Today I’m gonna give you guys a full review of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, covering every aspect of which you look for in a tablet, UI, cameras, browser, media player, and everything else,so let’s get started with this review, shall we?
User Interface and Home Screen
The PlayBook is definitely a very user friendly tablet, very easy to use, with the touch sensitive frame it’s very easy to open the menus, open the settings tab, switch between applications you have open and everything else, the homescreen is very simple, you have a 6 icon customizable dock and the apps you currently have running on your tablet, also you have different panels on which you can organize your apps the way you want,even within folders, so you can have your apps the way you want them to.
In conclusion, the user interface is very good, very smooth and easy to use, with the touch sensitive frame is very easy to access the different menus of the tablet.
The multi-tasking on the playbook is THE BEST I’ve ever seen on a tablet, you have all the apps you have currently opened and running on the tablet, just swipe to the one you need and touch to open it, when you are within an app, just swipe up from the bottom of the touch sensitive frame to go back to the homescreen, and it’s as easy as that.
So the multitasking ks fabulous on this tablet, you can’t get multitasking like this not on the iPad or any Android tablet, it is simply awesome.
The PlayBook has one of the best (if not the best) contacts app on the market, when you set up your email accounts and social networking accounts, the contacts app takes all of that information and puts it in one place that is the contacts app, also, you can check common places, events, twitter updates and more all within the contacts app, really good. The messaging apps brings an unified inbox of every email account you set up on the PlayBook, not only that, but you can also set up your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, so whenever you get any message in any of these social networks, you can instantly respond within the message app, you don’t have to go to the site, it’s pretty cool to have all that within the same app, so its pretty good. The PlayBook comes with a preloaded Facebook app, which honestly, I don’t like that much, its laggy and not that good, so I prefer going into the web to use Facebook. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a twitter app, but you get a web link, and the web version is pretty good, there are always alternatives in the App World, but the web is acceptable, you can log in without any problem in Twitter. You also have the video chat app, in which you can video chat with other PlayBook users over a Wi Fi connection, it works pretty much like Face Time for iOS, just enter the BlackBerry ID of the person you are trying to reach and that’s it.
Overall, its a great device for all you social concerns, great messages app, with email, you have a great text editor for your emails, an awesome contacts app, not so good Facebook app but a good browser to complete your social experience, and with the video chat app, you’re gonna be able to stay in touch with your loved ones.
There are several ways to get our media content onto the tablet, you can do it via desktop manager, by dragging and dropping the content onto the PlayBook’s storage in “my computer” or by enabling the Wi Fi sharing from the tablet, you also have a built in music and video store so you can purchase your favorite media content. Going onto the media player, the music player is decent, it’s not the best but it gets the job done, you can choose to play from genres, to albums or artists or simply all of it, you get to built only one music playlist, which I’m not really a fan of that but… You also get the typical controls of seek, next, previous, play, pause, stop, repeat and shuffle, you have a little menu that shows the cover of the song’s album that are next to the track you’re playing, I also don’t like that if you search for a particular song in the search bar and play it, you only hear that song, I mean you only listen to the results of the search and not the whole list, and without the little column with the shortcuts to the starting letters is a problem if you want to shuffle your songs and want to start with one that starts with Z. The video player is also pretty basic, just the play, pause, next, previous, volume control and seek, no options for subtitles or smooth seeking, meaning that you want to seek seconds and you can’t which I also don’t like. One huge plus for the video is the beautiful screen resolution, movies and videos look amazing on the PlayBook, the look really nice, and also you have a built in youtube app.
For the media, its not the best device but its good, you have the stores, youtube and the players for music and videos, which are not bad but they are lacking some important features.
The PlayBook has one 3 MP front facing camera and one 5 MP rear camera, both able to record 1080p HD video, which is awesome, the camera itself is pretty good, the only downside is that it’s not very good with closeup text, but other than that It’s a good camera, and an even better video recorder, to edit the photos we have several apps on the App World, some are free but limited, and the complete versions are paid, but I think none over 6.99$, they are good photo editors, crop, resize, filters, frames, and other cool stuff, but when it comes to video editing, I haven’t seen any for the PlayBook, so keep that in mind, other than that, awesome cameras, awesome quality, maybe i’ll upload a video of the 1080p recording later but for now here’s the image.
