  

hes so hott

Here's the problem. Rim copied webOS gestures and card view because they don't have the in-house talent to develop something that is truly unique. What would be interesting is is HP, owner of webOS decided to file a patent infringement suit against Rim so that the gestures on the playbook are changed.

Even Joshua, Nilay and Paul over at Engadget and the folks at Precentral said that the playbook UI is a blatent rip off of webOS.

Daniel Ratcliffe

The problem is, if RIM had decided to use something unique, everyone would have gone and started chanting POS. If RIM creates something unique, there is VERY little praise for it. If the Playbook doesn't sell well anyway, there will be no point in HP suing. You sue to get a slice of the cake, if there's no cake there to get a slice of, what's the point?

Derwent Graphite

Did you even watch the first video? 2:00 to 2:12 would have answered your question already.

bensonjunior

Yes, I'd also like to know how the tethering will work. Will you have to pay for a tethering plan to be able to use the 3G/4G connectivity. Or will you be able to just connect and use your existing data plan?

xiaohuaxing

If it got Swype it would be perfect...

pokemon

will it be able to work with OS 5?

Nesquik

according to the data thats available about the playbook, it will be compatible with any bb phone 5.0 and higher.

starfleet_k

Hey kevin could you ask one question .... Will the playbook play "mkv" files?
Really intrested in that aspect what codecs will it support?

Hwycop

Kevin, your written reviews are norrmally very good and concise and thorough. Your video work reminds me of projects I did in high school. Jesus, man did you prepare for it or just go totally blank? Funny to watch! And if you can pocket a Playbook for me that would be awesome.

Nesquik

the man keeps it real. no rehearsal !

jonp

I didn't see any mention of a micro-SD or SD slot - it there going to be a way to add memory if we want? or to transfer files this way? Will we have to plug something into the micro-USB port?

drjay868

The microSD slot is in your phone. There's your removeable storage... like it or not.

I think RIM did it that way as extra incentive for you to have a BB phone.

jonp

I didn't see any mention of a micro-SD or SD slot - it there going to be a way to add memory if we want? or to transfer files this way? Will we have to plug something into the micro-USB port?

Nesquik

very cool video kevin. well handled and it made me lol a few times =)

MyMeth

awesome! i waaaaaaaaaaaaaaant one!

quellerie

The RIM guy more or less confirmed existing battery deficiencies. He stated they hope to get it up to about 8 hours. Kevin thinks this refers to 8 video hours. How does this compare to other tabs? I was hoping for more.

Jake Storm

Where can I pre-order one?
... must have :)

amazinglygraceless

I am completely unimpressed by this POS tablet.

For one, everything else makes it obsolete out of the box.
In a sea of tablets, this middling, only a fanboy (read: Kev and the rest of his jock riders) will love it, are the only people excited by this.

Anyone with a modicum of intelligence will look elsewhere.

Go ahead, call me out on my statement. You will only prove my point. Bow down and pucker suckers.

Nesquik

you do realize by you saying "Go ahead, call me out on my statement. You will only prove my point." you are telling us that you are afraid of our (yes im "fan[boy]" of the playbook) replies because you have no base for your "opinion" and want to make us feel that by us replying to your comment we should feel bad about ourselves? right.

yes my comment might be a little hard to understand. but u gotta imagine how much less sense your comment made.

oh and yah so what you are saying is that since there is already a tablet out there companies should not even bother to compete with the other tablet? right. good luck with your monopoly of a world.

Daniel Ratcliffe

So I'm a fanboy for wanting an extension of my perfectly stable BlackBerry smartphone that is the only thing with support for my accessories... Yeah, fanboy indeed, for having a solution that will let me leave my Apple laptop (which I thoroughly enjoy using by the way) at home when going out to deliver a text-based presentation. Yes, I actually deliver text-based presentations.

The Playbook will help me deliver more multimedia content when doing my presentations. Do I want an iPad? No, I prefer to use my BlackBerry for PDA stuff (and yes, I have used an iPod Touch which was assigned to me as a PDA, I find the QWERTY keypad included on my 8520 to be better).

