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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Blackberry PlayBook

So I took the bait on Xmas eve, and ordered a Blackberry Playbook 32GB tablet from Staples online. But I don't think I'm keeping it....

The price point at $250.00 is fairly ok... and what I read about it seemed like it's a fairly solid tablet. I enjoy my HP TouchPad a lot but sometimes it is a bit big, especially when I take it out with me. With the case, it weighs in around 2lbs, which is close to my netbook weight. 2lbs may not sound like a lot, but when you're talking portability, trust me it is a consideration.

The Blackberry PlayBook definitely has a nice form factor. It's 7" as opposed to the TouchPad's 10", and it's very thin. On the bottom edge, there's the memory storage size (32GB) a micro HDMI port for output to an HDTV, a micro USB port, and a proprietary 3-pin port for a dock(?) One of the small issues with the micro USB port is that it's not shaped like most and you have to be careful to plug in the USB cable the right way. Usually the shape of the port shows me which way to plug it in.

The top edge has a headphone jack, power button and volume/play buttons. It's good to have hardware buttons but on the PlayBook I prefer to put it into sleep mode just using the onscreen buttons.

What's really great about coming out of sleep mode is all you need to do is swipe from bezel to bezel (either up/down or side/side) So I only need the power button to turn on the PlayBook from a full turned-off mode.

The back is a very simple soft touch rubber. Resists fingerprints but can pick up lint. It feels very comfortable though.

I love the thinness and simple design. However, the PlayBook is quite heavy considering its size. I suppose it's not unreasonable for it to weigh almost 1 lb, but when you look at the size and thinness of it, it looks like it should weigh less. So it can be a bit of a burden to hold for long periods... but the HP TouchPad weighs about 2x so....

I may not be a typical tablet user, my needs are fairly simple. I want a tablet for internet browsing, photos, music, videos and apps.

The Blackberry Playbook does most of these very well. The interface is very similar to the HP TouchPad's WebOS: apps close into a window view, you scroll horizontally between them, there's good multi-tasking.

My big problem with the Blackberry PlayBook is videos. I record videos in simple profile MP4 format, usually 368 x 208. Suited for PSP playback, but they also play very well on my HTC Legend phone and HP TouchPad. But on the PlayBook the videos are very pixelated. My videos look better on my TouchPad which has only a slightly higher resolution, but a bigger screen. Videos should look better on the PlayBook because of the smaller screen. I'm not sure if RIM is using a not very good MP4 decoder for video playback or what.... it makes me sad that my videos look so crappy on this thing.....

I really want to love the Blackberry PlayBook-- in fact I actually DO love a lot about it. Just not videos. That's not the most important part of a tablet but it is a major one for me. It's such a shame. So I think, with great reluctance, that I have to return it....... hopefully I can find a 7" tablet that will better fit my needs...... but there is also the PS Vita coming which will suck up as much $$$ as the PlayBook so maybe I need to just save up for that.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Please register and vote for Playbook to have its own forum on xda as first step to interest devs to make a dual boot proper full-on android on it (near the bottom of list) and we were only 60 votes a week ago but now are nearly winning this poll: