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RIM BlackBerry PlayBook – Wannabe iPad Killer

In the world gadgets and technology, we all talk about the latest additions to the device category called tablets. Most of the tablets coming into the market try to play the role of ‘iPad killer’, but most of them fail miserably. However, Research In Motion (RIM), the company which makes BlackBerry devices, has decided to compete in the tablet market by introducing Blackberry PlayBook.

From the day the PlayBook was released, it was considered as a good competition to the existing tablets. It closely resembled the technical specifications of iPad 2, and offered one of the noticeable hardware of current time. The device was available in the market in three editions; 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities. The prices of the three models are $499, $599, and $699 respectively. Other than the storage capacity, the three models do not have any significant difference in other hardware components.

When it comes to the design and hardware, there are a lot of similar features to the competition. There are four buttons to control the device from outside and unfortunately the power button has started getting a lot of negative attention at this point. The power button of PlayBook is tiny in size and cannot find by feel. Even when it is found, some extra effort is required to use accurately. In terms of physical connectivity, the device has a micro-HDMI port, charging connector, micro-USB, and a 3.5mm stereo jack. PlayBook can be charged using the micro-USB, but it is said that the direct charger can charge the device twice as faster as through USB.

The Blackberry PlayBook is supported by 1GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. In this perspective, this features similar hardware as many of its competition in the market today. But PlayBook’s trick to become superior is not the hardware spec. It is the operating system it runs. PlayBook runs on QNX, an operating system which runs fighter jets. QNX is ultra-light when compared to iOS and Android, so it gives greater performance when running its applications.

PlayBook is connected to the rest of the world through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, HSPA+, and WiMAX. Noticeably, the PlayBook lacks the ability of connecting itself to 3G and 4G mobile networks and this is one of the prominent drawbacks compared its competition.

When compared to iPad, iPad 2, Motorola Xoom, and Samsung Galaxy, PlayBook is just better than the Galaxy in terms of the battery life and has no capability to become an iPad killer. This drawback is little disappointing due to the fact that PlayBook runs on an efficient operating system with a tiny footprint. RIM could have focused more on longer battery life in order to let the users to enjoy PlayBook longer.

The PlayBook is equipped with all standard tablet applications. According to the users, the applications are quite responsive compared to other tablet devices. One noticeable change in PlayBook is that it uses Bing as the preferred search engine. In addition, you do not get the standard office productivity apps such as email and calendar in the PlayBook. Although this is the case for now, there are thousands of applications in pipeline for PlayBook. These applications maybe written in Adobe AIR, Java, HTML5, or a native language to QNX.

Overall, Blackberry PlayBook is a good competition to some of the latest competitors, but it surely lacks some of the essentials. Unavailability of software is one drawback at the moment and this may stand between the PlayBook and the potential buyers.


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