∞ 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 300×250 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.


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