Blackberry Playbook Review

rim_blackberry_playbookI got a Blackberry Playbook! Okay, technically my husband has a Playbook but I did all the research as to where and when to buy it, printed off the Telus web page where they showed their sale for $149 Playbooks and brought it to Staples for a price match then did all the setup so it is OUR Playbook and I intend to use it a lot. I know you might think a Playbook is a crazy buy right now. It seems like any day RIM might start giving them away. But I’ve always thought the Playbook looked like a good device. I’d tried them in stores and found them very responsive plus they work well with flash so are ahead of iPads in that way. And at $149 for a 32 gb, it felt like it was the right time. I knew there were not that many apps out there and the ones that were available were often more expensive than equivalent apps from Apple or Android but the rumour is that there will be a big update soon and that Android apps will become available for the Playbook. When and if that happens, I think the days of sub $200 Playbooks will be gone so I had to take the opportunity when I did. The question is, how has the reality of the Playbook worked out?

Well, the beginning absolutely sucked! Out of the box the battery was gone to 0%. It was so low that the Playbook couldn’t even register that I was charging it. A quick Google search showed me that it was probably charging so I hoped for the best. The next morning, the screen was lit up with something other than a charging screen–a big error message. Seems the Playbook needs to update its own software before you can use it and that day all the updating servers seemed to be down. So I checked that my wireless connection was fine (pinged my own website with no problem), checked a few more settings on my end and went to Google again, looking for guidance. I found that a lot of people who had just bought Playbooks had the same errors and some of them had called Blackberry tech support and had been told this was a problem they were working on. So, I knew it wasn’t me at least. About five hours, and numerous failed attempts later, I finally started the necessary update. That went smoothly. Although this wasn’t true for some of the people I met on Blackberry’s “Blackberry Community Support Forums” (AKA, got a problem? Try to figure it out amongst yourselves). Some of those people, mostly in other countries like India, were still having trouble up until yesterday. No one from Blackberry came on the forum to say there was a problem which would have saved a lot of hassle for us, and for their tech support lines, I’m guessing. It seemed to me that customer service from Blackberry was sadly lacking.

So the beginning was so not good but since I got it up and running, I am very pleased with the little thing. It is so responsive, multi-tasking is really multi-tasking with quick ways to get in and out of various apps I have running with no lag. The Playbook comes with enough stuff to make us happy. Hubby loved Need for Speed: Undercover on it and we’ve both enjoyed social media apps, web browsing, reading on it (a real pleasure!), a wee bit of Tetris, and I’m editing Word documents with the Word To Go app that comes with the tablet. The display is brilliant as well. So far, I like it but I know for sure that if that new 2.0 update comes out anytime soon, I’ll wait a while and make sure people are not having too many problems before I update. I’m cautiously optimistic that I’ll continue to enjoy the Playbook without anymore big problems. And, when I think about it, I spent a lot of time, as did many, many others, dealing with huge hassles after a couple of updates for the Apple OS versions so anyone can and does have bad days in tech. But I honestly don’t believe you could do the things I’m doing with the Playbook as seamlessly on an iPad and for a small fraction of the iPad’s price. All in all,I really like the Playbook and will try not to fault them the fact that the thing sat on the shelf so long the battery went to 0% and I got them on a day when they were having server problems. But I’ll keep you informed.

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