Can RiM deliver the goods with its first tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook? Or is this another slate destined to join the also-rans currently losing badly to the Apple iPad?
The first reviews of the BlackBerry PlayBook, RiM’s first attempt at entering the tablet market, are in. And they all say very similar things and draw very similar conclusions…
The Wall Street Journal
Walt Mossberg considers the PlayBook a companion to the BlackBerry phone more so than a standalone product. This is because of Bridge, which effectively synchronizes the PlayBook with your BlackBerry, allowing you to access email, memos, etc. If you have an alternative smartphone then those basic apps are not available at all.
Other than that he likes the price, the user interface, and the screen, thinks the battery life is OK, but hates the current lack of apps and overall feels the PlayBook was rushed.
MG Siegler labels the PlayBook “a total mixed bag” with lots of room for improvement. He likes the 7-inch screen, but the hardware feels cheaper and more plastic-y. He likes the speakers, the cameras, and waxes lyrical over the screen. On the software front he praises the new OS but is critical of the buggy browser.
The biggest problem once again is apps, however Siegler notes that RiM has promised Android compatibility by the summer, and that would make all the difference.
Tim Stevens calls the PlayBook “an enterprise-friendly offering” but suggests it flatters to deceive. The lack of productivity apps without Bridge is the biggest complaint, and there’s a feeling throughout the review that there’s something missing. This may be because the software is being updated on a daily basis, and so the PlayBook is improving all the time.
To sum up Stevens suggests this is the right tablet for BlackBerry enthusiasts but everyone else might want to hold out for something better. Which may just be the PlayBook once Android apps start to work on it.