1. Dave Bellamy's Avatar
    I have recently noticed that there have been some very cheap PlayBooks advertised and this made me wonder whether it would be a viable alternative to an iPad Mini.

    I have a MacBook Pro and a 3rd generation iPad but neither are ideal for mobile computing - i.e. working in your local Starbucks or the airport between flights. The MacBook is way too heavy and as its getting on a bit, the battery life is not good. The iPad is great but this plus the keyboard case makes for a package that isn't really light anymore. Its not something you can just throw into your back with all the other stuff that you carry and not feel it. I was looking at the new iPad minis as an alternative for when I really want to travel light and then I saw a bunch of Playbook 64gig models for a few hundred bucks.

    So my question to the forum is - could a Playbook and keyboard case actually be a viable alternative to an iPad mini for light weight mobile computing?

    My use case would be email, calendar and contacts via our work Exchange server, accessing our terminal server via 2X or similar, working on word processing (mostly) documents via DropBox, Box or Google Drive, Evernote, Skype and GoToMeeting with work colleagues and finally reading Kindle books.

    I realise that there wouldn't be all the apps that I have on my iPad - no DevonThink, Daedalus, Penultimate, iWorks, DayLite etc... but on many occasions I don't necessarily need to access them. If I do then I can still grab my iPad.

    There does seem to be a lot of threads on here about how a PB has died or stared to display some issue or other. There is also the worry about old stock (whether new or refurb'd) having old batteries that aren't replaceable. Am I potentially just getting a cheap tablet with a bunch of issues?

    Are the keyboard cases any good. The BB one with the trackpad would be my preference but it seems rare and oddly expensive. The cheaper ones on Amazon might well be rubbish.

    Any thoughts or advice before I grab a PB would be appreciated.
    12-13-13 03:08 PM
  2. Carl Estes's Avatar
    If you do decide to get one, go "NEW" with Amazon, and you will get the bits you should get with a new PB, AC charger, Neoprene slipcase, and BB Data cable(not all usb cables are created equal, some are just charging cables!), and a Manufacture's warranty! You might also want to think about getting the BB Rapid Travel Charger, the one with the magnetic connector that hits the 3 pins next to the USB port. If you get it close, it will snap into place, and if you walk thru the cable, it will just break away from the PB, NO damage. I use the Micro USB port for data/Backup ONLY, reducing the stress on that port. About 14/15 buck at again, Amazon.

    As to usage, it's not a computer, but you can do light word/excel tweaking here and there, emails, contacts etc. like you want, but don't expect to do alot of Document (word/excell) generation........just tweaks.....

    Yes, it's old tech, but it is a great tablet, I use my work PB every day since launch, and my second unit is my media server to my TV/Audio system with a Micro HDMI cable to the TV, GREAT picture for home or PP presentations, and a BB Blue Tooth Music Gateway to pipe the audio into the audio system, using my BB Torch 9850 as a remote control. I also use it as a voice nav in my ridgeline with Maggellan, and I have every CD I own about 300 ripped to WMA Lossless on both 64 GB units, always with me.

    For the cost right now, you won't go wrong for the value. Go 64 GB. Never enough real estate......

    If you have a BB phone with bridge, your phone is the remote control for the Playbook!

    Good luck with your decision and welcome if you drop the coin...........We are here to help.

