So RIM – the company behind the BlackBerry and its line of products – finally managed to ship the BlackBerry Playbook. The reviews have been flying, with most of them falling into two categories: BlackBerry fan sites that are heralding the device as a great gadget for BlackBerry fans with a few fatal flaws; and other tech sites without the same BlackBerry focus that are putting more of a fine point on its flaws and suggesting people wait until those flaws are fixed.
PC Mag‘s review is in the latter half, as are most of the reviews on the Web – and the best ones, I think. The PlayBook got pretty “meh” reviews from most people partially because it won’t get email unless it’s paired with a BlackBerry phone, it’s buggy and quirky, its apps aren’t really well designed just yet, and there’s no video chat even though there’s a front-facing camera.
All of these issues are ones that RIM could fix easily though, but they had a difficult enough time actually getting the PlayBook to market – it was announced way back in 2010 and is only now being brought to market, and PC Mag is right: in that same time period Apple brought the iPad 2 to bear and Motorola brought the Xoom to bear and there have been a number of other Android tablets with more features even if they’re generally cruddy. RIM was just too slow to really make a huge splash here.
Still, time will tell whether or not users can look past the issues or have faith in RIM that they can fix them in a timely fashion. In the interim, head over to PC Mag and see what they think – maybe it’ll inform which tablet you buy.