1. rkennedy01's Avatar
    I picked up a 16GB PlayBook on 12/19 at Office Depot. It wasn't first on my shopping list, however, after ASUS dropped the ball with the Transformer Prime (February???), I decided to see if the PB could fill the bill at half the cost and leave me with some cash leftover for accessories, etc. I had already picked-up a Galaxy Tab 10.1 from Costco, and while the hardware was gorgeous, I found Android to be lacking: Very disjointed, with way too many (sometimes conflicting) ways to accomplish common tasks.

    My first order of business was to upgrade my PB to the OS2 beta. The lack of a native email client was frustrating at first, however, after sideloading the Android Mail app I'm good to go for basic communicating. No Skype is also an annoyance, and I found the Commwave ePhone solution to be too buggy to use (garbled audio, sluggish interface). So my dreams of travelling laptop-free are on hold for now. However, I'm finding myself spending less and less time on my Acer S3 ultrabook. In fact, other than printing I rarely fire the thing up anymore. It's PB 24x7 lately, with my wife using the Tab 10.1 (she hates it, too, so it's going back to Costco ASAP).

    Some observations:

    1. The browser is buggy in OS2. Some sites crash it, while others simply "vaporize" (empty tab with "untitled" displayed at the top) when switching between tabs. Toggling the multitasking behavior from Default to Showcase seems to have alleviated this to some degree - typing this with 8 other tabs open and no crashes so far.

    2. The UI is insanely fluid. For the first few days I found myself constantly powering on the PB just to play with the UI. The swipe-oriented input model is genius, and I've had no trouble figuring out where things are or how to do "xyz" in this OS. Compared to android, OS2 is a breeze.

    3. Bluetooth is still inconsistent. I could never get my Plantronics earpiece to work (pointless, anyway, unstil Skype is available), and my Motorola S-10 works but I have to use its integrated volume buttons to control the level (PB up/down buttons do nothing). Also, the lack of an equalizer is quite annoying.

    4. Portability! I find myself "one-handing" the PB everywhere - walking from room to room, strolling outside the house, crashing on the couch. It's ridiculously easy to hold and the form factor practically begs you to just grab it for casual use whenever you're nearby. By contrast, the Tab 10.1 was always too big to easily grab with one hand - I'd end up cradling it in my elbow/forearm, a precarious position since a simple trip/bump and it's on the floor in pieces. Also, the "rubberized" backing of the playbook just screams out durability. It's a solid piece of hardware, and I feel very confident holding it and moving about freely in any environment.

    Conclusion: After a week of steady use, I've decided to stick it out with the PlayBook and see what the release version of OS2 brings. I traded my 16GB unit for a 32GB and picked up a nice Case Logic case and bluetooth keyboard for extended text entry (typing this from my PB). I also picked-up the rapid charger (love the mag-connector) and one of those Griffin screen protector kits (not sold on it - seems to reduce touch sensitivity too much). Put it all together and I have the ultimate laptop replacement solution for my needs.

    Understand this is a major decision for me: I live overseas most of the year, and my opportunities to swap-out inadequate or underpeforming hardware are quite limited. I'll likely not be back in the States for at least 9 months, and nobody on Mauritius carries the PB, so it's a major vote of confidence that I believe it worth taking with me to the far reaches of the Indian Ocean.

    Anyway, my $0.02 worth...it really is a wonderful piece of hardware. Here's hoping OS2 delivers what's been promised.

    RCK
    12-25-11 06:44 PM
  2. Hgouck's Avatar
    The more you use it the more you find to like. I have not upgraded to the beta, choosing to use 1.8. Not sure if you have a BB phone or not but the bridge app is great to view and send emails, change contact info, view and change calander and when WiFi is not available surf the web. If you have an Droid there are some threads to help you get the most from your experience.
    greeneriko, wmwwa and bbfan1040 like this.
    12-25-11 07:02 PM
  3. rotorwrench's Avatar
    I picked up a 16GB PlayBook on 12/19 at Office Depot. It wasn't first on my shopping list, however, after ASUS dropped the ball with the Transformer Prime (February???), I decided to see if the PB could fill the bill at half the cost and leave me with some cash leftover for accessories, etc. I had already picked-up a Galaxy Tab 10.1 from Costco, and while the hardware was gorgeous, I found Android to be lacking: Very disjointed, with way too many (sometimes conflicting) ways to accomplish common tasks.

    My first order of business was to upgrade my PB to the OS2 beta. The lack of a native email client was frustrating at first, however, after sideloading the Android Mail app I'm good to go for basic communicating. No Skype is also an annoyance, and I found the Commwave ePhone solution to be too buggy to use (garbled audio, sluggish interface). So my dreams of travelling laptop-free are on hold for now. However, I'm finding myself spending less and less time on my Acer S3 ultrabook. In fact, other than printing I rarely fire the thing up anymore. It's PB 24x7 lately, with my wife using the Tab 10.1 (she hates it, too, so it's going back to Costco ASAP).

    Some observations:

    1. The browser is buggy in OS2. Some sites crash it, while others simply "vaporize" (empty tab with "untitled" displayed at the top) when switching between tabs. Toggling the multitasking behavior from Default to Showcase seems to have alleviated this to some degree - typing this with 8 other tabs open and no crashes so far.

