"Used it, Loved it, This is the Tablet to beat!"5.0 starson by VZW_rep
Pros: True Multi-tasking instead of app pausing, full 1080p HD recording, 5MP in back and 3MP in front, the price point, and the new QNX tablet OS, fully touch-operational bezel, Android applications in summer '11, and Blackberry Bridge.
Cons: No expandable memory, Wifi only.
Summary: I was skeptical of the entire package before I was able to get my hands on it and learn about it in depth. This is the tablet to beat this year. Never mind the small package and picture-frame like design of this tablet. It all works toward why this will be the best on the market in 2 short weeks.
True Multi-tasking is something we have yet to see. Sure, we have application pausing on Android and iOS. But that's all they do. They pause the application state in the background until you are able to get back to it. This is able to run multiple (as many as you want) HD videos, songs, pictures, Flash based websites, etc. in the background without lag or pixelation. The multi-tasking works similarly to a Palm device with windows through which you can swipe back and forth.
Full 1080p recording is a dream and the tablet brings out the full colors of wherever you are. I viewed several recordings of a pro basketball game from courtside. Without the obvious stability stemming from the handling of the device, it looked like a clip from ESPN. The 5- and 3MP cameras are stunning. Again, they capture the true colors of everything they capture. We were able to video chat with the other Playbook at the other end of the room without issue.
The price point is huge for this device. It is competitive with the iPad at $499, $599, and $699 for the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models, respectively. This device has the capability to store and play anything you would want. Although make sure you get the correct size as memory expansion is not possible. But with the ample space available in the 32GB and 64GB versions, it should be enough for even the most hardcore media fanatic.
There is a lot to say about the QNX tablet OS that Blackberry is using for this device. It is meant for pure multi-tasking. It is meant to never crash, never slow down, and always keep going. Scenario: You're on your laptop working an excel spreadsheet, music, and a website in the background. Your music malfunctions and leaves you with a frozen laptop to the point where you have to reboot or wait forever for the OS to fix the issue. You're obviously not running a QNX OS. With QNX, it immediately identifies a risk to the integrity of the OS, shuts down the risk, and re-runs it in a more stable state until everything you need is running. It does this all while you are running everything else unimpeded in the background. They don't believe that one bad egg should ruin the carton. This OS is the same used in most vehicle navigation systems, at NASA, on the space shuttles, to run and monitor utility grids, and nuclear power plants, to name a few. QNX has been using multi-core processors for years and this is their bread and butter. This is serious business to tablet fans. Although it seems like a serious task to learn, it isn't and it is the most fun I've had with a device since the current generation touch screen.
The bezel is something completely unique to the Playbook. Similar to the rest of the touch screen, and to Palm devices with their navigation strip below the screen, the bezel is an integral part of this tablet. Swipe upward on the bottom of whatever orientation your using to activate the keyboard, swipe left or right on any side and scroll through whatever your doing. There are others that were not given demos, so I was told. This bezel is fully functional in applications, and specifically in the Android applications coming to the OS in the summer.
Now the part you may have been waiting for. The Android applications will be available sometime in summer (TBA). They hinted at June-July. Something needs to be clarified with this announcement as many people don't understand why this will be possible. Android and QNX OS use the same code as far as development and programming. This is why every app that is available for Android will be compatible for QNX. All you will need to do is download an approved, Blackberry provided patch (application player, as they called it) at the time of release to play the Android apps, which will be downloaded out of the Blackberry Appworld. The application player will be free.
The final main point of this device is the Blackberry Bridge which allows you to seamlessly integrate your contacts, e-mail, text messages, and BBM (among other things) from your Blackberry smartphone running OS 5.0 or higher to your QNX powered Playbook. You do this by linking each other via Bluetooth. It's that simple. Speaking of linking, being that this device is Wifi only, one can tether via USB, a dedicated mobile hotspot, or Bluetooth to any device which accepts connections via methods previously mentions.
With all the positive notes and few, but manageable negative notes, the Playbook will be the tablet to beat in 2011 and it will set a foundation for a line of products who could threaten Apple's iPad. No one can know at this time if the iPad will be ousted. Realistically? I doubt it. But that is not any other tablets' fault. It is the Apple fanboys (and girls) who have been stuck in the mud too many years. To the rest of you, give this a chance and you won't be disappointed.