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RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review

BlackBerry PlayBook

Posted: , posted by John V.

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Camera:

Mostly clutter free and giving its attention primarily to its viewfinder, the PlayBook’s camera interface is limited with the amount of settings and options it has to offer.

Camera interface - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Camera interface - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Camera interface - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Camera interface - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review

Surprisingly enough, the PlayBook produces some passable photos despite lacking modern amenities like auto-focus and an LED flash. However, the only gripe that we have with it is the almost 2 second delay from the time we press the shutter key to when it actually shoots and saves the image. Unless you want blurry looking shots, you’ll need to keep steady for a little bit to get some detailed photos. Mainly because of its lack of auto-focus, close-ups tend to come out fuzzy looking, but for nearly everything else, the results are average with its neutral colors and average details. However, indoor images under low lighting are grainy with some evidence of digital noise popping up to reduce its output.

Camera samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Camera samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Camera samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Camera samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Camera samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Camera samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Camera samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Camera samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Camera samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Camera samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Camera samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Camera samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Camera samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Camera samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Camera samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Camera samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Camera samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Camera samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Camera samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review

Strong - Indoor samples - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Medium - Indoor samples - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Low light - Indoor samples - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review

Strong

Medium

Low light


Still considered to be a rarity amongst today’s modern devices, the PlayBook has the ability to shoot full 1080p high-definition video at 30 frames per second. As usual, close-ups tend to look out of focus, but it delivers a resounding amount of detail, buttery smooth capture, and distortion-free audio recording that concretely provides balance to its overall quality. Furthermore, the front-facing camera even manages to do wonders with shooting video as well – but make sure there’s plenty of lighting seeing that it’s less sensitive in picking up details if they’re not sufficiently lit.

RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Sample Video 1:



RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Sample Video 2:




Scratching our heads in disbelief, we finally realize that the PlayBook doesn’t have any video chat service from the get go.  At launch, there is no support for it, so the only thing useful about the front-facing camera is to capture the puzzled look of your face in trying to fathom why it lacks one.


Multimedia:

Even though TAT’s presence is once again felt with the look and feel of the Pictures app, there is absolutely no other function with it aside from being the centralized hub for your photos. Regretfully, there are no sharing or editing functions whatsoever with it, and instead, you can basically set it to play a slide show of your stored photos. Sure you’ve got some nice looking overlays when swiping between photos and smooth pinching gestures when zooming, but the fact that there is no added functionality, it simply goes to show at how infant the platform really is.

The Pictures app - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
The Pictures app - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
The Pictures app - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
The Pictures app - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review

Precisely coming in with a relatively bare bones music player interface, its presentation is nothing short of being plain and ordinary. Naturally, it’s more than functional, but considering the dreamy fast dual-core processor under the hood, we were hoping to see some fancy looking visuals of some sort. Rather, we’re presented with its album cover, track listing, and on-screen controls when a song is being played. With its quaint appearance, one would suspect to find ineffective speakers, but interestingly enough, they pack a substantial amount of power to take anyone by surprise. However, there is an occasional crackle at the loudest setting – but it’s nowhere close to the point of being irritating to the ear.

The music player of the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
The music player of the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
The music player of the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
The music player of the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review

Our eyes have fallen in love with the PlayBook’s brilliant display, but when it comes down to watching videos, this is probably where the PlayBook shines the most. Able to handle the usual assortments of 720p videos we normally test, we’re enthralled by the sheer magnificence of the PlayBook’s ability to smoothly play detailed 1080p videos with no problems whatsoever. Even more, the experience is quantified and exposes its full fidelity by connecting it to a high-definition television with an HDMI cable.

Video playback - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Video playback - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Video playback - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Video playback - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review

As noted on the specified tablet, the PlayBook is available in either 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities – with no external storage support. In terms of cost, its starts at $500 for the 16GB model and goes up by $100 for each consecutive capacity.


Software:

Looking into the available preloaded apps with the PlayBook, the listing is of course limited with things like YouTube, Kobo Books, Bing Maps, Tetris, and Need For Speed Undercover. Although most of them barely touch up on the advanced features of their counterparts on other platforms, we’re happy to see that RIM included Data Viz’s Documents to Go suite. Essentially, you can start up a new Word document or Excel sheet directly on the PlayBook, but it proves its worth in bundling together the host of editing tools you’d commonly find with their full desktop versions. Thinking about it more, this is undeniably something that would particularly attract business end users to the PlayBook.

YouTube - Need For Speed UndercoverPreloaded apps on the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Need For Speed UndercoverPreloaded apps on the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Kobo Books - Need For Speed UndercoverPreloaded apps on the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Need For Speed UndercoverPreloaded apps on the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review

YouTube

 

Kobo Books

 
Bing Maps - Need For Speed UndercoverPreloaded apps on the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Bing Maps - Need For Speed UndercoverPreloaded apps on the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Bing Maps - Need For Speed UndercoverPreloaded apps on the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Bing Maps - Need For Speed UndercoverPreloaded apps on the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review

Bing Maps

Need For Speed UndercoverPreloaded apps on the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Need For Speed UndercoverPreloaded apps on the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Need For Speed UndercoverPreloaded apps on the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review
Need For Speed UndercoverPreloaded apps on the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook - RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Review

Looking to the future, it’s stated by RIM that there will be approximately 3,000 apps available at launch, but after taking a peek at the available offerings in the BlackBerry App World, we’re not all convinced yet that developers have taken a grasp of the platform’s potential. After downloading a few free titles, we quickly realize that they’re simply touching the surface and not showcasing any potential. However, you shouldn’t fear about whether or not we’ll see a healthy community with the PlayBook because it’ll support Android apps down the road via an emulator. If something doesn't go wrong in the last minute, that is.

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BlackBerry PlayBook

BlackBerry PlayBook

OS: BlackBerry Tablet OS
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
7Good
Display7.0 inches, 1024 x 600 pixels (170 ppi) LCD
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
TI OMAP4430, Dual-core, 1000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
1 GB RAM
Size7.64 x 5.12 x 0.39 inches
(194 x 130 x 10 mm)
14.11 oz  (400 g)

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