The past several weeks have seen some interesting developments in the tablet space. Hewlett Packard's discontinuation of its TouchPad and subsequent $99 firesale continues to be the big story, but it's not the only one. It appears Amazon is getting ready to launch an affordable 7-inch tablet, and perhaps in anticipation, Best Buy just dropped the price of the BlackBerry PlayBook.
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.
Just when we thought BlackBerry World 2011 was going to be boring, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage by storm as only he can. Ballmer told the crowd that Microsoft had joined with RIM to embed Bing search and maps in future BlackBerry products. This isn't as simple as setting a default, Microsoft will be right there at the OS level. Redmond is also coopertaing with RIM on a server product that changes the company's enterprise strategy.
Research In Motion (RIM) is currently trying to hammer out a deal with Hulu that would let BlackBerry PlayBook users gain paid access to the streaming service. Following the PlayBook's launch last week, users were surprised to find that they could load and watch Hulu content on their tablet, but the excitement was short lived. Hulu blocked the BlackBerry browser within 48 hours, just has it has done with all tablets and smartphones.
Well that was fast. Early BlackBerry PlayBook adopters were elated to find out that they could access Hulu's streaming service on their brand new Flash-enabled tablets, but not surprisingly, the celebrations were short lived. Hulu was quick to play the part of party pooper and added the PlayBook's browser to its blacklist, and now when they try to access TV shows on Hulu's website, they're greeted with an error message instead.
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.