Remember all those grand plans Research In Motion (RIM) had for its BlackBerry PlayBook line of tablet PCs? Well, whatever remains of those plans will have to be carried out by the 32GB and 64GB models. Somewhat surprisingly, RIM has reportedly decided to discontinue its 16GB PlayBook, essentially conceding defeat to the likes of Amazon's Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet in the sub-$200 category.
Research In Motion grossly underestimated what a big deal it would be to release a tablet with what some consider critical missing features, namely native email, calendar, and contacts support. The PlayBook was met with mixed reviews; some were willing to overlook the PlayBook's failings, others decided not to pull any punches in their criticisms. Give RIM credit though, the powers in charge stuck it out, and regarding that fire sale over Black Friday, it appears to be a sign of things to come rather than a declaration that RIM wants out.
Before you go and drop a couple of Benjamins on a Kindle Fire from Amazon or $250 on a Nook Tablet from Barnes & Noble, there's something you should know. Research In Motion is slashing the price of its BlackBerry PlayBook to $199 at Best Buy, Staples, and a bunch of other popular retailers, putting it in direct competition with the two aforementioned tablets.
For the record, the Maximum PC Lab keeps both feet planted squarely in the present tense. We don’t believe anyone should buy hardware based solely on its future potential. So what then to make of RIM’s nascent and decidedly half-baked Blackberry Playbook? Unless you’re 1) a Blackberry owner, 2) don’t care about apps or games, or 3) a devoted BB fanboy, the answer is: not much.
A new No BS Podcast, you say? With useful information? Unpossible! But it is, uh, possible. In Episode 173 of the No BS Podcast, Gordon, Alex, Alan, and Andy call Nvidia's Tom Petersen to get the skinny on SLI for AMD boards. Then, Gordon drops wisdom about small form factor PCs, Nathan talks about Intel's new 3Gb/s SATA SSD and the gang discusses the magic of Portal 2. Plus, the BlackBerry PlayBook, answers to your questions, and, inevitably, rants about the state of the world and the origins of various phrases.
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at email@example.com or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are not standing by.
Blackberry's Playbook arrived at our offices today, and we just started putting the device through its paces. There's a considerable amount of negativity around RIM's first tablet device. We'll withhold judgement until we've spent at least a full day with it, but we will admit to being disappointed that there's no native email client on the device. That feels like a shortcoming.
On the plus side, the screen is pretty amazing, and standard internet performance is surprisingly snappy.
More info to come as we unearth it. For now, here are a bunch of photographs of our shiny new thing.
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.
Apple’s snub of Adobe Flash has had no impact on the latter’s popularity among other smartphone and tablet vendors. If anything, it has probably whetted their appetite for the Flash Player. According to Adobe, at the end of 2010 there were more than 20 million smartphones with Flash 10.1 - the first truly mobile-optimized version of the software. But if you think that’s impressive, then get ready for the bigger, more impressive numbers that await you after the jump.
One of the most important aspects of any mobile device in this day and age is the quality of the browsing experience. While the iPad is understood to have a great browser, it might have met its match in the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook. RIM is going all out to promote their tablet, and this new video is turning some heads.
The side-by-side comparison shows the iPad browser being schooled by the PlayBook in a number of ways. The PlayBook manages to load web pages at almost desktop speeds. The iPad, while fast, cannot compete. Rendering on both devices is similar, but the PlayBook also loads Adobe Flash content. HTML5 performance was also demonstrated, giving the PlayBook the clear win there as well.
The iPad might still have the edge in that you can actually buy it, but the PlayBook is looking more compelling than it might have at first. Do you find this demo convincing, or will you only believe it when the product is real?
When RIM introduced the BlackBerry PlayBook, a real live demo of the device was conspicuously absent. At today's Adobe MAX conference, RIM put some of these doubt to rest by showing off the tablet in all its QNX-running glory. CEO Mike Lazaridis demoed the device live for the assembled developers. He showed off not just the device's multitasking interface, but also its imbedded Flash Player.
Lazaridis loaded up the full YouTube page and proceeded to play a video in HD resolution (over Wi Fi of course). Playback was surprisingly smooth and the page was still scrolling accurately while playing Flash. The basic message of the demo was a not too well veiled swipe at Apple. "We're not trying to dumb down the Internet for a small mobile device," said Lazaridis.
It is encouraging to see RIM actually has a product stable enough to show off on the big screen at MAX. Only time will tell if consumers or businesses will be interested in the device. Would you buy one, and what should the price be?