Playbook 2.0, my first impression...

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by DrHouse, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. DrHouse
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    DrHouse iPad Junkie

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    As you may have read on many blog posts, the tablet Playbook from Blackberry was updated yesterday with the new OS2.0

    Of course, I did upgrade mine and after playing with it for a few hours, I can say that it was about time. I'm not saying that this is a bad tablet, but missing emails and calendar on a tablet makes it a bit unusable for serious tasks.

    How does it compare with the iPad?

    The email/calendar/contact apps are ok, they do the job, but I must admit that the iPad equivalents are nicer. One thing that the iPad is missing is the Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn integration into the Message app. This is pretty nice to have all personal messages in the same app.

    The new UI from OS2.0 does looks and feel a bot more like iOS and it's folders. Same icons, press and hold to delete, etc...

    As already stated, the Playbook has a "My Documents" style approach to store your files. Like on a computer. So you just drag and drop your files in the proper folder. The new OS added a basic file manager to handle those files and launch them which is pretty sweet.

    There is also a new keyboard which is quite handy. Basically, it the regular keyboard, but with an added row at the top for numbers. No need to switch from alpha to numerical keys when typing.

    One neat thing is the blinking led when there is a notification... Of course, you can configure it to your liking...

    With this new release, the Playbook has more potential, but still missing apps like Skype, MSN, Netflix, or GotoMeeting. But maybe things will start moving after that.

    I still prefer my iPad for its diversity of apps, great integration with my iPhone and AppleTV, but at 199$, with this new update, it can be a deal breaker for those who don't want to invest a lot money and do not require specific apps.

    VicoPad addict!
  2. skimonkey
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    skimonkey Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks, drhouse-great review of the playbook. Always nice to see the reviews of other devices when compared to the iPad.
  3. DrHouse
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    DrHouse iPad Junkie

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    I've been using the Playbook 2.0 a bit more lately, as it now has emails and calendar access, which is quite nice.

    I did discover some annoyances but I think the major one is the keyboard layout...

    As you may already know, this is a 7 inches tablet. Since it's a bit too small to use the keyboard as a physical keyboard with 2 hands like the iPad, you have to use your thumbs from each side like you would do with a smartphone.

    In landscape mode, which is mostly used, accessing keys like !,',? is a pain. Of course, the ' will be inserted by the autocorrect feature most of the time, but every time you have to use those keys in the middle, my thumbs are not long enough to reach them. So trying to write a long text can be annoying since you have to stretch you hand to reach those keys. And same goes for emoticons...

    This is a small detail but because of this, I do not enjoy writing or chatting on the playbook. It is too small for a keyboard access like a physical keyboard and too large to use only your thumbs... (I have to say that I have big hands...)

    Maybe the 7 inches is not meant for me after all ;)

    See the screen capture attached...

    VicoPad addict!

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    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012
  4. KevinJS
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    KevinJS Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll have to update my wife's Playbook when I get half a chance. I bought it for her as she has a Blackberry phone and thought they would complement each other. It looks like a well put together tablet, but it could do with a bit more support in the form of more apps etc.

    Hopefully RIM will survive their present woes, and get their act together. It would be a shame to see a device with such potential go the way of the dinosaurs.
  5. DrHouse
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    DrHouse iPad Junkie

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    It's has great potential. Most of my beefs are more related to the size of the device than the device itself. I hope RIM will catch up this year has they are like Apple, providing features and not specs.

    Add Skype, Netflix, GotoMeeting and other flag softwares to the Playbook and this would be a real competitor to the iPad. It's a nice tablet, but it is missing key softwares for now.

    I am considering doing some apps for that tablet as it does not require a Mac for development. We'll see how RIM will do this year. It's now of never...

    VicoPad addict!
  6. KevinJS
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    KevinJS Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Skype would certainly be a worthwhile addition to the available apps. I can't believe GoToMeeting is not already available. For a product touted as a business tool, that's a serious omission.

    I haven't really had time to look at the thing. I set up Blackberry Bridge, figured out how to get her email working on it, dumped a bit of music on there and left it at that.
  7. f4780y
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    Appreciate the info DrHouse.

    I really wanted a Playbook when they were announced, but a Blackberry device without email... I still can't believe RIM released a tablet without email capability... It boggles the mind. Like Apple releasing a tablet without iPod abilities...
  8. KevinJS
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    I think RIM were so sure of themselves that they figured the Playbook wouldn't need an independent client, as all buyers would, of course, have a Blackberry phone.

    From what I have read, the situation hasn't improved much, because the email client offered with OS2.0 is not the much-vaunted secure service that RIM is famous for, but a cobbled together version that is not much different to that provided by just about everyone else.

    it's difficult to see how RIM can survive in the cut throat world of consumer electronics. There doesn't seem to be a single area left where they are ahead of the competition. Only a year ago, my boss said that although he had an iPhone, he wouldn't use it for business, because it looked a bit cheesey using what is essentially a toy, when everyone else was using Blackberry. How things have changed in a short time. The iPhone is now issued to all managers in my company as a matter of course.

    Unfortunate. The look and feel of the Playbook just screams QUALITY. Perhaps Apple should buy RIM and rebrand the Playbook as a 7" iPad?
  9. zorah
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    zorah iPad Junkie

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    It does have a quality feel and I like the UI. (got the original one at the fire sale prices) and updated to 2.0. But since updating as well to an iPad 2 in the last 2 months, I admit, I haven't touched the Playbook. My iPad goes to work with me and just has the applications I use to make the iPad an entertainment as well as business tool. Plus, the battery life on iPad just rocks, and I can leave it on standby and not have to charge for days. Playbook is decent, but does not have quite the battery life. For me, the app availability is really what does it. sure, I have tons of apps I don't need. But if I thin down to the ones I use most, 95% are not available on the Playbook so other than typing on the decent word processor, it ends up being an internet tablet mostly.

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