The fact that Google will monopolize on everything I do (and we're talking everything, apps, emails, Personally Identifiable Information {targeted ads anyone}) makes them a no-go as well. RIM don't target ads to me, therefore I have no worries with trusting them with my PII, as 3rd parties are less likely to have all my PII, including bank card details (the guys working for Google might not have them either, but the sight of targeted ads worries me such).

I have a solution I trust, but I would still be a Nokia user had I not owned a Nokia 5800, which broke my trust in that company enough to make me jump ship. I have looked back since, and decided I want to stay with BlackBerry.

Wow, you only need so much as to buy a product these days to become a fanboy. Guess that means my friend with a QWERTY Nokia who got it because she couldn't afford a BlackBerry is a Nokia fangirl then.

And amazinglygraceless, you're a Retired Mod here, surely you should be better than to say we're proving your fanboy point by calling you out on your statement.

P.B.B

This is just awesome, I have to admit I was shaking too just looking at Kev flip through the applications. I can't wait to get my hands on one

amazinglygraceless

(Small case intentional)

I see we don't take opposing views well Kevin. Shame on you.

bossingko

looking forward to bb playbook in manila,,, it's always good to have more brands to choose from out there than just ipad or iphone... can't wait to sync with my bb 9700... thanks for the reviews...

noTh1ng

very nice review, congrats!
i have one concern though which is the lack of mobile connectivity for non-blackberry users. how does RIM want to adress these people / customers? they want a nice little tablet which is able to go to the internet everywhere, and they'll just get that if they buy a blackberry as well, which seems kind of a bad marketing strategy to me.
sure there will be a 4g version by sprint, but then you probably have to rely on a 24month contract...

kinghai

It's quite small. I read a review at Engadget that they said it is smaller than Galaxy Tab. And PlayBook doesn't have SD slot, a little bit disappointed.

munchkinsdad

All I want to know is if it has BBM

Nesquik

yes. but from what i understand it must be paired with a bb device in order for it to function.

zensen

hopefully with this new os and this tablet, they might even consider putting sd integration into future models. Otherwise, it looks and from what you've spoken about, sounds great too!

I love the 7" model and will be awesome to take out and about unlike some other tablets in a bigger size. it'll be perfect for long distant flights esp if they can get 8-10 hours out of with some medium to heavy usage.

there's a reason why i have a netbook on my flights - for battery and lightweight and form factor.

Barefoot_Kevin

Sucks that it's only on Sprint

kinghai

Kevin, wondering if you see this

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2011/01/bb-playbook-post-0...

Battery level is at 93% but only last for 4 hrs 5 minutes. How could it reach 8hrs? Wondering if the default brightness was set to 100%.

lerxster

Nice preview! It's all looking good.

Wonder if you can use your BB handset to type on the playbook when tethered that would be cool :D

husnimd

hey Kevin..I wanna share your hierarchy image and post it on facebook. It's not personal..just for educational purpose..thanks!

noTh1ng

i forgot to mention earlier that i found this at gizmodo and they really say what i think will be the matter of the playbook. its a great device with one major fault..

[url]http://gizmodo.com/5725985/blackberry-playbook-preview-the-first-great-7...

Detective M Downs

I'm interested in knowing what the boot-up-time is for PB/QNX OS?

moonoverparma00

This is fantastic! I'm an Android user (kinda missing my blackberry) but I'm so loving the playbook. I only wish it was coming sooner. Go Sprint!!!

njdakota

I was wondering if there will be a way to send to a printer on the Playbook wirelessly or connected wouldn't matter to me. Just would like to retire my laptop at home and just use the Playbook but would need the ability to print. If anyone might know please clue me in!

Sirhill

Can some one explain to me how the PB's email and calender is a fail if it is only available if it is connected to a blackberry. The reason that I ask is because I may not want to have email ready available on it. And if I want to read email I can just hope on the net an look at it like I do on my PC. All the talk of this being a fail has just gone right over my head and I just need someone to explain this further.

