Research in Motion (RIMM), the maker of the popular Blackberry smart phones, released the company's first tablet to mixed reviews. The general consensus seems to be that despite positive opinions about the new ONX based proprietary tablet operating system, the Playbook is still an incomplete tablet that isn't ready for direct competition with Apple's (AAPL) iPad.
Here are some highlights from Walt Mossberg's Review:
- I really liked the user interface of the new operating system, which is based on software RIM bought called QNX. It’s smooth and fast, and makes excellent use of multitouch gestures.
- The screen is beautiful, even though it has a lower resolution than the iPad. And the cameras are better than the iPad’s.
- Unlike the iPad, which can run almost all of the 350,000 iPhone apps, the PlayBook can’t run any of the 27,000 BlackBerry apps. It will launch with only about 3,000 apps designed for tablets.
- This first edition of the PlayBook has no built-in cellular data connection and lacks such basic built-in apps as an email program, a contacts program, a calendar, a memo pad and even RIM’s popular BlackBerry Messenger chat system.
- Battery life also fell short in my tests. With the screen brightness at about 75% and Wi-Fi on, I played a movie I had transferred from a computer over and over until the juice ran out. The PlayBook lasted a bit over five hours, well short of the company’s claim of eight to 10 hours for mixed use.
Here are some highlights from Rich Jaraslovky's Review (Bloomberg):
- This isn’t quite hell freezing over, but it’s close: The makers of the BlackBerry have come out with something you might love.
- RIM says it expects the PlayBook battery to provide eight to 10 hours of use, which seems about right based on my experience.
- The main drawback is that the PlayBook feels unfinished. That’s because it is: A number of critical features and applications, while promised, aren’t yet available.
- Perhaps the most important missing feature, which won’t show up until later in the year, is software that RIM says will allow the PlayBook to run a limited selection from the vast universe of Android wireless-phone applications.