    EDIT: Forgot about the keyboard, IF you can find one, and IF you want to pay high dollar yes, they work. The ones you see now do work, I have one and the only thing I had to do was to trim the "faux" "nauga" hide wanna be Leatherette stuff to facillitate the swiping gestures (it covers a good portion, you will see when/if you get one), but it is a good cost effective alternative. c
    c
    Last edited by Carl Estes; 12-13-13 at 04:03 PM. Reason: Forgetted keyboard bit...
    12-13-13 03:26 PM
  3. ridemaster's Avatar
    It is absolutely still viable with out question. i also have the blackberry keyboard with trackpad and together they function flawlessly. people often get confused with the way to use a blackberry and for the most part that is due to the fact they are so ingrained in how to use an apple product, but you can quickly become a pro with a playbook, and enjoy its great functionality.
    Carl Estes and Dave Bellamy like this.
    12-13-13 03:55 PM
  4. Gooseberry Falls's Avatar
    Sorry, no skype.. Not sure about Go to Meeting. PB video chat is mainly by native app and PB -> PB. Maybe someone can help more along those lines as I don't video chat much. My PBs are in the more heavy-duty Otterbox/Ballistic cases. They have stands to prop them up. I'll be testing a Logitech Ultrathin KB for functionality/portability soon when it arrives. I have a larger Logitech BT keyboard with touchpad that works well. Yeah, that BBRY keyboard is rare. I guess the public is pretty fickle and hard to estimate consumer demand. They have always been in short supply and BBRY could have made a bit more money on it if they made more. It's a great media device with unbelievable sound/video quality. HDMI out play movies on hotel flat screens if you travel alot. Flash browsing for near desktop experience if that matters to you. Apple stuff is too expensive!
    Last edited by Gooseberry Falls; 12-13-13 at 06:25 PM. Reason: Had to get in Apple jab...
    12-13-13 06:20 PM
  5. GV2012's Avatar
    I do quite a bit of excel and word editing on the playbook ( and I don't have a keyboard case). I'll even create from scratch sometimes but to set up a nice spreadsheet with different functions best to start on pc/laptop and move over when required. I m really liking the function where you can take files from playbook directories while on pc if I have to edit there and just save on PB.or PC from there. I'm finding this easier than what I used to do (having copied files on both units) before I knew about this function.
    Presentations are good on the playbook also.
    And lastly (i should have this as my sig ) Buy a magnetic charger!!
    Carl Estes and Dave Bellamy like this.
    12-13-13 06:25 PM
  6. BioDave1955's Avatar
    I use mine everyday. With a Logitech bluetooth keyboard and my z10 as a mouse, it works very well for word processing, working on excel spreadsheets, answering emails, surfing the web, etc. It also works better than my Nexus 7 for work related tasks and having the larger screen and bbm connectivity with my z10 makes it an awesome tablet
    Dave Bellamy likes this.
    12-13-13 06:30 PM
  7. qwerty4ever's Avatar
    If a lightweight tablet is the deciding factor then the Apple iPad Air is the optimal tablet for your stated use case. Even without the keyboard and case, the BlackBerry PlayBook is not light.

    Posted via CB10
    12-14-13 04:26 AM
  8. John Hernandez4's Avatar
    If a lightweight tablet is the deciding factor then the Apple iPad Air is the optimal tablet for your stated use case. Even without the keyboard and case, the BlackBerry PlayBook is not light.

    Posted via CB10
    Well the playbook is an old tablet, of course any new iPad will be better and light, but if you are looking for a cheap 64gb tablet; nothing better than a playbook.
    12-14-13 04:33 AM
  9. Dave Bellamy's Avatar
    Well I've just bought a PB 64gig, a keyboard case, charging dock and a couple of other cases from Amazon for less than $300NZD which is a fraction of a new iPad. At this price if it doesn't work out then I still have a nice tablet for watching movies in in bed.
    Carl Estes likes this.
    12-14-13 05:30 AM
  10. BigAl_BB9900's Avatar
    Well I've just bought a PB 64gig, a keyboard case, charging dock and a couple of other cases from Amazon for less than $300NZD which is a fraction of a new iPad. At this price if it doesn't work out then I still have a nice tablet for watching movies in in bed.
    Dave,

    Congratulations on your new purchase

    I still use my PlayBook every day for work: ActiveSync to Client's Exchange server (email and calendar), reading and editing documents, storing and playing Training Videos & PowerPoints (connects to the Big Screens via HDMI) and I find it much more useful than the client supplied iPad Mini (and being able to use my Q10 as a remote control makes PowerPoint presentations even better)

    Hope you get as much benefit from your PlayBook as I get from mine

    All the best

    Alex
    Dave Bellamy likes this.
    12-14-13 08:08 AM

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