Latest News: Technology |  Celebrity |  Movies |  Apple |  Cars |  Business |  Sports |  TV Shows |  Geek

Trending

Filed under: News | Tablets

 

48 Hours With the PlayBook: 6 Things I've Learned

Only one big glitch, so far.

48 Hours With the PlayBook: 6 Things I've Learned
 
 

I've been the owner of a brand new 16 GB BlackBerry Playbook for less than 48 hours at this point. It arrived at my home early Friday morning. That afternoon, it was hooked into my car speakers as I blasted down the interstate headed for the green rolling plains of central Texas. Though it's only been in my possession for a few hours, I've already come to several conclusions about RIM's 7" slate. And here they are:

1. 7" Is a Perfect Size...For Some Things.

The most surprising thing about the PlayBook is how tiny it seems compared to my iPad. Browsing on the smaller display is much more cramped than on the iPad. That said, the browsing experience isn't much worse. The PlayBook would be a perfectly comfortable device for extended surfing or e-reading. The lighter weight is nice, but what really makes the PlayBook ideal is how well it fits in your hand.

But if I have my preference? I'll take the iPad's larger screen and more awkward size, eight times out of ten.

2. The PlayBook is Not Pocket-Friendly.

One nice thing about smaller tablets is that they are much easier to store and carry. The PlayBook is small enough to fit in a healthy front pocket. If you have cargo pants/shorts, you're golden. The inner pocket of a jacket is likely to fit as well. That said...the PlayBook is terribly inconvenient for pocket-carry.

See, RIM thoughtfully included a play/stop button and forward/backward skip buttons on the top of the PlayBook. This would be a fantastic feature...if the buttons weren't triggered by the slightest jostle. Even with nothing else in my pocket, the play button would somehow get tapped and music would begin to blare from my pants. The only way to make your tablet pocket-safe is to exit out of the music app before holstering.

3. The Unlock Button isn't as Bad as Claimed.

Most early PlayBook reviews harped on the unlock switch as one major flaw in the tablet's design. And I'll admit- it isn't great. But it also isn't notably worse than the iPad's unlock switch. Quite frankly, I consider it a non-issue. RIM can- and should- improve things with the next iteration, but the PlayBook's unlock button is far less irritating than I expected.

4. The PlayBook May Have a Master Volume Glitch:

Before I started my drive, I spent several minutes struggling to connect my PlayBook with a set of Bluetooth speakers. Though everything was connected properly I could not get any sound to play. Eventually, I realized that the solution is simply to go into Settings and tap the master volume control. It doesn't seem to matter whether I turn it up or down, so long as I alter it.

This has happened three times so far, which leads me to suspect it is not an isolated issue. It may simply be an issue with my unit. Any other PlayBook owners are welcome to respond in the comments with their own experiences.

5. RIM has the best UI...but Apple has ALL the Apps:

I love the PlayBook's edge-to-edge touch interface and gesture-based control scheme. This is how I want to communicate with EVERY touchscreen device. Even iOS seems clunky by comparison, with its menu boxes and 'back' buttons.

That said, my early opinion is that the PlayBook is a beautiful girl, all dressed up for the prom with no date or transportation. Sure, she's lovely. But unless she finds someone to drive her to the dance, no one can appreciate that.

The PlayBook needs a much, much more developed app ecosystem. And it also needs a better suite of pre-installed applications. The iPad 2 had FaceTime to capture our imaginations and delight prospective buyers playing around in the Apple Store. The PlayBook doesn't have much of a 'wow' factor right now, unless you're a hardware geek.

6. 1 GB of RAM on a Mobile Device is Freaking Glorious:

What more needs to be said here? I can run my browser, my notes, a game, an HD movie and also email photos to my Gmail account without noticing any slow-down. RIM did multitasking right.

First Conclusions: The PlayBook is a device with extraordinary promise, hobbled by a host of flaws. Some of those will go away with the next software update, but others (the App Situation) will prove more difficult for RIM to overcome. I hope they do though, because the PlayBook deserves a real shot. It's an impressive device, and the first thing in two years that's made me think RIM may have some inkling of what customers want these days.

iPad Air Giveaway. Win a free iPad Air.

You Might Also Like

Updates

Shopping Deals

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/5" rel="author">Robert Evans</a>
The excitement about new smartphones, tablets and anything mobile drive Robert to unearth the latest rumors and developments in this fast moving space. He adopted 4G as soon as it become available and knows where the mobile market is going.
Robert can be contacted directly at robert@i4u.com.

 

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Tara Reid Wears Revealing Dress at Sharknado 2 Screening
Tara Reid Wears Revealing Dress at Sharknado 2 Screening
Sharknado 2 hit the big screen yesterday in LA. Tara Reid used the occasion for a dramatic red carpet appearance. How does this dress stay on her boobs?
 
 
Mariah Carey Feels Sorry About her Marital Issues
Mariah Carey Feels Sorry About her Marital Issues
The pop diva, Mariah Carey feels sorry about her marital issues. Her problems with her husband may offer trouble in the future for the rich and famous songstress.
 
 
Rear Panels Of 5.5-inch iPhone 6 In Latest Leak
Rear Panels Of 5.5-inch iPhone 6 In Latest Leak
The 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the unofficially-named ‘iPhone 6L’ will play out like the smartphone version of the iPad mini 2 and iPad Air.
 
 
Victoria Beckham takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Victoria Beckham takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Victoria Beckham, wife of David Beckham, also completed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that is a viral trend these days.
 
 
 

About the Geek Mind

The “geek mind” is concerned with more than just the latest iPhone rumors, or which company will win the gaming console wars. I4U is concerned with more than just the latest photo shoot or other celebrity gossip.

The “geek mind” is concerned with life, in all its different forms and facets. The geek mind wants to know about societal and financial issues, both abroad and at home. If a Fortune 500 decides to raise their minimum wage, or any high priority news, the geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants to know the top teams in the National Football League, or who’s likely to win the NBA Finals this coming year. The geek mind wants to know who the hottest new models are, or whether the newest blockbuster movie is worth seeing. The geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants—needs—knowledge.

Read more about The Geek Mind.