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Customer Review

878 of 949 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is everyone's problem?, May 7, 2011
I own the iPad 1. I like it. I don't love it. The apps are great. But it is large and cumbersome. It doesn't really multi-task. And I hate the way it handles email. I use a Blackberry Torch phone. I love the way it handles email. And the apps are very good. Fewer. But very good.

So it was with some trepidation and excitement I bought the Blackberry Playbook. The trepidation was because of the advanced reviews which universally panned it. I looked at it, held it, and bought it. And I will tell you it is one piece of stunning equipment.

The build is much better than the iPad. In fact it is extraordinary. The screen is absolutely stunning. The machine loads the applications fast but NOT as fast as you see on the commercials. The browser blows the iPad Safari browser out of the water. It is very fast and of course has Flash. The camera front and back are very good.

But do you know what makes this tablet? The OS. It is extraordinary. You bring out Apps with a touch. You scroll through open apps by beginning at the left or right bezel and swiping toward the center. The context menus are opened by swiping down when the application is open. See a subtle alert in the top left hand corner, swipe diagonally from the the bezel to the center and viola there is a notification of your email. To wake it up swipe from the top bezel to the bottom. No more clicking a darn button. Thank you Blackberry. That alone was genius.

As I said I carry a Blackberry so through the Blackberry Bridge it tethers to my Torch. Emails and files. Everything, except the apps (different OS of course) is available on my Playbook. And I don't have to add on a data plan for 3G. A 3G phone Playbook is coming out in the summer they say for those who do not carry Blackberry phones.

I am waiting for the following apps - Dropbox (although I can transfer files in and out via the web), a free hand note taker and a better PDF program or a more beefy Adobe Reader app. And I am sure they will come.

Now to the reviews: They claimed the OS was not finished. Not true. They claimed multiple shutdowns and freezes. Not true. They poo-poo'd tethering through Blackberry Bridge. OK I am saving myself $30 a month up here in Canada or $360 a year in not having a 3G capability under a separate plan. And the tethering is flawless for both email and web surfing since the Playbook comes with a Bridge Browser that uses your phones' plan. So a person saves $360 a year and it gets criticized? Unbelievable! The apps. Yes there are fewer but there are new ones appearing everyday and they are above average and to my mind are as good as or better than the iPad. The negative reviews are baffling; truly, truly baffling.

I couldn't wait to get the iPad. I was enchanted. With the new iPad 2 I wasn't enchanted. In fact it is anything but.

The Blackberry Playbook on the other hand is simply astounding. I throw it in my briefcase. And away I go. I pull it out at a meeting or airport and it is understated and private. Will it take its rightful place in the tablet market? Not if jingoistic reviewers have their way. But it should. It should if build, function, cost effectiveness, reliability, and fun mean anything to anybody.
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Showing 1-10 of 46 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 14, 2011 1:38:10 PM PDT
tsan says:
Excellent comments, I bought mine to replace iPad today and agree completely with what you say.

Posted on Jun 16, 2011 9:10:07 AM PDT
Great review D. Bannister. I went to our local electronics store and had a close look at the BlackBerry Playbook. I loved it. The only thing missing is a replaceable battery.

Posted on Jun 22, 2011 6:50:51 AM PDT
Maugham says:
I bought an iPad2 32GB with the Apple cover and a stylus. All together I spent about $700. After multiple service calls, sending it in for repair and then finally getting a replacement iPad2 I finally gave up and sold it for $400. It is heavy, too large, would not connect with my home network unless I completely re-did the settings every time I wanted to use it. Finally, trying to read a book, magazine or newspaper was extremely difficicult. Besides being heavy, I had to hold the ipad2 on the very edge, being extremely careful not to touch the display screen. If I did touch the display screen while reading a book for example, the pages flipped forward or backward so that I had to reset to the page I was reading. I finally just gave up. I wanted my money back but all they would do was send me a "new or refurbished" unit. I asked why I couldn't at least get a new one to replace the new one I had purchased only a month ago and they said what they always said: "That's our policy." I was even big enough sucker to buy their 2-year repair contract. Of course they blamed my home network for the iPad2 not connecting, but I have two laptops and two printers which work flawlessly on this network and the ipa2 WOULD connect except I had to do the initial network settup every time I wanted to use it. Obviously I do NOT recommend the Apple iPad2.

My question about this Blackberry is this: Will it play kindle books or other ebooks from sources such as Gutenberg or my public library?

Posted on Jun 23, 2011 12:05:02 PM PDT
Devices like these need their applications, and that is where the iPad wins. I had this device for a week on loan and it was all good and dandy until it came looking for apps for it. Ugh. I frankly weighed them both and I think they are about the same. I would rather have an iPad 2 or wait for the 3, than not have any apps on a tablet that just cost me $700.

Posted on Jun 24, 2011 11:14:40 AM PDT
Very good review!! I just got my Playbook and I am very pleased with it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2011 6:29:02 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Sep 7, 2011 8:51:50 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2011 8:47:59 AM PDT
Jace F. says:
It starts up instantly with a swipe... If you have to reboot then yes it takes a while but why would you need to reboot? If that's the worst thing you can come up with then why bother commenting?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2011 4:05:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 21, 2011 4:07:17 AM PDT
It depends greatly on what apps you want. Blackberry users, by my reasoning aren't "appers" like the Apple crowd; they want to get work done, and the apps that are provided, while they cost more, do that. They aren't flashy little things that, for example: turn your phone into a mug of beer, so when you tilt it the beer "pours" out. ???? THAT is the Apple AppStore. Millions of apps, but about 150 are actually useful.Ok most Apple apps cost about .99c- 2$ each, but are mostly just promo apps from movie studios, TV networks, manufacturers, breakfast cereal & toy companies, car dealerships, or even websites. Even stars, celebs, & reality tv folks have apps. This is what you're defending? Blackberry "apps" are small useful programs. Unless, you're just talking about games - well Blackberry has games, too. Not as many, blah, blah, blah...but I made my point. Will we see streaming movies and TV via Netflix or something on a Blackberry? ... :?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2011 4:08:52 AM PDT
You're an Apple user, not a smartphone or PC user. There is a difference.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2011 2:58:09 AM PDT
C. Huber says:
What are you talking about? Both have about the same amount of features. Apps on the other hand...well as another person said, a lot of apps in the Apple AppStore are useless. Quality over quantity.
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Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada

Top Reviewer Ranking: 453,416