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The 6 Best Things About BlackBerry PlayBook Aren't Good Enough

The 6 Best Things About BlackBerry PlayBook Aren't Good Enough
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We test the BlackBerry PlayBook and conclude that it isn't a player. The tablets good features don't make up for the bad ones.

For Research in Motion, the newly released Blackberry Playbook is one of the most important devices ever released. After sloughing off market share for the better part of two years, the company is desperate to redefine itself in the current market and prove to its all-important business customers that the Blackberry brand is still relevant.

So far, nothing the company has done seems to work, and so the Playbook is seen as perhaps the last big chance to prove the long-running software and hardware firm can play with the new kids on the block. Research in Motion has a lot riding on this device, and it is obvious the development team spent a lot of time and effort into making the best product possible.

It does achieve some of its goals. Namely, the Playbook differentiates itself with the presence of strong business-oriented apps pre-installed, an easily navigable multitasking interface, and a really nice-looking and portable display.

Unfortunately, though, the flaws and glaring omissions overshadow anything that’s good about the device, and prove that RIM may just not have what it takes to compete against Apple and Google.

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  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 20, 2011 11:30 PM
    I have not used this thing but this review comes across as more flag waving propoganda. Your format of finding a qualiier for every plus strains to make sense some of the time. I think it is ridiculous to tie together multitasking and a lack of apps. Those are two unrelated features. Im amazed this blog originated from the great Tom's Hardware Guide that used to provide valuable reviews of hardware.
  • -2 Hide
    dconnors , April 20, 2011 11:44 PM
    mattearleI think it is ridiculous to tie together multitasking and a lack of apps. Those are two unrelated features.


    Multitasking and app availability are most definitely related, dude. If RIM is going to push multitasking as a marquee feature on the PlayBook, then they need to furnish the user with software to run, plain and simple. Users don't want to play the waiting game when it comes to software, which is something hardware makers keep failing to realize.
  • 2 Hide
    spanky03 , April 21, 2011 2:06 AM
    Where is the coverage of the browser? Hoe could a mobile device not include this? What is happening to tis site...
  • 1 Hide
    tomsreallysucks , April 21, 2011 4:45 AM
    I picked up this article from a google search...

    You can always count on Tom's (any Mark Raby) to be Apple fanboys and Fandroids...

    OS - "it's still not as elegant or functional as an Android or iOS tablet." - Yeah, right fanboy!

    Mark Raby's articles are always slanted... always have been. Reminds me of why I stopped reading Tom's (thanks for the reminder).

  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , April 21, 2011 9:08 AM
    Thanks Toms hardware!! I have read many reviews of this playbook device. The more reviews i read pushed me to purchase the device. What im hearing is this is a great device with great OS and hardware no apps so dont buy...Rofl. For a company to release a device and have 3k apps is impressive... looking at the sales numbers i believe many consumers disagree including myself. All the quirks that many reviewers have is on the apps side. The apps are coming, im seeing new apps everytime i go in the apps store. Not only that the software can be updated. Im glad RIM created a device that doesnt live by apps, it simply enhances the device. This reminds me of the nintendo wii...everyone claimed that it would fail because it wants like everything else out there. I think the user experience on the playbook is awesome. I think BB may have a winner on its side. oh btw you can move apps around...and yeah this post was done from my playbook!
  • 3 Hide
    andrewcutter , April 21, 2011 3:18 PM
    most of the bad points seems to be a biased opinion of the writer and not objective. At this rate toms will be giving competion for endgadget
  • -1 Hide
    Tomsguiderachel , April 21, 2011 5:52 PM
    Jeez, you guys. Do you really want us to write articles that are completely neutral? While this article is obviously NOT a test/review in the sense that we didn't go over every aspect of it, and we didn't run any benchmarks, I think Mark did a good job of getting his point across. He gave this device a fair shake but it didn't meet his expectations. His article is about how the device let him down. I don't think its fair to call that "biased." He just personally didn't find what he was looking for in the PlayBook. How can you fault a guy for that? If you own the PlayBook and feel really strongly in favor of it, send me a personal message through the forums and maybe you can write an article for us detailing why the PlayBook is the best tablet for certain people with certain needs. I'd love that. Don't hesitate to contact me.

