∞ PlayBook reviews hit: It's not good news

RIM’s PlayBook is due to hit stores next week and the first reviews from the big gadgets sites are in. It doesn’t look good for RIM, so far.

[ad#Google Adsense 300x250 in story]Before we take a look at the reviews, let’s take a quick look at how RIM views the PlayBook.

“The BlackBerry PlayBook is an amazing tablet. The power that we have embedded creates one of the most compelling app experiences available in a mobile computing device today,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion.

Okay, there is our starting place. RIM thinks it’s amazing. Now let’s see what the reviewers say. I’ll take a few quotes from the reviews, so I recommend you go to each site and read the full review. Both reviewers had a few positive things to say too.

First up is Jonathan Geller from BGR.com:

The PlayBook’s 7-inch display is beautiful, and the 1024 x 600 resolution packs a lot of pixels into a tight space. Colors are rich and vibrant, and black levels seem quite good, as do with viewing angles.

Good start.

I don’t believe what normal users will see on April 19th out of the box will be that different at all from what I’ve been using, and that’s a little concerning.

Uh oh.

For all the advancements RIM has made in the OS department, the PlayBook’s software feels rushed in almost every way possible. From inconsistencies with the UI and design to random bugs and annoyances, the software on the PlayBook shows one of RIM’s biggest weaknesses: its lack of ability to execute.
In daily use, RIM’s own apps like the browser and video apps have crashed on me multiple times. When I log into Facebook I’ve even gotten out of memory errors while only one or two other apps were running.

Sounds like beta software.

There is no native mail app, contacts app, or calendar app.

And they still released it?

I can’t help but feel like the PlayBook, as it stands now, is an unfinished product.

It had to be said.

And here is Tim Stevens review over at Engadget:

It’s what’s running behind the glass that disappoints.

Ouch, I can see where this is going.

Early builds of the PlayBook software (we’re now on our third since taking possession of the thing) seemingly had some issues managing memory

Seems to be an overall problem.

[The PlayBook managed] seven hours and one minute before everything went dark. That’s about an hour more than the Samsung Galaxy Tab, but over an hour less than the Motorola Xoom. The iPad 2, meanwhile, manages ten and a half hours when similarly stressed.
there’s no system-wide auto-correction here (it only works in some apps), no long-presses for alternate characters. What year is this, again?
the lack of dedicated, basic productivity applications like these [email, calendar, contacts, tasks, and memos] feels like a huge oversight.

Clearly.

Right now, the BlackBerry PlayBook is a tablet that will come close to satisfying those users who gravitate toward the first word in its name: BlackBerry. Those who were more excited about the “play” part would be well advised to look elsewhere


  • http://www.techbitts.com/?source=disqus George Tinari

    I wouldn’t exactly say “it’s not good news”. I think there were more positives than negatives in most of the reviews which to me is good news. Sure, they are all saying the PlayBook doesn’t beat the iPad, but did anyone actually expect that it would? I don’t even think RIM did.

    • http://www.loopinsight.com Jim Dalrymple

      To say it didn’t beat the iPad is one thing — to not ship with an email client is another :)

      • http://www.techbitts.com/?source=disqus George Tinari

        Well I suppose you’re right about that. Personally, I’d actually rather have the larger screen than the email client. Still I give them credit for actually putting some power inside of it and for the beautiful UI.

        On that note, my iPad 2 is due to ship next week.

      • Anonymous

        The funny thing is that I’d have more respect for RIM if they’d come out and said that BB Bridge was going to be the only way. If that were the case, it would be a strategy, and not simply “we couldn’t get the native e-mail/calendar app done in time because we’re rushing.”

    • http://twitter.com/scottaw scott

      To not have email, etc, is a huge oversight. To get lower battery life than a device burning a bigger screen like the iPad is bad too (yes, I realize the smaller size means a smaller battery). RIM really can NOT afford to have a half-baked solution.

      Having said that, the hardware and the basic OS look better than I expected. But I didn’t expect a lot from RIM on this one.

  • Mattock

    A repeat of the Storm, perhaps.

  • Anonymous

    All the UI eye-candy in the world don’t mean a thing day-to-day if you can’t do the basics (like email, fcs). Pretty brick then..?

  • Anonymous

    Sad. My Blakberry fanboy friend is going to have some major problems with this.

    And the fact his wife is buying a MacBook Air and an iPad. :)

  • paoloon

    As others are saying, I think this thing is DOA. Some might appreciate the smaller size (some) but the lack of untethered email is a complete nonstarter! I use my iPad — as most people, I suspect — for games, casual surfing, and late night email checks on the couch. Why would I want to do any of those things on a smaller screen and without an email client?

    It’s perhaps not so bad in some ways if you need the more portable form factor, and they will work out the bugs, but it’s annoying to see the RIM execs go everywhere claiming how amazing and brilliant this thing is when it just does not compare to even iPad 1, let alone 2.

