BlackBerry PlayBook Reviews: Good Hardware, Needs More Software

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“The BlackBerry PlayBook gets a lot right, but it also feels very much like a work in progress. It could shine in the future, but for now it’s constrained by its limited app selection, software glitches, and choices in functionality or design that should limit the PlayBook’s popularity among consumers. Businesspeople who already depend on BlackBerry phones should value both the way those phones will interact with the Playbook and the built-in security of the platform–and for that audience, those capabilities will override many of the PlayBook’s other weaknesses.

Note: Since the Playbook’s software is still being updated in advance of its launch, PCWorld is holding its rating until April 19.”


“In a lot of ways, the PlayBook is more polished and usable in its beta state than the Motorola Xoom, and it’s straight-up the best seven-inch tablet out there (though in the tango between between portability and size, I think 10 inches is still the best). At the same time, I don’t think anyone should buy it right now—BlackBerry user or otherwise—for at least a few months, to see if the platform has enough legs to carry itself to where it needs to be. If the apps do arrive to fill in the gaps, then the PlayBook is totally going to be a tablet to check out. The foundation is solid—I can’t wait to see the first phones running this software—it just needs some stuff built on top of it before you can decide whether or not you should move in.”

Wired – 6 out of 10

“The bottom line: It’s a well-constructed device with great media-viewing capabilities, solid hardware specs and a price on par with the current tablet market. But with serious gaps in key areas like app selection and Flash stability, you may want to think twice before picking one up.”

Boy Genius Report

“I can’t help but feel like the PlayBook, as it stands now, is an unfinished product. The hardware is there but the software is buggy at times, and the apps are severely lacking and almost non-existent in terms of quality. While the Web browser is extremely solid, with no native email or calendar or contact apps, the PlayBook isn’t a very good standalone product. This should all change in the coming months thanks to the free software update, and what’s even better is RIM no longer has to go through carriers to push updates out since this model doesn’t have a carrier partner — we should see software updates fast and often RIM told me. I just don’t see a killer app on the PlayBook, and that’s the real problem. It does a lot of things, but it doesn’t do 90% of things better than an iPad 2 or a XOOM.”

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