Monday, May 20, 2013

Blackberry Playbook Review

I've had my Blackberry Playbook for awhile but since I don't really use it much I never really wrote a review on it. I purchased it at a good price from a RIM emploee when RIM (now Blackberry) was trying to offload them without completely abandoning it (unlike HP which completely abandoned their HP TouchPad line). I thought that now that I upgraded my main e-mailing/texting phone from the Blackberry Bold 9700 to the Blackberry Q10, I should write my thoughts on the Blackberry Playbook.

When I got the Blackberry Playbook, the OS that it shipped with was a version of Blackberry Tablet OS 1.0. In my opinion, it was lacking a lot of features (like a standalone e-mail client, standalone contacts, and standalone calendar). Even though I had a Blackberry Bold 9700 and linked my Blackberry Playbook with it, I wasn't really using my Playbook a lot when compared with either my HP TouchPad or my Acer Iconia A100 Android tablet. The reason for this is that even though I found the browsing experience (and the battery life) to be quite good on the Playbook, the lack of applications was a major factor in my decision. Also, Adobe Reader for the Blackberry Playbook didn't render my PDF documents/files properly (or as nice as) on my HP TouchPad or my Acer Iconia A100 Android tablet (and one of my main uses for my tablets even though I have a Kobo Mini e-reader is that I use them to read PDF books/files).

With Blackberry Tablet OS 2.0, the Playbook has incorporated a lot of other features but the main feature that most people will notice is that it now has a standalone e-mail client, standalone contacts, and standalone calendar program. I find these to be good and easy to set up with my Google account.

The Blackberry Playbook integrates/links with a Blackberry phone very easily and even if your account or your phone doesn't have tethering enabled, you are still able to use the Playbook browser when linked to your Blackberry in order to browse the web. However, you won't have full internet access unless you use tethering.

I find the screen on the Playbook to be very good and vibrant. I also like that it has a micro-HDMI port so that I can plug it into my HD television if I so choose. One of my colleagues at work also has a Blackberry Playbook and uses his mainly to watch movies. I tried watching a movie on it and the movie played without any issues.

I find the virtual keyboard on the Playbook to be "better" than my experience with the virtual keyboard on my HP TouchPad or my Acer Iconia A100 Android tablet. I'm not sure why that is but it just seems more fluid and I make less mistakes using it.

The one thing that I find lacking on the Blackberry Playbook is the lack of applications that I would normally use. According to the statistics that I've looked at, there are over 24,000 applications for the Blackberry Playbook. There are fewer applications for my HP (WebOS) TouchPad but I find that I use my HP TouchPad more often for both the contact/calendar/e-mail applications as well as the browsing and PDF reading ability (because the HP TouchPad renders PDF documents better). Just like the HP TouchPad, the Blackberry Playbook uses Bing Maps instead of Google Maps (I have a preference for Google Maps).

At the discounted price that I purchased my Blackberry Playbook, I find that it is useful for browsing (the browsing experience is very good) and for the occasional watching of videos. I also like the size when compared to my HP TouchPad (which I find a bit too large) and the battery life is also very good. In terms of whether I would recommend getting a Blackberry Playbook, it would depend on the price and what the person plans on doing with it.

I'm hoping that now that I upgraded my main e-mailing/texting phone to a Blackberry OS 10 device (Blackberry Q10) and Blackberry OS 10 is rumoured to be coming out for the Blackberry Playbook, I'll be using my Blackberry Playbook a bit more. Currently my Blackberry Playbook is running

I've read a few forums showing how to load an Android virtual machine onto the Blackberry Playbook but for the time being, it isn't something that I've tried.

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