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Staples US Now Offering BlackBerry PlayBook 16GB for $299 Without Rebates

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  1. Ummm, yeah I bought one of these at Best Buy for $299 this past weekend — a big disappointment. I thought I would be able to replace my iPad — LMAO, not a CHANCE. I rely on my iPad for SERIOUS “enterprise” work — like being able to connect to the servers I manage via RDP and VNC, and there are zero RDP clients, and NO VNC clients that support BOTH multiple monitors AND right-click of mouse — seriously, no joke. There are no SSH clients, no serious Telnet clients, no basic network tool clients (PING, TRACEROUTE, etc.)… so I decided I would go to and see about developing some of these myself, and guess what? They only offer those lame Adobe Air and BlackBerry WebWorks SDK — for serious development, you need the Native SDK, and guess what? You have to apply to RIM to get that SDK — and they’re only taking applications for GAME developers. Really, RIM? An “enterprise-ready” tablet that has no serious enterprise apps, and you want GAME developers? RIM, you are in serious trouble.

    • Hey tim,
      We feel your pain. Ping and traceroute are in the settings for networking options menu. I know of 2 ssh clients being built using the native sdk so we should hopefully see something soon. The android player coming this month should hopefully bring rdp and vnc clients but those should also be easily portable using the PlayBook native sdk. Think of the PlayBook currently sort of like the ipad when it launched or the first iphone. RIM has gotten out an ndk faster than any other mobile platform. Truthfully PlayBook 2.0 is where it really will either shine or fail. Don’t pass on it yet.

      • Ronen, I couldn’t find ping or traceroute without you telling me they were there — that shows poor UI design. I had no idea they were there and was literally clicking on every button that I hadn’t clicked on yet under “About – Network” and then I find it under a menu that pops up from under Wi-Fi in Settings — btw, does that imply the tools don’t work when I’m not on WiFi, but tethered via “Internet Tethering” to my Torch, and if so, why? — and hidden under a Wi-Fi status icon with a question mark by it, which didn’t catch my eye because it seemed to me to designate some kind of help function. But I expect “help” to be static content to read, not tools. The proper icon — if it belongs there at all — would be a wrench or some other tool…. By the way, I turned off WiFi and the Ping “Diagnostic Information” did work just fine, to my delight, just using Internet Tethering via my Torch. 🙂 It just feels so thrown together — it’s so un-Apple. :p It was clearly rushed, and while I totally get (being a developer) that it was amazing how much they could get done in the short time they had, on a brand new platform for RIM, it just means that they failed strategically in marketing. They should have focused on building for the long term, targeting an entire new market segment in the first year and adding their old market after a year or two of maturity and development cycles, as Apple did with the first iPhone, which I ridiculed for two years for not having *copy and paste* and no real apps at all for an entire year, but you know, *they were right* overall because they realized that geeks like me were not the ultimate market, and they instead redefined smartphone by redefining “smart” to mean “works like you think it would” given the limitations, made it elegant and beautiful to appeal to their new market, with the missing features more traditional smartphone users demanded waiting for subsequent OS development cycles. (I had three Treo models, for example, and I found that even though I thought the iPhone was definitely *cooler*, and definitely less prone to crash, it just didn’t do what I had become accustomed to feeling was “the new normal” for what I could do with a phone, and so I didn’t buy one until a few months after the new 3GS launched with copy and paste and over a full year of real app development.)

        • Yes those tools are definitely hidden a bit deep but they are more diagnostic tools that they use for support. This is sort of the strategy RIM is taking with the PlayBook. They used it as an opportunity to start getting the ball rolling for their new mobile OS while cutting 90% of ties to their old OS.

          • And I get that, but it if they had marketed it better, and played down the “enterpriseyness” and played up the PLAYBook-ness (i.e., made it “cool” as a consumer-oriented device) for the first year and quietly developed the BlackBerry Bridge and the more serious business stuff during the first year *without marketing it for enterprise/business use*, they would have not had the *terrible* reviews and damaged their brand as much in the tablet sphere. It’s just hard to take them seriously when they clearly don’t understand either proper marketing strategy or else how to execute it properly. That being said, I *am*, believe it or not, a BlackBerry fan boy (I switched from iPhone 3GS then iPhone 4 to a BlackBerry Torch early this year), and I am rooting for RIM to get this right; I’m just rather disappointed that they seem to “not get it”, you know. 🙂

            • Marketing, what marketing? When the PlayBook was first announced it was billed as the first Professional tablet, even though it lacked the PIM apps, limited apps, universal search and spell check available in most tablets. Furthermore, the initial advertising gave the impression that this was a niche product – only for Blackberry users. This and the scathing reviews served to alienate the market even further. Even though I don’t like Apple (I think they dropped the ball on the 4S Iphone) they like Amazon Kindle have realized consumer apps and a unified simple to understand app ecosystem/media services and proper marketing are what really draws the consumers in. Hopefully, RIMM can capitalize on Apple’s missteps and make a product truly revolutionary and productive – the best of both worlds.

  2. I think RIMM should create the Blackberry Digital Assistant, to rival Apples Siri. The built in app would do the following: 1. Perfrom universal search function. 2. Act as an alarm, like Bed buzz for playbook – reading off the weather, stocks and agenda. 3. read off calendar, tasks, stocks, sports scores at programmed times. 4. Integrate with Blackberry Traffic to give directions to places. 5. Place calls to contacts and 6. Integrate with Poynt to make reservations and save business contacts.

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