As my regular readers are well aware, I'm a big fan of testing the hell out of my gadgets in real-world conditions. My new Playbook arrived on Friday. Which was fortunate, because the weekend I had planned would prove to be as thorough a stress test as I've ever devised.
It started with eleven hours in a car. First a two hour jaunt to the city of West, Texas, followed the next day with an early morning drive to Marfa, Texas. Marfa is a tiny town- 2,121 residents. But this weekend it had doubled in size, thanks to the Railroad Revival Tour.
The keystone act for this train-tour of the Southwest is my favorite new band- Mumford & Sons. Their shows in Austin and New Orleans sold out in a matter of minutes. But Marfa is just far enough off the beaten path that we were able to land tickets. I knew right away that this was the perfect place to test the PlayBook's "HD" video camera. Much as I love my iPad 2, it couldn't record a concert with any kind of clarity or audio quality. Would RIM's tablet do better?
You can judge for yourself here, with a full video of Mumford & Sons playing "Let Love Roar".
The shakiness is all down to me- I was too excited to take a perfect video. But I was very impressed with the image clarity and quality, especially given how bright it was outside. And the audio came through spectacularly, even with the din of the crowd all around us. There are a number of areas where the PlayBook falls short of the iPad 2- but the video camera is not one of them.
I also found the PlayBook to be a surprisingly comfortable device to shoot with. This video was recorded one-handed. The Playbook's frame fit comfortably inside of one hand, and it is light enough that my wrist didn't feel strained holding it up there for more than 3 minutes. Best of all, it fit inside of my (otherwise empty) front pocket, so I was able to quickly stow it and get back to dancing once the shooting was over.