  • http://twitter.com/CamilloMiller Camillo Miller

    Jim, I wouldn’t be surprised to find a note that reads “A-hole” next to your name in RIM PR’s list :D That said, you nailed the key points. “Can I check my mail on that thing” “Sure, fire up the browser”. “Can I check my appointments for today?” “Sure, fire up the browser”. “But what about all those memory problems” “Never mind, to be productive you just have to fire up the browser only”. “Are you kidding me?” “Sure, but fire up the browser”.

  • http://www.smiley-dread.com kiil

    As I wrote here: http://www.loopinsight.com/2011/04/12/rims-co-ceos-whine-and-denial/#comment-183484472

    It’s quite sad. RIM failed to remember who their customers are. All they needed to do was create a tablet that let busy businessmen and executives deal with E-mail and PIM-data (the basics) and worked out of the box with its own Blackberry Server. Instead they got caught up in playing the market share game and penis envy. They still do not get that it’s not too late to make a buck. Find out what their customers need (later what they want), and after testing deliver it. Back to the roots — the Blackberry was as niche as any PDA could be.

  • Jth9234

    Ummm… I see a lot of nitpicking on things that don’t matter and the things that actually matter, are hardly mentioned.

    Lets see, its WiFi only, but you can tether to your Blackberry’s data plan for free? Anywhere? Am I reading that right? That is a huge advantage over every other tablet out there, being they all want you to either go with WiFi with no internet on the go where you have a brick or pay for a an additional data plan. Playbook owns on this feature. And before I hear complaints “But you need a BB!”. Ummm… hello, BB phones are not some rarely used device, they have been the market leaders or near the top every single year! If Apple did this with iPhones people would act like it was the greatest thing ever, bc well, it is pretty awesome to have that phone/tablet functionality. Excellent idea and saves a lot of money data sharing for free.

    Next, lack of apps? Its called FLASH! You don’t need a lame phone app to run a streamlined version of Netflix, Facebook, YouTube, etc. when you get the real sites! You can favorite them and click them just like anything on the web, not a flaw at all, actually an improvement over the underpowered iPad lacking Flash support.

    Lack of native email, calendar, etc? IT TETHERS TO YOUR BB!!! If you have a BB, this thing is a Godsend! From what I understand you can even use your BB QWERTY keyboard to type on this device! Much faster to thumb a BB keyboard than to touch type a tablet. If you already have a BB, why does this feature matter? It simply doesn’t and I don’t hear these other tablets excelling at this aspect either, so why the hate for the Playbook?

    These “critics” should take a class on critical thinking. They lack logic or practicality, which this device seems to be loaded with. Free data off a BB, full Flash support, more portable, more powerful, and how exactly is an Ipad better? Bc it runs a whole lot of cell phone apps on an underpowered device?

    • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

      The reviews appear to concur that, on its own, this device simply doesn’t function very well. I look forward to reading a couple of them in their entirety to get the context you seem to be enthusiastically glossing over.

      The biggest selling point you appear to be making is that Blackberry phones are great. What if you’re in the market for a tablet of some kind but don’t already have a Blackberry phone? How “awesome” is the Playbook in that case?

    • Anonymous

      There it is. Four-hundred words of pure myopia. I think you should take that critical thinking class alongside those “critics.”

    • Player_16

      But, you don’t understand. the truth has ruined us. Apple has ruined us. When a company says and promises something, we take their word for it. We expect a finished product; not half-baked.

      Samsung Tab: runs a OS for phones. Return rate for repairs 17%.

      MMI Xoom: G3 release with a 2yr contract. Non-supporting microSD slot. Barometer? Flash (Beta). Google admitting OS was a rush job. etc.

      And now this. September was when they announced the Playbook and Mike Lazardis held a model in his hand on stage. Dan Dodge, the founder of QNX and the inventor of the Playbook even stated they’ve been working on this since 2009. Mike even goes on about ‘you just don’t slap these functions in, they’er just baked in.’ If that’s the case, what the hell have RIM been doing all this time; kneading dough? I mean, don’t promise in front of the possible millions of the (various) BB owners on the interweb and make a buffoon out of yourself during interviews and then present this…

      That’s why the ‘hate’ for the Playbook.

    • Enricoriedel

      Lets see, its WiFi only, but you can tether to your Blackberry’s data plan for free? Anywhere? Am I reading that right? That is a huge advantage over every other tablet out there, being they all want you to either go with WiFi with no internet on the go where you have a brick or pay for a an additional data plan.

      Its free in Canada if you have a 1 GB contract

    • http://twitter.com/JackRAiNz Ron Jack Rainz

      In your zeal for defending the Playbook, your missing out on some key points. Now, before I start listing them, I want you to know a few things: I work as a reporter for  an Apple oriented site, Im an objective Tech Junkie, and I don’t believe in brand loyalty. That being said, to the point(s):

      A)The playbook was introduced as an “iPad killer” (All wh have claimed this so far have failed miserably). Baring that in mind, it is clear that RIM did not intend this product to solely be marketed to BB users. if so, that makes your entire argument moot to those who don’t own a BlackBerry. for if you don’t own a BB, the Playbook is rendered utterly unusable to you. Last I checked, BB’s market hold (smartphones) is still shrinking. 

