RIM BlackBerry PlayBook (2012)
An improved version of a gadget
It took a while, but Research In Motion finally nailed it. Their new BlackBerry PlayBook 2012, a tablet computer at heart. To make it successful, the manufacturer got a more affordable price and also improved the gadget’s operating system and user interface. At $199 for the 16GB version ($249 for the model 32GB and $299 for the 64GB version), this is a device which costs significantly less than the norm. And then the earlier model. If we were pressed to find a con, we’d say that this tablet doesn’t have that many amazing applications. Read our following review to see if this gadget is the one for you.
1,024 x 600 pixels resolution
The RIM BlackBerry PlayBook released this year looks good. It’s not a drop dead gorgeous tablet, mind you. But its looks are enough to guarantee interest. Behold its dimensions: 5.1″ x 7.6″ x 0.4″. The whole ensemble has a weight of 14.4 ounces. The rear panel has a soft touch to it, which means comfort when holding the product. The front panel is made of glass and is black. That glass covering is there to offer durability. Yes, it’s a material that can suffer damage, but it does a very good job on this tablet’s touchscreen. Which, during our tests, didn’t break.
Talking about display: the new PlayBook 2012 has one measuring ” and sporting a resolution of 1,024 x 600 pixels. Compared to the touchscreen on Amazon’s Kindle Fire, the model on the tablet we’re reviewing offers more vibrancy and brightness.
Among the features you’ll discover when you turn the gadget on, there are an accelerometer, an internal gyroscope and no Home key. The latter is replaced with the possibility to sweep up from the device’s bezel to the center of the screen.
More refined design
A headphone jack and buttons for power, hardware volume and playback all sit on the top. The bottom edge is occupied by the following additions: a magnetic charging port, one microHDMI output and one microUSB connector. The charging port reminded us of the one on Apple’s MacBook Pro.
The UI we found on RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook 2012 edition looked more refined than the earlier one. Which made the gadget all the more fun to use during tests. The layout is filled with colors and sharpness and graphics look great. Opening applications and doing other stuff were all a piece of cake. The tablet’s main menu is the bigger version of the one installed on BlackBerry smartphones launched not too long ago.
BlackBerry phone owners can use their model to as a hotspot for the tablet. And the good thing is: the user won’t have to pay to do this.
TI OMAP4430 CPU
A dual-core 1GHz TI OMAP4430 processor with dual-channel memory controller is a good option for this PlayBook. It has plenty of power to endure all sorts of tasks you might make it perform. A PowerVR SGX540 GPU completes the spec panel for this side of a tablet. Or any other gadget.
This tablet kindly brought to us by RIM finally sports native email. A feature that sorely lacked on the previous version. But alas, this model refuses to run BlackBerry Messenger. And cannot under any circumstance sync with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server. The web browser is a pro that cannot be missed.
As for the rest of features, the BlackBerry Playbook launched in 2012 leaves a very good impression. Its cameras, music playback, the Video Store and support for formats such as MPEG4, VC1 and others should all be enjoyed to the max.
RIM made a fully functional tablet. And it’s much better than the last one. But the Kindle Fire is still a better choice for a small tablet.