Customer Review

433 of 481 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's Coming Soon, May 4, 2011
"It's coming soon" is a refrain you will hear quite often with respect to the BlackBerry Playbook. I have had my 32GB wifi model for about a week. (I bought it from Staples for less than you see here.) The physical tablet is four and half stars. It is a perfect size, the screen is beautiful and the weight is ideal. It is roughly the same size as a 3d generation Kindle. Half a star deduction for the top buttons which do not feel like they are very high quality.

Included in the box are some brief instructions, a folding blade charger, a micro-usb cable, a nice foam pouch case, and a screen wipe.

There are a few negatives: (1) a lot of websites think the browser is for a blackberry phone and auto-direct you to the mobile version of their website; (2) the browser does not allow you to rename bookmarks, reorder bookmarks, or put bookmarks into folders; (3) the GPS is not yet functional - it's in there, but has not been enabled by the firmware - this feature is "coming soon"; (4) there are two very high quality cameras, but the software is limited only only permitting you to chat with other PlayBook users; (5) there is no Kindle App.

When linked to your blackberry smartphone via bluetooth you get a mirror of the email, contacts, calendar, to do, BBM and memo pad found on your phone. You also get access to files on your blackberry (even the microSD), but cannot open video or audio files - just documents. There is something called the "bridge browser" which allows you to surf the internet through your phone's web browser and 3G connection. This is different from tethering because the carriers don't charge for it. The PlayBook also allows tethering which gives you full data access (although not to app world for some reason). Some carriers charge for tethering, some don't. Apparently AT&T doesn't even allow their customers to use the Bridge - which is a HUGE drawback if you happen to have AT&T.

The lack of apps is the largest drawback. As of this writing, there is no Kindle app (a huge drawback), no Skype app, no Netflix app, and no MLB app. You cannot watch Netflix videos on the browser or your subscription. You CAN watch amazon instant videos. They look beautiful. The app content is neither quality nor quantity.

There is a huge amount of potential, but unfortunately a lot of that is "coming soon" - and isn't there right now. When is "soon"? Nobody knows. One good thing is that firmware updates come out every few weeks and each adds functions. Since there are no carriers involved in rolling out firmware, RIM has full control and can do it quickly.

Some have mentioned problems with battery charging - I haven't had that. My battery charges pretty quickly and goes to 100%. I can use it for nearly 15 hours before I get a low battery warning with about 10% left. Some have complained about the power button being hard to push. Mine is small and recessed, but I can easily push it.

The screen is absolutely beautiful.

You can use your existing blackberry charger, but it will take much longer to charge. The included charger can charge your existing blackberry (micro USB) without harm. There is also an available quick-charging stand - it is expensive but works really well (I have it).

The BlackBerry PlayBook could be an amazing tablet - five stars. However, it is now a bit of a work in progress at this point and I can only give it three stars as it currently stands - It is only OK.
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Tracked by 7 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 24 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 9, 2011 6:30:08 AM PDT
Silvana D. says:
The GPS does work - I have the 64GB unit and it is definitely 'enabled'.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2011 9:02:54 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 9, 2011 9:03:49 AM PDT
Just a guy says:
There was an update last week, but it didn't enable GPS on my device - at least with any confidence. It works about one of ten times. According to Crackberry, most others are in the same position. If yours is working after the recent update, you either only tried once or are very lucky. Many others on Crackberry (me included) say their GPS doesn't work properly after the update. Also, when it does work, it is highly inaccurate (off by a mile or more - sometimes many more). RIM says this is a known issue and will be fixed in future firmware updates. They insist it is not a hardware problem.

Posted on Jun 16, 2011 4:58:14 PM PDT
Ugh.... No Kindle app is a deal breaker for me. I want a tablet for consumption, and that includes books.

Posted on Jun 29, 2011 1:12:39 PM PDT
Rod B says:
This is my 4th Blackberry (3 phones & a Playbook) & the 3rd time I've had this problem; the microconnector port is so cheap & flimsy that it has completely worn out & broken. It should be a miny- or micro-plug; much more durable. I cannot recharge my 16GB Wi-fi Playbook. It is less than 2 months old. Now BB Customer Support is doing the verbal idiot jig, resisting taking it back for repair. I've been on the phone with them now for 1.5 hrs. I'm neither kidding nor laughing. I've been real loyal to BB, but don't think they're even interested. Frankly, I agree with just about everything "just a guy" said (don't care much about the GPS or apps) & love the Playbook, but this makes me feel like a fool for sticking with them. Forewarned is forearmed.

Posted on Aug 7, 2011 4:57:40 PM PDT
PC Jones says:
Exactly why I returned my PlayBook. The hardware is some of the best out there, even better than the iPad 2. The problem is RIM. Everything is coming soon. Android app player? Coming soon. Native email? Coming soon. The problem is, however, that stuff was supposed to be "coming soon" a lot earlier than now. It's early August, and still no Android app player OR native email, when RIM promised this stuff months before. I wish I could've waited, but I'm not trusting RIM to keep any more promises.

Posted on Sep 13, 2011 2:48:24 AM PDT
Robert York says:
I installed the non-supported side loaded Android player. It works and so does Kindle for Android. However, with their latest release RIM disabled the hacked Android player. Nice. Actually, its not that big of a deal but come on RIM, release the dang thing already. Its Sept. 13 for God's sake!

This review is spot on. RIM has the potential for greatness but keeps fumbling the ball. They are like the Cleveland Browns. You want them to do well, they show potential and then let you down because of lack of execution.

I just got back from Aruba. I watched 2 movies on the PB while in-flight. The screen is awesome. I kept up with email via Google mail linked to my corporate mail because RIM does NOT have a dedicated email app. BTW, the email app was promised by Jim Balsillie, president of RIM, in April - said it was coming no more than 60 days. Shame on you RIM.

Back to the device. I also used it in the hotel room as a media player and the sound is actually decent.

All in all, I did not miss my PC but then again this was a pleasure trip and not a business trip.

If I had to do it all over again, since its now Sept. 2011, I would wait to see what the Amazon tablet looks like. RIM lack of execution is disturbing, as well as its deceitful marketing. However, I have to say I do like the device and I really like the size. The iPad2 at 10 inches...why not just carry your laptop.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 28, 2011 6:47:15 AM PDT
J. Daly says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Nov 22, 2011 8:09:31 AM PST
M. Rogers says:
Regarding AT&T and Bridge. You CAN use Bridge while using AT&T without additional charges. You just can't download the Bridge application from your AT&T Blackberry through App World. You need to download it OTA using a website like

The APP World version with your AT&T phone is a special version that AT&T is trying to send out to get money from you, but you don't need that version to use it.

Posted on Dec 10, 2011 11:46:24 AM PST
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Dec 11, 2011 2:59:30 AM PST
Blackberry Playbook To 'Just a guy'

So, where is it at right now, can anybody tell me please?
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