BlackBerry PlayBook in the wild emerges along with video and some first impressions

By Kevin Michaluk on 17 Nov 2010 09:11 am EST

Oh boy, the BlackBerry popo are going to be busy today.  It seems an unofficial, early-build BlackBerry PlayBook has landed in the wild with Ryder posting about it on a blog called Mobility Insider. No doubt he sold his soul for this one (I'd sell my soul three times to have a production PlayBook right now), but there's a video above to prove he has it and apparently a longer video is on its way.  In addition to the teaser video, a bunch of first impressions were posted.  Here's the short version:

  • UI - fluid, fast and easy to navigate
  • Look and Feel - solid and well built, 7" tablet is easy to type on. He feels Job is wrong on 7" not being big enough
  • Cameras and Multimedia - front and rear cameras are working well, and apparently the media player is awesome

It's a good start to a pre-release review. Let's see if they add more. In the meantime, for all the latest info on the BlackBerry PlayBook, click here.

Source: Mobility Insider

Reader comments

BlackBerry PlayBook in the wild emerges along with video and some first impressions


No body is laughing now RIM, they wanted to mock on the suspected BB Tablet long ago, they wait and when you announced even engadget was there to make fun of you, but couldn't do it. Cause they started to feel goosebumps once they saw your power.


Yea, at least you can buy an iPad, and for quite some time now. Where can you buy this latest POS from BB? They've been hyping it for over a year now, where is it? Oh, you can only see it behind a glass display, or in a hallway after a conference (but don't touch!) and now in a darkened room somewhere.

When Apple shows a product, it's a finished product, ready for sale. And they debut it in front of a few million people, not in some hotel hallway. It really makes RIM look pathetic, like they're trying everything they can to keep everyone interested in their outdated products.

"They've been hyping it for over a year now" ??? RIM hasn't hyped anything... The industry fan-sites have speculated, sent rumours out and have been talking about it for years - sure... But it wasn't until only a short couple months ago that RIM 'surprised us all' with their PlayBook announcement - if you call that "hyping" "for over a year", then I think you need help. Go back to your iPad and play the fart app a little more - its about all you're doing around here anyway.

LOL this is why they will soon come out with iPad2 because the first one was pointless..

the PlayBook is by far NOT a POS.. and will probably still surpass the iPad2....

..but I think that Dell Duo is going to better than both of these for business purposes. For fun I'm not sure but the dell duo does look pretty freakin' awesome!

just like the iphone4 is so finished that to fix the antenna you need a piece of rubber around the stainless steal band that was sooo "unique" they said in the videos. and what about apple suspending the sale of slider cases for it because they back glass scratches and breaks? im so glad the iphone4 is a finished product. sooo glad

and mind you an ipad is just a big a** iphone so there is no reason to have both.unless you are stupid, or simple.

Its nice to see that there is a facebook application on the playbook.

Last week at the mobile Facebook event, during Q&A somebody asked Mark Z if they were planning to make a facebook application for the iPad... and his answer was a flat out "No. the iPad is not a mobile device."

BAHAHA its nice to see that playbook is seen as a powerful MOBILE device... I guess Mr. Jobs was terribly wrong about 7in not being good enough. :D

I'll still choose facebook website for other applications that requires flash, but for notifications I bet this app will get it done.

Of course, that Facebook app may not be resident on the Playbook in the video. We don't know if this PB was hooked up via SecureBT to a handheld, and thus perhaps "amplifying" the handheld (and thus showing apps on the handheld).

If you look closely, it looks like the BT icon is lit towards the upper right (next to the music/mediaplayer icon)....

But regardless, it is looking good.

I should be 100% excited, but I have one question? Is it me, or did there still seem to be a tad tiny bit of lag when sidescrolling? To me it seemed like he would flick, brief noticable pause, then it scrolled. It's ever so tiny though.

Can't wait to get my hands on one of these........!!!!!!!

I guess it would also be fine to use one of those twitter/facebook apps that run on Adobe Air on desktops. Then again, for them to be integrated into the notification system, might be a problem. Hey, where's the blinking notification LED???? :-p

The amplified view will be more than just showing the same app larger. They'll be two different apps that communicate over Bluetooth. Not only is the screen size different, but so are the aspect ratios. Using the same app would provide a horrible user experience.

