Product Type: Blackberry Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
Newest Review: ... has a Micro HDMI port built it which allows you to connect it to a TV with a HDMI port with the correct cable (not included with the pl... more
Great device, contrary to popular belief, it rivals the likes of the iPad
Member Name: Christoff8188
Advantages: Brilliant multi-tasking, fast browser which supports Flash, great screen, almost never lags
Disadvantages: Lack of key apps such as Kindle/Skype (though they can be side-loaded), slow native email
I bought my Playbook over 12 months ago, back when it was over £300. And even now, with it being priced at around £150, I still don't regret paying so much for it. Before, it was reasonably priced, now it's a ridiculous bargain! I'll review the individual features, to make things easier:
Screen and tablet itself:
The screen is very clear, especially for a tablet released 18 months ago. It can run full HD videos/games without a problem. Also, the touch screen is very sensitive and accurate. Using the on-screen keyboard feels very natural, especially in portrait mode (using thumbs). The tablet's gestures are brilliant too - swiping down from the top of the tablet brings down any menu your current app has, swiping from the bottom up brings up the home screen/multi-tasking window, and swiping from the side of the screen swaps between apps.
The 1GHz processor and 1GB of ram provide the Playbook with a lot of power and speed. It's incredibly rare to come across any lag. With the 4G Playbook that has just been released, the tablet is even more powerful - with a 1.5GHz processor.
Multi-tasking on this device is amazing. Unlike tablets like the iPad, or Android/Windows tablets, apps don't simply run in the background, they all run in real time! For example, if you're browser is open on a youtube page listening to music, you can then switch to, say, Kobo (an e-reader) and the youtube video will continue to run - allowing you to listen to a music video while reading!
The app store isn't as large as Apple's App Store, or Google Play, but it does have a good variety of apps, and a lot of the top iOS/Android apps are actually there. On top of this, you can side-load almost any Android app, so you essentially have both the Blackberry store and the Android store.
The music player is Windows Media Player, and it's fair to say, it doesn't have many features. You have your playlists, artists, songs and album folers, and the usual shuffle/repeat etc etc. But there's no equalizer, and there's not much customisation. However, the music playback is very clear, and the sound quality from the Playbook itself is on par with low budget stereos - which for a tablet, is impressive. The video player allows for full HD videos, which makes for a very nice experience on the 7" screen!
The browser is relatively fast - speed tests put it as slightly faster than the iPad 2 (doesn't beat the third generation iPad though, of course. It is 12 months older). It also supports Flash, which means you can view almost any website, unlike other tablets. The flash player is pretty quick considering it's on a tablet, too. Although a bit slow, I was able to play a few Tower Defense games online without much hassle. The browser also supports HTML5, which will be handy in the future.
There is a 5MP camera on the back of the device for casual use, and a front-facing, 1.3MP camera for video calls. Both of these work brilliantly. Until I bought my Samsung Galaxy SIII, I preferred my Playbook camera over most others on mobile devices. Naturally, the video camera can record full HD.
The battery can give about 6 hours of video playback - longer with wifi turned off, which isn't amazing, but it's not bad at all. General browsing/listening to music gives anywhere from 8-12 hours. The device takes roughly 2-3 hours to charge from flat with a mains charger. Much faster if you invest in a charging pod.
The native email app allows for several accounts, and you have the option of looking at these email accounts separately, or you can have them all in a combined inbox. The layout is nice and simple too. My only gripe with the email app is that it is a little slow - hopefully this will be fixed with an update soon.
Overall, this tablet is WELL worth the price tag. It can do everything the higher-end tablets can do, and more. Its downsides however, are the relatively small app store, which lacks essentials like Skype and Kindle (though these can be side-loaded) and the moderate battery life. But in my opinion, the pros easily outweight the cons, and for £300 cheaper than the likes of an iPad? I won't complain!
Summary: All in all, an amazing device for the price. I'd recommend it to anyone.
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