The BlackBerry Playbook Surprised Me

Posted: Jan 8 2011, 11:58am CST | by , in CES


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The BlackBerry Playbook Surprised Me

RIM hit this one out of the park

I didn't expect much out of the Playbook. RIM has been behind the curve for so long now that the idea of them releasing a tablet as desirable as the iPad or Xoom seemed almost ridiculous. If they can't make a decent modern smartphone, how can they make a great tablet?

I'm still not sure what the answer to that question is, but I think the Playbook might just end up being a great tablet. I spent about twenty minutes playing with one yesterday, and walked away six different shades of impressed. But first off: the body.

This is actually my least favorite part of the Playbook. I still think 7" is a hair too small for a productivity tablet. The smooth back and sides mean that the Playbook won't grip as well as say, the the Adam or Toshiba's tablet.

Alright- we've covered cosmetics. Now we can get into the UI itself. The Playbook's system of gesture-based controls make it the most pleasant tablet I've ever interacted with. The Adam is a little faster (judging by how both handle 1080p playback) but the PlayBook is just so damn intuitive.

That's a word we throw around a lot in this industry, so I'll try to elaborate a bit more. It took a little over a minute, total, for me to have navigation on this thing down -pat-. Swipe sideways from bezel to bezel to switch apps. Swiping up pulls you out of an app. Multitasking didn't cause any appreciable lag, and I was able to move between a browser, PDF reader and full HD video with no trouble. The video was playing every time I switched back to it, too.

So there you have it. The PlayBook is a wonderfully pleasant slate to use. I still think it is too small, and the body is nothing to write home about, but RIM has finally figured out how to make a modern touchscreen OS.

Now, if they could only get their smartphone act together...

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The Author

<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.
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