RIM PlayBook: What the reviews say

Jayesh Shinde 17 Apr 2011

After its initial announcement in September last year, the RIM Playbook (Blackberry tablet) is finally ready for launch for tomorrow. The 7-inch tablet, poised to give the Apple iPad 2 and Motorola Xoom a run for their money, RIM Playbook is already out for international reviewers. And most of them have already shaped their opinions on the RIM Playbook tablet.

There's a lot that the RIM Playbook tablet doesn't have: there's no standalone email client, no calendar or to-do list. App availability is also a concern. But there's also a lot of positives for the RIM Playbook, for its multimedia capability, multitasking, and connectivity features. Let's see what the reviewer's are saying:

Writes Walter Mossberg, from The Wall Street:

The hardware is sturdy and the back has a nice rubberized feel. While the PlayBook is 14% thicker than the iPad 2, it's about one-third lighter. This lower weight, combined with its smaller overall size, will appeal to people who find the Apple product too large.

Writes Tim Stevens, from Engadget, about what's missing:

Non-Bridge productivity apps (e-mail, calendar, etc.) are the biggest omission, but other things are missing too, like that awesome scrapbooking app from TAT that got us feeling all crafty. It's nowhere to be found. Also missing? The mysterious Android compatibility, support that is coming but sadly won't be working at launch. The ability to run Android apps could totally change the game -- or it could be a non-event. We won't know until RIM flips the switch and lets us all try it out.

Donal Bell, from CNET, sums it up well:

Is the PlayBook going to take a big bite out of the tablet market? Probably not, but then, few have. We feel confident saying that it is a much more enticing product than any of the 7-inch tablets we've seen so far (Samsung Tab, Dell Streak 7, Archos 70). It's a sure hit for the BlackBerry loyal, and a tempting option for those who prefer an uncompromising Web experience to the allure of apps and games.

Mike Isaac, from Wired, has this to say:

The bottom line: It's a well-constructed device with great media-viewing capabilities, solid hardware specs and a price on par with the current tablet market. But with serious gaps in key areas like app selection and Flash stability, you may want to think twice before picking one up.

There are obviously various other reviews from respectable publications who've taken the RIM Playbook for a spin. We've just selected a few here.

The RIM Playbook goes on sale in the US and Canada tomorrow, April 19, at a starting price of US $499.

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