I mean if everyone on other platforms say that their phones email is just as good or even better than the blackberries email system then why would you want to buy a device that has inferior email capabilities. This way you can have your better email on your phone and use the PB for other things. And if I am correct this email-less feature will only be on the WI-Fi only model which many will pass up on and get the one with a radio so that you can have all that you can stand.

At the end of the day I just want to have someone explain me why it is a fail or why someone that wants a super powerful and super slim tab that looks to be able to handle just about anything and have the benefit of being able to tether with their bb is such a failure for not giving you one feature that many say is just not enough anymore when other platforms have it so much better.

CODrules

AWESOME cant wait to get one! :D

damenace

Thanks for the video and the hard work, Kevin

Can't wait to get a PB. I like that its small, so I can take it everywhere. It can be my 3rd girlfriend! (my 2nd gf is my storm2)

imotionsrt4

I'm really excited about the playbook. The only thing that I'm not on board with, is only being able to use BBM while connected to a Blackberry phone. Essentially what they are saying is that if you don't have a Blackberry smart phone, you don't have a need for BBM. Well this isn't always the case in my opinion, & I'll explain. If RIM doesn't do something fast to their phones, I will not purchase another Blackberry phone. But if I have 50 friends on BBM, & I move away from a RIM phone, I would still like to use BBM on the Playbook to contact them. What am I supposed to do? "Sorry guys, I no longer have a Blackberry phone, I can't BBM with you anymore....yes I know I have a $400 Playbook from Blackberry...but I don't have a Blackberry phone anymore"...That just sounds stupid to me & makes no sense. Now there may be other factors I don't know about & this may change down the road, but for now why the hell am I gonna drop $300+ on a playbook when I can't even BBM my friends? Might as well stick to my phone only if this is gonna be the case.

drjay868

It doesn't have BBM on it because it doesn't have a cellular radio. Future versions that get a 3G/4G radio in it will have their own BBM. That's the price you're going to have to pay if you want to be an early adopter and can't wait for one of those other models to come out.

imotionsrt4

Well that makes more sense. Thanks for that info...I couldn't find much mention of it anywhere. I'm hoping a QNX OS for the phones will step it up their smart phone game so I don't have to go away from my BBerry phone, but if they don't make moves this year, I'm done with BBerries :hs:

gdewit79

I am patiently waiting (albeit very hard to do) for this thing to be released. Thank you for posting these videos! I think I would have been like a kid in a candy store as well, if I had the opportunity to speak with a Senior Product Manager about a highly anticipated tablet. From what I have seen, this tablet will look to be absolutely amazing, although time will tell. I do believe, and sincerely hope, Research In Motion will finally get it right, and release something worth all the waiting over.

I am not at all interested in a model that has it's own radio - that is what my Torch is for. I am interested in a product that will connect seamlessly to my Torch, and between the two, give me a package that compliments each other.

I will continue to watch and read whatever material you provide, but I will make my mind up once I finally have one in my hands.

soybean63

Will the playbook be able to sync with other phone platforms other than BB ( i.e. the droid)?

donovanfromwinnipeg

I have a stupid, stupid, stupid question. I'm really excited about this product, but where can I get "legal" videos to put on this machine, a la iTunes for the iPad.

And I don't really want to have to download or rip something, then convert it, then load it. Is there a site out there that would work with the Blackberry and/or Playbook?

Thanks,
Donovan

The Consigliere

May be a dumb question but will DM work with the this? I mean are we going to be able to hook it up & restore our current information to our Playbooks? I would hope so, I know that it can't make phone calls but most if not all of my contacts have email address associated with them so it would make it a lot easier to be able to transfer them that way then to enter them one by one. Just a thought, also I wonder if we'll be able to pull music, videos, etc. from our Berries to the Playbook once it's synced or is that another thing that will have to be done when it's hardwired?

pineypl

Looks relatively cool if you are a 'pad' type. I am not, so I am wondering, is this RIM's only big deal at CES? Any comments, hints, or suggestions of new phones? So far the big news for CES seems to be Android. :-(

