Blackberry Playbook Preview – Bridge Bar, G Tower

I managed to get my grubby hands on the Blackberry Playbook today.

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Oh no no, I didn’t buy one! But I got to fool around with one during the sneak preview session for media earlier this evening!

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I went with low expectations. And it didn’t help to have read, heard and watch some pretty negative reviews about the Playbook throughout the day prior to the preview. The critics & techies haven’t been too kind.

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Still, nothing beats the experience of actually holding one in your hands. And while everyone are entitled to their opinions & tech gurus can have all their say, it’s best to judge for yourself if this would be the tablet that you should invest in, and whether it suits your lifestyle and needs.

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And all that starts from actually testing out a unit.

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Personally I’m a sucker for tech products that boasts of a solid feel, so the material used is of paramount importance to me. “Solid” doesn’t necessary equates to heavy. I mean, light is fine, but it shouldn’t feel “plasticky & hollow”. I hope you could get what I’m trying to convey without me having to name names of products that falls in that category!
Anyhow, the Playbook scored points in that department for me. I liked the solid, “heavy” feel of the device.

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Call me superficial, but I’m all for prettiness and aesthetic. I find the applications a bit plain in colours & pretty simplistic in functionality. Navigating around on the Playbook took some getting used to as well, for there are no self-explanatory “buttons” on the edge, but everything was navigated via swiping of the screen from the top/bottom/left or right edge. Swiping your fingers from each side carries out a different function; for example, swiping your fingers from bottom to top takes you back to the main menu.

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And yeah, put a bunch of tech people together in a room and out comes all the gadgets. Here, we were comparing the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Playbook side by side.

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The Playbook looked and felt better in the hands to me. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is bulkier somehow and lacked the sleekness factor.

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The Ipad, Blackberry Playbook & Samsung Galaxy Tab. No prize for guessing which was the favoured tablet among us all.

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The Playbook Specifications:

Ultra portable, super convenient
Height: 5.1”/130mm
Width: 7.6”/194mm
Depth: 0.4”/10mm
Weight: 0.9lbs/425g

7” LCD display, 1024 x 600 screen resolution
Multi-touch capacitive screen

Professional grade performance
Full computing power in tablet format
1 GHz dual-core processor
1 GB RAM
Symmetric multi-processing

Web without limits
Games, media, apps and everything the real Internet offers
Full Adobe® Flash® 10.1 enabled
Built-in support for HTML 5
No-compromise rendering of text, graphics and video

High-speed connections
3G network access using your BlackBerry® smartphone as a modem
Wi-Fi® 802.11 a/b/g/n
Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR

Amplified BlackBerry experience
Wirelessly connect to your BlackBerry® smartphone for real time access to:
Email, calendar, address book, task list and BBM™

Best-in-class media
3 MP high-definition forward-facing camera
5MP high-definition rear-facing camera
Codec support for superior media playback, creation and video calling
1080p HD video; H.264, MPEG4, WMV HDMI video output
Micro USB and Micro HDMI ports

Video-conferencing
Crystal clear HD display
Rich stereo sound
Dual HD video cameras

Built for business
Out-of-the-box compatibility with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server
Seamless pairing for a secure window into your BlackBerry® smartphone
Corporate data access
Secure and manageable

BlackBerry Tablet OS
Powerful, user friendly QNX technology: It’s what the World Wide Web runs on
Multi-processing for true multitasking

Rich application ecosystem
Rapid development environment
Reliable BlackBerry Tablet OS, powered by QNX technology
Supports POSIX OS, SMP, Open GL, BlackBerry® 6, WebKit, Adobe Flash,
Java® and Adobe Mobile AIR

 

Availability
The BlackBerry PlayBook is expected to be available in retail outlets and other channels in the United States in early 2011 with rollouts in other international markets beginning in (calendar) Q2.

 

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