      B)Every tablet out there runs THE internet, last I checked. Not a mobile version of it, but THE internet. And applications? – While you may argue against them, the masses have clearly spoken in favor of them, but don’t take my word for it: Look up the latest report on app downloads from Apple and Google.

      C)iPad is an “underpowered device running cell phone applications”? “critical thinking”? “LOGIC”?? Look, its hard to take you seriously at this point, since you clearly have never laid so much as a hand on an iPad, nor watched a single review. As a tech junkie, I test out ALL devices to see for myself which is better FOR ME. I own an iPad 2, and trust and believe it runs compatible apps (iPad specific) as well as packs more power than you can shake a stick at. It comes with Email, contacts, calander, notes, and everything you need OTB. Oh, and it has never crashed to date, and does in fact pack 10+ hours of battery life. 

      D)Your critcal thinking may be flaewd, since you seem to fail at grasping the essance of the game. If that is the case, allow me to clarify it for you: The name of the game is Beat Apple. Any company out there in the market today that does not design their product with the sole purpose of besting the iPhone and the iPad is doomed to sink before it ever had a chance to float. Though this may be unfortunate, as we may be missing out on some cool technology – that is just the way the market is right now, and Apple still seems to be on the rise. 

      Final thought: You may want to stop being so entrenched in your position, and go out there and test out other devices. Try out a Motorola Xoom, try out a Samung GalaxyTab, Try your beloved Playbook, and for the love of all that is Tech – try out an iPad. Then go back to your home and do some serious critical thinking and come to an honest decision with yourself about which one is better. 

  • Jth9234

    If you don’t have a BB phone, then I agree, it doesn’t appear to differentiate itself all that much from any Google Tab that supports flash as of right now. IPad however get a pass on flash from everyone, which I never understood. People will point to its apps, which to me just says, we have an underpowered device that needs phone apps to function without flash support.

    But if you are one of the millions upon millions of people worldwide that actually owns a BB, it appears this tablet has a phone/tab functionality that is being underrated. Sharing the data plan makes it a much more cost effective tablet, not needing an expensive additional data plan or paying extra for a hot spot is huge.

    I guess what I am saying is despite what is being portrayed as a flaw in being codependent on a Blackberry, I see as an advantage. Think about it, if Apple let you do this to iPads from iPhones, people would be dancing in the streets. BB’s still have an installed user base greater than the iPhone believe it or not, so its not like they are asking you to tether or “bridge” into a Palm or some other lesser used smartphone.

    BB’s are one of the big three phones out there, if you go by make for smartphones, they are still the market leader. You go by OS, then Google with Android has overtaken them. If you go by model, then iPhone4 is best selling model phone ever. But more Blackberry phones are out there than any makes by the likes of Apple, HTC, Motorola, Samsung, and I believe only Nokia has more phones out there than Blackberry worldwide.

    • Anonymous

      You people just don’t get it. You can crow about all your features and your installed bases until the cows come home. WE DON’T CARE! And don’t hold your breath waiting for any of us to EXPLAIN to you why.

    • http://www.bynkii.com/ John C. Welch

      You keep saying that if the iPad required an iPhone to function, iPad users would be overjoyed.

      That’s too stupid a concept to even be a straw man

    • kibbles

      ipads work, without having to tether an iphone.

      RIM fail.

  • YossarianLives

    There is a lot of clichéd rhetoric in there, careful you might shoot all your shots before you finish.

    -Flash: you may have noticed that the iPhone never had flash and the user-base seems fairly large and not too bothered about it. -underpowered: compared to what, your dream machine or the superior models widely available on the market … neither of which exist. -flaw/advantage: down is up. black is white. we’ve always been at war with Eurasia. -if apple released it: weak, weak sauce. Apple have released plenty of duds without people blindly dancing (puck + mighty mouse, cube, boombox). They were dropped. -greater user base: who is doubting it? You mention it so many times so by referring to what is already known means your argument is empty. -Nokia: yeah, how did that work out for them? Unless you mean to tell me that you think McDonalds make the best food in the world stop crying about popularism.

    So you may have had plenty of shots, but they are all blank.

    • YossarianLives

      (obviously that is a reply to Jth9234 …. )

  • Jth9234

    Well I cannot review this device yet, bc it isn’t out yet. But the ipad1 and 2 have been very successful bc its says “Apple” on it and no one markets their products better than Apple right now. Yossarian, you mention popularism, well thats how I have viewed the iPads. They are very flawed and I can give the first model a pass, but the second model is laughably flawed and it had no reason to be.

    Its lacks RAM, it lacks Flash, it relies on phone apps and the same OS on iPod Touch and iPhones? It doesn’t run the real websites, it relies on streamlined apps, but its the price of a laptop? The new model boasts “a smart cover”, “a gryoscope”, and cameras? Seriously people? It does have a more powerful processor than last year, but it still is running phone apps, so does it matter? You still need an expensive data plan to get it to work on the go. Very disappointed in the lack of improvements on the iPad 2.

