Why I love my Blackberry Playbook
First of all, a hello to everyone here as this is my first post. I am compelled to mention my own experience with Blackberry since there appears to be so much nonsense journalism pouring out bashing RIM and the Playbook.
In July I preordered a Nexus 7, having previously owned an iPad 3 (well, 'New iPad' or whatever it's called). I'd had the iPad for a few months, and it boasted rock-solid reliability and generally excellent build quality (though not perfect - the buttons felt cheap and a bit wobbly)... but I just found the whole iPad experience a bit boring. It was heavy to hold, too, so not very comfortable for prolonged use. Prior to that I'd owned an ASUS Prime - that lasted about 2 weeks. It crashed, a lot.
The Nexus 7 arrived, and for about 5 minutes I loved it. 5 minutes - then it crashed. Then it crashed again, and again. After 24 hours, it was basically unuseable (GPU broke, I think). I went back to Google immediately and requested a refund, since I'd heard thousands of others experiencing similar problems on the XDA forum. With Google, I received the WORST customer service experience of my life. It took them 6 weeks to refund me, and I called them about 15 times. Ridiculous.
On finally receiving my refund from Google, I discovered an article stating that the 64GB Playbook had been reduced to £129 - much less than I paid for the 8GB Nexus 7. My local Currys were selling it, so I knew that if it broke it would be far easier to get my money back. So I took a punt. It was the first Blackberry product I'd bought.
The first thing that struck me was the build quality - it felt far more solidly built than the Nexus 7, and comparable to the iPad in terms of robustness. I was initially concerned with the lower resolution of the Playbook screen, but as soon as I started using it that seemed irrelevant as the image quality was great.
The OS impressed me as well - multitasking was excellent and the gestures just felt natural.
Four months in and i absolutely LOVE the thing! My wife comments on the fact that I carry it around with me all the time in the house - sad but true! I bought my wife one as well because she just wouldn't stop using mine. I bought my parents one, and they use it to video call me and listen to music by plugging it into their hifi. I recommended it to a friend, who also really likes it!
The video playback is brilliant. I can upload videos through wifi over my windows network straight to the Playbook - movies I've ripped from my DVDs. They play perfectly. Codec support seems very good - it handles most formats I throw at it. I also love the ability to quickly zoom in and out of a rolling video - only occasionally useful, but very cool!
Its handling of messages is second-to-none. I've loaded my email, facebook, twitter, linkedin onto the Playbook and everything comes through on one source - really convenient.
Skype support would be great, but I use the video call function a lot. My parents are both elderly and quite ill - they use it to video call me quite regularly and it's great to see them that way. It works flawlessly. My wife and young son are currently in China for a few weeks and my wife uses it as well - my 11 month old son loves seeing my face on it. He grabs the Playbook and starts laughing.
But probably the main reason for loving the Playbook is its sound quality. When I first heard it playing music my jaw almost hit the floor - the speakers from the Playbook aren't just best-in-class, they absolutely blow away every other tablet and laptop I've ever used (and I've used a lot). I am a massive music fan and audiophile with a pretty vast collection, but have found music basically unlistenable on the inbuilt speakers on any mobile device. Not so with the Playbook - playback is loud, and more importantly CLEAR. I take it in the bathroom with me in the morning and listen to it when I have a shower and get ready for work - it rests against the bathroom window. Even with the shower and fan on, you can not only hear the music, but really enjoy it. The experience is similarly excellent when plugging it into a hifi - the DAC is very good quality for a tablet, and the output is, once again, better than on any other mobile device I've heard. With Neutron MP, shuffled music plays to normalised volume and even crossfades! For my dad's 70th birthday party we rented a large hall - the Playbook was plugged into the hifi there and provided the music throughout. Also, it flawlessly supports WMA lossless and FLAC.
Out of interest, why do manufacturers so commonly ignore sound quality? It's as important to me as screen quality.
I purchased the Playbook charging dock, and the Playbook now also acts as my bedside alarm clock! I downloaded the Antair Nightstand app - the perfect combination.
There are quirks and annoyances. My power button is quite sticky - when I press it, it only clicks out about a second later. It's always been like that. Also, the browser gets very bogged down at times on heavy java/flash sites. I hope Blackberry 10 will help rectify this.
I'm a massive hardware geek and will probably purchase other devices in the future, but I doubt I'll ever get rid of my Playbook. For one, it can do things no other devices do - the sound output for example.
The Playbook is an ABSOLUTE STEAL at £129. I consider it the best purchase I've ever made.
That is all!
Last edited by Deckard79; 11-18-12 at 07:43 AM.
- CrackBerry Newbie
11-18-12, 06:49 AM #3
- 3 Posts
Good write up!
I have to agree that I was on the fence until my coworker let me hear the sound. I'm pretty critical of sound quality, as well, but as soon as I heard it, that was it. Recently bought one for my wife and now my mother also has one.
Interesting to mention that I've never had a Blackberry phone, nor my wife or mom, so that shows how more folks are being introduced to Blackberry quality.
