Wednesday, January 12, 2011

CES 2011: BlackBerry Playbook

On Twitter we asked you what you wanted us to get our hands on at CES.  One of the overwhelming answers was BlackBerry's new tablet.. the Playbook.  So I headed over to the BlackBerry booth for some hands on time with the device.  I have to tell you, I was won over.  

BlackBerry Playbook
Photo: POParitaville

Not having something specific that I was searching for on it, I just wanted to get an over all look at what the Playbook had to offer.  The first thing I noticed was the display, while smaller than the iPad, didn't lack in looks. At 7.6" across and 5.1" down, the display didn't lack of anything fun.  The apps are displayed as you would expect and ready to open.  That's where I was shown it's multi-tasking power.  Opening a 3D animation app (much like a screensaver), we opened a couple of other apps as well.  We then looked back at the open apps and could see that the animation app was still running.  After being impressed by this I did ask what this will do for battery life.  At this time they have not said what battery life will be once the Playbook is released.  

I then looked at the HDMI out.  It was already hooked in to a large HD television to show it off.  This was another thing that impressed me.  While some have argued that the iPad has AirPlay, that does require you to purchase Apple TV to use.  With an HDMI Out, you can stream everything from your device to your HDTV without needing to buy a new device.  One of the positions that Blackberry is taking with this feature is how it can be used for business people.  They can use it to present their Power Point presentation, and just like a PC or laptop, control the view of what their audience is looking at.  



There are some draw backs for right now.  One being that BlackBerry has yet to announce the items cost.  I was told that it would be competitive with other tablets currently on the market.  Also, not knowing the battery life on it does make me want to see what will happen.  I think that for it to really be a competitor in the tablet market, it has get up to at least 8 hours of normal usage.  Something else I did notice while using it was that the screen was slightly warm when I touched it.  This could be for a myriad of reasons (the light up display it was sitting on, being plugged in for hours), but I do hope that it's not a problem.  

With those things in mind, I do think that the BlackBerry Playbook is exactly the competition the market needs.  While the iPad is the popular kid in school, there are plenty of people who always hate the popular kid and would rather hang out with the AV Club.  

The BlackBerry Playbook will come out in the first quarter of 2011.  It is WiFi enabled, and will also have 4G service supplied by Sprint.  For more details and specs on the Playbook, visit http://us.blackberry.com/playbook-tablet/  

What say you?

POPped by
Jungle Jesse

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