I received the BlackBerry PlayBook from RIM to take it for a test drive and deliver a review/rating on the first professional tablet.
From the moment you open the box, the packaging, the accessories and the PlayBook immediately portray a professional image, fitting in with the BlackBerry family perfectly. This clearly isn’t just another tablet device, easily confused with a toy, but a powerful tool, that can easily multi-task a large range of functions. Research in Motion has delivered the first professional tablet device, unlike any other.
The PlayBook is thin, light, feels smooth, and sports a stylish chrome BlackBerry logo on the back. The device is comfortable to hold, and a convenient size that allows for the user to easily type in both landscape and portrait mode.
Upon turning on the device, a colourful high definition start up video plays before the main user interface / desktop / home screen appears.
The main screen is similar to my BlackBerry displaying message notifications, date/time, connection indicators, battery strength, and options along the top, and 5 application folders along the bottom: All, Favourites, Media, Games, and BlackBerry Bridge.
This familiar layout makes using the PlayBook an easy transition from the BlackBerry smart phone. The BlackBerry PlayBook is very user friendly, and uses many of the same commands used on the smartphone. The entire surface and outer border of the screen is touch sensitive and is used for several different commands. For example, to exit an application, you swipe from the bottom border halfway up the screen.
The device sports a 1GH dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, HDMI output, and 1080p video playback, not one but two cameras, both rear and front facing. This allows the user to record videos, take pictures and use FaceChat with high quality images.
As the device screen is glass and not impact resistant, I picked up a blue BlackBerry PlayBook rubber case for protection and a flash of colour.
The PlayBook connects to BlackBerry Smartphones using the BlackBerry Bridge application and allows the user to access: Email Messages, Contacts, Browser, Calendar, BlackBerry messenger, Memo Pad, Tasks, and access Bridge Files, easily and quickly. This is the only tablet that connects to your smartphone to enhance the user experience, and give you an alternative to Wi-Fi. This allows user to use the PlayBook for long periods of time without having to pick up the smart phone to check email, add a calendar event, edit a memo, or use BlackBerry Messenger, or use the smartphone data connection to access internet.
The PlayBook is a great tool and extension of the BlackBerry device, with many features and functions. The BlackBerry PlayBook makes a great first impression, and is a welcome addition to my world filled with technology. The PlayBook is a powerful device that quickly replaced my laptop, and digital camera, and is making my 9700 very jealous.