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I have had my Blackberry Playbook for over 12 months now and I am as happy with it today as I was the day I got it, who could believe such a small compact tablet could do so much. It is so light and so small but it has a 7 inch screen so more than a big enough size. It is superfast and has plenty of additional features to make this the perfect tablet.
It has a camera at the front and at the back...Perfect for Skype (may I add) and perfect for snapping pictures and then uploading them straight to social networking sites, email etc. The camera isn't amazing but especially for things like Skype it is perfect. Battery life is rather good, I use mine for hours on end after work and it can last two days from a full charge. It has amazing memory; I store all my pictures that are so easy to download from websites etc. It is the perfect travelling companion it really is! It is small, compact, great for Skype, connects really well with Wi-Fi in Cafes, restaurants, trains etc.
I also like to download apps from the Blackberry App Store, instagram, games etc. Along with having the Microsoft 'Docs to go' package which is perfect, I can complete my degree coursework on there and then send it through to my tutor via email. For a student, traveller, business person or even just somebody who would like a small compact 'Laptop' this is ideal.
The only slight disadvantage is that on some websites, Argos for example, it takes you onto the mobile site but you just need to click full website and you will be taken to the full site. Sometimes this can be a disadvantage as the websites are much simpler.
It also has Bluetooth which I LOVE, can send pictures to and from my phone without any problems...for me it doesn't get much better than this and in the whole time I have had this laptop I haven't had any problems so in terms of reliability that is also excellent.
The keyboard on this is rather small so I can imagine people with big fingers/hands could struggle with this at first but once you get use to it you will be fine, as my boyfriend has learnt! It appears complicated when you first begin to use it but after a couple of days you will have picked it up and think 'what was all the fuss about'.
I know that when it comes around to replacing this tablet I will be doing with another...Blackberry Playbook, no questions asked.
The 7'' playbook itself weighs 425 g which is a nice weight for a tablet of its kind since it is light weight which allows comfort whilst holding it, the back of the playbook also has a nice smooth feel to it. I have had mine in a case since I purchased it however it has somehow picked up a large scratch on the back which questions its cosmetic durability. The 7'' screen allows typing to become an easy task without making the screen too small. It also includes a front and back camera which is useful and also helps out with the playbook video call feature however not too many people own a playbook in comparison to certain other rival tablets which makes finding people to video call a hard task. The battery life is also very large and can last up to 10 hours multimedia playback time.
The device itself includes useful features such as being able to use flash so most things on the internet can be accessed without any complications. The tablet also has a feature called blackberry bridge which allows the device to connect to a blackberry phone and can run off the phones internet which allows mobile use of internet on the playbook and also the phone can be used as a keyboard and mouse for the device, also some of the phones features like text and bbm can be accessed through the playbook. Document creators are also installed on the table which definately makes it an ideal device for a student or for work purposes, documents can also be printed straight from the playbook.
The device's graphics are crystal clear and internet is fast allowing great video playback, however there is definately a lack of sources for watching things available on the playbook and the appstore is not great which if improved would make the device almost perfect because better apps is what it is lacking. Sound quality is also great and allows the tablet to become something of a media device which is very useful. The devices software is very fast and also very easy to use so functions very well.
Overall, the Blackberry playbook does what it is meant to and for a very reasonable price but if the appstore was improved and more applications became available then the device would be even better than it already is but if you are looking for a decent and well priced device to maybe do work on or watch things or etc then you should definately consider purchasing a playbook.
I am so far the only other person who i know that has one which is disappointing because it is extremely good.
It has two cameras, one on the front for video chatting and one on the back for taking photos or video.
It has a powerful processor with 1 gb of memory which allows it to run full 3d games such as need for speed or operation sandstorm 2.
It also has two very good speakers which allows for it to be stereo. this means that i can play music which actually sounds good unlike through the iPad's or asus's speakers which sound rather tinny.
The playbook and a blackberry phone are both connected through the blackberry bridge. this allows you to have everything from your phone on the playbook. you are also able to use your bbm and email on your phone through the bluetooth connection on your playbook. however i should stress that you do not get a new bbm on the playbook and it must be connected via bluetooth. However the new 2.0 software means that you can now have native email on the tablet.
I've had a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 which was the original Galaxy Tablet to come out for a while now and I have been generally happy with it but with advances happening every day in the world of tablets I thought it was time to move on to bigger and better. I have been lusting after an Ipad for ages but I have been resisting because of both the price and because I have a hatred for Itunes. I had originally looked at the Blackberry Playbook when it first came out a few months ago but had dismissed it as it was far too expensive at nearly £500 and seemed to be more limited in what it could do than either the Ipad or Samsung tablets. However the Playbook has recently had a massive price reduction and can now be bought for only £169 for the 16GB version or £199 for the one that I have which is the 32GB version. Because of this massive saving it made me look again into the possibility of getting one and in the end I decided that although it maybe didn't have everything that the Ipad might have it was too much of a bargain to pass up on.
~~~~~~~~~~ Form factor ~~~~~~~~~~
The Playbook is a totally different beast to most other tablets since it is a 7 inch tablet rather than a 10 inch like the Ipad and Galaxy tab 10.1. This does of course make it more portable than a 10 inch tablet and for me is almost the perfect size. In a perfect world I would prefer another inch of screen but for most things I use the tablet for it is absolutely fine and the fact that it fits inside my inside jacket pocket means that I can take it pretty much anywhere with me.
