Calling ALL PlayBook PROS!! Here Be A Paranoid N00B!!
Ok, so I live on a tight budget, but I guess who doesn't these days? Well, about once a year I go bat-crap crazy and try to splurge on something huge like a new Tablet PC, that I can try to find online for half the original price or some such deal. I search/research for days before making a decision, and sometimes even then I end up returning the device for a different one, usually at another website. I very rarely buy a device right out of the store, because I can see almost ALL the info on it at the sale website, and though they sometimes have the 'display models' at the store, I have found they almost always are not working or are not even available.
I went in to this about a week ago planning on just simply replacing my old battered e-reader, because I have been an e-Book Reader owner of some kind or another since the release of the at-the-time super exciting Nook with the e-ink screen and the color touch-screen buttons at the bottom. To this day I still regret selling that one. As far as simple e-readers go, that was by far the best. So, as I said, went in to my bargain-hunting just trying to find a better, higher quality e-reader without all the battery-draining web-browsing and full-color HD touch screen, etc. For reading, I still like the simple black and white e-ink display the best. But, as I went along, I noticed that some of the cheapest tablets were about the same price as the Nook 'Simple Touch', and they had the Android OS, which I recently fell in like with when I got a smart phone (Samsung Proclaim) to replace my stone-age flip-phone that was a total waste of time and the 'Unlimited' Talk, Text, and Data cards I had been using on an almost totally data-less cell. I do like my Proclaim a lot, but have had a few issues. So I was thinking maybe I could find a Tablet that I would like as much, or better than my phone. After comparing reviews (which I spend hours pouring over both on the sale page, which is typically Amazon or Wal-Mart, and on You Tube videos) and prices, I was debating weather to try the much-praised Nexus 7, or the more familiar Galaxy Tab 2. I had some pretty strict needs for features, and neither had all of what I wanted. But then, upon searching for the best front-and-back cameras, and the most discounted sale devices, I saw the clouds part and was amazed with what I was reading.
A BlackBerry PlayBook 10.1" Tablet, reduced from the completely un-attainable sticker shock of $699 to the astounding sale price of $186... I thought, there HAS to be a catch here. I noticed it was a year old, but so what, it had the BEST operation style I had seen to fit my taste, it was a 32GB, which is plenty big enough even if it has no expandable storage. I watched ONE You Tube review video and was a goner. Pretty much nary a whisper or a crumb of the Android OS I originally required. I still felt a bit uneasy about giving up the Samsung Galaxy Tab, but I just kept reading about this PlayBook... See, here's the gist of how it went down: I was set on the Samsung after debating, talking it over with my tech geek father, if it would be this one or the Nexus 7. I found the Samsung on newegg.com for $180 with a FREE 16gb SD card. I figured just to be safe, I would wander down to the local Wal-Mart and see if I could check out the tablets hands-on. Sadly, they had only ONE device on 'display' amongst the 7 or so empty cradles, and of course the one 'display' model did not even function. Way to really promote prodicts there, WM! They had ONE of the exact Samsung tabs I wanted online, so I decided to just spring for it and pay the $200 then and there. The bonus of having it to possibly be playing with that night was too much to resist. However, after getting home, I did not open it, and instead kept busy still going over the best tablet deals. I was still battling over what to get, and my annoying little 'evil side' whispered in my ear to just buy that one.
Come to find out when checking the Wal-Mart website this morning, they had that exact same device on their OWN website for $180! I called and asked but for some reason that seems to still escape me, the giant company that boasts about "price match guarantee" would not even price-match themselves! I got my panties in a bunch and returned it for my money back, then came home and straight away ordered the PlayBook. I had extremely short time to do so, and the result was me just throwing in a bundled accessories pack that seems to have a fairly abysmal rating, but it was cheap and had the manual wireless keyboard I wanted, plus the Micro HDMI. I also got the rapid charging dock, which I read was very much needed to keep the battery from dying. I think as soon as I have a bit more cash, I will be ordering one of those portfolio cases for the PlayBook with the keyboard inside. I wanted that upon order, but the only one I saw was sent from Hong Kong, which may as well be sent from the bottom of the ocean as far as if it ever arrives and what actually functions when it does.
So, my biggest concern is, clearly, the battery issue everyone seems to have constant issues with. I saw a few You Tube videos that gave me enough hope to go ahead and order it, like the guy saying that if the tablet battery dies and it will not turn on, to hook it up to PC and go to the 'official' BB website to install some kind of bug fix. I hope this works, or better yet, that I just NEVER have this problem anyway!
