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BlackBerry PlayBook Review

By on June 22, 2011
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Great from a hardware point of view- not too sure about the software.

Good: Fast hardware, beautiful screen and excellent gesture based operations
Bad: OS feels incomplete, lack of built-in email and calendar functionality, Not many good apps.
Price: AED 2,099 (16GB), AED 2,699 (32GB) and AED 3,099 (64GB)
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

The center-piece for any tablet is the screen and I’m happy to report that RIM has done an excellent job on the PlayBook. The 1024×600 resolution has an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a higher pixel density than the iPad making everything appear quite crisp. The colors and contrast ratios are also top notch and watching movies on the PlayBook proved to be quite an excellent experience especially with the built in stereo speakers that produce better audio than most full-fledged laptops. It’s a good thing that the PlayBook has good speakers because my Creative Bluetooth headphones with A2DP profile didn’t work with the current software version. If you prefer to watch your videos on a bigger screen, then the built in HDMI port is capable of out putting in full 1080P.

One of the best things about the display on the PlayBook is the bezel- an area generally frowned upon. RIM has used an active bezel that can sense gestures such as your fingers sliding up and down and sideways. This creates for an excellent navigation structure and you’ll see how well it works in the video on the next page.

There are two cameras on the PlayBook- both HD capable. The front camera is 3MP while the back one boasts a 5MP resolution. Sadly, there is no flash alongside the camera, however, I really don’t see anyone using the back camera much on the tablet other than for the occasional snap. Sadly, there is no easy way of wirelessly sharing a picture from the gallery app. You can also do videos from the back camera and RIM has a nice little app for video conferencing using the front camera.

Next to the front facing camera, RIM has added an LED which, at the moment, has no use whatsoever. It doesn’t turn on when you are charging the device or when you receive an email like the BlackBerry. The only time you can see it light up is when you power the device from a cold boot. I’m sure RIM has some plans for it in a future software upgrade.

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About

Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of tbreak.com and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

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