Playbook to launch tomorrow; will it be the biggest flop of the year?

By siliconindia   |   Monday, 18 April 2011, 04:06 Hrs   |    3 Comments
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Playbook to launch tomorrow; will it be the biggest flop of the year?
Bangalore: Does it make sense to buy a tablet which has no e-mail, no calendar, no cellular connections, no video chat, no Skype, no Notes app, no GPS, no games? Well that is how Research In Motion (RIM) is launching the new tablet. Blackberry Playbook, the most anticipated tablet of the year is all set to make its debut tomorrow in U.S. The year 2010 saw the boom of tablets which has now continued into the year of 2011 and looks like there is nothing stopping them. The Tablet market has boomed exponentially and with every company coming up with tablets, comparison of products has almost become mandatory. The Tablet market is expecting about 85 tablets this year. The tech world's been hyperventilating over the Blackberry Playbook for a long time. RIM has sure planned to give the best dish for their hungry consumers but only ended up with a half baked product. Here is a review of the product. To begin with the Playbook is a seven-inch touch-screen tablet ($500, $600, and $700 for the 16, 32 and 64-gigabyte models). Built on the home grown operating system QNX software, Playbook is a completely based on touch screen. It does have any acess buttons on the front except for the top edge which has only the On, Play/Pause and volume keys. Instead, you navigate by swiping your finger from the black border, which seems unduly wide, into the screen itself. Swiping upward reveals your app icons. Swiping left or right cycles among open multitasking apps and swiping down reveals an app's toolbar, if it has one. The PlayBook looks and feels great: hard rubberized back, brilliant, super-responsive multitouch screen, solid heft (about 420 grams). The PlayBook does three impressive things that its rivals - the iPad and the Android tablets can only dream about. First, with a special HDMI cable, you can hook it up to a TV or projector, which is great for PowerPoint presentations. The second cool feature has to do with loading the tablet with your music, photos and music. Unfortunately, there's no iTunes-like software to do this automatically. You have to drag files manually from your computer into the PlayBook's folders (Music, Photos and so on). But once you've set up this process using a USB cable, you can do it thereafter over Wi-Fi - wirelessly. The PlayBook can even accept such wireless transfers when it's in sleep mode, sitting in your purse or briefcase across the room. Finally, there's a wild, wireless Bluetooth connection feature called BlackBerry Bridge which can help you access the e-mail, calendar, address book and instant messages which is on the BlackBerry.Another Pairing of the PlayBook and BlackBerry is necessary to get online access as the Playbook does not have a cellular connection. Unfortunately, there's no video chatting app, as with Android tablets and the iPad. Similarly, the tablet has GPS, but without turn-by-turn navigation software, it's not good for much other than the built-in Bing Maps app. BlackBerry email is accessible only when the PlayBook is tethered via Bluetooth to an actual BlackBerry. Research in Motion believes this is a security feature,but the real reason behind this was that the company could not unable to lock down the PlayBook's unreleased email system as tightly as a BlackBerry's. RIM has been under enormous pressure (from shareholders, customers, whomever) to push the product out the door with so little features. RIM's larger problem is that it is losing its ground in the smartphone market to Google and Apple. Consumers aren't the only ones jumping on the iPhone and Android but businesses are, too. RIM is banking on the support from its hardcore enterprise customers, who already are deeply immersed in RIM's smartphones and servers.