Other things I wanted as top features:
-Expandable card slot for storage
-Good resolution front and back cameras for taking self-shots and filming home videos with the rear camera.
-HDMI output for HDTV hook-up
-Manual (off-screen) keyboard, prefer the USB or direct connect, but maybe Bluetooth will work ok.
-Fast charging time and long battery life
-Really good e-book reader for .epub, .pdf, and .mobi that will display the book covers and work with Calibre
-Wi-Fi and 3G (or at least wi-fi for hotspots and home.)
-At least some good, free apps
-Facebook, You Tube, Yahoo!, etc. (basically just full web browser?)
-Good video player for shorter videos or TV shows
So I think the PlayBook has a lot of these covered, but I also had a few questions. If you're still with me, I have been up over 24 hrs and this is the makings of a novel, so forgive me! I have never used Blackberry devices before, nor have I used a sophisticated tablet before. I have generally just had my Windows PC that my dad is always putting upgrades in and I have Win Vista Home Premium on my desktop. I also have a fairly new Acer Aspire laptop with Win 7 that I got so I would be able to work on my writing, check email, and surf the net, maybe watch TV shows. I am very happy with this PC, especially since I have had it HDMI hooked-up to my TV so I have a giant monitor most of the time!
My Dad and I have been avid gamers of WoW and Diablo 3, because he lives out-of-state so that was how we sort of 'hung out'. He has lost interest in WoW though, which bummed me out as we JUST got the expansion we had both been excited about for a year now. Because we most likely won't be playing that anymore, or for quite a while, I am seriously considering selling my desktop PC. Anyone happen to point me in the direction of a website to check value and/or post an ad? Much appreciated.
Ok, back to the topic of PlayBook. I basically want reassurances that it won't have the battery problem. I got it NEW, not used or refurb, and it had almost all really high ratings on Amazon, and 90% of the bad ratings were battery/charger related. I also would like some advice on which accessories would be best for my use, and if any of you know the best option for a good-looking and durable case containing a keyboard. Also, are there any websites that make custom PlayBook skins or covers? How well does this work with no card slot, and is 32gb enough for all the stuff I would use? Any other tips on what to do as soon as I get the package, before I try playing with it?
Ok, so I am turning into zombie brain with the lack of sleep, and I would not be surprised if I am kicked off now for being too much like a "troll" because my post is insanely long and detailed, and this is my first BB experience so I AM a new member here. If you do allow me to stay, I am hopeful I will stick with the PlayBook and would love to have this community to share and learn from... Thanks y'all, and for those who celebrate, happy Turkey Day!
- 11-21-12, 05:45 AM #2
Welcome to Crackberry!
My Plybook is like most others functioning perfectly. read the Tips and Tricks section of these forums and don't be afraid to ask questions after a thurough search first of course.
- 11-21-12, 07:44 AM #3
Welcome and enjoy your Playbook when it arrives. For me, I invested in a rapid charger which uses the three prongs on the bottom of the unit to charge. I keep it on the charger most of the time when it is not in use. I invested in a good car charger for when I take the Playbook on the road. So I have never let the unit drain past 50% so I have never had the battery issues. I am an avid book reader and reading books on the Playbook is a joy. I use Kindle or Kobo to buy books and read. The Playbook is 7" and a perfect size for reading. You can go on amazon and find a good deal on a convertible case with a stand which is convenient for reading or watching movies. I have one of those (a Targus convertible case which I paid $12.00 for on Amazon), I also bought a BB soft shell cover (7.00 on amazon) along with the BB neoprene zipper case (10.00 on ebay) when I do not want the bulk of the convertible case. I hope this information helps and again, welcome to the boards!
- 11-21-12, 08:07 AM #4
Since a camera is on your list of features, If you plan on taking a lot of pictures, (and hey, I wasn't planning to, but find myself taking quite a few pics with my tablet!) you might want to skip the Playbook. It doesn't have autofocus cameras, but only measly fixed focus cameras.
Now while the Playbook is a really good deal for 180$, but since you don't have a BlackBerry phone, you might want to consider spending 20$ more and look at some Android tablets, since there are quite a few available for around 200$, including the Nexus 7 that you mentioned. This is mainly since A: The Playbook is getting pretty old, and the hardware you'll find in a Nexus7 or the 200$ Acer 7 inch tablet (name escapes me right now) is a newer generation, and B: Software, games and apps. The Playbook is supposed to be updated to a new operating system next year, but nobody really knows whether developers will be cranking out software for the Playbook in a year or two. You can be pretty sure however, that they'll still be turning out apps and games for an Android tablet, that already has to hundreds of thousands of apps more than the Playbook has.
