Research In Motion has released a new knowledge base article that details the BlackBerry PlayBook’s charge and discharge characteristics. In case you needed to better understand the LED light notifications and power management for your PlayBook, here is a snippet from the knowledge base article:

The BlackBerry® PlayBook™ may come to a power state where it is unable to power on; a Yellow LEDmay flash, the PlayBook may boot up to the BlackBerry PlayBook Logo and then power off, may not power on at all.

Discharge behavior under normal use:

  • Under normal active use, a battery drained to 10% will cause the device to prompt the user (notification and audible beep)
  • Without connecting a charger the device will automatically shut down at 3.53V (0%)
  • Pressing the power button may allow successful boot, but it will turn off again very quickly

Discharge behavior under no use:

  • A device left unused but in ‘Stand By’ will warn the user at 10% (notification and audible beep)
  • The warning may not be noticed and the device will go back to ‘Stand By’
  • Letting the device drain in standby mode drains the battery slower, but more completely
  • Device will still shut off at 3.53V (0%), but it less likely to successfully boot afterwards


Discharge behavior under 3.53V (0%):

  • If the device is left to shut-off, the battery will continue to drain below 3.53V due to quiescent current draw from the motherboard and the battery fuel gauge
  • With the battery between 2.7V-3.53V, pressing the power button causes the LED to flash a pattern to indicate low battery (PlayBook Tablet OS version 1.0.5, and above)
  • Below 2.7V there is no activity, or LED pattern displayed


Charge Behaviour:

If the battery voltage is below 3.53V(0%) then the charging behaviour is dependent on the software version

Prior to BlackBerry Tablet OS version 1.0.5:

  • The device will show a red light when the charger is connected and then nothing more
  • Repeated connection of the charger can recover the device in some instances.
  • Once the battery voltage rises above 3.53V the system will boot and the UI will show charging

BlackBerry Tablet OS version 1.0.5 and above:

  • The device will show a red LED followed by a yellow pulsating LED to indicate charging
  • The timespan between the red and yellow lights can be as long as 45 seconds
  • Once the yellow LED illuminates, the device can be started, but it is advisable to let it charge for at least 3.5 hours to acheive a full charge

If the BlackBerry PlayBook does not appear to be charging correctly, please see KB28154 for troubleshooting information