Last week, I was invited to BlackBerry PlayBook Preview event in Malaysia. The invited guests are the 1st in Malaysia who had the chance to play the 1st BlackBerry tablet. Read on for my first impression about BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.
BlackBerry PlayBook specs
7-inch multi-touch LCD display, 1024 x 600 resolution
BlackBerry Tablet OS (QNX) support multi-processing, multi-tasking
1 GHz dual-core processor
1 GB RAM
Dual cameras (3MP front facing, 5MP rear facing), suppots 1080p HD video recording
Connectors: microHDMI (HDMI video output), microUSB, charging contacts
Support HTML5, Adobe Flash 10.1, Adobe AIR, Java
Measures 5.1″x7.6″x0.4″, weighs 450gram
BlackBerry PlayBook: First Impression
When I held the BlackBerry PlayBook for the 1st time, it was surprisingly comfortable. The plastic-like back is smooth but not slippery to fall off from your palm. The black body, square look with round corner is classic looking and gives a feel of “reliability”.
Based on the positions of both front and rear cameras (center of , BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) might suggest that the PlayBook should be used in horizontal mode. The front 3MP camera is the highest resolution found in today’s computer tablets. Nice!
Cam-whore using BlackBerry PlayBook and projected to TV
In my testing, the BlackBerry tablet operating system (based on QNX) is reliable, fast, and smooth. No lagging, even with multiple background programs running simulatively.
BlackBerry PlayBook support native HDMI video output. Simply connect it to a TV using a HDMI cable and the PlayBook display is projected to the TV. No app needed. No adapter needed.
In the demonstration, PlayBook linked to TV and play racing game using PlayBook as steering.
The major concern about current BlackBerry PlayBook is — limited applications because of the new operating system. However, Android apps will be supported soon on BlackBerry PlayBook. That would change the game!
Currently, BlackBerry PlayBook does not have built-in native email and calendar apps. It requires connecting via BlackBerry Bridge to access the information on a BlackBerry smartphone. With the connection, you will get access to BlackBerry Messages, Contacts, Calendar, BlackBerry Messenger, Tasks, and Memo on PlayBook. And, Internet connection tethering.
Many people think that the missing native apps in PlayBook is a disadvantage. But, I think it is an advantage to many BlackBerry smartphone users in the world.
With BlackBerry Bridge, you leave no trace after disconnecting from the connection. The PlayBook does not store your private data. Thus, multiple persons can share one BlackBerry PlayBook, either in office or at home.
My two cents
If I am a BlackBerry owner, I would consider PlayBook when buying a computer tablet.
At current stage, BlackBerry PlayBook is “Hardware ready, Software coming soon”. RIM is actively developing the software updates for BlackBerry PlayBook. You should wait for it to support Android apps before getting one.
BlackBerry PlayBook has start selling in US at April 19, 2011 at USD$499. The release date in Malaysia is still unknown. I’ll try to get a review unit and do a detail BlackBerry PlayBook review.