The design of the Playbook is a little uninspiring as is the dull black colour of it and it won't be winning any awards for its looks but it does look sleek and professional if that is what you are looking for.
It is a little thicker than I would have thought too given just how slim most tablets are but it does feel comfortable to hold and is really well constructed and has a reassuringly solid feel to it.
~~~~~~~~~~ Specs and performance ~~~~~~~~~~
The Playbook has 32GB of internal memory and a 1GHZ dual core processor with 1GB RAM. If you don't know what this means then basically the 32GB is how much memory it has for storing things like movies, photos and apps and is quite generous. I can store several movies and TV shows on it at any one time along with music, apps and photos and so far I haven't encountered any problems with needing more storage space.
The 1GHZ dual core processor and 1GB RAM makes everything run smoothly on the Playbook and I can definitely say that I have noticed a big difference between the performance of this and my old Samsung Tab. The Samsung would play films etc but not HD and there would be lag on quite a few things especially on more intensive programmes. I haven't once noticed any slowdown whilst using the Playbook and everything zips along nicely even when I have several windows open all doing different tasks.
The screen on the Playbook has a 1080p HD display and this is absolutely gorgeous. Films and TV shows look amazing on it and transferring them is easy with the micro USB connector. There is also the option of transferring files wirelessly and again this works seamlessly.
The Playbook also has the added benefit of having a micro HDMI port meaning that I can take this to friends' houses and connect it to their TV's to watch movies or show them something that I have stored on it.
For those people who are used to using Android or IOS then the Playbook's QNX operating system will take a little bit getting used to as it is very different than these two. However it operates along the same lines so after a few hours of playing around with it you should have the hang of it. The same goes for the touch screen gestures needed to switch between apps etc. this did cause me a bit of confusion to begin with but I soon got the hang of it.
There are two cameras on the Playbook. A front facing 3mp camera which is used as a web cam and a back facing 5MP one which is used for taking pictures. Although I haven't really taken a lot of pictures with the Playbook the ones I have taken have all turned out well. They are nowhere near as good as either my phone or my dedicated camera but in a pinch they would be fine and to be honest using this to take pictures would look less daft than taking them with a 10 inch tablet.
Battery life is fantastic and the Playbook can easily last a whole day of near constant use with no problems whatsoever and when I am using it I am quite a heavy user using internet, watching movies, playing games etc. I would say it lasts me about 8 hours of near constant use and longer if I am only using it sporadically throughout the day.
~~~~~~~~~~ How I use the tablet ~~~~~~~~~~
I mainly use the Playbook as an entertainment device and this means I watch a lot of films and TV on it whilst I am on the train or in bed etc. I also use it to surf the internet which I have to say is a pleasure to do. Web pages render really fast and I can use my phone as a WIFI hotspot so I can access the internet wherever I am. It also supports flash which may not seem like a big thing but it is surprising just how many websites actually use flash. I also play some games on it which it handles great and again there is no lag or stuttering with it and even the most graphically heavy games I have tried work perfectly on it.
~~~~~~~~~~ Blackberry Bridge ~~~~~~~~~~
Blackberry Bridge is something which I have no experience of but thought I better include some basic details about it for those people who will be interested. Blackberry Bridge is an app for those people that have a Blackberry phone and can downloaded from the Blackberry app store. It then connects your phone to the Playbook by Bluetooth so that you can access your messages, contacts, calendar, memos, BBM messenger and files that you have on your Blackberry phone. As I don't have a Blackberry phone I haven't tried this out myself but Blackberry seem to be making a big deal out of it in their marketing of the playbook.
~~~~~~~~~~ The playbooks downfall ~~~~~~~~~~
There are so many good things about the Playbook that it is a shame that there is one major flaw with it which does make it pretty much useless to the majority of people interested in buying a tablet computer and that is the lack of apps.
Now I am an app fiend and had literally hundreds on my Galaxy Tab and on my phone. Sure some of them are useless but some of them are genuinely handy and things which I use on a daily basis. The Playbook app store is not only expensive but it has a woeful selection of apps available for the Playbook. Now I am not just going on about silly apps like angry birds (which incidentally is actually one of the few apps available) but even apps for email like my Gmail which I used constantly on my Galaxy tab isn't available. It means that whenever I want to check my email I have to go into the browser and do it manually. This is a bit of a faff especially when I have been so used to receiving my emails automatically and being able to read them at the tap of a button.
There is also no kindle app which is a shame as I love my kindle and have loads of books on my account that I can't access. Other apps missing include basic apps for amazon and ebay.
It may sound churlish complaining about apps but they are such a big part of owning a tablet and the fact that the Playbook has so few really does make it less of a bargain than the price might have you believe especially when Android and Apple have so many of them.
~~~~~~~~~~ Recommendation ~~~~~~~~~~
Well as I said there are so many good things about the Playbook but due to the lack of available apps for it all it is really useful for it browsing the internet and watching movies on the go. As I already have my phone and a laptop to do this on I really have no need for the Playbook and after the initial excitement of playing with my new toy wore off it has pretty much lay neglected as I have no real use for it.
If Blackberry had waited to launch this with some more apps in the store then I would be highly recommending it but as it is this fact just makes the Playbook a tad useless as a tablet and I will be selling mine on ebay and saving up for either the Ipad or the Asus Transformer Prime.