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?
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The appsSkip to next paragraph
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BlackBerry Bridge is supposed to appeal to the corporate network administrators who are R.I.M.’s bread and butter, because they can deploy PlayBooks without having to worry about security breaches," writes David Pogue of the New York Times. However, Pogue notes, "BlackBerry Bridge is the only way to do e-mail, calendar, address book and BlackBerry Messenger on the PlayBook. The PlayBook does not have e-mail, calendar or address book apps of its own. You read that right. R.I.M. has just shipped a BlackBerry product that cannot do e-mail. It must be skating season in hell."
The apps, part 2
"The not-so-secret secret about tablets right now is that everything comes down to the apps," writes Matt Buchanan of Gizmodo. "And, well, the app situation is, uh, complicated. RIM says it'll have the most of any tablet at launch, with 3000. Most of what I've seen so far in the beta App World is junk — possibly it still has some issues making it hard to find good apps."
The Flash support
"If you go to YouTube, videos play just fine, even in full-screen mode," writes MG Siegler of TechCrunch. "If you go to a site that is Flash-heavy beyond single videos, like ESPN, things get a little dicey... The major problem with Flash on the PlayBook is that most sites simply aren’t optimized for touchscreens so Flash elements become almost like landmines. I often find myself accidentally clicking on a Flash element and getting whisked away to some other random page. This happens often when I’m just trying to scroll down the page. And it is very, very annoying."
The final word
Back to Matt Buchanan, at Gizmodo: "In a lot of ways, the PlayBook is more polished and usable in its beta state than the Motorola Xoom, and it's straight-up the best seven-inch tablet out there (though in the tango between between portability and size, I think 10 inches is still the best). At the same time, I don't think anyone should buy it right now — BlackBerry user or otherwise — for at least a few months, to see if the platform has enough legs to carry itself to where it needs to be. If the apps do arrive to fill in the gaps, then the PlayBook is totally going to be a tablet to check out."