I have had quite a few readers ask me if the PlayBook’s battery was user replaceable. The standard line I have heard from RIM reps is that the have not finalized the current design but a user replaceable battery may be in the final design. The current PlayBook models that RIM has been letting us touch at CES does not have a user replaceable battery which is interesting. For years RIM has prided itself with offering user replaceable batteries on their phones. It looks like they may be moving away from that with the BlackBerry PlayBook.
Having a integrated battery allows RIM to keep the size of the device much smaller which has its perks. On the other hand it means that you cannot carry around an extra battery for longer life. This is one of the struggles Apple users have had for years with their integrated batteries. If the battery dies you have to send it in for expensive repair. You also cannot easily change it for a longer life battery.
It should be interesting to see how RIM handles the battery on the PlayBook. I would love if it were user replaceable but I am not sure if it is as necessary if RIM makes sure that the PlayBook can survive a FULL day of hard use aka 8-10 hours of full time use. RIM has a pretty solid record with battery life when compared with other companies so I do not think we will have to worry but there is a chance RIM will surprise us with a user serviceable battery.
The other thing I noticed while demoing the PlayBook was that the Bluetooth bridge with the PlayBook did not seem to drain the BlackBerry 9800’s battery. Pretty impressive on RIM’s part considering how much data needs to be transferred between the devices.