    Form factor for a 10” tab or 7” is up to the preference of the consumer. If you want a more portable device, you go 7” so it can be carried in any bag and many coat pockets. If you would rather have the benefit of a bigger screen, but the drawback of being cumbersome, go 10”.

    Now the tether to phone app, the iPhone is very popular right now and has all the hype, if you let all the Apple fanboys tether or “Bridge” their iPads to a WiFi model that would be brick when you go portable, the Apple fanboys would be overjoyed. Its actually is a great feature if you think about it.

    The Playbook does not require a BB to function, you can still do almost anything the other tabs can do in a WiFi hotspot, but it just gives you improved features no other Tablet gives you right now. My point is is you own a Blackberry, this is far and away the best Tablet you can own. I know, I haven’t used it yet. But “free” data anywhere, Flash support, real websites, portability, more powerful than an iPad, if you own a BB, how could you not buy this over an iPad?

    • http://twitter.com/keiffus Keith Fisher

      Jth, Your critique that the iPad only runs phone apps, shares an OS with a phone and media player, streamlined apps and no real websites really doesn’t add up or make sense. You do realize the OS for Playbook is going to be the de facto OS for BB’s smartphones? And you also must realize that RIM is going to port Android PHONE apps later this year to address the “app tonnage” issue. And if you actually read most of the critiques of the Playbook, you would realize that Flash on the device is hit or miss at best. You also keep harping about the “free data” via Bluetooth. Yes, it is cool RIM is allowing PB owners to tether to their BB to get data, but that data is limited to email (sans attachments), calendar updates, notes, and address book. You are making it sound as if RIM is by passing the carriers to offer real free data as in web surfing or other application usage. The data you are getting for free is miniscule in the over all scheme of things. And what about your personal email that doesn’t require BB like gmail or yahoo mail? Why wouldn’t they at least add a separate native client that would/ could tap into that? And what business person is going to settle for reviewing emails but not the attachments that correspond with it?

    • Anonymous

      Already bought an iPad. A year ago to be exact. As soon as the next gen iPhone comes out, I will be washing my hands of my Blackberry forever. Already disconnected it’s Internet service since it is no longer needed.

      I do have a question for you though… Why this abnormal insistence that Flash is needed on a device. What benefit does it bring that the iPad is not able to do? The only thing that I can think of are Facebook games. YouTube? Yeah, I can use that in an app or in Safari on the iPad. Same with any video site that I think to visit. The only thing that I can think of that makes Flash required is an abnormal obsession from Adobe and other device makers over it’s supposed importance in an HTML5 world. Flash was important a decade ago. It isn’t anymore.

    • Anonymous

      Already bought an iPad. A year ago to be exact. As soon as the next gen iPhone comes out, I will be washing my hands of my Blackberry forever. Already disconnected it’s Internet service since it is no longer needed.

      I do have a question for you though… Why this abnormal insistence that Flash is needed on a device. What benefit does it bring that the iPad is not able to do? The only thing that I can think of are Facebook games. YouTube? Yeah, I can use that in an app or in Safari on the iPad. Same with any video site that I think to visit. The only thing that I can think of that makes Flash required is an abnormal obsession from Adobe and other device makers over it’s supposed importance in an HTML5 world. Flash was important a decade ago. It isn’t anymore.

    • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

      “But the ipad1 and 2 have been very successful bc its says “Apple” on it and no one markets their products better than Apple right now.”

      So you’re saying the enormous popularity of these devices has nothing to do with how good they are or how useful non-gadget-geeks consider them to be, but it has everything to do with their brand name and the gullibility of millions of people who simply respond to Apple’s marketing? Really?

      Thanks for the implied insult.

    • His Shadow

      “the ipad1 and 2 have been very successful bc its says “Apple” on it and no one markets their products better than Apple right now.”

      Get a new shtick. This “Apple sells products thru marketing” bullshit doesn’t cut it anymore. Apple sells in volume because they make some of the best hardware in the business with the cleanest and easiest UI. Full stop. Apple has excellent marketing, but the marketing doesn’t make the hardware better or the UI easier to use. Marketing is awareness. If the device does not perform to expectations, no marketing in the world will save it. This is why the Tab and Xoom are doomed to second class status.

      • Jth9234

        I am not saying their UI sucks, it is generally good in just about everything Apple makes and always has been. Although I do think iTunes needs an overhaul and could use some improving.

        But best hardware in the business? Really? You spend twice as much or more to buy a Mac instead of a PC with the same hardware specs. I know, desktops/laptops is not where Apple is dominant in market share, but when you make a broad statement like that, its simply not true. Also PC’s still kick Macs asses in gaming by a wide margin.

