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RIM BlackBerry Playbook Video Review (25 minutes)

Official BlackBerry Playbook PH pricing:
16GB at P23,990
32GB at P28,990
64GB at P33,990

The Playbook will be available August 6 2011 via retail and telcos.

I host a weekly tech show called ‘The Geeks’ every Wednesday from 2-4PM, live over the Internet. We archive copies for future viewing. If you’re interested, catch us at this url: at that time.

In this segment I show my co-host Sheena Dian the BlackBerry Playbook. We spend a half hour talking about this outlier tablet. If you want to see more photos and commentary, I featured the Playbook back in its infancy at Mobile World Congress ’11 with Andi Manzano.

Best form factor among the 7 inch tablets
Comes with neoprene case
Amazing multitask functions
Imaginative touch sensitive frame

Very limited number of apps
Noticeable UI lag (which we have to bring up given the new standards of dual core Android tablets)
We have to wait for Android Marketplace support
Very hard to do PIM and email if you don’t own a BlackBerry
No 3G version (rely on a BlackBerry phone to tether unless you connect via mobile WiFi hotspot)
Although not available here yet, the rumored price is at PHP 30,xxx.xx

The BlackBerry Playbook has always seemed like a work in progress to me. If you track the progress of this tablet for the past 12 months you will see how RIM has brought it to life by supporting Android apps. That’s the whole irony — the Playbook (will) support Android apps but PIM only works well if you own a BlackBerry smartphone.

I honestly cannot give a real verdict. We will have to wait for the time when the Playbook truly supports Android apps. If you already own a BlackBerry smartphone, the Playbook makes sense … but so does an iPad or Android tablet. There’s the rub.

One comment to note from my high school barkada who now lives in Canada:

Since RIM is a Canadian company, the Playbook has been all over the place here in Vancouver. And yet, it is not doing so well. At all.

I’ve gotten some serious hands on time with the thing and spoken with a few Blackberry reps, Blackberry App developers, as well as some local tech bloggers, and it looks like Blackberry keeps making promises it can’t keep. They told us that the Android support and the native email client would come in June. Well, June came and went and it’s not here.

App development for the thing is apparently pretty difficult, definitely not as easy as developing for the iPad and Android OS, so Apps have been very slow to the marketplace.

For the apps that are there, most of them work fine, but there are random performance issues that keep cropping up with the Playbook… apps will hang for no reason, crash for no reason, and even sometimes refuse to load. Even Blackberry’s own browser is one of the most unreliable when it comes to performance.

It’s sad because the hardware sure looks pretty and it does promise great things. But for now, promise is all it has, it seems. There are rumblings around the country that RIM is dying fast, and the Playbook is one of the big reasons for that.