First of all, it’s just human nature and a natural reaction to be skeptical and find fault in anything that’s new or unfamiliar. These tech based manufacturing companies such as Research In Motion (RIM) spends millions upon millions of dollars on research and development, in hopes of bringing the best product that they can to market, this for the benefit of our use and obviously to increase their market share and bottom line. Since the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet has attracted some initial negative reaction, this is not another pure bashing review, as any product that makes our lives easier to manage as well as live, is an absolute blessing and should not be taken for granted.
To be able to claim that RIM’s much anticipated BlackBerry PlayBook mobile tablet PC is a study of contrasts, may perhaps be a bit of an understatement. This particular new release of the tablet PC by Blackberry thus underwent actual real life human “end user” poking, pinching, tapping and extensive testing of all it’s features and functionality upon it’s release.
The Blackberry Playbook Features
The Blackberry PlayBook, much like the Apple iPad, is available in 16GB, 32GB or 64GB storage capacity models. This tablet runs it’s own native Operating System and has it’s own selection of apps, although limited at this time. This particular mobile tablet appears to be geared more towards the business and enterprise crowd rather than attracting the consumer market, much like the other tablets entering the market seem to be.
This model is one of the major tablets expected to challenge the Apple iPad 2. The look of the BB PlayBook physically is one of the more impressive tablets to touch and feel, as is it’s unique approach to navigating open apps, which were slick and quicker to move around than the other tablets available. What the Blackberry Playbook boasts is powerful hardware such as:
Blackberry Playbook Specifications
• 1GHZ dual-core processor
• 1GB of memory
• 1024×600 WSVGA
• 3D graphics acceleration
All packed into an ultra slim profile 7-inch display panel that measures just 0.4 inches thick, and a feather light 0.9 pounds.
So because the PlayBook is Blackberry’s first major version and effort of a full fledged tablet PC, to many, as well as RIM, it seems like it’s still a work in progress. One setback that may be an issue is their dedicated software that is native to Blackberry and the limitations and sync problems that it poses for users who don’t happen to own or use a BlackBerry smartphone or any other RIM device.
So Listed Are Some Issues Of RIM’s Blackberry PlayBook Mobile Tablet PC:
Lack Of Standalone Email, Calender or Contact Communication
What traditionally in the past has been RIM’s strength, which vaulted them as a major player in the mobile tech market, especially with the business crowd, was their strong ability to be able to deliver secure enterprise grade email that was superior to anyone else on the market. So what may be a little puzzling about this version of the PlayBook tablet is that it doesn’t have a stand-alone email system, or calendar or contact capabilities. The only way that you can do so with the Playbook is by syncing it with another BlackBerry device such as a smartphone via BlueTooth.
So this may not be ideal for those who has already invested in a Playbook and are not dedicated to BlackBerry, as it may cause limitations if the user happens to have a non-RIM smartphone device. Although Blackberry is expected to have a free software upgrade shortly to fix this issue, the PlayBook will initially have to do without. So it may be just ideal to wait until Blackberry has most of these features fixed and preloaded, which should be on the 4G version, (with LTE, WiMAX or HSPA+ networks,) which is expected to be released in the near future.
There Are Too Many Bugs In The Browser That Needs To Be Fixed
Although there has been positive reviews on the impressive strides that RIM has made on their new and improved Webkit based browser over the earlier BlackBerry browsers, there are also reports however of persistent bugs that’s found on the Playbook. One has been that the browser at times will just simply crash if the Playbook happens to be running too many apps at once.
So when the Playbook’s browser is running at full capacity, with numerous apps open in the background, the tablets browser would just come to a complete halt and shut down. It would just simply stop loading half way through whatever it was attempting to. Closing some of the applications seemed to alleviate the problem, but a browser behaving badly is not a good sign.
There were also some memory related issues as well, such as the OS not being able to save “Tabs” that you happened to be using when you were looking at other apps. So if you happened to be leaving the browser, then any of the open “Pages” or “Tabs” would not automatically save. Once you decide to return from another application, those original pages are then reloaded. On a unit which has 1GB of RAM, this should not happen.
Where Or Where Are All The Apps For The RIM Blackberry Playbook Tablet
Applications are the life blood and what drives mobile tablet PC devices. The app market however has always been a persistent problem for RIM. This mainly because Blackberry prefers to hold a tight grasp over which apps are allowed on their devices, much like Apple. This to be able to maintain and control their security standards.
Blackberry’s main competitors, Apple and Google with their iOS and Android Operating Systems, has both experienced an absolute explosion of useful applications of every variety that has been made available on their App Stores, while RIM and their App World Store has lagged far behind. This was the case when the Blackberry PlayBook was launched. The RIM tablet’s App World Store presently has just 3,000 or so Playbook specific apps, which is a stark contrast to the over 70,000+ applications specific for the iPad that’s currently available on the Apple’s App Store.
The biggest problem is that the Blackberry PlayBook at this time is not able to use any of the 25,000+ apps that are currently available for the BlackBerry smartphones, where the iPad is able to run the majority of the apps which are developed for the iPhone. Although Blackberry is soon expected to release specialized emulators and players which will eventually be able to use any Blackberry app, as well as most Android apps, it may be a while for this upgrade. RIM has a long grocery list of features, bugs and software patches that they need to release or upgrade first.
So How About That New Blackberry Playbook …
The Apple iPad who’s paved the road and brought the mobile tablet device mainstream, has almost an unfair advantage and head start over it’s competitors. The initial growing pains and its related issues which is currently facing the Blackberry Playbook has already been long ironed out by Apple and their iPad.
The massive success of the iPad seems to have caught the entire tech development world off guard and has left manufacturers scrambling and rushing to catch up. The biggest problem with RIM and their Playbook is that they are already a full version behind Apple’s iPad 2, whose second generation iPad came out almost a full month before Blackberry introduced their first version of the Playbook.
Stats Don’t Lie
A recent survey that was conducted is not in RIM’s or any other tablet manufacturers favor. The good news is that of those who were surveyed, 37% percent has already decided to buy a tablet in the future. But the not so good news is that 79% percent of them, at this time, plans to purchase the Apple iPad. Leaving the other major competitors: The Blackberry Playbook, Motorola Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy Tablet and others scrambling for the other 9% percent of the planned consumer tablet purchases.
What’s more daunting for the various iPad competitors is that the majority of all iPad owners said the they were “Extremely Satisfied” (69%) or “Pretty Much Satisfied” (24%) with the device. Just 4% percent of current iPad owners were “Somewhat Not Satisfied.”
So for now, don’t expect the Blackberry PlayBook, or any other major tablet from any manufacturer to knock out Apple and their dominance of the iPad anytime soon.