BlackBerry PlayBook review roundup
BlackBerry PlayBook enters a market dominated by the Xoom and iPad 2. Does the new RIM device really have what it takes?
Say hello to the BlackBerry PlayBook, the latest machine to enter a rapidly-widening tablet market. The PlayBook is sleek, stylish, and priced to match the Apple iPad 2 and Xoom on price: $499 for a base-line model, and $699 for a top-of-the-line tablet. So how does the BlackBerry PlayBook stack up to its competitors? Let's take a look at the latest reviews.Skip to next paragraph
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The opening shot
"In some respects, the PlayBook is the most impressive tablet I've seen to date," writes Melissa J. Perenson of PC World. "Its approach to navigating among open apps is a joy; I was able to move among them faster than on any other tablet. But native apps like the PlayBook's browser have disappointing glitches, and you won't get much help from downloading third-party apps--only 3000 will be available at launch (compared with the 65,000 available for the iPad), and I still haven't seen many marquee names among them."
"At a svelte 7.6 inches by 5.1 inches, the PlayBook is about the size of Samsung's Galaxy Tab, and considerably smaller than the Motorola Xoom and Apple iPad 2," writes Mike Isaac of Wired. "That may prove bothersome if you prefer watching videos and gaming on a larger screen. But in a trade-off for the small screen size, the PlayBook makes gains in portability. At just under a pound, long reading sessions don't cause as much fatigue as they do with larger tablets, and the rubberized backing adds a pleasing tooth to the grip. You won't be worried about dropping it on the floor of the bus."
The battery life
"With the screen brightness at about 75% and Wi-Fi on," writes Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal. "I played a movie I had transferred from a computer over and over until the juice ran out. The PlayBook lasted a bit over five hours, well short of the company’s claim of eight to 10 hours for mixed use. In mixed use, and on a second test of watching video with Wi-Fi off, I did better, over six hours, but well short of the 10 hours on the iPad 2."
"Running the show is a dual-core, 1GHz TI OMAP processor that's expertly massaged and manipulated by the QNX OS here," notes Tim Stevens of Engadget. "Graphics are handled by a PowerVR design, which quite handily offloads video decoding and gaming acceleration from the processor, enabling this thing to decode and display 1080p video over HDMI while still ticking along quite smoothly and running productivity apps on the seven-inch display. Not a hint of dithering or pixelation, of course. Apps load quickly, tend to be impressively responsive, and switching from one to the next is effortless."