        As for the iPhone hardware, they break too easily and require visits to the Apple store to fix them, not cheap to do either. iPods, I owned 2 iPod shuffles thinking it a nice compact device to use when I go running, guess what? Sweat into them and they break! Both broke down in less than 6 months I will never buy another one!

        Finally the iPad, it has less RAM than an iPhone4, while the iPad has a dual core processor on par with any other current Tablets and performs really well, it can do this bc its streamlined many of its sites with no Flash support.

        • His Shadow

          “But best hardware in the business? Really?”

          Yes. Really.

          ” You spend twice as much or more to buy a Mac instead of a PC with the same hardware specs.”

          No, you don’t. You dont spend twice as much, that’s been dead for years. And specs? Get this thru your skull: nobody gives a shit. If all mainstream PCs are running intel chips, then “specs” are meaningless. Meaningless. How well is it built? How does it feel in your hand? What is the fit and finish like? If you can’t pick up a MacBook Pro, or look inside a Mac Pro and know, immediately, that these are superior devices to every other competitor, then I don’t know what to say to you. But I do expect you to be down at the auto shows shitting all over the Carerra because you stuck a Porsche engine in your Beetle. You know nothing, NOTHING about the quality, usefulness or appeal of a device from a list of specs that every other device shares. And if price is your overriding concern, that’s too bad. Many of us don’t want to live in a world full of Ladas and McDonalds and certainly will not be made to feel stupid because we want something better.

          • Jth9234

            Nope, wrong on many issues.

            1st. Price, try this experiment- got to Apple’s site, try pricing any one of their desktops or laptops. Make sure to look at the actual hardware specs they are selling you. Then go to Dell or HP sites, price their computers with the same hardware specs? Laptops are generally twice as much money for the same tech. Desktops can be tripled if you buy Mac peripherals too. Most Mac owners I know own a lexmark/hp printer, dell/hp monitor, and other PC made peripherals to cut down on costs. But hey their computers are prettier!

            1. Hardware- no difference. Check the specs, both can run the same things. Mac does make much of the stuff in their own computers, but Intel, the company you knock tends to make the semiconducter chips for both Macs and PC’s. Not so much with smartphones, but traditional computers, yes! There are many notable differences in software and UI, but hardware, not really. But the money you could spend on a nice Mac desktop, you could instead buy a Dell Alienware computer with far superior performance in virtually every possible category of measurement, better hardware, for the same price. Of course what would really use all that muscle for? Run really high end looking games? I dunno?

            2. Where is the superiority? Bc it feels nice in you hand? If thats the reasoning you use for getting fleeced, I feel for you man…

  • Jth9234

    Do you own a BB? They can already tether to laptops for free after paying for an app one time. You honestly think there won’t be some functionality like that on a Tablet made by RIM? Depending on who is reviewing it, it reads like it is already doing that out of the box, but to be fair, I have not tried it out yet. But whether its perfect tethering like they have already done between BB/laptops circumventing the fees by the service provider or limited to just the “Blackberry Bridge” for right now, its still an excellent feature.

    Also the phone/tablet functionality is brilliant, IMHO. Have you met a person that owns a Tablet computer that doesn’t or has never owned a smartphone? Its basically the same audience/demographics. The tablet market and the smartphone market are not mutually exclusive, just look at the popularity of the iPad when all it is really doing is running the same OS and apps as the iPhone!

    I do realize QNX will eventually take over BB phones, but thats just it, its progress. Tech always gets better, unless if you buy iPads, they are choosing to use an old cell phone OS that existed long before their tab. In other words, its regressing, not progressing. Especially with no flash support.

    QNX is not entirely a new OS, to be fair its older than Windows, but this version of it is new and more impressive than anything I am seeing on current smartphones, which is all the iPad is currently using.

    As for Android apps, thats a nice add on feature when it happens, but I think thats more a marketing ploy to entice Android fans that want an alternative to the iPad or the Android tablets. Face it, if you have Flash and a sufficient sized screen to view it, apps really don’t matter as much. I mean would you rather view the Facebook app on a phone or the actual site on a desktop?

    • Tim S.

      Last time I checked, Apple does continue to develop a product’s (in this case the iPad’s) OS after it has been released. I don’t know if you use iOS, but it’s certainly not antiquated by any means. Rather, it is the preeminent user experience among smartphone and tablet users alike.

      Lack of flash support is iOS’s biggest drawback? Okay, I’ll take that, considering that Flash is rapidly approaching its demise, with the advent of HTML5 and its widespread integration in the past year. At least iPads have email clients by default.

      I’m wondering what the “improved features no other Tablet gives you right now” are. Are they hardware- or software-oriented? Keep in mind that different OS architectures require different amounts of power. Just the same, the iPad 2 and the PlayBook are just about equal, hardware-wise. In terms of software, I’d invite you to compare the user experience of the PlayBook with that of the iPad 2 or even the iPad for all that matter. Which one seems faster? Which one feels polished? Finished? From what I’ve seen and read, those three counts would all go the iPad’s way, not the PlayBook’s.