    Thanks for reading,
    Rachel Rosmarin
    Managing Editor, Tom's Guide
  • 2 Hide
    cknobman , April 21, 2011 6:17 PM
    Well in all fairness the author talk about how bad it is that the playbook does not have a back button unless the app specifically has it and then goes on in the next phrase to praise iOS for its elegance when it suffers FROM THE EXACT SAME PROBLEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 0 Hide
    Tomsguiderachel , April 21, 2011 6:29 PM
    cknobmanWell in all fairness the author talk about how bad it is that the playbook does not have a back button unless the app specifically has it and then goes on in the next phrase to praise iOS for its elegance when it suffers FROM THE EXACT SAME PROBLEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is a good point. We all know that iOS has problems too.
  • 3 Hide
    arhodes , April 21, 2011 7:28 PM
    I liked the article. And I tire of the flaming comments on this article and many others, they are misguided and inappropriate. Mark found flaws in the device and hopefully RIM is listening, because what I got from the article is that this is a first generation ground-up device that is not yet perfect. Had this device come out before the iPad I think it would have been a huge success. I have been a Tom's Hardware guide reader for years, and lately the comments I read are becoming more and more hostile and anecdotal. I don't know what efforts could be made, but it’s about time to try something.

    A loyal reader
  • 0 Hide
    sandmanwn , April 21, 2011 11:49 PM
    TomsguiderachelJeez, you guys. I think Mark did a good job of getting his bias across.

    Yeah, me too.

    FYI, Its a tech review site. Being neutral is part of the process. Why do you think your readers are getting more hostile genius...
  • 2 Hide
    chfireball , April 22, 2011 1:56 AM
    it would seem like most android fanboys are done customizing " hacking" there phone/tablet and have nothing better to do. no real good apps to keep them occupied. so they come to toms to help with the app shortage to keep them entertained . there should be a android fanboy app for android it would be the number 1 app!
  • -3 Hide
    xantek24 , April 22, 2011 5:50 AM
    TomsguiderachelJeez, you guys. Do you really want us to write articles that are completely neutral? While this article is obviously NOT a test/review in the sense that we didn't go over every aspect of it, and we didn't run any benchmarks, I think Mark did a good job of getting his point across. He gave this device a fair shake but it didn't meet his expectations. His article is about how the device let him down. I don't think its fair to call that "biased." He just personally didn't find what he was looking for in the PlayBook. How can you fault a guy for that? If you own the PlayBook and feel really strongly in favor of it, send me a personal message through the forums and maybe you can write an article for us detailing why the PlayBook is the best tablet for certain people with certain needs. I'd love that. Don't hesitate to contact me.Thanks for reading,Rachel RosmarinManaging Editor, Tom's Guide


    Are we here to read about someone's opinion about a certain product or what? That stuff is for youtube... I try to respect the professionalism at Tom's throughout the years, but i guess that's "crashing face-first into the ground" nowadays.... BTW fanboy or not, as a tech site, you're not supposed to bash a whole company based on one product.....
  • 1 Hide
    loutech4free , April 22, 2011 10:01 AM
    I find this article ok.

    It says great ideas but bad finish/execution.

    Too bad but BB is the latest in the market and could have taken some hints from iOS and android poor features like ''Back button/feature'' and more.
    For apples defence, its far from perfect but they were there first and they define "sleek" smartphone, imo.

    Most criticised functions/features like file management, BB bridge, HD movies
    are a bit baffling for a company like BB who targets Business customers, with the idea to make your life easier.... thats what gadgets are for, no?

    On the plus side you have multitasking , new Os, and size.