A Playbook might be exactly what you're looking for however, so good luck with it. But especially since you don't have a Blackberry phone, you might want to take another look at the other 200$ Android tablets.
Personally I have an ipad2 and an iPad mini, and my best advice would be to check out an iPad mini, and see if you like it. If you do, consider spending the 120$ more. My first tablet was a 7 inch Android tablet, and I got to say that the iPad Mini beat it hands down in enjoyment and how much I used it. Fifty or a hundred dollars more in the tech world often goes a loooong way towards a better product IMHO.
Good luck, whatever you get!
- CrackBerry User
11-21-12, 09:29 AM #6
- 23 Posts
Hi, I've had my Playbook almost a year. Depends what you want it for, surfing the Web (good), battery seems to be the luck of the draw-mine requires charging every day even with moderate use and Wifi off. Pretty lousy for playing games not designed for Playbook (can't play most Facebook games, Pogo games, etc.). Nothing like the variety/volume of games for Android tablets and not too many out there considering. The charging plug USB on mine went after almost a year, luckily I decided not to toss the PlayBook and tried my Samsung charger. In Canada the Magnetic rapidly charger is almost as much as a new Playbook. Good luck with your choice.
- 11-21-12, 11:51 AM #7
Welcome to the forums. I hope you enjoy your PlayBook as much as many of us do in this forum. I can't give you much advice but I can share my experience with the PlayBook with you. I have used both Android devices you mentioned in your post. I must say that I liked the "eye-candy" value of both as they both have great displays and visual experiences. The Nexus 7 doesn't have a camera or HDMI out so that was disappointing. And at the end of my time with the Samsung device, I simply preferred my PlayBook experience better as I could do at least as much if not more with it. I am not knocking the Galaxy tab but it felt more like a big phone than a tablet. I guess that is because I use landscape more than portrait and as I said, that's my personal perspective. As for power, I use my PlayBook all the time and don't have any power draining issues. The rapid charger is the best way to charge it as it places less stress on the USB port. Good luck with it and I hope you like it as much as I do.
- CrackBerry User
11-21-12, 12:15 PM #8
- 76 Posts
Hi, I bought my 16GB PlayBook 3 months ago and I think it was the best value for money I've ever spent. Like you I originally was just looking for an Ereader, after having gotten hooked on my daughters Kobo. So at the time my expectations were that as long as it performed well as an ereader,everything else would be bonus. Well, was I ever surprised! I can't put it away! I am so impressed with it's capabilities and the ease of use of the OS. My wife has had an iPad2 for a while so I know how much fun it is, but I'll tell you that I haven't looked at her iPad once since I got my PlayBook.
- 11-21-12, 12:23 PM #9
One thing on your list that the PlayBook definitely won't have is the SD card slot, but you might consider looking for a 64GB model, which are pretty readily available for under $200 (Office Depot had them for $150 briefly).
- 11-22-12, 01:09 AM #10
First, I recommend going to the respective forums of the tablets you're considering and read about the problems and complaints they each have, including and especially the Nexus7, because they ALL have their own quirks and you will definitely see them on their forums.
For myself, I've owned a GalaxyTab 10.1, have had two generations of iPads in the house, used an iPad mini for a weekend and regularly have access to a Nexus7 (my daughter's boyfriend) and still prefer my PB. I was fortunate enough to receive a work bonus a few weeks ago and could have purchased any device available and without a second thought bought another PB, selling my 16g to a co-worker. That being said, OP I can without reservation recommend the PB. The features, the UI, battery, beautiful screen, best audio of any tablet available, durability, a camera that while not autofocusing, takes better photos than any tab I've owned, great ereader, HDMI port, etc....are just a few of the reasons I love the PB.
As to your battery concerns, make note that this is a PB forum, where people come to for assistance for problems, therefore there are a disproportionate number of issues posted, more so than praises. Based on what I've read here in the forum and comments made by owners I'd say the percentage of PBs with battery issues is relatively low. Take a look at the battery complaints compared to the number of active PB members and you'll see what I mean. One of the common factors involved in the principle battery complaint is draining the PB dead or very low, requiring the "stack charge" method or others to revive the PB. So to avoid the potential problem, don't drain the PB dead. But that's only in regard to PBs that are susceptible to that issue, as most aren't. Based again on this forum, experience with our three PBs at home and the eight PBs at work, I believe battery issues are actually a rare occurrence. We've yet to experience any battery issues and that includes a few unintentional episodes of draining the PBs dead.
