07-31-13 11:07 PM
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  1. SummertimeSally's Avatar
    Hi! I'm a software engineer with 20+ years experience in microcomputer systems and extensive experience in IT management, now off to grad school in an international program spanning 3 countries in Europe, with hopes of stepping into the very progressive IT world on this side of the Atlantic. Because I spent nearly 24/7 at the office (or more likely, in the machine room of a customer), I never had the desire to own a PC until the late 90s when the Internet grew into more than a 100-page Infoseek search result. Reently, I replaced my ASUS laptop with an ACER ASPIRE V351 notebook. It handles all my professional needs, love the keyboard and high-res screen, and it's great for all my fun stuff like surfing the web and watching videos. I've never been a personal gadget freak, never glommed onto the PalmPilot trend, don't have an iPad, and only recently upgraded my old Nokia brick to a folding cell phone. In a couple months, I will be heading to southern Europe to begin a master's degree program and I've been thinking about getting a tablet for those times when I want to curl up on the sofa and read books or watch videos. My ACER notebook is great, but I get tired of sitting on my **** or lounging on the bed with the thing on my lap. I've read a lot about small tablets, particularly eReaders, but nothing really grabs me except the Blackberry Playbook. What I like about it are the high res color screen, quality design, and ability to multi-task. So, here's my questions: 1) Is the Playbook still relevant? It seems like a lot of machine for only 149 bucks. 2) How is the camera? I don't want to drag around my Olympus, but I will want to snap a few photos during my travels. Will the camera on the Playbook be good for this (my phone camera is okay, but not much memory for taking lots of pics). 3) I don't need a Blackberry as my cell phone (yet).

    I've looked at expensive tablets, which is more than I want to invest. The cheap ones like the Kindle Fire seem to have real limitations when it comes to multitasking or watching videos in DivX or FlashPlayer.

    So, here's the BIG QUESTIONS: if you wanted to buy an inexpensive tablet in 2013, would you consider the Playbook to be relevant? Would you buy one?
    06-21-13 02:40 PM
  2. yellowhammer's Avatar
    I bought a 32 gb model in February of this year and it has served me well. I like it so much I just ordered a 64 gb model. Give it a shot.

    Posted via CB10
    06-21-13 02:44 PM
  3. SummertimeSally's Avatar
    Yeah? Cool! Thanks for your prompt reply. I am making a list of pros and cons. So far, one for the "pro" side!!!
    06-21-13 02:57 PM
  4. Gooseberry Falls's Avatar
    To be honest, these devices are very personal decisions. I would and did buy two but for my own reasons. Take a very hard look at what your requirements and wish lists are. If you list those, we can give you a much better idea. From what you said so far, yes to relevent, yes to would I buy, and yes to audio/video.
    FF22 likes this.
    06-21-13 03:02 PM
  5. Wongsky's Avatar
    My personal take - it could be a lot of bang-for-buck for what you want.

    Given your list of wants / needs, I personally find the ebook reading poorly catered for. If you've not currently bought into ebook reading, and are happy to partake in whatever a particular vendor / provider offers, then Kobo ebook reader is preinstalled, and you can buy books from their store.

    Yes, yes, yes - plenty of people will tell you you can sideload the Kindle app - well that's true, you can sideload it - but it's a really old version, and missing some features (which may be irrelevant if you're not currently a Kindle user), will be unsupported, and from what I read, has varying degrees of robustness. On the other hand, Kindle app is natively available for BB10 handsets (albeit a port, although a decent, late version port) of the Android app. So if BB10 does eventually come to the PlayBook, then it should probably be covered then.

    I guess you get a lot of storage with the PlayBook - that may be key, as it would appear video (and possibly music?) playback will be important - well some good news, there - the screen is excellent, the native video player and video and audio codec support is excellent (only notable omission being AC3 audio) so I suspect most things (you mentioned Xvid) you throw at it, will probably play just fine. Front mounted stereo speakers means it's half decent when not using headphones / earphones, too. I find the stock video app perfectly acceptable - performs well, but doesn't support things like resume or bookmarks - for things like that, you'd have to go with a payware app - but that's not all upsides - I've heard tell that the non-native video players may well not provide anything like the same in terms of battery life, compared to the stock player (no doubt that's because to provide wider compatibility, in some scenarios, software decoding is done).

    I think the best thing to do, is read a bit about them, find out the key things that are important to you, and then make an informed choice. For me personally, I have 2 Android tablets, 2 PlayBooks, and my Android tablets only get occasional use (but then for apps that I can't / haven't got on my PlayBooks). Clearly hardware and software had moved on since the PlayBook was released - but rarely, if at all, will you encounter a tablet device constructed as well as the PlayBook is, and the OS is truly excellent to use, even if there's some foibles or missing aspects to some of the key apps.

