I am not a RIM only die hard. I am not an Apple fanboy. But I love tech. I had an iPad 1, Samsung Galaxy Tab, I have an iPad 2, and now I have a Blackberry Playbook. It has it’s strengths, it has it’s weaknesses. Some features are currently available, while others are promised to be coming soon. But one thing I can tell you right now, the Playbook (as it currently stands) is already the second best tablet on the market.
I have been reading all the negative reviews, and yes, they make some good points. A lot of the promised features are not yet here, the power button is tiny and hard to push, and the app store is bare. I have my own gripes, and trust me they are coming. But all the reviews I have read seem to (a) set the bar too high (b) and overlook the Playbook’s strengths.
The Playbook browser is the most powerful tablet browser on the market
We all know the iPad 2 doesn’t play flash. But playing flash doesn’t mean anything unless you can do it well. The Android tablets that supposedly support flash often do it poorly. Moreover, they wind up doing it in a mobile-only-version-of-the-internet kind of way–giving me watered down content in place of the full blown web. The Playbook browser let’s you run ANY site. We have played Hulu, and even edited photos on Picasa / picnik.
The Playbook holds its own against the competition
Build quality: Taking a cue from Apple, RIM used some serious materials and design.
Size: The Playbook might be smaller, but it feels great in hand. Typing is especially easy in portrait mode.
Selection / Tablet recognition: The Playbook is the only Blackberry tablet. There is no need to navigate the crowded shelves of Best Buy to figure out which tablet hardware you want from which supplier, ala Android. Like the iPad, it will be self defining. In time you will be able to say you have a Playbook and people will know what you are talking about, without a long complicated explanation.
Conclusion: The Playbook will definitely be one of the top three tablets of 2011. The iPad dominated the tablet market in 2010. Android tablets were announced and disappeared week by week. But I predict that the Playbook will be one of the only serious iPad competitors standing by the end of the year . . . and that by itself means a lot.