    2. The UI is insanely fluid. For the first few days I found myself constantly powering on the PB just to play with the UI. The swipe-oriented input model is genius, and I've had no trouble figuring out where things are or how to do "xyz" in this OS. Compared to android, OS2 is a breeze.

    3. Bluetooth is still inconsistent. I could never get my Plantronics earpiece to work (pointless, anyway, unstil Skype is available), and my Motorola S-10 works but I have to use its integrated volume buttons to control the level (PB up/down buttons do nothing). Also, the lack of anequalizer is quite annoying.

    4. Portability! I find myself "one-handing" the PB everywhere - walking from room to room, strolling outside the house, crashing on the couch. It's ridiculously easy to hold and the form factor practically begs you to just grab it for casual use whenever you're nearby. By contrast, the Tab 10.1 was always too big to easily grab with one hand - I'd end up cradling it in my elbow/forearm, a precarious position since a simple trip/bump and it's on the floor in pieces. Also, the "rubberized" backing of the playbook just screams out durability. It's a solid piece of hardware, and I feel very confident holding it and moving about freely in any environment.

    Conclusion: After a week of steady use, I've decided to stick it out with the PlayBook and see what the release version of OS2 brings. I traded my 16GB unit for a 32GB and picked up a nice Case Logic case and bluetooth keyboard for extended text entry (typing this from my PB). I also picked-up the rapid charger (love the mag-connector) and one of those Griffin screen protector kits (not sold on it - seems to reduce touch sensitivity too much). Put it all together and I have the ultimate laptop replacement solution for my needs.

    Understand this is a major decision for me: I live overseas most of the year, and my opportunities to swap-out inadequate or underpeforming hardware are quite limited. I'll likely not be back in the States for at least 9 months, and nobody on Mauritius carries the PB, so it's a major vote of confidence that I believe it worth taking with me to the far reaches of the Indian Ocean.

    Anyway, my $0.02 worth...it really is a wonderful piece of hardware. Here's hoping OS2 delivers what's been promised.

    RCK

    My dream!
    12-25-11 07:04 PM
  4. rkennedy01's Avatar
    I don't have a BB phone so I fall into that category of users that RIM seems to have overlooked with the first generation PB: WiFi only and attracted to the device by its build quality and multitasking prowess. My concern now is with the company's long term commitment to the platform.

    As others have pointed out, the PB is nearly a year old. And while the combination of excellent hardware and a robust, fluid OS allowed the PB to stand apart from the "me too" android crowd, the truth is that the platform is no longer state of the art. If RIM holds to its promises and delivers OS2 as planned for the current PB then I'll make out OK. However, if they delay OS2 further or start talking about a version 2 of the PB hardware, then I'll start to worry a bit.

    Frankly, I have no experience with this company, so I don't really know what to expect. Given RIM's eroding market share and ongoing legal battles, I really wouldn't be surprised to hear they decided to cut their losses and drop the PB. Here's hoping that they do the honorable thing and continue to back what is really a superb piece of hardware.

    RCK
    bbfan1040 likes this.
    12-25-11 08:42 PM
  5. Chrysalis1156's Avatar
    Thank you for posting this. I'd about given up on this forum because I've had my fill of "the pb is so lacking I'm gonna put it up on ebay" posts - almost dread looking in here any more. You made some valid points and brightened my day.
    AggreX, bbfan1040 and jafobabe like this.
    12-25-11 08:42 PM
  6. rkennedy01's Avatar
    Glad I could be of service.

    Seriously, I have to wonder why there seems to be so much dissatisfaction with the PB. Given its stated design goal - to serve as a companion device to a BB phone - I think it hits the mark. It's only when people try to turn it into an iPad or start comparing it to the generic android tablet flavor of the month that they start complaining loudest.

    The PB does what it was designed to do, and delivers its functionality in a sleek form factor that exudes quality and durability. It is a business tablet for the white collar crowd. Hackers, tweakers and open source fan boys need not apply. RIM would do well to remember this and focus on filling out its enterprise feature set instead of chasing after consumer market fads.

    RCK
    bbfan1040 and jafobabe like this.
    12-25-11 10:40 PM
  7. GreenCopperz's Avatar
    What i find great is that the playbook can tether to almost any smartphone on the rogers network via bluetooth, provided you have at least 1 gb data plan. Rogers allows you to tether on any smartphone with at least 1 gb plan for free. The only thing tethering to a bb smartphone allows is the bridge bbm and email.
    12-25-11 10:52 PM
  8. BlazorBoy's Avatar
    works well with VZN MiFi
    12-25-11 11:11 PM
  9. hauger's Avatar
    GreenCopperz: Untrue. If you have a blackberry phone and bridge it, all you get is tbe bbm, email, access to the phones files, and the phones browser. If instead you choose to tether it, you get the full meal deal.

    Glad to see the positive review. I love my pb (using it right now) and suggest it all the time but always run into people that have no rim experience and have been reading all the bad press and so think the pb is terrible. Too bad given how slick a product it really is.

    Now....if only we could get Skype......
    12-25-11 11:12 PM
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