My PlayBook - A few weeks in

2011 05 15 12 46 32 482

You might remember how I said that in a few weeks time, i'd be the proud owner of a BlackBerry PlayBook? Well, that time has come. I am now using my playbook on a daily basis, for just about whatever i can. Mostly, my uses revolve around school, as that's what most of my time is being consumed by at the moment.

At first look, this is a really sleek machine. The interface is very well designed, all the transitions are smooth, and everything just seems to flow. Nothing seems to be able to slow down this thing. Flash runs beautifully in the browser, as do youtube videos and other such web elements. The only complaint i have is that javascript is sometimes a bit laggy in the browser. Everything seems to render fine, it just is a bit slow. Other than that, it's perfect.

Still though, as many people have complained, it lacks native email or blackberry messenger. I am able to use the tablet optimized version of GMail in the browser, but it doesn't give me push or fetch notifications or anything. That's something i'm waiting for. RIM says it should be out within 60 days, so i'm holding my breath. The did deliver on the video chat application, so there's reason to be hopeful.

The tablet itself has two cameras, both of which take HD 1080p video. The video quality is incredible. It doesn't do frameskips like other devices (Droid X) do. It captures at full 1080p, 29 frames per second, in all its glory. The picture quality is okay as well. It's not perfect, but hey, it's on a tablet.

There are a few applications that are not present at all in the AppWorld for the PlayBook. One is a twitter app. There is no good twitter app in the app world. All that seems to be there are the basic 'twitter trends search' app that everyone got from the Flash Builder Burrito example applications. Everyone is still waiting on developers for this one. Another one that's missing is Skype. I don't know what the status of this one could be, given the recent MS acquisition of skype, but I'm still hopeful. It does also lack a good Dropbox app. It has BlueBox, which is promising, but it is missing the very important upload feature. Currently the only way to access this feature is through the browser. But that is coming soon, and i can't wait to see it. The tablet did come with the documents to go suite, which is nice. It seems to work great, except it lacks a few features that Docs to go on other platforms has. But i'm sure those are coming in an OTA upgrade in the future.

In all, this is a very solid device. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a smaller tablet to enter their life.

I will post some reviews on applications on the playbook in the near future, to give everyone a taste of what's available on this platform.

All for now!

Arthur Rosa is an engineering manager based in Sunnyvale, California.