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
Blackberry Playbook: Alternative to the Ipad
Member Name: illusiveman
Advantages: Large Internal Memory, Flash support built in, most video formats supported
Disadvantages: USB Port Fragile, Lack of apps
Around October 2012 my dad told me someone from work bought a Blackberry Playbook, I assumed they would have been around £300 - £500 from the features it had but he told me they had been reduced to £130 (for the 64GB model), I then decided I would ask for one for Christmas.
I received the Blackberry Playbook on Christmas morning and within minutes of using the tablet everything else went out of the window (not literally of course), my brother also received the same tablet as he had seen me watching videos on YouTube demonstrating what the Playbook could do, my sister also received a Blackberry Playbook the following day as her android tablet turned out to be faulty.
---- Features ---
The playbook has a 3 mega pixel HD front facing camera and a 5 mega pixel HD rear facing camera, I have found the picture quality is excellent especially when the photos are transferred across to a computer and viewed on a large screen, the photos I've taken look like they've been taken on a proper digital camera when viewed on the tablet or a computer screen.
It also has a high quality video camera built in, I have been able to record videos in a 1080p resolution which I believe is HD, I haven't used a the front facing camera for more than just taking photos so I'm not able to comment on the quality of the front facing camera for video recording.
It also 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 playbook unfortunately), having the Playbook connected to the TV allows you to view the tablet screen on your TV in Mirror Mode as it's known on the tablet.
This also allows you to view the camera feed through your TV screen; I haven't had the chance to test this out properly beyond messing about.
If you do a lot of presentations these can also be displayed through a TV screen to allow for better reading (I believe it has a "Presentation" mode), plus your fingers won't get in the way when moving to the next slide.
It also has a built in Micro USB port built in which is handy for transferring files from a PC or Laptop, the only annoyance about transferring files via USB is that it doesn't show up as a USB Storage device, only as a network drive so is usually slower than USB (at least in my experience anyway).
It can also be set up to transfer files via wi-fi which can be handy at times when you can't find the USB cable, transferring files by wi-fi is usually slower than USB but is more convenient than trying to find that USB cable, it can also randomly disconnect from the wi-fi, this hasn't happened to me as I've only tested this feature by transferring a small file onto the Playbook, it can also be a little bit of a pain to set up as you have to assign an IP address for it and then access it on the PC using that IP address, I also found that it doesn't work properly if I set a password up for wi-fi file sharing (I got an access denied message)
The playbook also has a large amount of internal storage of either 32GB or 64GB (mine is 64GB) so I can fit a lot of videos and music on the playbook, the videos also don't have to be converted either as I believe it is compatible with most video formats such as 3GP, AVI, ASF, F4V, MOV, MP4 and WMV which means I can play most video files on them without having to convert them to a compatible format, I believe most pictures can be viewed on the playbook too but I don't transfer many photos to it.
The video player as mentioned above will play most video formats without having to convert them to a compatible format, this is also another handy feature for having the playbook connected to a TV as you can play the video through the TV (and carries the sound too I believe from personal experience).
The Playbook also has flash built in so you can go straight on websites such as YouTube without having to use an app unlike other tablets.
I also find the battery life very good as I've had it last for days before having to charge it up again and only takes about 2 hours to charge if you have the rapid charger
There are also two or three different chargers available at different prices, the most basic one is the standard USB charger you get with the Playbook and usually charges in a few hours (I can't remember the exact time it takes).
There is also a charging stand which I believe uses the USB port just like the standard charger, this charger will block access to the ports at the bottom of the Playbook from what I've read online.
There is also a rapid charger (costs around £20 well worth this price), this one is connected via the magnetic port to the right of the USB port (the port with 3 round pins), this charges a lot quicker than the standard USB charger and the charging stand and is recommended rather than using the USB to charge it as the USB port is very fragile (which I will mention shortly).
And finally onto the disadvantages, as it uses the blackberry app store there is a distinct lack of apps available, although you can download the apk file for free android apps and convert them to blackberry format (this only works for the free apps though not the paid ones).
It also has a very frail USB port, the pin is very weak and can be damaged when plugging the charger into it, this is why I usually use the rapid charger so I don't have to keep plugging USB cables in all the time, and when browsing the internet you can't access drop down menus on websites for some reason (the menu doesn't stay up when you tap on it).
Summary: Blackberry Playbook, best tablet I've owned so far
|Ease of use:|