BlackBerry PlayBook: First Impressions

by Volker Weber

BlackBerry PlayBook

It's been eight months and countless "presentations" since the Church of PlayBook. And yet, the first thing the PlayBook did today was install an update. This is hot stuff. RIM is still forging the software.

Executive summary: It's a powerful little device. If you are welded to your BlackBerry, you may want to have a PlayBook. The integration between both devices works really well. If your carrier and your admin let you install BlackBerry Bridge. What does it do? Play media, surf the web, show you business content from your BlackBerry. That's about it. There is a Facebook client less powerful than the one on your BlackBerry and there is no third party software you would want to have. This might change in future ...

BlackBerry PlayBook

The user interface is very familiar to anyone who has ever touched webOS. Swipe from the bottom to get all running apps in a stream of cards. Swipe a card to the top of the screen and the app closes. Different: swipe from the top to open a menu, and swipe left or right to switch apps without going into card mode.

BlackBerry PlayBook

Launching an app is similar to BlackBerry 6. You get multiple panels (All, Favorites, Media, Games, Bridge) which you can open to find more than the top six apps. You can also tap the icons in the top status bar to get further info, here: battery charge.

BlackBerry PlayBook

I like the weather app from Accuweather that is pre-installed on the device.

BlackBerry PlayBook

Transferring media files between Mac and PlayBook was also quite easy. You install the Device Manager right from the device when you first connect it via USB.

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Then you can connect the PlayBook via USB. Device Manager establishes a network connection over than interface. You can also use Wi-Fi to connect to the PlayBook. Once again, a network connection. PlayBook lets you protect the share with a password.

BlackBerry PlayBook
Photos: vowe

Comments

Of course there are not (yet) many apps - but still: any thoughts regarding Playbook vs. iPad 2 (ease of use, speed, etc.)?

Regards,

Alex

Alex Martin, 2011-05-21

I am trying to find good things in the Playbook. So far it does not have a snowball's chance in hell against the iPad 2.

Volker Weber, 2011-05-21

I really like the size of the Playbook vs the iPad, and I'm eager to play with QNX. But RIM's launch of the Playbook has not been confidence inspiring. An announcement way before it was ready with regular promises of "it is coming soon." Seems rather desperate.

I think I might wait until someone discounts it.

Eric Hancock, 2011-05-22

I have not used a PlayBook by myself, I just had it in my hands for a minute or so. A friend showed it to me on Saturday evening. I would like the size and weight in my bag or my pocket. But I do not like the size and the form factor compared to an iPad.

The whole concept remembers me to the Palm Foleo. Which I found very interesting at that time. Elderly people like me may remember what happened to the Foleo: It died before it hit the market.

I am not often negative on new products, but I believe that the PlayBook will be not very successful.

Sven Richert, 2011-05-23

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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