I guess it’s worth stating here that I don’t actually have any other BlackBerry products so many of the options that the PlayBook gives for connecting to BlackBerry mobiles phones won’t apply to me. The PlayBook comes with something called BlackBerry Bridge which lets your BlackBerry act as a keyboard and mouse for the PlayBook if you wanted to use it. For the rest of us, there’s the standard on-screen keyboard and your figure as the mouse on the screen.
The device is smaller than an iPad and has a 7 inch screen (with resolution 1024*600px) rather than the 10 inch that we’ve become accustomed to on the Apple product which (if you have big pockets) makes it very portable. It’s extremely lightweight and rather nice to hold when watching your favourite movie or TV series. It comes with a 16gb, 32gb or 64gb built in hard drive and is comes with BlackBerry’s own operating system pre-loaded. What I do like is that slightly rubberised backing to the device which means it’s really nice and grippy as well and hard to scratch like any tablet with a metal backing plate.
Under the hood is a 1ghz duel core process and 1gb memory. It has both a front (3 mega pixel) and rear facing (5MP) camera and a built in GPS which you can use with the mapping software built in and to add GPS data to any photos that you may take. It supports HTML 5, the latest versions of Flash and can play H.265 video as well as WMV making it great for storing movies on the go. With normal usage, battery life is around 7 hours.
Overall, this device is pretty great for the very low price tag of (around) £156.99 (Amazon). The screen is uber bright and clear, decent battery-life, it’s light-weight and really rather easy to use. It’s also a really nice size for people who travel who want a device that they can easily add into their hand luggage and watch on a plane, train or auto-mobile.
It’s a real shame that companies like LOVEFiLM and Netflix haven’t developed software to be able to stream movies and TV shows through the device as all the functionality is there ready and waiting for it. I recently bought an iPad and although it’s far superior to the PlayBook, you’d expect it to be for the extra £350 that you’ll spend on it. If you’re keen to get a tablet to watch movies, TV shows, listen to music and check emails, go on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook etc and don’t want to fork out the crazy money that Apple will charge you, you’re not going to go wrong with this one.
For a list of all BlackBerry products, check out the DialaPhone website.