      Use an iPad and see if you really think it feels like you’re using a phone. I have both and they are completely different experiences.

      What about users who might otherwise want the PlayBook, but don’t already have a BB? Oh well, guess email is off the table, then. Right. Go buy a Xoom or a Galaxy Tab or a hacked Nook or, hell, even an iPad, and you won’t look back.

    • Anonymous

      I know several people who don’t own desktop or laptop computers. Their Internet access is done 100% through their phones. These same people are abandoning their Blackberries for the iPhone or Android based phones. Some are interested in the tablets but would need things like email in order to use the Internet fully. Email and calendar functionality is much more important than Flash capabilities. Personally, I don’t miss Flash and don’t notice it missing from any site I visit. I even have it disabled on my desktop.

  • http://twitter.com/keiffus Keith Fisher

    Yes, I actually do! I have the Curve that is used for work (corporate owned), iPhone for personal use. I also have the iPad 2. And if you really want to be technical, iOS is a derivative of OS X. Just because they introduced the phone first doesn’t mean it was designed specifically as a phone OS. Jobs has indicated that they were developing the iPad first, but chose to launch the phone instead. Smart move as you well agree based on the statement above, as it has drawn people to their platform who otherwise might not have.

    Since your arguments are primarily based on your likes/dislikes, I will just state that I am not impressed with the new QNX OS on PB as it stands today other than its method of multi-tasking. Even that is a direct rip off of webOS. And I actually hate the current BB OS as well. But I do realize I am not RIM’s target consumer. I personally enjoy the apps on my iPad, like Garageband, FaceTime, Keynote, Mail, Calendar etc. Most of which come with the device. I don’t understand why you keep bringing up Flash as an alternative to mobile apps, because I don’t use ANY Flash apps on my desktop and I use Flashblocker on both my PC at work and Mac at home. What is the killer Flash app that iOS is missing? And fyi, I view the Facebook app on the iPad via Safari only, on the iPhone as the app because the app it optimized for the screen size. Are you trying to convince me that you actually look at FB on your BB in that crappy browser? You’re joking right?

    That said, I am not bashing RIM simply because I hate my Blackberry (which I do), but because I think there are some serious issues going on with their platform which need to be addressed soon. The problems with the Playbook are: 1. They are focused on the enterprise market, yet no native productivity suite is offered other than thru tethering to another smartphone device. And even that means you can not look at attachments. Bad. 2. They send out review units to the media when they know there are serious flaws in the OS a week before it goes on sale. Worse. 3. They also want consumers to buy it without giving people a compelling reason to buy it, i.e. native apps. Just look at the Xoom, it offers Flash and no apps and hasn’t taken off. Sad.

    • Jth9234

      So Keith Fisher, you were issued an old BB Curve? Does your job gimp it too, just to do job stuff? Not every BB is equal, I own the Torch myself, must say its a very underrated phone with the best web browsing I have ever seen on a BB.

      So enough with how not all BB are equals. Some do suck, some are excellent. I have Torch, IMHO the best BB yet running BB OS 6. I can already tether to laptops and share my phone’s data plan without paying additional monthly fees. Its tough to tell from the early reviews since at times since they focus on mundane details to point out why they think the iPad is better. I am reading them still unsure if you can actually tether your BB’s data plan to your Playbook for free to do anything from web browsing to streaming video or its just limited to the BB Bridge app which is only certain internet features such as email, messaging, etc.

      But make no mistake, if it cannot fully tether to BB’s already, I have a strong suspicion it soon will. And if it can already, then it is already the best tablet out there by default. Think about paying for an extra data plan every month forever or extra for the “hotspot” or “tether” feature to your service provider. Or sharing a data plan you are already paying for? You are saving bundles or money if you can tether for free and go on the internet anywhere you take it, which coincidentally for most people, they carry their smartphones with them everywhere too!

      Now add in it supports every real website (Flash) on the internet with pretty solid tech specs, the thing is closer to being a laptop than the iPad can ever dream to be. I have read varying things too like you can type off your BB QWERTY keyboard too to search on the Playbook. I have actually seen people with iPad keyboard accessories!

      No one on here seems to agree with me, but the BB/PB connection really is brilliant and has unlimited potential. I think its the smartest exclusive feature on any tablet. I think they should all do it. Perhaps iPad/iPhone or Android tabs/Android phones.

      It doesn’t necessarily NEED a BB “to function” as some are writing. It needs it just to make emails less tedious and more accessible. But without a BB, I agree its nowhere near as cool as with as a BB based on the very varied accounts of what I am reading…

      • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

        The BB/PB connection may be brilliant for people who are dedicated to their Blackberries and also want a tablet that accessorizes with it. For anyone who doesn’t already have a Blackberry or want one, it’s a ridiculous requirement for full functionality.

  • Tim S.

    Also, I’m pretty sure you can use Safari on the iPad to view the Facebook site. No Flash required.

