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BlackBerry PlayBook Charger Is Not A Regular BlackBerry Charger


One of the nice things about the BlackBerry PlayBook is that it uses the industry standard MicroUSB charging and data port. While this is all nice and dandy I am sure all BlackBerry PlayBook owners have noticed that the charger for the BlackBerry PlayBook is not exactly the same… Nikolaus pointed it out to us first by showing that when he tried using a regular BlackBerry smartphone charger on the PlayBook it took forever to charge and barely filled up the half used battery in 6+ hours. He then used the PlayBook charger on his 9650 and noticed that the new pulsating charging icon in OS 6.0 builds was pulsating faster than usual.

So this made me want to dig into this a bit more. I am in no way an electrical engineer but I just decided to look at the chargers at first. A regular BlackBerry smartphone charger states that it can output 5V with 700mA. A PlayBook charger on the other hand is pushing out 1.8A (Amps not Milliamps). I decided to do some more digging on my BlackBerry Torch with the Engineering Screen turned on and found that both of the chargers represent to the OS as capable of pushing 2048 (I am guessing mA) but are limited by the battery to charge at 1250. The only exception was when I charged from a PC usb port which only pushes out 500.

Capture on 04-22-2011 12-03-30 Capture on 04-22-2011 11-53-37 Capture on 04-22-2011 11-53-57

So I thought I would put it out there. Have you noticed any discrepancy between different chargers on your BlackBerry PlayBook? It does not look like the PlayBook charger will charge a BlackBerry smartphone any faster but now I am starting to understand the purpose for the rapid charger accessory. I wonder if it can push out more than 1.8A.

The thing is this means many current BlackBerry accessories like car chargers or phone chargers should not be used if you need a rapid boost on the go. On the other hand I have had no issues with the PlayBook battery with it easily lasting a whole day and more.

12 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. I bought the Playbook rapid charger yesterday and it charges my Playbook in less than an hour. It’s amazing how fast it is.

  2. I wouldn’t say you couldn’t charge from a portable charger – only that it would not charge quickly. Most portables are .8 to 1A, which would at least let you maintain battery level if you’re using your PB as a nav unit.

  3. Hey ronen.

    Another typo up there!
    In the last paragraph, last sentence,

    You wrote “I have had no issues with the PlayBook batter with it easily lasting a whole day and more.”

    It should be “…PlayBook battery…”


  4. I would recommend going with 700mA to 1A for blackberry phones. Try not to go over as too much won’t be good for the capacitors and etc in the phone.

  5. As big a fan as i am, I confess that I was a PB battery-life skeptic. But it is legit. I’ve been very impressed with the life. I have the charger it came with and now the rapid charger/stand which I’d guess is even faster. One question I have is whether there will be an effective car-charger? I was fooling around with it yesterday and it seemed to holding its own by maintaining the charge, but not gaining additional charge. This with car charger that works great with my Torch.

    • I can’t answer you directly, but when I bought a car charger for my torch at a Blackberry by Wireless Giant store the sales lady asked me if I wanted a regular or high capacity car charger. I picked the regular but a high capacity oe might be there. Not as high as the PB charger I;’m sure but I guess at least you want to got for the one she called high capacity.

  6. What most surprises me is that you cant charge the PB while it is off, at least not even slowly with the phone charger. PB charger is fast, but can’t wait to get the rapid charger.

  7. I also noticed the PlayBook charger charges faster than the regular BlackBerry charger.

  8. this is a cool Fact and work from you ! thanks

  9. the ipad also uses/requires a high-output charger. You cant plug an ipad in to a usb port or a regular charger and expect it to charge quickly. I guess tablets today are just too power hungry

  10. An article at N4BB says it is safe to use the PlayBook charger to charge your BlackBerry phone faster. Sweet!

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