Review of BlackBerry PlayBook

After Dell Streak, Motorola Zoom,  Samsung Galaxy tab, TeamiPad from Sony, and most recently the Apple iPad 2,  the Blackberry PlayBook is one of the most sought after launches in the Indian market.

Though the official release date is not confirmed yet, looking at the recent spate of tablet pc launches worldwide, which have introduced shortly afterward in the Indian market – and keeping in mind the competition with Androids, Symbians, and iPhones, India need not wait long for the latest offering from RIM.

A 7-inch BlackBerry tablet with multi-touch capacitive display screen, 1024 x 600 screen resolution and weighing 400 grams, the device is available in 3 models of 16GB, 32 GB and 64GB. It features a 1 Ghz dual-core processor, 1 GB RAM, and offers symmetric multi-processing, which can be used for gaming, media, apps and net surfing. The tablet also comes with an installed version of the Adobe Flash 10.1, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, and has built-in support for HTML 5, being built on user-friendly QNX technology. In addition, it also supports POSIX OS, SMP, Open GL, BlackBerry 6, WebKit, Java and Adobe Mobile AIR.

Some of the other features of the PlayBook include the easy Bluetooth pairing of the PlayBook with a BlackBerry smartphone, compatibility with BlackBerry Enterprise Server, 3G access via existing BlackBerry smartphone service plan, as well as corporate data access to all BlackBerry smartphone applications built on Push technology like Email, calendar, BBM, tasks, documents and BlackBerry security.

In addition, the PlayBook offers clear HD display, rich stereo sound and dual high-definition video cameras (3 megapixel forward-facing camera and 5 megapixel rear-facing camera) for video conferencing. It also offers Codec support for media playback, creation and video calling, 1080p HD video; H.264, MPEG4, WMV HDMI video output, and comes with a Micro USB and Micro HDMI connector. RIM recently also launched a Facebook application for the PlayBook.

The BlackBerry PlayBook was officially launched in the US and Canada on April 19 in three models 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, and is prices at $499, $599, and $699, respectively. Hoping to break the iPad monopoly, the BlackBerry PlayBook has already sold approximately 500,000 tablets on the first day of its launch itself, according to RIM  makers of the PlayBook, and according to current reports, sales for the tablet globally have already crossed those of Motorola Zoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab,  two of its key competitors. One of the main differentiating factors is that the BlackBerry PlayBook runs on the BlackBerry OS itself, while Samsung and Motorola both run on the Google Android operating system.

Having received mixed reviews till date, it is yet to be seen whether RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook will have as much success as its BlackBerry smartphones in India, and hopefully help its market shares  rise above the current BlackBerry encryption issues. A major area of concern will no doubt be its steep estimated price of Rs 25,000-37,000 in the price-sensitive Indian market, where it competes with the Apple iPad 2 at Rs 29,500-46,900, Samsung Galaxy tab at Rs 28,000-35,000, Motorola Zoom at Rs 34,999 and Dell Streak at Rs 33,000.


By Beryl M