Review: BlackBerry PlayBook Too Tied to Phone
Written by Pat's Papers | Thursday, 14 April 2011 8:03 AM
“2011 is the Year of the iPad Clone,” writes David Pogue of the New York Times. And while he’s loathe to review all the imitators flooding the market, Pogue decides R.I.M.‘s Blackberry “Playbook” is worth an investigation, as does Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal and USA Today‘s Eg Baig. All three are generally impressed by the seven-inch tablet though one omission leaves all three reviewers understandably puzzled: The Playbook is crippled—no email, no calendar, no BlackBerry Messenger—when it’s not paired with a Blackberry phone. Says Pogue: “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.”
Mossberg is equally puzzled by the decision. He writes, “this odd system, aimed at pleasing security-concerned corporate customers, doesn’t work with other smartphones. So, in my view, even though Bridge is a neat technical feat, it makes the PlayBook a companion to a BlackBerry phone rather than a fully independent device.” R.I.M. has said it will rectify the issue by this summer.
Ed Baig notes the “not-quite-final software” in his review as well. He’s also concerned about the lack of third-party apps. Developers have already submitted 3,000, which Baig says “pales next to the 65,000-plus apps available specifically for the iPad.”
Pogue generally likes the layout of the Playbook. He says its seven-inch body is much easier to hold in one hand—though it’s about a half an inch too wide to slip into our jacket pocket. He likes the “super-responsive multitouch screen” and “solid heft.” Though it’s “crawling with borrowed ideas,” the Playbook does several things its rivals don’t, including the fact that, with a special cable, it can be hooked up to a TV for PowerPoint presentations; on the TV only the slides show up but on the Playbook your notes and thumbnails are still visible.
Mossberg’s video review:
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