MBinNM

Kevin, thanks for the great review. I'm definitely interested in learning more about the BlackBerry Smartphone + BlackBerry PlayBook experience, but also want to hear your thoughts on whether or not it will be possible to get to the point of where I carry a very inexpensive (and small) mobile phone that is just a phone, and then use a PlayBook for everything else (email, calendar, web, etc.)? In that case I assume that I will need a PlayBook with both Wi-Fi and some sort of 4G communication ability, but ultimately wanting it to be no more expensive than my current mobile phone data plan. Do you foresee this as a viable option? Thanks again!

abi.meleibt@gmail.com

kevin: i have a question, since its first coming out on a wifi only model how wil i be able to tether it to my blackberrry to use it as a mirror of my blackberry?? will it go via bluetooth? or will i need a tethering data plan?

Nesquik

it'll connect via bluetooth

mattvait

i've always felt that the ipad is just a super-sized iphone. so i've always been like 'whats the big deal?' but the playbook looks like it is its own device. i think i'll get one for sure!

rookie83#CB

Looks good and great Job Kevin, Hope I dont have to do battery pulls LOL

Tobyus

Glad to hear that they are finally doing away with the old "Application Memory". As soon as RIM starts shipping phones with QNX they'll be taking another major step in the right direction. My old Bold 9000 will be getting replaced in a couple of months, and it would be nice to be able to say I am considering another Blackberry, but the only way that will happen is if it's a QNX powered BB with the same memory setup as the Playbook and some new life in the app/game department.

somebodysomeone

what about a LED flash for the camera? =\

DBX00

***IMPORTANT*** Will the calendar and mail application have a standalone version that doesn't require me to connect to my blackberry phone to access? Rumor is that you need the phone to connect to email, which just doesn't make sense if I don't care about security with IMAP and POP.

The more I think about this, the more angry I get that they have the perfect hardware and are messing something so simple up. REAL CASE USE: What happens if my wife buys this for me and the kids. My kids want the games *check*. I want access to my email from work, calendar, etc. *check*. However, I want my several personal emails separate from my work device. I can't in a friendly fashion check my email on a device this powerful without struggling through a crappy web interface?

I understand they want it to be plug and play for enterprise, but you can still keep the tether and have separate accounts that are dedicated to the device. I can live without BBM as a standalone (keep that for BES and BIS users). However, it is unacceptable that I can't just type in some IMAP and POP settings to connect to my email or have a calendar app that isn't connected to some outside server. Heck, why do I need to call into the mothership to find a friends number or email address that I stored on the device. In this scenario, I won't even be able to recall his email address when I go to type an email in the web browser.

They really should do some outside testing on products instead of working in a bubble. The testing should include CIO AND CONSUMERS!!!

BunniesBerry

Is there any talk of a native and/or third party apps for viewing (and hopefully editing) Powerpoint presentations?

Ola97

Will the PB be available to all carriers or just a few? Heard Verizon and AT&T wanted exclusive rights to the PB.

HipPo13

Thanks Kevin and the CB team........It's all we would've wished for an some more. question though, will there be a desktop manager app for the playbook??? i mean it's only right..will we be able to upgrade our phones using the playbook???

corymcnutt

What bothers me is that the PlayBook was not mentioned as a product in Verizon's announcements of tablets by mid 2011???

geoffv44

WTF..... It should be a darn stand alone device!!!!! WHAT R THEY THINKING???? So u need a regular bberry phone to get all the blackberry features such as bb messenger or keeping your own calendar seperate from your phone you cant have the playbook as a stand alone device without loosing many blackberry features...that makes no sense????WHAT IS UP WITH THAT??? Apple would have never done that. I have people that I want to give this to that can't run a blackberry phone and they need messenger.... what do they do???? how stupid maybe Ill have to get them ipads???? Apple would have never done that. RIM should want to increase their customer base why not give all the features of the phone and then some to the playbook. When u buy an ipad u get basically all the features of an iphone and you dont have to own an iphone...Kevin stop kissing RIM's ass and ask them the questions????

