After the successful penetration of Kindle to the market of readers-on-the-go and Apple on that of the application-savvy users, here comes RIM to further serve its corporate patrons with the introduction of this tablet.
But judging from its name – Blackberry Playbook – is RIM finally ready to loosen up and play along in the growing market of personal tablets?
Look and Feel
If you are looking for a tablet that is light and portable then Playbook is for you. At 194 x 130 x 10 mm and 425 grams, the Playbook is smaller and lighter than the iPad and Galaxy Tab. However, if you are after the experience of having a wide screen, then you might have to reconsider.
For its interface, think Blackberry Torch. Only, Playbook would give you a better typing experience with its expanded buttons and more responsive touch screen capacity. I can type fast and even carelessly without worrying much about my finger’s precision.
The Playbook screen is also quite an innovation, as it is totally button-free. Navigation is purely dependent on the directional movement of your finger – slide it up close windows, slide down for options. Most people find it difficult to use at first but I say, you’ll eventually get the hang of it.
Playbook gave me my best experience, so far, of Blackberry’s camera. At 5 megapixels, I was content with the quality of indoor and outdoor shots. The secondary, front camera is also satisfactory at 3 megapixels. I found it convenient to shift to it once-in-while for self-portraits.
- The camera of the Playbook responds well for both low light and daylight images.
A few downsides, however – first there is no button link from the camera pane to the photo gallery. Every time I try to review my shots, I would still need to minimize the camera window to open the gallery. Then second, the lack of shooting and editing features makes taking pictures quite boring. Unlike in other tablets, Playbook by default, does not allow you to take artistic and create fancy photo edits. There may be a perfect Instagram-like application for this but I have yet to find it out.
I am using Facebook for Blackberry Playbook and so far, I like how it’s designed to be more flexible than its version for the handhelds. This social networking app can be used either through data plan when synced with the Blackberry Bridge or via WIFI.
Although, like RIM’s official Twitter client, Facebook for Blackberry Playbook still has many glitches. Errors would pop-out once-in-a-while whenever I try to view comments. Viewing is still limited to the most basic windows. Orientation is also limited to landscape. RIM could still work on fixing these.
Meanwhile, as I am pleased with the chat interface of Facebook for Blackberry Playbook, I am also satisfied with the enhanced functioning of the Blackberry Messenger. Given the wider screen and the changeable orientation, it is definitely more exciting to chat using the Playbook than through my good old Bold.
Without a doubt, the Blackberry Bridge experience is the best thing about the Playbook. As a Blackberry handheld user, the idea of syncing my phone directly to my tablet without the use of a computer has won me over.
Easy and convenient to use, Bridge offers the enhanced the experience of my Blackberry’s standard features. I think it was named Playbook not because of the recreational idea of playing. It is geared more towards allowing you to “play” and better view your Blackberry functions given its powerful form.