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Blackberry Handhelds Portables Hardware

RIM BlackBerry PlayBook: Unfinished, Unusable 260

Posted by timothy
from the don't-keep-that-all-bottled-up dept.
snydeq points out this InfoWorld review of the BlackBerry PlayBook, "an 'unfinished, unusable' tablet from RIM. 'At the core of it all, the design of the PlayBook as a BlackBerry-dependent device was simply a boneheaded decision by executives who hoped a hit product might entice more BlackBerry sales,' Gruman writes. 'Why RIM chose to ship the PlayBook in such a state is unfathomable. The iPad 2 and Xoom have been out for weeks, so there's no heading them off at the pass. Instead, the PlayBook debuted with all eyes on it — but instead of a world-class performer, we got the homeless guy who plays air guitar in front of the mall.'"
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RIM BlackBerry PlayBook: Unfinished, Unusable

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22, 2011 @07:21AM (#35905312)

    I read the first few paragraphs, and he says he would rather use no tablet at all than this thing -- and it still gets 5.4 from him. Score inflation much?

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday April 22, 2011 @07:39AM (#35905444)
    The review is a bit harsh and from what I read, it does have good hardware and the software has potential. I would agree that RIM seems to have launched it unfinished and incomplete. As expected with a launch of any new product you expect there to some things missing especially since this is the first time RIM has used QNX on a product. I would commend RIM on that aspect of it. I could understand that there are be quirks or bugs with the system. I understand that there are not many apps at the moment. What I don't understand is why RIM would launch a tablet or any mobile device without a calendar, contacts, or an email client. Sure you can use your Blackberry phone to tether to it and RIM says that functionality will be added later but why not just wait? With all the negative reviews so far telling people to wait until RIM fixes these things, potential customers are going to wait anyways. All RIM has done is to give a negative first impression of their product.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22, 2011 @07:47AM (#35905520)

    Classic case of hubris and " love to hate " syndrome. It has got a good CPU , Support Flash , QNX run on Dalvik VM so there is always a plan B of supporting Android Apps. I think for version 1 this is a decent device and i have used the pre released unit. Multitasking is good enough and by any count it is better than Xoom. In a world filled with Android and Apple Fan boys its hard to measure anything on a standalone basis.

    No, it's a classic case of an Apple competitor rushing out a half-finished tablet in a desperate bid to get into the game. Nobody would be giving Apple this much slack if the iPad had the same deficiencies. And why should we judge the RIM PlayBook on a standalone basis when there is a tablet out there that has set the standard against which to measure? It only makes sense to claim the PlayBook shouldn't be compared to another tablet when you know it would it won't fare very well.

    John Gruber nailed it with this Daring Fireball (http://daringfireball.net/) post from yesterday--

    "I don’t understand why so many reviewers bend over backwards to grade these things on a curve. If the iPad 2 had the problems and deficiencies the Xoom and PlayBook have, these same reviewers would (rightly) trash it, and declare (again, rightly) that Apple had finally lost its Midas touch. These aren’t “beta” tablets. They’re bad tablets. It’s that simple. It’s true that their hardware seems closer to iPad-caliber than their software, but improving software is the hardest part of making products like these. By the time RIM releases “a serious software update or three” the entire market will have changed. The truth is, Motorola, Samsung, and now RIM have released would-be iPad competitors that pale compared to the iPad. Just say it.

    The mass market doesn’t buy, and doesn’t want to buy, products based on what they might become months from now if these companies somehow dramatically improve the software. They buy products for what they are today, out of the box. Motorola and RIM and Samsung are Apple’s industry peers. These are the big leagues, this is The Show. They’re charging customers real money to buy these things. They should be judged by the same standards."

  • by dskzero (960168) on Friday April 22, 2011 @08:01AM (#35905634) Homepage

    "I don’t understand why so many reviewers bend over backwards to grade these things on a curve. If the iPad 2 had the problems and deficiencies the Xoom and PlayBook have, these same reviewers would (rightly) trash it, and declare (again, rightly) that Apple had finally lost its Midas touch. These aren’t “beta” tablets. (...)"

    This is a lie. People were all over the first iPad despite all the deficiencies, claiming they were not needed (Some of those being implemented in the second iPad). I haven't touched this RIM tablet (and I won't, I think tablets are pointless for me), but the reviewers' bias for Apple is obvious no matter the state of the market.

  • by sglewis100 (916818) on Friday April 22, 2011 @08:25AM (#35905814)

    This is a lie. People were all over the first iPad despite all the deficiencies, claiming they were not needed (Some of those being implemented in the second iPad). I haven't touched this RIM tablet (and I won't, I think tablets are pointless for me), but the reviewers' bias for Apple is obvious no matter the state of the market.

    Perhaps it did enough. It had apps, a calendar, email, contacts, a great web browser, great battery life, a great screen, weighed half of the lightest notebooks, and felt pretty darn fast even without a dual core processor. Built in apps did multitask, third party ones didn't, and push notifications filled party of the gap. But probably the most important thing in all of that is that it had a calendar. And email. And contacts. And you didn't need a tethered iPhone to pull that off. Yes, clearly a year ago, you could ship a product without multitasking and a camera. But today you cannot ship a product without email.

  • by hey! (33014) on Friday April 22, 2011 @09:26AM (#35906312) Homepage Journal

    On the other hand, there are those who can't review a tablet without gushing over the iPad in every other paragraph. Now the iPad is obviously a very good device, but I suspect these reviewers as using it as a *benchmark*, as if the only viable path for other tablet developers is to clone the iPad as closely as possible.

    The Playbook is obviously a different product concept from the iPad. That does not automatically make it a bad one, although I suspect the concept was motivated by the classic high tech business mistake of fearing to cannibalize sales of one's existing products. The PlayBook is a *companion* product for Blackberry phones. It's an *accessory*. Right from there most reviewers seem eager to write the device off because it has limited appeal to non-Blackberry users, but that's simply not reasonable. Just because a device is not useful to *you* doesn't mean it's not useful to *anyone*. Provided that such a companion product is executed and marketed well, it *could* meet the needs of *some* users and generate profits for RIM. That's a big proviso, though, because launching such a product in the wake of the iPad2 and the first of a wave of highly capable Android tablets could well be the marketing equivalent of spitting into the wind. The standards for successful marketing and execution in this scenario are very high. A good case can be made that RIM missed the mark, for example by failing to ensure the PlayBook could be tethered to Blackberry phones on all carriers that sell them. That's a major marketing (not technical) failure.

    Still, I think reviewers should erect a firewall between their critique of the product concept from a business standpoint, and their critique of the execution. That would make their review more informative and credible. I think they should say, "I think RIM's attempt to avoid cannibalizing sales of the Blackberry by marketing a companion device is a bad idea. They should produce something more like an iPad clone with Blackberry functionality, even though that will encourage many users to buy a different phone and use the PlayBook for email. That said, if you are a Blackberry user looking for a companion device, here's what you need to know." It's fine if they go on to conclude the device is a piece of crap and would be too expensive even if it weren't, but they should show a little more critical rigor in reaching that conclusion.

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