Kuttysark

I just wish the Playbook had a microSD slot. My only gripe really. That being said, I will pick one up regardless.

McQuill#CB

It looks really nice, but I'm kind of thinking this might be too little, too late.

My impressions from Kevins video, and the specs:

- It's about as good as a 2010 Android Tablet/Hybrid (Streak), but without any of the apps, not nearly as much 'glitz' (Live Wallpaper? Widgets?), and no dev tools/community dev support.

-By the time this is released there will be _dual-core_ Android smartphones and tablets on the market. The Playbook will have less horsepower than a top-tier smartphone.

- By the time this thing gets up and rolling, after 2 or 3 minor OS updates (to fix version 1 bugs) Apple will have a new iOS, Windows Mobile 7 will be a lot more popular, and Android will have 2 more OS updates.

As far as tablets go I didn't see anything unique about it except for a RIM logo. I know we're all BB fanboys here, but to the uninitiated, why would someone choose this over an iPad or Android tablet?

DBX00

1) Hardware is the latest and greatest. No current or recently announced Android tablet surpasses it.

2) This will be released before Honeycomb is complete. They are only showing videos of honeycomb running, so it has a ways to go before final....definitely not March.

3) Given Apple is making their own processors now I wouldn't expect them to keep up in a ghz race. You clearly weren't around during the Power PC years.

The unique ability is multitasking (I promise you that Honeycomb multitasking will not be a friendly) and the development environment. Until we see how applications utilize it, there really not going to be a difference outside of UI. This is the same for every Tablet OS.

I still don't like the idea of no standalone email and calendar.

McQuill#CB

Whaaa??

1. Dual core is all over CES. Android 2.2 already supports HDMI out. IIRC Rogers Canada carries Android phones with HDMI out ports. And no, it doesn't surpass everything-- it doesn't have a mobile data connection.

2. Gingerbread is almost out. By the time RIM fixes version 1 of OS6 (July 2011?), Google will have their next OS, and I suspect Apple will too.

3. Apple will do just fine (and saddly I was around during the PPC days). Seriously, all Apple needs to do at this point is make a shinny piece of plastic with an Apple logo on the back and it will sell.

Multitasking is hardly unique. Didn't BlackBerry OS 4.x multitasked?? Have you seen Android 1.6? 2.1? 2.2? The new iPhone? WM6? WM7? It's old-news.

I agree, RIM will be very unique with the dev environment-- They'll be the only company without one. harharhar. ;)

Nogrentain

1. A total of 5 dual core phones were announced, one of which will have a 1.5ghz dual core processor. IE it ain't coming out til likely the end of 2011. Nearly all the dual core processors announced are several months away from production. Hell, PB's processor was only very recently developed. Also, it was said nothing surpasses it, not that it surpasses everything. Learn to read.

2. Ok. So what? RIM has always been geared towards messaging, and that what it does best and is meant for. They're gaining in every market except North America. RIM's playing catchup, and it takes time to leapfrog ahead to not always be one step behind. RIM makes some STUPID moves, but it also isn't THAT bad overall. It's worldwide market share can attest to that with its continued growth worldwide.

3. Pretty much.

Yes, multi-tasking is VERY unique still. RIM is just about the only OS with true multi-tasking. Iphone doesn't count, nor does WM7. Android barely even does right now. QNX is going to become full and true multi-tasking as we know it on pcs and macs.

DBX00

1) Hardware is the latest and greatest. No current or recently announced Android tablet surpasses it.

2) This will be released before Honeycomb is complete. They are only showing videos of honeycomb running, so it has a ways to go before final....definitely not March.

3) Given Apple is making their own processors now I wouldn't expect them to keep up in a ghz race. You clearly weren't around during the Power PC years.

The unique ability is multitasking (I promise you that Honeycomb multitasking will not be a friendly) and the development environment. Until we see how applications utilize it, there really not going to be a difference outside of UI. This is the same for every Tablet OS.