  • Jth9234

    No one on here has ever heard of the “Tether” app on BB’s/Android phones? As far as I know no current tablets run this app as of right now. But everyone knows what it does? Circumvents paying extra fees to a phone service provider to share/tether the phone’s data plan with a laptop without any air card.

    In other words, free tethering once you have the app. This app is not on any tablets yet, but would be great if it was. Not certain about BB/PB tethering and fees or everything that is bridge, but it seems like this tablet might have these features in mind either out of the box or in the near future.

    • Anonymous

      Except, most carriers charge extra for Blackberry data plans to cover this “free” service. $45.00 for an iPhone data plan with tethering or $45.00 for Blackberry Internet Service. It all comes out in the wash. That is why I cancelled my Blackberry Internet Service a year ago and purchased an iPad with an unlimited data plan for $30.00 a month. I save $15.00 a month and don’t need tethering on my iPad to access email, contacts or calendar or have them immediately synced to all my devices. Well except my blackberry phone since it doesn’t support WiFi.

      I guess if your company pays for your phone then you would never know that.

  • Jth9234

    You guys are missing the big picture- THE TETHER APP, NOT THE EXTRA SERVICE FEE! It circumvents the phone carrier and allows your phone to act as an air card to your laptop with no extra fees, just shares your data. As far as I know that app is not on the iPhone.

    BB and Android phones do have this app and have for over a year. iPhones are behind on the times on this, iPhone uses are getting amped for using the “hot spot” feature which they pay their service provider a lot per month to do. BB and Android phones through an app can tether with no extra monthly fees.

    Where am I going with this? If the Playbook gets a similar app or the same app, that will make it very appealing for a logical and practical smartphone user with either a BB or Android phone.

    As it stands now, I am reading different things about tethering on the PB. If it is just paying extra to your service provider every month like every other tablet, then its no advantage. But of course if allit is is BB Bridge, but can use your BB browser, its not true tethering and would be a BB phone browser with no Flash. Basically a monitor for your BB screen on the go. Either way, thats still pretty cool, but not quite perfect free tethering like BB’s can already do with laptops as of right no with no extra monthly fees.

    • Anonymous

      Actually there is an app on the Cydia store called MyWi that allows the same functionality as your Blackberry app. Luckily you don’t need an iPhone to access email in your iPad. I think that is the point you are missing. Email has been around since the 60s and that it isn’t included by default on the Playbook is pretty ridiculous.

  • Jth9234

    Yes I have heard of that app for the iPhone, but I have also heard ATT has cracked down on it and its more of a use it at your own risk app now. No one seems to do anything about PDAnet or Tether being used on other smartphones.

    Anyway, is anyone really buying a tablet for native emails? I would say probably not, especially if the main demographic are BB users which already get the best email service of any smartphone. It becomes redundant.

    Or those that say the iPad has more/better games. OK, so these people bought a $500 tablet to play Angry Birds or Talking Tom? Do they realize a Nintendo DS, PSP, or the new 3DS have far superior games on the go for handhelds that cost a fraction of the price? Also why is this mentioned as a selling point?

    The iPad has more apps? Yes it does, but I would say 99% of all apps on smartphones/tablets are useless. Also being the PB runs Flash, you don’t need an app to get a HTML5 version of a site converted from a Flash based site. You already have the real sites whenever you feel like it. The PB is closer to being a laptop than the iPad for this reason. Does anyone really collect apps on their laptops? No. Why? Laptops can run the real sites, well so can the PB.

    The main things for tablets should be web browsing, interface, portability and ease of use. Yes, the iPad is pretty solid at all of those things, but the PB might actually be better at all of those things. Its difficult for me to tell since I have yet to fire one up myself, but the videos look very good from what I am seeing.

    • ThinkingOutLoud4

      Jth, please condition your comments about BB tethering with at least an acknowledgement that carriers may, should they choose to enforce the provisions, treat such tethering as a violation of your wirelesss agreement. Accordingly, I suggest that this feature (particularly with it’s limitations as described by others), is not much more than a “maybe you can get away with it for a while” bonus.

      Please also limit your use of derogatory references to the choices of others to statements of your opinion.

      If the Playbook, as it is, meets your needs, that’s great – I can imaging RIM will make improvements. I note that you make at least a couple of criticisms of Apple and iOS and then turn around and (indirectly) say it’s okay for RIM to do the same thing with its phones and tablet.

      Echoing the observations of others, the absence of Flash can be overcome with use-specific apps and other workarounds. Flash may have some advantages for certain use cases, but I’ve personally not found full Flash to be conducive to efficient workflow (I’m not a Flash programmer). I have a six year old Apple PowerBook and Flash is a dog. I’m waiting for an appropriately powerful tablet system. If nothing is forthcoming in the next 12 months with sufficient power to allow me to abandon the laptop format, I’ll consider a refurb MacBook Air (I have a present preference for Mac OS). I hope to see enough capability in the forthcoming webOS tablet (including courting of developers) to allow me to forgo the laptop form factor. We’ll see.

