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Gadgets Review: Blackberry Playbook

Getting the X's and O's right
by Gelo Gonzales | Aug 4, 2011
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Best not to question Steve Jobs and the magical crystal ball they obviously keep locked in Apple offices.[firstpara] Just a couple years back, we thought of the iPad, as nothing more than an oversized iPhone.

Of course the tab is now one of the hottest things in the tech world, with everyone getting in on the act, even saviors-of-the-financially-challenged-techies, CD-R King.

So, it definitely doesn’t come as a surprise that RIM has one of their own: the Blackberry Playbook.

And unlike CD-R King’s tab, there is no question that the Playbook carries that trademark premium feel that you find in RIM’s Blackberry products. It’s simple and elegant, but has enough style of its own to differentiate it from other tabs (READ: The Apple iPAD).

We love how the back sports a matte finish, which allows the embedded BB logo to stand out even more. Holding it, you get a sense of the Playbook’s heft; it’s compact but you know that every inch of it is solidly constructed.

Now, at 425 grams, the Playbook is not exactly something you’d want to hold without support for an entire day. But as far as tabs with 7-inch screens go, the weight is far from being a deal-breaker, especially since the screen looks wonderful.

The capacitive touch screen is able to display 16 million colors, making the Playbook a fine, fine choice for multimedia addicts (or for people with an obsession for rainbows). The touch screen’s performance is on par with the best as well, boasting full multi-touch support.

The Playbook, in spite of its name, is admittedly a lot more business-y than most tabs out there, but you’ll have fun with the tab. And a huge part of that can be attributed to its smooth-as-butter performance. The tab runs without a hitch, even under multi-tasking conditions.

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For that, we can credit the gadget’s 1GHz dual-core processor, and 1 GB of RAM as the hardware powers the Blackberry’s Tablet OS effectively. Try watching a video (DivX, WMV, Xvid and 3GP) on it, and then run it in the background as Techie.com.ph has done, and you’ll see that the Playbook is indeed a well-oiled machine. Browsing the web (it supports Adobe Flash), playing videos, viewing pictures is all in a day’s work for this Blackberry gadget.

Still, the Playbook has a couple of shortcomings that prevents it from being a must-buy: its app market is not as diverse, and the tab doesn't have onboard 3G capabilities, even if it's Wi-Fi capable. For everything else though, the Blackberry Playbook is a solid contender. It won't yet get top consideration, but thanks to its powerful OS, its support for Flash, and suave design, the potential is there for it to carve a niche for itself.



WORDS BY: GELO GONZALES
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