Is the Blackberry Playbook Underrated?

Blackberry Playbook

I got one of the $198 Blackberry Playbooks (16GB) from Walmart – but just barely.  I noticed Sunday morning that Walmart was offering the super discounted price – online only.  I ordered one, got the super fast shipping, and have been enjoying my new Playbook since Tuesday.  However, I noticed Sunday evening that Walmart had sold out of the 16GB models

What I like about the Playbook:

  • It feels well built; solid and substantial in your hands
  • The rubberized back is nice
  • The user interface is easy to learn and practical to use
  • I’ve been able to find apps that meet most of my needs
  • Battery life is good
  • It fits in my bag; I can take it with me everywhere
  • User reviews at online retailers are mostly positive

These are my concerns about the Playbook:

  • Professional reviewers are largely critical of the Playbook
  • Blackberry’s App World has a smaller selection of apps than Apple or Android
  • No Kindle or Nook apps

One of the most frequent criticisms of the Playbook is the “tiny” and “difficult to depress” power button.  However, I think the power button functions just fine.  In defense of the reviewers, I did read somewhere that Blackberry was going to raise the power button to make it easier to press.  So, I could have gotten a Playbook with a “new and improved” power button.

Another criticism of the Playbook (and other 7″ tablets) is that it is half the size of the iPad.  Well, I’ve had an iPad 2, and I thought it was a great device, but the 7″ Playbook is a better fit for me because it’s easier  to keep with me at all times.

I like the Blackberry Playbook and think that the bad press it is getting is undeserved.  I also think that the bad press has discouraged developers from devoting resources to creating apps for the Playbook.  But I’ve only been using a Playbook for 3 days.  Let me know what you think.


4 responses to “Is the Blackberry Playbook Underrated?

  • Sledge015

    I have to agree with you! The BlackBerry PlayBook has potential! People say RIM isn’t a top competitor anymore against Apple and Google, but my opinion is that RIM is working on something revolutionary. The PlayBook is an example of that. I understand the PlayBook does not have native apps and isn’t available in 3G or in 4G but the PlayBook itself is a magical device! It’s very portable, very smooth and the UI is extraordinary! Given that apple makes great products and android devices are very popular, this RIM device has been getting bad reviews from biased people. I’ve only had a BlackBerry device for a year now and I can see RIM turning up into a tech giant in a few years with the upcoming BBX. The BlackBerry PlayBook is a fascinating device and come February, the PlayBook will be able to accommodate android apps so even then, the device will be even better! For those who haven’t bought a PlayBook yet, go ahead and take advantage of the low price now because in a few months, you may regret it!

  • BJ

    In a word, absolutely. The Playbook received very bad press, the “professional” critics out there totally trashed the device, but end users report they love the Playbook. Why is there such a disconnect? It is because every “professional” critic is going to trash anything that isn’t iOS or Android based. People aren’t interested in letting anything else into the market.

    No platform is perfect, but the QNX OS based Playbook has many advantages. First, the speed of the device is amazing. It has double the memory of the iPad 2 (1 GB vs 512 MB), the QNX OS multi-tasks better than iOS can ever dream of, and it does it far more quickly than the Android Linux kernel devices. Secondly, QNX is so customizable that the BB10/BBX platform coming out in OS 2 for the Playbook next year will RUN ANDROID APPS. The reviewers got the Playbook all wrong: it runs Flash based web applications faster than any tablet (forget the fact that iPad will never run them), it has expandability to run Android apps going forward, and it multi-tasks better than any tablet on the market.

    The Playbook is a hands down winner, it should have been in the Editors’ top choices of every major electronics publication. But why did it receive bad press? Because there is a pro-iOS/Android only sentiment that has been built up, and regardless if the product is actually BETTER it gets trashed due to pre-conceived notions.

  • BJ

    ^I wanted to expand on the Flash issue… Flash isn’t an optimal tablet platform. We all know that, everyone who has used Flash on a smartphone or tablet knows this. BUT it is a major platform that will continue to be important for years to come. Flash capability will continue to be very important. Apple and its arrogance has rejected just having this backward compatibility because Jobs didn’t like it, now that he’s gone they really should turn around and include it to at least have the functionality.

    Despite the fact that Flash based games aren’t that great on tablets, many other web based Flash applications work perfectly. Video that is integrated into web pages works flawlessly on the Playbook. Maximize it to full screen and it is just as good as the desktop version. For many web sites, it is more annoying to have to download a 3rd party app to do the same thing that you can do right inside the web page.

    I could go on and on, but iPad is the more over-rated product, Playbook clearly under-rated. When Playbook was announced, they touted the fact that the web wasn’t “dumbed down” on the Playbook – as it is on the iPad – and people don’t want to be forced to download apps for simple tasks. The web browser on the Playbook is hands down more advanced than any other laptop, and the Flash implementation on the Playbook is so superior and so much faster than any Android implementation so far. This feature alone cannot be understated enough. It simply sells the Playbook if the professional reviewers would have given it a chance. Instead, they trashed it. But now that the price was lowered, you can’t find any Playbooks in stock… Go figure. People want this device, but people don’t think they are worth $500-700, which I agree with. Even the iPad isn’t worth its retail price.

  • Andrew Flicker

    Playbook is overrated for sure. I got a 16gb and i absolutely love it. 1080p movies downloaded from the net look great and its very simple to use. Only drawback for me was no sd slot. Everyone i work with has one and they love it too.

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