RIM Explains The BlackBerry PlayBook Low and Dead Battery State

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I have been hearing from a few people that have let their BlackBerry PlayBook battery totally drain having issues charging it back up again. One managed to get it working by performing a hard reset and then leaving it charging. Another purchased the BlackBerry PlayBook rapid charger and that fixed it. I have not run into the issue myself since I have yet to go below 50% battery life on the device but its an important issue since RIM does not offer user replaceable batteries on the device.

RIM did post up a knowledge base article detailing the low battery state of the BlackBerry PlayBook. It is not the most informative but it does give us details on how it works. RIM tells us that:


When the battery level of the BlackBerry PlayBook reaches a level 0%, the tablet will automatically turn off.  The LED will blink in a sequence when attempting to Power On the device indicating a low charge, red blink and then followed by 5 yellow blinks.

This is because the BlackBerry PlayBook battery does not have enough charge to power up the tablet.

Their resolution is:

It is recommended to connect the BlackBerry PlayBook to the Rapid Wall Charger that came with your BlackBerry PlayBook, or one of the charging accessories listed:

  • BlackBerry PlayBook Rapid Charging Pod
  • BlackBerry Rapid Travel Charger
  • BlackBerry Premium Charger

Please leave BlackBerry PlayBook plugged in for approximately 40 minutes or until full charge is achieved.  Connecting to a computer to charge via USB will not be sufficient to charge the tablet.

Let us know if that works for you!

11 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. How long does that battery last by the way?

  2. Hmm I tried all of this and it would not charge the battery. It did not turn off at 0%. This resolution does not work. Here’s what happened to me:

    I was outside using my playbook, taking pictures and videos, and saw the the battery said 0%, and it did not shut down.

    (at the time, it was using os version 1690 or what ever the previous version was that we got on the release day.)

    I got worried and shut it down myself.
    When I got home I plugged it into the BlackBerry Premium Charger. It booted itself up. Started competely, then it shut off the screen immediately. The LED flashed red twice every once in a while. I figured this was normal and left it to charge over night.

    In the morning I went to turn it on, and it did not respond. Just the double flashing red led. I tried doing a hard reset. It shut off. When I turned it back on, same flashing red led. I plugged it into my computer. DTM said it could not connect to the playbook but that i coud update.

    I didn’t want to update because i knew everything would get wiped. And I’d loose all of the great pictures and videos I had taken :( I plugged it back into the BlackBerry Premium Charger and left it.

    I read somewhere that a rapid charger might help. THey said they had one at the local BestBuy when i checked online. I got there and they couldn’t find it. So I searched all over the mall for one. The only thing I could find was the the “BlackBerry PlayBook Rapid Charging Pod” at sears. Spent $70 + tax on that.

    I took it home and plugged it in for an hour into the Pod. I could feel that it wasn’t warm or anything and just was flashing red.

    So it was obvious i just couldn’t get it to charge, and I needed it for the next day. (I had contacted blackberry support and did not hear back for two days. I tried conacting help on twitter. They said to contact support. I tried posted in the official forum, but noone could help me.) So I gave up. I had to perform the unbrick update on DTM.

    It said I had to unplug it to complete the update. As soon as I did, it said it was going to shut down because the battery was critically low (first time i ever saw that message.) So I quickly put it onto the Pod. The initial set-up screen appeared (like when i got it on release day). But when It noticed it was being charge, I could not swipe to continue. So I had to take it out of the charger, then it said it woud shut down, so i put it back in the charger and swiped right away, then i was *finally* able to set it up.

    So I lost all of the videos and pictures i had taken :(
    (And if you think that post was long, it was even longer when I was trying to get the playbook to work :P )
    So now i’m wondering if the battery was damaged because it was so low, the PB didn’t shut down and I was unable to charge for so long… I Was seriously considering returning it because of this and loosing so much in the wipe. And maybe buying it again later. Although i had really loved the playbook otherwise… I was thinking, say in a few months down the road my battery goes kaput because of this. Then what? I spent a LOT of money on this…

    • Pretty depressing to read experience. I would return it to where purchased…this is BS for a device you bought only a week ago.

      Why do you lose everything in OS update? Ronen so touted before launch that OS updates would be easy and painless and not even require a reboot?!?

  3. I have a perfect solution. If you want all those problems to go away, buy an iPad. ;-)

    Yes, it’s a cult, BUT IT WORKS….or you can monkey around for ever…with your playbook and your windows pc.

    • Good point actually. Apple products “just work”, in a mind-numbing sort of way if you’re into that sort of thing.

  4. I have to agree with the iPad comment even though I am not an Apple fan. I am encountering the same battery issue and have yet to get it to a state where I can recharge. This is just lousy design along with requiring Blackberry Bridge to get my corporate email. I also have an iPad and my initial impression of the Playbook is not a very good one. So far there is almost nothing that would compell me to switch over to a Playbook, not even Flash on the browser. The iPad just works.

    • If you remember IPAD 1 had battery issues when it was first realeased. A lot of people have forgot that. It got better with each firmware update. It is hard to compare a product witha few years of debugging to one that is a week old!

      • ooohhh, that is so true. and i seem to recall that a review on youtube said because of the type of device and battery demand, it would take a verrry long time to recharge. that is why they come with the ‘rapid charger’..

  5. Really disappointed in the Blackberry! It’s not just me that thinks the blackberry is dead! Check out this UK rapper GT Solo’s song about them “BB is Dead” http://youtu.be/hZYiE-cRSxQ so funny!

  6. Nothing more than a natural occurrence actually. It’s the same reason laptops and most other battery powered computer devices turn off before completely draining the battery. The battery in some instances won’t have enough juice to facilitate charging if the battery is allowed to drain completely; a disconnect between the firmware and charging mechanism.

    Not necessarily a fault of the hardware/firmware, but a fault of the software not shutting off the device before the battery loses all charge.

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