Technology is constantly evolving and most consumers don’t like to feel like electronic dinosaurs. It seems every month a new array of products is hitting the shelves and some simply aren’t worth the money for their so-called, innovations. Be it all the same, they’re never the same. They may look similar, work similar, and even be named similarly – but manufacturers assure us they’re better. As a consumer you have to ask yourself – is this year’s newest iteration worth the sticker price or should you stick with a previous model? I bring your attention to the BlackBerry Playbook. Is it worth it at $500-$600?
The jury may still be out on just how significant tablet technology is, but there is definitely a market for the devices. As a competitor to the well established iPad series, BlackBerry certainly impresses with the Playbook effort. Before I continue, let me say that this is not going to be the iPad killer many were hoping for. It isn’t quite as user-friendly as its rivals and performance-wise, it isn’t as impressive. However, it does certainly establish itself as a mid-level alternative.
With over three thousand apps already available at launch, early buyers should have plenty to get excited about. It is worth noting that a solid 20% of these are cheap knock-offs of more popular apps on rival tablets. Despite this, much of the software is genuinely impressive and useful. You’ll find plenty of shopping apps, gaming apps, and resource apps. What it lacks, is the all too important killer app exclusives that a product of this type so badly needs. Many will look at the BlackBerry Playbook and move on after seeing nothing too special.
One of the key features that any tablet must possess is right here- speed. Applications load quickly, the browser is lightning fast, and it takes full advantage of whatever network it is connected to. After just a few minutes with it you can tell this is what the developers had in mind- lightning fast surfing and processing. In terms of memory, you should skip the base model and go right for the 32 gig. It’s simply more cost-effective. This is, however, where we reach one of the major drawbacks of the Blackberry Playbook.
Despite its impressive processing speed, it is prone to errors and bugs. Most of the time software loads quickly and perfectly, but there are too many occasions of freezing, graphical bugs, and inconsistency. There’s a certain unstable factor that leaves you questioning whether or not this was a sound purchase. This problem comes to even greater light when you realize just how many features won’t be available until a future updates. In a nutshell, you’ll get the feeling pretty quickly that they should have held off on releasing this for a few months to insure a greater amount of content and ironed out issues.
On a final note, the unit itself is very aesthetically appealing. What it sometimes lacks in practicality, it makes up for with style. While not everyone will appreciate the somewhat awkward configuration, it certainly is easy on the eyes. The battery life is fantastic and will be unlikely to cause any grief for those concerned. For those that have yet to purchase a home tablet and aren’t really looking for an expensive, top of the line model- the BlackBerry is an excellent choice.