- 11-18-12, 07:13 AM #4
Deckard and Shobu, welcome to CrackBerry.
Thanks for the write-up, OP. The PB has always seemingly been a device that never got as much credit as it was due even though the build quality and technology in it are both excellent.
The power button has always been an issue with PB owners since it's so small, nearly flush with the device, and not particularly responsive in terms of feeling like you're getting any kind of reaction out of it. Clearly a weird design flaw IMO.
Sound quality is a definite plus as you mentioned. The first time I set up my PB to play music while my wife and I were making dinner she immediately commented on how great it sounded. And so ever since I've had a case that allows setting the PB upright, we use it a lot to play music in the house or wherever we are.
Thx again for the nice post. I hope your PB experience will encourage you to look at the upcoming BB10 phones as well so you can get the very cool benefits of using BlackBerry Bridge when combined with your PB.
- CrackBerry Addict
11-18-12, 07:32 AM #5
- 534 Posts
I have to agree with the sound quality...with Neutron MP and a Bose sound dock the music is fantastic and unlike some other bluetooth speaker there is no drop-out or other gremlins. Regarding the iPad...I got one from work because my daughter love the drawing app that she plays with in pc world every time we go into the shop.... and within 15 minutes of her playing with it at home she had dumped it in favour of the Playbook.
Great post by the way
- 11-18-12, 07:36 AM #6
- 11-18-12, 08:39 AM #8
- CrackBerry Master
11-18-12, 10:53 AM #10
- 1,268 Posts
Nice post. The playbook gives great value and by far it is the most used electronic device in my house. I never really thought about the speakers until I played around with the new iPAD. Sound range was quite limited and there was a tinny aspect that grates over time. With the App store coming into its own and BB10, the playbook will be even sweeter in the future.
- 11-18-12, 11:15 AM #11
Nice write-up. I'd suggest being careful about using it while showering - humidity of that sort could adversely affect it and apparently, there is a water sensor "label" inside that would detect water damage. But continue to enjoy it elsewhere.
- CrackBerry User
11-18-12, 12:14 PM #13
- 37 Posts
Re: Why I love my Blackberry Playbook
I use my playbook mostly for schooling and don't know how I got through life without it.
I especially like the email.
Since I am doing long distance schooling through email I have to use it a lot.
I also love the multitasking and speakers.
It's overall the best deal out there.
[I'd suggest being careful about using it while showering - humidity of that sort could adversely affect it and apparently, there is a water sensor "label" inside that would detect water damage. But continue to enjoy it elsewhere.
Thanks for the advice. I think it should be okay, since the showers are short and with it against an open window, the room doesn't get a chance to steam up that much.
But that's one of the reasons I like it - it's cheap enough that I don't spend my time worrying about breaking it and can use it 'uninhibited'. It's had a massive amount of use in the past 4 months and so far it still looks good as new. It's survived a lot of baby interest, too!
- 11-18-12, 03:08 PM #18
I feel your pain re: Android stability. I've tried REALLY HARD to like Google's OS ever since I invested in a dozen new Acer tablets for a high school computing lab I'm building. However, after extensive daily use under a variety of stock and custom ROMS (currently on AOKP JB Milestone 1), I've yet to make it more than a day or two without a random lockup or reboot. By contrast, I can't remember the last time my PB "crashed" - in fact, the only reason I've rebooted at all in the past few months was to finish an OS update.
Otherwise, it just runs and runs and runs. The idea of my PB ever freezing or randomly rebooting never even crosses my mind. Shades of my first experiences with Windows NT vs. Windows 3.1/9x circa 1992. Back then, my transition from a toy OS for light use and gaming to a real OS for serious computing was a revelation. I get that same feeling when using QNX. Simply. Doesn't. Quit.
And I agree on the sound quality - the speakers truly are excellent. However, if you want to really round out your experience, grab a Jawbone Jambox and connect it to your PB via Bluetooth. Took mine to our school construction site yesterday and filled our 12,000 square foot main building with music for over four hours. Plus, when I checked my PB's battery status it had dropped maybe 5% during the whole time. Amazing multimedia experience from a pair of devices that I can literally carry together in one hand.
- CrackBerry Abuser
11-19-12, 02:07 AM #23
- 244 Posts
- Why so serious?
I pretty much have to agree with everything written here. I love the functionality of Bridge and with OS2.1, being able to text from my phone, but on my tablet. That was a core functionality I was always dying for with Android.
- CrackBerry Newbie
11-19-12, 06:05 AM #24
- 1 Posts
I was on the cusp of purchasing the i-pad, however I had purchased a 64gb playbook for my wife and was really impressed.
The build quality is superb, the screen looks fantastic, sound quality is very good and as I have a Torch 9810 and like the connected platforms thing I went for the playbook also.
My favourite feature is the remote control from Torch to playbook, so cool.
It is a very nice e-reader and games player also.
- 11-19-12, 06:20 AM #25
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