Blackberry Playbook Has Promise

The guys from Blackberry were in the office today showing off the new Playbook. Like most companies we carry Blackberry devices for corporate email, so we chat with our friends from RIM from time to time. I got to play on it for about 20 minutes. Here are my first impressions.

  • It’s nicely sized and easy to operate with one hand
  • Has some nice heft, but won’t fatigue your arms
  • Right thickness
  • Rubberized back casing makes it less cool looking than an iPad
  • The viewable screen is surrounded by a fairly large black bezel
  • This Bezel is important as it is the starting point for swipe gestures that activate the keyboard and change tablet modes
  • It’s very, very fast
  • Only comes in WiFi, but I don’t see that as an issue
  • No native email, but it has a pretty slick bridge (Bluetooth) to the Blackberry I already carry. They claim it’s a security thing
  • When you cut off the bridge function none of your firm’s data, or documents stays on the tablet. Big plus.
  • It does Flash
  • You can connect to a projector for presentations or directly to HDMI
  • Video is 1080p and very crisp
  • You can have programs running simultaneously and simply swipe from one to another and they continue to run
  • Runs versions of Word, PowerPoint and Excel without the issues one sees on the iPad
  • Priced at $499, $599 and $699 based solely on storage capacity
  • No simple program like iTunes to help manage getting content from your hard drive to the Playbook

It’s not an iPad killer, but it will turn some corporate heads and probably increase their dominance in this important market. It will serve as a choice for consumers, as the iPad is not for everyone. All in all I think it’s a great opening shot for Blackberry.

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