This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.
First Look: RIM BlackBerry PlayBook
About Video Comments (0 ) Transcript

First Look: RIM BlackBerry PlayBook

2:31 /

The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet ably showcases RIM's powerful new mobile operating system, but its middling size diminishes many of its best features.

Hey, I'm Donald Bell and today we're taking a first look at the BlackBerry Playbook from RIM. This is a 7-inch tablet priced at $499 for a 16-gigabyte version, $599 for 32 gigabytes, and $699 for 64 gigabytes. This version here only connects to the internet over Wi-Fi or a tethered connection to your smartphone, but a 4G model is coming out later this year. The screen quality is nice. There's a pair of stereo speakers on the sides here, a 3-megapixel camera up top, and a 5-megapixel camera on the back that can also record video at 1080p. On the bottom, you got connections for an optional charging dock, a micro USB port for charging and syncing, and an HDMI port that can also crank out smooth 1080p video. The top of the Playbook is a sour note for me. There's a headphone jack and a pair of stereo mics, that's fine, but the power button, if you can see it, is this little tinny, tiny thing made for baby fingers. It's also the button you'll need to use for waking the screen out of sleep mode so you'll have to contend with it everyday. We thought a case might help, but for us it actually made the situation worse. As for the tiny volume and play/pause controls next to it, they do work, but I'm not sure why they're even up here or why a dedicated play/pause button is even necessary. If you can get past the tedious little button, the real centerpiece of this whole thing is the OS. This is a brand new piece of software built by RIM from the ground up. It's fast, it's fluid, it can multitask and juggle apps like a maniac, and if Apple and Google aren't scared yet, they probably should be. My favorite part of the whole system is the web browser, which fully supports Adobe Flash and presents web pages just as they would look on your desktop. That means Flash video, Flash games, and for better or for worse, Flash ads. But as great as it is, the browser is trapped inside a tablet that is half the size of the iPad, not to mention the 10-inch Honeycomb tablets that are due out this year. Some may find the small size an advantage, but when it comes to full scale web pages and document editing, those tasks really deserve a larger screen. So that's the BlackBerry Playbook from RIM, a powerful tablet at a good price and one of the best 7-inch tablets we've seen, even though I wish it were bigger. For, I'm Donald Bell.

New releases

Back-to-school tech discounts
1:02 August 22, 2014
School supplies no longer mean some pencils and erasers. Expensive gadgets like laptops and tablets have stepped...
Play video
All the latest iPhone 6 rumors
6:34 August 21, 2014
A reversible lightning cable, faster LTE, an NFC chip and more are the latest rumors surrounding the iPhone...
Play video
Tomorrow Daily 040: Netflix on...
23:10 August 21, 2014
On today's show, Netflix works with Oculus Rift, scientists create cyborg-like moths, and two Minecraft players...
Play video
Lighting up the new Philips Hue...
2:42 August 21, 2014
These white-light only Hue LEDs are an affordable smart lighting entry point.
Play video
Windows 9 may be revealed next...
2:54 August 21, 2014
Microsoft is said to show off the next version of Windows in late September, wireless carriers battle for...
Play video
Verykool Spark review: A forgettable...
1:47 August 21, 2014
The sleek Verykool Spark has two SIM-card slots, but is plagued by a poor camera.
Play video
2014 Volkswagen Passat SEL
7:19 August 21, 2014
The new 2014 Volkswagen Passat SEL Premium competes in the toughest category with the likes of the Honda Accord,...
Play video
Mille Miglia 2014: A front-row...
13:10 August 21, 2014
XCAR drives nearly a thousand miles in a 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupé, following millions of dollars of metal...
Play video

Video discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre