So, you’ve got your new Blackberry Playbook and all its multi-tasking, 1080p-playing, HTML5test.com-pwning goodness, but there’s something missing… Charging your playbook using the included usb charger will take at least 10 hours if you’re charging from 0 to 100%.  This charger is super convenient if you already have a Blackberry smartphone, as it’s compatible with that too.  But what if you want to charge your playbook upright?  Or even charge it super fast? And in style?! You’ll use a docking station of course!

In this case, why not go for the Blackberry Desktop Stand Rapid Charger?  Thankfully, N4BB has gotten its hands on one and will put it through a not-no-grueling review of its design, function, specs and more!  With its understated design, magnetic charging contacts, and faster charging ability, it’s the home your Playbook has been waiting for!

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Put those three funny-looking charging contacts to use! You can use it on your bedside end table or on your work desk (like a boss!). While unboxing the dock, you’ll notice you’ve got some pretty cool packaging surrounding the 6 foot long three-prong electrical cable and the dock itself.

Design:

The Playbook Desktop Stand is smaller than you would imagine, almost devoid of flashiness, and feels like a brick.  And this is exactly what you want. You want something that isn’t bulky, makes the playbook stand out, and is solid so it won’t tip over. There is the standard embossed Blackberry logo on the top, a non-slip pad on the bottom, and thick electrical cable leading out the back.  That’s it, that’s all!   Simple and elegant comes to mind as it just symbolizes the Blackberry mantra of understated design.  As far as aesthetics goes, it looks way cooler to have a dock than a measly travel charger, and plus, it’ll give you some of that extra bedside table real estate that is so hard to come by.

Function:

When first trying to place your Playbook on the charger, it might take a few seconds of moving it around to get the proper contact.  But have faith!  This is only for the first time. It becomes very easy to do once you’d done it a few times.  Just line up the Blackberry logo with the centre of the dock and presto! One thing you’ll definitely notice is the satisfying (but subtle) “click” once the magnetic contacts have pulled the Playbook into the socket (just like a Macbook).  The Playbook and dock have now become one and the lightning bolt on the battery icon appears, and everything in the world just feels right again.

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The Playbook feels secure inside the dock and won’t fall off if you knock it or in the event of a 5.7 magnitude quake (no guarantees for the big one though). The charging stand is fairly heavy, but this is a good thing!  The weight of the dock keeps the Playbook from tipping over while being charged. You can easily un-dock your Playbook by pulling it towards you.  If you turned your Playbook off and place it on the dock, the Playbook’s LED light will glow yellow,  increasing and decreasing in brightness every few seconds.  If the Playbook is on, the screen backlight will illuminate and stay on until the backlight times out (which you can change in the settings).

Specs:

Let’s talk about the numbers! Yes, I know it’s a charging dock, no dual-core snapdragon CPU here, but we can always compare the amperage between this dock and the standard Playbook charger.

First of all, this bad-boy uses 600mA of current to charge your Playbook, in comparison to the relatively measly 300mA of current on the standard charger.  Theoretically, this should result in a 2X charging speed increase.

From my tests, I’ve measured about a 0.27% charge per minute while the Playbook is on.  Giving a 0-100% charge in about 370 minutes, or just over 6 hours.  This may sound like a lot, and it is, but I suspect its noticeably faster if the Playbook is off.

Other thoughts:

Just a few things to note, you won’t be able to connect your playbook to a computer using a usb cable, or to a external display using hdmi, as both ports are blocked by the dock.

Overall, this is an authentic Blackberry quality charging stand.  With this dock, you won’t have to share the original Playbook charger with your Blackberry Smartphone, or wait an entire night to have a fully-charged Playbook, and you now have an incredibly fancy picture frame!  Your Playbook will be happy for it too!