      I’ve had WinMo 5, BB OS 5, webOS and iOS on a second gen iPod Touch. None of them are “perfect” and each was better than the predecessor in at least some respects, but not as good as the predecessor in others. I hope the new BB OS ratchets up the competition and improves the breed.

      Thanks for your comments.

  • Jth9234

    I was using the tether work around as an example of the potential a phone/tablet combination can bring. I may have went off on a tangent, but where so many critics are making that feature out to be a flaw, I think it could actually be a game changer and is a great idea.

    As for everything else that is getting nitpicked? A power button? Seriously? Or lack of apps, I covered that, full internet capabilities with Flash make phone apps sort of irrelevant on a higher powered tablet. Boring hardware design? Are these critics on the rag?

    As for form factor, that is a fair criticism, but I am a little sick of people repeating what Steve Jobs said about 7” tabs vs. 10” tabs, is no one else allowed to like a 7” tab? I mean if you prefer a 10” tab with its larger display over a 7” tab, then yeah, that means the PB is not the tablet for you. I think the 10” tabs are a bit cumbersome since you either have to carry it like a laptop or put it in a bag.

    Personally, I like the 7” design, it makes it as portable as a Kindle/Nook, while nearly as powerful as a laptop, and significantly larger than the bulkiest smartphones. Could fit it in a coat pocket, cargo shorts/pants with large pockets, or easily grip it with one hand like a paperback.

  • Anonymous

    The Crane stand was designed with the highest quality standards in mind. The people behind the Crane Stand are DJs and musicians ourselves, and a few years back after surveying the marketplace we weren’t happy with the adjustable laptop stands available so we decided to build our own.

  • Anonymous

    Crane Stand is simply the highest quality Adjustable Laptop Stand on the market and the only DJ Laptop Stand that is made in the USA. The robust Portable Notebook Stand was rated #1 in stability, and is the only Foldable Laptop Stand with a 3-leg design.

  • Anonymous

    The Crane Stand is the most stable portable laptop stand in the world. Don’t let your laptop on everything else.

  • Anonymous

    The Crane stand was designed with the highest quality standards in mind. The people behind the Crane Stand are DJs and musicians ourselves, and a few years back after surveying the marketplace we weren’t happy with the adjustable laptop stands available so we decided to build our own.

  • Anonymous

    The Crane stand was designed with the highest quality standards in mind. The people behind the Crane Stand are DJs and musicians ourselves, and a few years back after surveying the marketplace we weren’t happy with the adjustable laptop stands available so we decided to build our own.

  • Crazyt4u

    i bought playbook for my wife , already got ipad for myself . can say its worst decession i made , playbook is just a peice of shit for  price they selling . all aps are third class, no email client , no fring, whatsapp, palringo, skype or any good facebooks chat apps. i would had bought any big screen mobile instead . its not worth buying for more then 50% price of ipad thats too if u got that money spare to waste . its worst gaget one can ever get. and Bb please stop telling that u had done anything great by making tab which support adobe , its all useless when u cant do anything ,. why the fxxx you launch it when you didnt got basic apps in your store , i dont care what you do in future , i just care that i spend pounds 399 on this shhht today .

  • Crazyt4u

    i bought playbook for my wife , already got ipad for myself . can say its worst decession i made , playbook is just a peice of shit for  price they selling . all aps are third class, no email client , no fring, whatsapp, palringo, skype or any good facebooks chat apps. i would had bought any big screen mobile instead . its not worth buying for more then 50% price of ipad thats too if u got that money spare to waste . its worst gaget one can ever get. and Bb please stop telling that u had done anything great by making tab which support adobe , its all useless when u cant do anything ,. why the fxxx you launch it when you didnt got basic apps in your store , i dont care what you do in future , i just care that i spend pounds 399 on this shhht today .

  • Crazyt4u

    people talk about BB bridge     , i use my iphone free hotspot teathring  option to connect my ipad and my wife bb playbook same time and thats free , and nowdays three mobile give iphone with all u can eat data so no prob to going above limit

  • http://www.cranehardware.com/ the crane stand

    To perform a few different variations of the crane position, stand with your legs shoulder-width apart, arms loose by your side. Gently transfer your weight to your left leg and pull your right foot up so that it’s tucked next to your left knee. Be sure you’re standing up straight so that your weight is distributed along your entire leg, not just your ankles.

  • http://www.thecranestand.com/ adjustable laptop stands

    In addition to the eye-level screen positioning, you are also benefited with the non-skid rubber feet of the laptop stand. So even if you happen to change the base from a wooden table to a plastic table, placing your mobile laptop stand will not hinder your work. And in case if you are worried about carrying your laptop stand from one place to another, all you have to do is fold it! It is as simple as that.

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    Whether you’re going to be using your laptop in your office, your home, or maybe you just want to use the stand on the road, I wanted to show you how you can pick out the best stand for your laptop. There are a lot of them out there and if you know how to pick the right one, you’re going to be happy with your purchase. You shouldn’t have to spend no more than $50 on your purchase.