If this piece of whatever book is going to be like the blackberry phones, that you have to pull the battery out anytime the screen freeze up, will be SUCK.

Sorry, it is what it is, another dinosaur piece of junk made by RIM..

They're just here to piss in everyone's Cheerios for whatever reason. Nothing more.
No one can really make a fair judgement about the PB one way or another until it's released and in the hands of the users. Any "review" you hear now is just someone's pre-conceived notion and what they think they see in some crappy-quality video

I was hoping for a SD slot, but it looks like that's not in the cards. I store most docs/files in the cloud anyways, but not having extra storage for music/videos will probably mean that I will have to wait for a 32gb Playbook to become available...the 8gb version just won't cut it.

Here's a question to ask, then......How often will you be carrying the PlayBook and NOT carrying your BB/handheld too?

Assuming you generally carry both, you have SD storage....on your BB. Throw a 32gb card in there, then connect the PB via SecureBT.

Unless I am really not getting something here, the PB media player should be able to play via BT songs on your card on your BB, right?

The problem will be how fast Bluetooth can transfer data. I sent a 37-second video clip that was recorded on my Torch to my netbook via Bluetooth took over 2 mins. This is just a low-res video taken on phone, so it was like 9mb, if it was an HD video file at full 1080p, there is no way I could watch it on a PB over bluetooth from my Torch's SD card.

That's a very good point....I never thought of thought....

I guess there is just so much we don't know yet, that we'll just have to wait and see.

CrackBerry family,

It is good to see some great dialog here. First hand the PlayBook will be a game changer. Security, functionality and overall use make it the number one threat in the enterprise markets.

That is where most people fault the iPad. “It is a great toy, but how do I use it for real life work?” The PlayBook answers that. Be prepared for a new chapter to open in the Tablet Wars.

This is big news and we are happy to be the first to break it.

Yes we did sell our soul. Well not really ours, I offered up Engagdet, AOL and a few others in our place.

Let me be clear, there are other viable resources out there that have access and are willing to contribute to the better cause: Getting you breaking news!
Mobility Insider is one of those options.

CountCrackula- We are happy to make you feel a bit dirty and will be sure to send over some Kleenex.

Mnemanov: Sue who? This is only good for RIM.

rock54: You are dead on! FlyLo is a close friend and we huge fans. We may need to send you something special for calling that out.

Email us and I will see what I can find.

Thank you all for the kind words.
Let the Tablet Wars begin!

Disposable Hero
Mobility Insider

It's funny that many still regard RIM as an enterprise focused company but disregard the potential of the PlayBook in the enterprise market. Creating an OS that is not just a big version of their phone, on top of the specifications of the PlayBook, will give them the power needed to target laptop sales within the enterprise.

The off-shoot of that power is that it will be ready for feature rich applications for consumers. Thanks for putting this video up!

You are my hero!... please answer us some questions!,
battery life??
sd card?
what about module cavity JIM Basillie talked about yesterday?
will it blend?
My soul is for sale also, in case you want =)!!!!

Love Mobility insider!

from the same blog on, "We used it very heavily for a full day only starting with slightly over half a charge and it ran the distance."

I must say i freakin love the music playing. What's the name of it?? I'm dying to know, and also if this comes with no billing... I am so buying it. If it comes with billing, Nope i'm good.

The vertical scrolling through the app drawer didn't look particularly smooth or fluid. The horizontal scrolling through the single row on the home screen did, though. Either way, I'll wait and see what RIM puts out there when the time comes in 2011. Even if it ends up being awful, at least it'll give a few months for other tablets to refresh, drop price, or both.

what the f*** kevin when are you going to get your hands on one? or maybe you all ready have one?