    What about battery life? or did i miss that?

    So all in all, BB made a product not really knowing who to target.

    This is the first review a read on this playbook, so i may come back and amend a little :) 

  • 5 Hide
    hfitch , April 22, 2011 1:10 PM
    Guys this was not a spec review. This was a editorial. Editorial is a opinion from a analyst who has lots of knowledge on the object he's using. His editorial was basically saying that if you have all of these tablets like IOS and Androids Honeycomb how could you miss basic features. Playbooks main problems are no centralized file-management, no customization, and no contact sharing between devices. Thats one of my favorite things on Android. I put a date on my calander it shows up on my phone and my Xoom. I do have some gripes against Xoom like why are the speakers on the fing back of the device. Also when you turn the volume way up everything crackles does not mater what type of file you play. Again this Editorial was not a spec review it was a opinion with facts. You guys obviously didn't read his editorial. Everything he said in it was a fact. How is that a BIASED review. No contact/calendar sharing, no media downloading, no back button, limited apps, no customization. Thats not biased its a fact. I think the people who flamed this article are the ones biased. I am biased against apple. I hate how I can't put apps on there that they don't want me to have. I am baised againt Blackberry because I have owned them and there OS is horrid. Can only put a few apps once your on board memery is full thats it no more apps. No sd option. I was hoping Playbook showed promise. It does but again RIM needs to try harder when you have a 4 ring circus to be noticed. Google, Apple, Microsoft are all trying to push into the tablet market that Apple made popular. RIM cant just make average to break in.
  • 2 Hide
    Tomsguiderachel , April 22, 2011 8:56 PM
    sandmanwnYeah, me too.FYI, Its a tech review site. Being neutral is part of the process. Why do you think your readers are getting more hostile genius...

    In fact, we are not a tech review site. We rarely publish standard reviews on Tom's Guide. We publish feature articles of all different types: How-tos, DIY stories, trend pieces, photo-driven articles, etc.
  • 1 Hide
    Tomsguiderachel , April 22, 2011 8:57 PM
    xantek24Are we here to read about someone's opinion about a certain product or what? That stuff is for youtube... I try to respect the professionalism at Tom's throughout the years, but i guess that's "crashing face-first into the ground" nowadays.... BTW fanboy or not, as a tech site, you're not supposed to bash a whole company based on one product.....

    In no way did we bash a whole company based on one product. But you have to admit that the PlayBook is a highly-anticipated product that has garnered a lot of attention and--yes--criticism. It is, in some respects, controversial because it represents RIM's attempt to compete in what is already a crowded tablet field.
  • -2 Hide
    eddieroolz , April 23, 2011 2:15 AM
    I think a lot of these points were really nitpicked to be honest. For example, the number of apps available will increase given time. Sure, there may be only 31 right now but honestly complaining about the number is slightly ridiculous.

  • -2 Hide
    K2N hater , April 23, 2011 2:44 AM
    The fact he knows Android/iOS well doesn't make him qualified to review this. The focus here isn't solely entertainment and I wouldn't be any biased to say it scores a lot better than any Android/iOS device for office apps which is the main appeal of the PlayBook despite its name. I'm also sure he doesn't own a BB phone so he wouldn't be aware RIM improve their products over time, just like AMD do with drivers.
  • 2 Hide
    AndrewMD , April 23, 2011 1:58 PM
    Actually, this unit is not the greatest.

    RIM in my opinion has again dropped the ball when it comes to designing a new and relevant product. I recently had a chance to test drive one of these units and without prior knowledge of the interface was having a hard time using it. (So part one of ease of use: FAIL)

    While testing the unit, it crashed a number of times with simple native apps. The browser app failed every time I went to Tomshardware page and any other site that had heavy flash usage.

    The comment earlier about the Fan-boy-ism, try using the device before assuming that. Yes we all know it is a new device and it is going to have some problems, but some of these problems should have been resolved prior to releasing it.

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