Research In Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook has been the recipient of some mixed reviews, including a fair number of negative write-ups slamming the slate for its lack of native email and contacts support (we'll post our own evaluation soon; in the meantime, be sure to check out our first impressions and photo gallery here). Despite the lukewarm reception, BlackBerry PlayBook sales have so far exceeded analysts' expectations.
In case you missed it on Wednesday night, the embargo was lifted on early reviews for Research in Motion’s first tablet device, the BlackBerry PlayBook. A veritable flood of reviews hit the web for the device, which debuts on Tuesday, April 19 -- but it’s off to a bit of a rocky start so far.
One of the most anticipated tablets of 2011 is Research In Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook, just don't expect it to be the iPad killer anti-iOS fans have been waiting for, at least not at launch. A leaked internal document making the rounds reveals that the PlayBook with ship with several key features missing, including support for email, contacts, and messaging. To use them, you'll need to link up with a BlackBerry smartphone, or use a Web browser.
As far as Hewlett-Packard is concerned, Research in Motion's PlayBook tablet hits awfully close to home. Never mind that the PlayBook sports a 7-inch screen compared to the TouchPad's 9.7-inch display, it's the PlayBook's operating system, powered by QNX, that reminds HP a little too much of webOS. You could say the similarities are uncanny, and in fact those are the exact words HP's Jon Oakes, director of product marketing, used when comparing the two tablets.
According to sources that spoke to BGR, RIM will be launching the BlackBerry PlayBook on April 10th in retail locations. The software is reportedly the last holdup, with a gold master build expected to be completed by the end of March. This is the first solid date we have heard for this device, albeit from an unofficial source.
Think Research In Motion's upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook is only for business users? It's not, and to drive that point home, the PlayBook will sport a couple of preloaded games: Need for Speed Underground and Tetris. These are full-version titles that come standard with the device, and not game demos, though you do have the option of purchasing additional cars in NFS.
Maybe we're too old, stubborn, or set in our ways, but we don't fancy the idea of our smartphones tattooing text messages on our bodies. Most of you probably don't either, so it's a good thing that's not what Research In Motion (RIM) is working on. Instead, RIM, along with the Royal College of Art's Helen Hamlyn Center, are busy developing a technology called SkinDisplay. Learn how it works after the break.
As the Verizon iPhone gets ever closer to release, some survey results paint a frightening picture for the purveyors of othersmartphones on Big Red. In an online survey of 700 users of BlackBerry and Android users on Verizon, a total of 54% are considering to switch to the Verizon iPhone 4. By comparison, only 26% of AT&T customers in a similar survey planned to switch carriers for the handset. Hit the jump for the full breakdown.
You can now use your iPhone or BlackBerry Tour, Curve, or Storm to order a Frappuccino at Starbucks, or anything else the outfit sells. All you need to do is download the Starbucks Card Mobile app.
"Enter your card number and your device will display a barcode you can use as your Starbucks Card to make purchases," Starbucks explains. "It's fast. It's easy. And it's a revolution in mobile payment."
Starbucks says the Mobile Pay feature is available at more than 7,500 store locations, including all Target Starbucks stores, in the U.S. You can check your local Starbucks by using the Store Locator and using the Mobile Payment filter.
If you though RIM was done with the mediocre Storm line of all touch phones, you'd be wrong. BGR has a new leak that purportedly shows the upcoming BlackBerry Storm 3. The leak includes both images, and a spec sheet. The device design is not a radical departure from what you may remember from the previous Storm devices. The touch screen has been bumped up to 3.7-inches and 800x480 resolution. It is listed in the docs as being capacitive only. It is unclear if the SurePress screen is gone, or this is just an omission.
The other specs of the device are actually rather encouraging. RIM will be using a 1.2GHz CPU of unknown make, a 5MP camera with 720p recording. 8GB of internal storage, 512MB of RAM, 2.4 b/g/n and 5GHz a/n Wi-Fi, and BlackBerry OS 6.1. The device is also listed as being HSPA/GSM, which would mean a departure from Verizon's CDMA network. The exact frequencies were not available.
BGR expects the Storm 3 to hit stores later next summer. But at that rate, other smartphones will be brushing our teeth for us. Do you think RIM has a shot with this one?