I still don't like the idea of no standalone email and calendar.

123berryaddicted

Samsung made the processor for the iPhone 4...

feek

what connection does playbook use when it's connected to BlackBerry ?

is it the BIS or provider's data plan?

kinda currious

DaNomadicOne

I am droolin....I will stand in line all night for mine when its released...

newcollector

I am soooo ready for the Playbook. It will be a great asset for work and for play. I am stoked! great review!

dhyde79

ok, so, I have a question, and I'm hoping someone can answer it.....

there's a picture over on gizmodo or engadget of the ports area of the playbook, it looks to have a microHDMI (we knew this) and a microUSB (also knew this) but, there's a third port too that looks very much like the magsafe charging port on my macbook pro.....and the pairing/bridge video kind of backs that up with the HDMI and the other port being what're plugged in.....

has anyone actually said for sure what that other port is?

somebodysomeone

Connectors: microHDMI, microUSB, charging contacts

postobon

Looks awesome...
No email or BBM built in...EPIC EPIC FAIL IMHO.
Looking for tablet for wife, she does not have a BB....so SAD :(

echofoxx

Could you belive CNET's Best of CES went to the Motorola Xoom. They didn't even show off the damn thing in a workable touchable OS. just a bunch of Video demos looping. i mean WTF. and Dual core processor, that was so announce last year with the playbook. WTF. i just don;t know any more. i mean it's not like they had Honeycomb on the dam thing, and it suppose to be ready the first quarter i call bull shit.

alexkinsella

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for stopping by our booth yesterday. Ryan told me he enjoyed meeting you and we’re pleased you were excited to get your hands on a PlayBook. We want the BlackBerry PlayBook to offer an exceptional user experience through its uncompromised mobile browsing, HD multimedia and ultra-portability, which as a long time BlackBerry user, we’re sure you can appreciate.

The new BlackBerry Bridge pairing technology, being demonstrated this week at CES, will pair a BlackBerry smartphone and PlayBook to meet the CrackBerry “hierarchy of smartphone needs” for all users.

Stay tuned to for new videos of applications coming soon on Inside BlackBerry.

Cheers,

Alex from RIM

migo809

This is what I've been waiting for, a real tablet to come out, this just looks awesome n I'm so happy rim went to create their own software,and I'm glad this isn't a big blackberry, unlike that big iphone called the ipad which is a total waste of money

B_Eazy

Sorry to drop like that on all the negative comments ive been reading about people complaining that it doesnt have standalone email app or standalone BBM!

Lets get this thing straight:

1) For the standalone email, you dont need it necessarily since you can connect to the internet and access your gmail, hotmail, etc. why would you need an app for that??? You guys are ridiculous! Apple messed up this market with APPs! U dont need an app for everything! when you structure your platform the way RIM did, it shows that not everything needs an app! It doesnt even have a carrier connectivity! So it DOESNT need a native email app! For calendar, im sure it will have its own but for your stuff on your BB, you'll be able to bridge with it!

2) For the BBM part! I see alot of people would want, like and love to be part of the BBM community! Unfortunately for you guys, you havent gotten the point yet: BBM is tied to a PIN! The PIN is tied to a BB phone! And actually, im quite happy they did that cause the fakers who have been bashing on RIM for all this time thought they could just buy this and have all the advantage that us BB phone users have! Well Nope! Too bad for you! You want BBM, get a BB phone!! or stick with your Android super mobile theater which doesnt get my work done or an iphone super gaming platform that still doesnt help me getting my work done! For kids stuff get an android or iphone! for getting the job done, get a BB phone! And again, it wouldnt have BBM even if they wanted too cause of absence of a radio to connect to carriers! BBM does not work over wi-fi and connects directly to the BIS! If RIM would of done that, automatically people would of had to be tied to a data plan from a carrier and other peeps would of bashed RIM some more!

