Probably one of the best tablets I saw at CES 2011 was the Blackberry Playbook, which sports a TI OMAP dual-core 1Ghz processor (which is comparable to Tegra 2), brilliant 7-inch screen, minimalist design with just two buttons, Palm Pre-like UI (user interface) which is super-easy to use, and topped with real-time operating system that supports Adobe Flash, Air, and development on Java like Android.
Of course, the only thing worries about the Blackberry Playbook is the number of apps available. But that could be just fine as most of current Blackberry users are business-oriented users. I think RIM has done a fantastic job of bringing RIM back into the game. I am not too fond of new Blackberries that have been launched in the last 2-3 years (although I used to be a hardcore Blackberry fan), this Blackberry Playbook tablet is something else.
And certainly, Blackberry Playbook kicks both Apple’s iPad and Android tablets out today as far as its UI goes. Of course, there’s probably not enough apps to run on it.
For the casual user who need the apps, Blackberry Playbook might not be a such a big deal. But for the large number of existing Blackberry users, the Playbook is exactly what they wanted for years.
I’ve actually talked to several Blackberry users at CES 2011 and all of them loved this Blackberry tablet as it also plays nice by syncing with their Blackberry smartphones.
In all, I am very happy RIM finally got out of their “we don’t have any new radical improvements” excuse and launched a beautiful product.
Blackberry Playbook Specs
The Blackberry Playbook sports 1 7-inch capacitative touchscreen with 1024×600 resolution. Its multi-touch is flawless and equal or better to other tablets being launched this year.
The Blackberry Playbook also comes with 1GB of RAM, 5300mAh battery, 2 camera (5MP back, 3MP front), 1080P HD video recording, HDMI output, WiFi, bluetooth, and USB ports.
The Playbook measures 5.1″x7.6″x0.4″, weighs 0.9 pounds, and should fit in your big jacket’s pocket easily or even your small handbag for ladies.
Overall, I think RIM made a great decision of going with a 7-inch tablet (like the Galaxy Tab), which can actually fit in your jacket pocket. On the other hand, 10-inch tablets are not going to be so portable, I think Apple is actually making a 7-inch iPad 2 for this very reason later this year.
Even if RIM didn’t manage to get more apps running on the Playbook, I think it will be a huge success because of its native support for Adobe Flash and Air, which means there’s a ton of existing apps ready to be run on it.
Of course, there’s always one thing I hope RIM improved upon, is to release more models like the ASUS’s Eee Pad Slider, which comes with a sliding keyboard, something I think the Blackberry Playbook should have.
Without a physical keyboard, I don’t know the Playbook is a true “Blackberry”.
For sure though, I will get one to play around with it, hack it.
Here’s the bottom view of the Blackberry Playbook with a micro HDMI slot, micro USB slot, and what looks like some kind of 3-prong connection for their future Playbook docking system. I wouldn’t be surprised it Blackberry also had a keyboard docking system in mind at product launch.
The UI of Blackberry Playbook reminds me of Palm Pre’s card system. Actually, it’s pretty much the same thing, just bigger.
Here’s the view from the right side of the Blackberry Playbook, no buttons, so clean!
And another view from the left side, no buttons ma!