As previously mentioned, the icing on the cake is that in a few months you'll be able to update to BB10, which will make an excellent tablet even more awesome and unique.
With all that said, I still recommend researching the android forums as well as here, take a hard look at your needs and buy based on that, but from what you've said, I believe you'd be more than happy with a PB. Good luck
- CrackBerry Genius
11-22-12, 06:28 AM #12
- 4,360 Posts
I have had the battery issue, but a simple 10 minute process of stack charging was all that was needed to bring it back to life. I use mine daily and get decent battery life out of it(8 to 10 hours depending on use). I do own a kindle touch so I don't use it as an ereader(I prefer the e-ink over an lcd screen, just easier on the eyes after long hours of reading) so cant really say if you'll be happy with using kobo or sideloading the kindle app. For everything else, I absolutely love my PB.
- 11-22-12, 07:48 AM #13
The main problem with the battery charger is breaking the micro USB port with constant plugging/un-plugging of the standard charger so I would recommend using either the travel or desktop rapid charger instead. Also a standard USB port (in a PC for example) can not supply enough juice to charge the playbook so don't try to use your laptop as a charger.
Other than that the playbook will do everything you need but I would go for the largest capacity you can afford as you'll find a 16Gb will just fill up. I gave my 16 to my son and got a 64Gb recently for this very reason. There is no support for USB host mode (USB on the go) ATM but the hardware dose support it and it is rumoured to be supported in the new OS coming next year (BB10) till then you can't use an external SD card reader or a USB stick but I just use either my Laptop or the cloud to swap files between my various devices.
- 11-22-12, 08:49 AM #14
Re: Calling ALL PlayBook PROS!! Here Be A Paranoid N00B!!
I second the Rapid Travel Charger statement. As a long time BlackBerry enthusiast, and a hard core PlayBook owner, RIM has always had charging pins of some sort as an optional charging method, and the PlayBook has absolutely THE BEST setup I have ever seen in my entire handheld device history due to it's magnetic pull literally pulling the plug out of your fingers and automatically connecting itself perfectly. Some might say the Touchstone was the best charger due to the phone needing no connection at all, just setting the phone against it, and I say two things to that as to why it sucked; the battery was really warm after charging that way, and it wasn't practical in your vehicle. I highly recommend NOT microUSB charging EVER. The rapid travel charger charges ten times faster anyways.
- 11-26-12, 04:18 PM #18
- 11-26-12, 04:30 PM #19
Since you got the rapid charging dock you should note that some Playbook cases must be removed before placing the PB in the dock. Among those which do not not need to be removed is the Blurex available in Amazon for $15 (Blurex Slim Leather Portfolio Case With 2 Tier Stand for Blackberry Playbook).
- 11-26-12, 08:45 PM #20
- CrackBerry Abuser
11-27-12, 12:43 AM #21
- 463 Posts
Re: Calling ALL PlayBook PROS!! Here Be A Paranoid N00B!!
Considering the PBs. are of the 7" form factor, if ya ordered from the 10.1 supplier good luck !
Also as soon as you ever get your hands on a real PB chk for "baby bump" (slight bulge on back), recessed on/off button ...either of those manufacturers' defect.
Interim, Welcome to the community
- 11-27-12, 01:07 AM #22
You're not a troll. Just a avid newcomer to Blackberry and the wonders of the playbook. Your post wast indeed long, probably the longest I've read, and will never read again..lol
I also wish there was a direct connection keyboard. I had a keyboard for a OG Galaxy Tab 10.1, and now have a keyboard dock for a TF300 and I love the extra battery, usb, and full sd slot. The Playbook has a shorter battery life then most top line tablet so a battery packed keyboard would definitely help. Unfortunately the only keyboards available are wifi or bluetooth which uses more battery.
- CrackBerry User
05-04-13, 04:19 PM #24
- 14 Posts
wafa510, you are an angel and I thank you! We have 2 BB Playbooks and both within 2 months would not charge. When I read your post I was talking to a BB rep who was giving me a ticket # to return both Playbooks for repair. I asked him about the rapid charger and he said that might work. I beleive the micro USB port were both broken by my son..... I purchased a rapid charger today and voila, it works. Love it! Thank you, my 11 year old son is so happy to have is Playbook up and runnning again.
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