So conclusion:
For email apps, you dont need it! Anyway, im sure somebody will make an app for it anyways since the platform will welcome more developpers than any other platform because of the many different ways to create one.
For BBM, get a BB phone and stop hiding behind your kids toy! If you dont want to get a BB phone than get lost! if you want this beautiful piece of engineering, than you can still get it but dont freakin complain about not havin BBM cause your not worth being part of this community!! LOL

PS: For those saying: Apple would of never done this that way! they would of included everything that they have in the phone and bla bla bla!!
Well, Apple havent thought of something like BBM yet and will never do so! And you guys are complaining of something that you would of loooooove to have but cant have cause Apple doesnt think that way! They rather drown you in Apps! Well the PB will keep our head above the water of apps without being unreasonable! I think apps are good but when your flooding my device with apps, I think its because you havent thought of your structured fully! Not saying its bad, but its not totally good either! And that is the principal reason why Apple will never be a secure business platform!

powersb

ON the Wi-Fi version, will the web browser only work via Wi-Fi, or will you be able to use your blackberry data connection via the bluetooth connectivity?

blue200316

Is it possible to thether the Playbook to BlackBerry so that we can use BB data service to browse net on Playbook? and can we install apps for BB on Playbook via App World ?

bellysize

I am a little disappointed. The Bridge app is not true tethering in that you cannot use your BB for accessing the internet. It is my understanding that you have to rely on a WiFi connection for that. For me - using the PB to enhance the email, task, calendar and memo experience doesn't cut it. The BB handset is fine for these functions. What I want is ready and complete access to the internet - as well as word, power point and excel. With respect to internet access, I am not sure if you can still tether via a USB cable. If so, that's ok - but it would be a lot nicer to not have to even take your BB out of its holster and still access the internet. Finally, with respect to input alternatives - it would have been great if you could use your BB as an external keyboard. I.E. type on your BB - instead of the PB screen keyboard - and possibly navigate using the track pad on the BB (which is a lot more accurate than your finger - especially for editing). So, despite the hype and excitement - I am not sure if I am sold. I will still wait - as there is lots of time for RIM to change and add functions.

ShowBoy

After I read the review, i looked to the left of my desk and stared at my Ipad for a very long time. I noticed how much I had bundled it up screen protector giant thick case, scared i would ruin it. Not once have i ever put it in my laptop bag. With the Playbook on the other hand it looks like it would't need a case or a screen protector as RIM usally puts there best forward in material. Im not saying that Apple doesnt but I am saying that Apples curved design scares me at time when I think my Ipad might fall. With the Playbook im certain ill be able to leave it on my desk and not worry about scratches on the matte finish or it falling over, and that is why it will go in my laptop bag everyday.

CrackersB21

Does anyone have any idea of the UK and US pricing on the WIFI version of the PlayBook ?

mike820324

oh my god! I want it so bad. Hoping it will sale in Taiwan soon.

Jerryg50

When the Playbook came out, I went out and got one. I became dependent on it for my business use. It does exactly what I wanted it for. I like its size because it fits in to my jacket pocket. It is not excessively large. It is more convenient than a laptop because of the slim type construction, and the keyboard is an on screen touch.

The bridge mode to my Blackberry Torch is an excellent feature for email, appointments, tasks, and etc. I use the tethering mode for internet us. What is amazing, is I can be talking on the Torch my clients, and at the same time looking up things and doing emails with them.

I have used the Playbook for stock trades, paying bills, making business transactions, serving my clients, and more.

I have a friend who is a stock broker. The brokerage he works for is looking at getting their brokers Playbooks for checking stock quotes and doing their emails when they are out of the office. They are using Blackberry phones only because of the high security with Blackberry products.

Jerry G.

Britestar39

MY husband just bought me a Blackberry playbook OS TABLET i like it but im so fustrated as
cannot use bbm on it need smart phn to bridge it so i bought a blackberry8820 so they can bridge but o luck try connect them blue tooth they pick each other up but dont bridge ask for bluetooth password dont know were to find it for both devices cause tried 0000 on both no luck why the hell dont they set these things up properly so its user friendly aspeacialy if you just paid $800 for it does anyone know how i can get these two devices to talk via bluetooth