For all you "lag" commentors.
1. Other than RIMs last few attempts at touch screen devices - the BlackBerry platform has no lag whatsoever. The reason we have all come to love the BlackBerry platform is because of its lightning fast ui. We love to do a million things in under 2 minutes with our 9700's, and RIM makes this possible.
2. They bought QNX to develope a true touch screen experience and thus developed the playbook and up coming touch smartphone OS's (we hope). I have a lot of confidence in qnx and the developement of the Playbook OS
3. As for the so called fluent iOS... Of course its seemless, all you're doing is sliding screens of icons around - yipee. Try loading any app that has substance... And you've got delay. Load IM+, what do you get? Major delay. Load bbm on the other hand, its nearly instant.

I agree wit you my friend and is so true :) i hope ipad fun boys will light up and demand what they need from their ipad/iphone.

What i dont like about Ipad is closed and i cant work around the unit they give you an app and that it USE IT. if you ned something else build your owen one.

I've been watching this thing, and I want the Playbook so bad it's not even funny. I'm gonna wait patiently for it and when it's out I am getting this thing!

While this might be good and cool, the Dell Duo is going to be waaaaayyyyyy more pratical. The Dell duo will be the best thing out. Tablet+computer = OH YEAH

With the release and on the screen, by the time this is out everyone will have some form of a tablet. And the monster of an IPAD will be in its 2nd year...better hurry up.

...this new baby from RIM better deliver or there wont be any blackberries in 3-5 years. The truth is, the company cant keep up with droids and apples and its corporate so called "hard core" clients like Citigroup, BoA among others are looking at competition.

When you at the top people love to try and bring you down. They will find any little thing wrong to make themselves feel superior. RIM is just like Kobe Bryant, they say your too old and can't win any more.

They say your not a leader, just arrogant and conceded. Then you show the world why you are the best at what you do. Well done RIM, way to say f*ck the world; I can't wait for this thing to come out.

Some people need to realize that you can't win them all and its okay to take loss. It seems that there is a lot of "Jealous Ones Envy" going round....

Is there no SD or storage slot to insert in. Does it even have a USB slot. If were left with using BT. it would have been best if it had Bluetooth 3. In the end, it still miles ahead of the ipad and probably would outdo the ipad2 as well.

But adding extra memory would have been great. it just won't replace my netbook for storing photos in the end - the only aspect im disappointed with!

Does it really need a SD slot if it can access the one in your blackberry? The idea is to make them work toghether not duplicate everything like ipads/iphones, android phones/tabs.

I am rooting for RIM & the Playbook, BUT, this video shows NOTHING but scrolling up and down and a few apps that they scroll on? We don't see any of the actual functionality of the machine. Please don't post another MTV video that's all music and no substance...SHOW US SOMETHING, we already know it exists.

If you read the details on the Mobility Insider site, there is no 3G in the PlayBook, at least "not until late 2011". I think this is an oversight from RIM, but it's not the end of the world.

What this means is:

1. Users will have access via WiFi (a/b/g/n).
2. BlackBerry users can leverage their existing 3G service with their BlackBerrys for the PlayBook.
3. You can buy 3G service from a carrier, which comes with a USB stick.

What we've seen to date from the PlayBook is very impressive so I think, even with this marketing blunder, the PlayBook will survive. Nevertheless, we'll soon see a plethora of tablets coming to a store near you sporting Android labels and even a new iPad. In fact, for Christmas, there will be two Android tablets for sale: Samsung's Galaxy Tab and Dell's Streak. The iPad 2.0 is not far behind, so we hope the PlayBook won't arrive in a crowded marketplace.

Another oversight from RIM is the use of a backlit LCD rather than Super AMOLED display. To really provide optimum contrast and premium richness of colour in all lighting conditions as well as increased battery life, LED is definitely the way to go. I'd easily pay an extra $50 for LED to gain these advantages... and I know the display won't cost that much more.

If RIM covered those two issues (3G & LED), they would certainly put the screws to the competition. RIM has left a tiny crack open for others to play. I would not have left those gaps as they limit market coverage (3G) and they invite competition (richness of LED). You can bet $1 billion that Jobs has his eyes on at least a 1280x1024 display on the iPad 2.0. He's not going to let the smaller tablets have similar resolutions to the iPad.

Thanks to the folks at Mobility Insider for sharing those details... just a little sharper video next time, guys :)

Kevin's getting his PlayBook in mid December... he's keeping it a secret ;)