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Things to know about BlackBerry PlayBook before its Launch and before you buy

This is probably the biggest and most awaited event for all the BlackBerry fans exactly like it always happens to Apple fans with newer iPhone, iPod and iPad versions. This time RIM is not launching any hi-tech phone, but they are launching their next big step with BlackBerry PlayBook 4G, touch tablet on April 19, 2011 in the US and Canada. And for this, RIM has also developed a newly designed BlackBerry Tablet OS.

The international launch of BlackBerry PlayBook 4G is expected to be made in the 3rd quarter of 2011 including UK. Stepping further from getting known as business class mobile phone manufacturer, RIM introduced touch phones to attract more buyers.

For those who do not know, RIM (Research In Motion) is the company behind the brand that we know as ‘Blackberry’. BlackBerry is also very famous for its encrypted BlackBerry Messaging Services and has a large number of dedicated fan following. By launching BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, RIM will try to cater touch tablet device market where it would compete with Apple iPad 2 and Samsung Galaxy S tab.

Unlike Nokia & Microsoft, BlackBerry is self-sufficient to design, produce their own Hardware and Software just like Apple. Samsung has proved themselves through Galaxy S tabs using an open source Android OS.

How PlayBook works that only the time will tell. Meanwhile, you may also like to read ‘Things to know before you buy iPad 2

Before I go further and write some details about BlackBerry PlayBook features and its comparison with iPad 2, there are 5 things that strike me, which are:

  • BlackBerry is known for being a corporate, business class device which is also a USP of it. Then they still have gone ahead with a not so suitable name like ‘PlayBook’. It’s definitely not a gaming console. (Isn’t it?)
  • BlackBerry is taking a big step too early (or too late). Theirs touch phone, BlackBerry Storm was not well received and it was a major fiasco with that mobile phone.
  • The screen size is smaller than iPad 2. They must have done so to make it more convenient to carry, reduce the weight of the device and to lengthen the battery life. But will these points work in their favor? I am not really sure.
  • IPad is bit heavier, but is still slimmer than PlayBook
  • If you look at all the pictures of BlackBerry Playbook, they primarily focus on showing more of Games and Music. Which clearly sends the message that RIM wants to portray this as a complete entertainment & fun device.  If yes, then this effort is indeed very similar to its competition, Apple iPad 2 (Nothing wrong in it though)

Let’s read some details now,

BlackBerry PlayBook 4G Features

BlackBerry PlayBook 4G has all the latest features we would expect in a hi-tech touch tablet. There are some features that surpasses its competition. Like; BlackBerry PlayBook is ready for a 4G network, which are soon to be launched in the US. No other popular device supports 4G network at the moment. Apple is already planning for iPhone 5 (which seems to be delayed to fit 4G networks) and iPad 3 to be launched as soon as 4G networks start functioning.

It has a brand new BlackBerry, Tablet OS makes it tempting for App developers to jump on to this one. Developers, those are BlackBerry fans, are definitely waiting to develop for this new chick. That’s not enough, BlackBerry has also announced a FREE BlackBerry Play Book for developers whose app for BlackBerry Tablet OS is approved.

PlayBook has a full powered browser includes the Adobe Flash plugin for rich media Internet browsing experience. This is not available on any iOS device.

PlayBook has a full powered browser includes the Adobe Flash plugin for rich media Internet browsing experience. This is not available on any iOS device. It has a 3 MP front camera which is better than iPad 2 (VGA) and Samsung Galaxy Tab (2 MP)… It is possible to easily pair BlackBerry Smartphones with PlayBook.

Playbook too has a multi-tasking feature where you can work on multiple applications at a time with multiple windows open. This is not possible for any IOS device. On iOS, one needs to completely switch to another app by enabling multi-tasking.

Things to know about BlackBerry PlayBook before its Launch and before you buy

BlackBerry PlayBook 4G Price

The BlackBerry PlayBook with Wi-Fi +16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage is priced at $499, $599 and $699 respectively, This is similar to the Apple’s iPad 2.

You can pre-order it through Best Buy stores or online. If you want to pre-order it via stores, then you can deposit $50 to book the order. In case you want to order it online, you must give card details and agree to pay full amount once the device is shipped (before receipt).

Things to know about BlackBerry PlayBook before its Launch and before you buy

BlackBerry PlayBook 4G Specifications

Ultra portable, super convenient

  • Height:  5.1″ / 130 mm
  • Width:  7.6″ / 194 mm
  • Depth: 0.4″ / 10 mm
  • Weight:  0.9 lbs / 425 g
  • 7″ LCD display, 1024 x 600 screen resolution, Multi-touch capacitive screen

Professional grade performance

  • Full computing power in a tablet format
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Symmetric multi-processing

Web without limits

  • Games, media, apps and everything the real Internet offers
  • Full Adobe® Flash® 10.1 enabled
  • Built-in support for HTML 5
  • No-compromise rendering of text, graphics and video

Amplified BlackBerry experience: Wirelessly connect to your BlackBerry® smartphone* for real-time access to: Email, calendar, address book, task list and BBM™

Best-in-class media

  • 3 MP high-definition forward-facing camera
  • 5 MP high-definition rear-facing camera
  • Codec support for superior media playback, creation and
  • video calling
  • 1080p HD video; H.264, MPEG4, WMV HDMI video output
  • Micro USB and Micro HDMI ports

Video calling

  • Crystal clear high-resolution display
  • Dual video cameras

Built for business

  • Out-of-the-box compatibility with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server
  • Seamless pairing for a secure window into your BlackBerry® smartphone
  • Corporate data access
  • Secure and manageable

BlackBerry Tablet OS

  • Powerful, user-friendly QNX technology: It’s what the
  • World Wide Web runs on
  • Multi-processing for true multitasking

Rich application ecosystem

  • Rapid development environment
  • Reliable BlackBerry Tablet OS, powered by QNX technology
  • Supports POSIX OS, SMP, Open GL, BlackBerry® 6, Web Kit, Adobe Flash, Java® and Adobe Mobile AIR

BlackBerry PlayBook Demo

BlackBerry PlayBook and iPad Browser Comparison Video

Plan Of Action

With all this above, the first impression of BlackBerry PlayBook 4G is – It’s Cool, Smart and looks exactly how it should as a product of  RIM. It seems better in terms of usability, capability than iPad 2 but not as good as Samsung Galaxy Tab. (It may sound less loud to Apple fans)

If you’re a true fan of the BlackBerry and you can’t wait to own it then (only) you should buy this device immediately or think of pre-ordering it. If you are a developer then try to win it for FREE. If you’re a user, then wait for a few more weeks.

Will I buy BlackBerry PlayBook right away?

No, I will prefer to rather wait for 2 months least after its launch and actually see:

  • How well this really works?
  • How does it perform after installing many apps
  • Does it get too hot while extensive usage?
  • Does it perform the same good way after many hours of non-stop usage?

I would not mind if it proves me totally wrong in my assumptions, but I will keep you posted after its launch too.

Update

BlackBerry Playbook failed miserably in otherwise flourishing tablet market. Tablets successfully replaced netbooks & big companies like Acer have already decided not to produce more Netbooks to make way for tablets. However, BlackBerry Playbook couldn’t find its place in the hearts of people, despite few alterations & special lowered prices.