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The video is not very long, but we will apparently see more to come after this teaser. This is an early pre-release PlayBook unit, which you can see as it is sporting OS 6 icons. Even as a pre-release PlayBook it looks to be very fast and pretty solid. Hit the break for some first impressions.

A few Initial Impressions:

User Interface and Operating System:

We find the UI very appealing and fluid with no noticeable hang-ups or delays (even running the currently installed Beta QNX OS, which typically has more bugs than final releases). The screen moves quickly and smoothly with a quick transition while multi-tasking between apps (we opened 12 applications and it didn’t miss a beat). We found it very easy to use and navigate.

Look & Feel:

The PlayBook is very light (.9 LBS), yet feels solid and well built. Regardless of Steve Jobs opinion on anything less than a 10in screen, the 7in screen sporting Playbook is very comfortable to use, navigate and type with. In my opinion it even feels better than the iPad in the sense that you can type in horizontal mode comfortably with thumbs, not feeling like you need to set it down or hold it awkwardly to get the job done (no pun intended Steve). Overall, the tablet is a great size and you can easily carry it anywhere; wider coat packet, purse, fanny pack or whatever suits your style.


The Playbook comes with both WiFi and tethering functionality to your BlackBerry device. Bluetooth pairing of the two devices will require a separate application running on your BlackBerry Device and Playbook. This will basically enable mirroring of your Blackberry data (Email, Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Tasks, etc) on the Playbook without physically storing any data. Your Playbook will also be able to share the data plan you already have on your BlackBerry, which is a huge relief for both Enterprise and Consumers (since mobile charges could easily cover a moderate car payment these days). If you are not a Blackberry user and want a carrier data plan for extended connectivity you will have to wait until late 2011 for embedded options or activate a mobile hotspot device (currently offered by most major wireless carriers) with the upcoming model.


Both front (3MP) and back (5MP) cameras both function and turnout great. Functionality and options are very similar to the BlackBerry OS6. Our major focus was the front facing camera, which over WiFi was near perfect. The font facing camera also works good over 3G (in our test we used a Sprint Mobile Hotspot device). Its a bit more digitized at times, which is expected over the bandwidth, but we are impressed with the quality and option of video conferencing over 3G or WiFi. After all, it will make texting while driving look like child’s play.



First impressions of the Media Player were awesome; intuitive, fast, responsive and great looking. We are still waiting to see what the desktop (and/or wireless sync) program will look like for the PlayBook, but if its anything like the current PC/MAC program for BlackBerry devices it should be great. The seamless integration with iTunes for music (playlists, album art, ect) and easy drag-and-drop of videos make Apple’s proprietary iTunes look like media prison.


The Playbook comes with an impressive battery (5300mAHr). Although the battery is non-removable, it should be plenty of power to get through a full day of using every future this power packed tablet has to offer. We used it very heavily for a full day only starting with slightly over half a charge and it ran the distance. RIM has not released exact specs on what they expect the battery life to be yet. We will test this out more thoroughly in our coming review Part 2.


The BlackBerry Playbook is the iPad contender. If you are currently a BlackBerry user, the fact you can soon get a tablet that offers better all around specs and features without additional data plan equals slam dunk. If not a BlackBerry user, you still have more to gain from this device and data options outside of WiFi only. Since this Tablet comes “Enterprise Ready” out of the box, expect it to take the Enterprise world by storm. So many companies are toying with the idea of how to release iPads (and now Android tablets) into their environment with all the security risks and lack of control. IT can finally breathe with a secure tablet coming out, leveraging RIM’s best-in-class security platform and control.

via Mobility Insider