You can use this device to easily take quality pictures and gorgeous HD video, it won’t fail you on that aspect, pretty nice cameras, both ways, nice picture and videos.
The BlackBerry PlayBook has a preloaded kobo books app, which is a pretty good app, you have your store to buy the books, and your library, in which you can organize them the way you want, you can set up bookmarks and everything basic for e-reading, you also have an option to turn on night mode (or whatever it’s called) where you get the background of the books on black and the letters on white, so you wont disturb the sleep of your spouse/partner at night.
Unfortunately, this is the only official E-Reading app available on the PlayBook, of course you got several options on the App World, or you could sideload the Kindle app, but be sure you know what you’re doing before sideloading the app.
One of the features i love about the PlayBook is that i can bridge it to my BlackBerry Smartphone, with the bridge, you enable your BBM, contacts, calendar, messages, task and memo apps on your PlayBook, so you can use them in the tablet’s screen, not only that, but while my tablet is bridged to my phone, i can use my phone’s mobile network data to surf on the internet on the tablet, without any extra charge (be sure to have unlimited data for this, or at least not to end your MB/GB), so i ca surf the web wherever i go with my tablet, which is a pretty awesome feature.
A new feature in OS 2.0 is the remote control you get on the BlackBerry Bridge app on your BlackBerry Smartphone, with this feature, you can use your device’s trackpad/touchscreen as a mouse for your tablet, and also as a keyboard, this feature is really useful when you hook up your tablet to your HDTV through the micro HDMI port on the bottom of the PlayBook. I really love the functionality both the BlackBerry Smartphone and the BlackBerry PlayBook have together.
The web browser on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is one of the best browser i have ever user in a mobile device, it’s fast, it’s very smooth, scrolling is very fast, pinch to zoom works like a charm and everything just works really well, on top of how cool the browser is, it also has Adobe Flash Player enabled, this means you can watch any videos that require Adobe Flash Player, which is almost every video in the web. It renders rich content on every site, and with the Flash Player enabled, you can see everything in a web site, videos, images, animations of course text and every other element of the internet. It also has a very cool feature of reader mode, in which if you just want to read the text of the website, you just hit a little book that’s below the back arrow and reader mode pops up, if you don’t like it just close it with the little X.
This browser is pretty awesome, very smooth, very fast and on top of all that, it has the flash player enabled, which allows you to watch almost every video on the web (those that you cannot watch is because they need a certain plugin), so if you’re into browsing a lot, this wont disappoint you, though i must mention that people were experiencing some crashes with the browser, but after the PlayBook got OS 2.0, i have been experiencing 0 crashes, no crashing whatsoever, so, i don’t really think that you will, but if you do its like a 1 in a million chance.
This is the last topic of this review, as we all know, the BlackBerry isn’t well known for it’s apps, but the PlayBook has quite a few awesome games, you have Angry Birds (all 4 of them), Cut the Rope, Asphalt, Modern Combat, Monopoly, Madden NFL 12, Muffin Knight and much more quality games like those, they work really smooth on the PlayBook, the App World is definitely growing, more quality apps and games get there everyday, for example just today they launched Galaxy on Fire 2 (you can see that game on the far left side of the upper carousel in the picture) the games are very good, they run very smooth and you can use a micro HDMI cable to hook it up to your HDTV so you can see your games on the big screen.
With the PlayBook OS 2.0, RIM made it possible for android apps to run on the PlayBook, so we don’t know what kind of apps we might see in the future, the App World is definitely getting more and more quality apps and games everyday, and we hope they keep this up for our amusement and our entertainment.
This tablet is definitely worth it’s very low price, actually i think it’s a steal to grab one of these with 64 GB of storage for just 299.99$, the tablet is very good, very responsive, easy to use for work and entertainment with it’s apps and games you can grab form the app world, it’s browser is very good, the cameras are awesome and its screen is just simply gorgeous, looks amazing, and you can hook it up to the HDTV to watch movies, games or anything you wanna watch on the TV, so, you should give it a go!
Well, this is the end of the review, if you have any comments, questions, or anything feel free to contact me at my email, or just leave a comment to this post