    If after all your reading, and info from people, the PlayBook makes sense - go for it. There are other decent tablets, too, that may well suit - whether there's a perfect one for you, is unlikely - most tend to involve some compromises. I bought my first PlayBook in September last year, and my second 2 or 3 months back - and am still glad to use them in preference to other devices - but then it's because they suit my needs probably better than other devices around the same price point.
    FF22 and Gooseberry Falls like this.
    06-21-13 03:06 PM
  6. dangerousfen's Avatar
    I've owned the 64 gig Playbook for a year now and still use it every day. The camera for photos and video is quite acceptable for my needs, although it's not auto focus. Video is superb. It's probably still the best as far as multi tasking is concerned.

    But, be aware. The PB is EOL now and unless BB10 is announced for it soon you will have a dinosaur to live with.

    I like dinosaurs!

    Sent from my BlackBerry 9900 using Tapatalk
    Gooseberry Falls likes this.
    06-21-13 03:13 PM
  7. FF22's Avatar
    If you KNOW what you are getting and its limitations (limited apps, not much official support in upgrades), then the reasons you listed, very fair price, screen (add very nice speakers), size/weight, then you should consider it. You will find a hard time seeing one in person as they are generally no longer available in stores. The camera(s) are good although using a 7 inch wide "camera" can be clunky. But it takes nice hd videos, too (with an occasional unknown freeze). The zoom is NOT optical, so that is not its strongest feature.

    As someone pointed out in another thread a while ago, for that price, it makes a very unique "thumb drive" storage unit. Hooked up to an hdmi tv, it is a terrific video player (teamed with Kalemsoft which can play even odder formats).
    Gooseberry Falls likes this.
    06-21-13 03:17 PM
  8. ChrisMay's Avatar
    Like you say, you get quite a lot of tablet for your money. If you you want a neat little machine to read books, watch videos, surf the net listen to music, and are not bothered by all the Apps that some seem to feel are so essential then you can't go far wrong. The camera is adequate. It's fixed focus, not auto-focus, and as a result can't take a clear shot of anything nearer than about 6-8 inches, so no good for close-ups. It also doesn't handle low light too well, so is not great indoors or at night. However for snapshots and videos outside in the day, you can get decent results.
    So to answer your question, based on what you said, and if what I said hasn't put you off, then I'd say treat yourself and get one!!

    Sent from my PlayBook
    FF22 and DurdenLunarius like this.
    06-21-13 03:17 PM
  9. shief24's Avatar
    To answer your big questions, my personal opinion answer would be no I would not buy one (again) (Also forgive my rustyness as I haven't had one for about a year now)

    Reasons:
    I bought it maybe two years ago (I think) and my mother also picked one up. The multitasking was great and so was the web browsing. If you simply want something to do ebook reading then the pb is pretty good for something as simple as that. But for me it was not reliable. I loved the bridge feature with my bb 9300 and I could share my phones network with it wirelessly. But I had so many browser crashes it was ridiculous. The app selection to me was poor and many of the apps seemed like web launchers. The keyboard would often disappear when I was using it -or just didn't show up at all- and my last straw was when mine (and my moms) just would not turn on. I had to call customer service and they walked me through a stack charge but it still happened after this. As for my moms I fixed hers and it was not a problem but her co worker also had this happen to her. Also, If you have netflix then the playbook would not be able to play the movie selection natively.

    Ultimately, I would not buy the playbook again. Furthermore, I would not recommend it to my peers. My nexus 7 far suits my needs better than the PlayBook did but thats my preference. With that being said, if you want to have a device to read and watch movies, the PB would be okay for that. It also has great Multi-Tasking. But I encourage you to search around a bit more (perhaps samsung galaxy tab 2 which is 179 in Canada?)
    I hope no one yells at me for that in true CrackBerry fashion,
    Good LUCK!
    Zodbuster and ren2008 like this.
    06-21-13 03:26 PM
  10. SparkyBC's Avatar
    Don't waste your money on a end of life product. No matter how cheap it is at the end of the day it's 2 year old technology. Heck blackberry won't even fix the Facebook app that has not worked properly in over 8 months.
    Says a lot about the platform..

    Get yourself a android based tablet and save yourself from swearing at it a month after the novelty wears off!
    shief24, Zodbuster and ren2008 like this.
    06-21-13 03:27 PM
  11. zeratul65535's Avatar
    I found the PlayBook freed me from my desk and my laptop.

    At my previous job, I used it for mock up approvals, presentations, and viewing pdfs

    On all trips and holidays over since I purchased it in December 2011, I've loaded it up with songs and movies

    Camera is good

    Currently studying project management and I've got course videos, audio, pdfs etc loaded on there

    Plus a bunch of games for my wife which she likes to play before hitting the bed.

    It's been a great addition.

    Posted via CB10 on Z10
    06-21-13 03:31 PM
  12. Angus_CB's Avatar
    ...
    So, here's my questions: 1) Is the Playbook still relevant? It seems like a lot of machine for only 149 bucks.
    2) How is the camera?
    ...

    So, here's the BIG QUESTIONS: if you wanted to buy an inexpensive tablet in 2013, would you consider the Playbook to be relevant? Would you buy one?
    1) Relevant? No, not really when it comes to todays offerings. BlackBerry hasn't mentioned anything about the future of the Playbook in about 6 months.
    You mentioned that you intend to use a tablet to read books or watch videos. If those two and browsing the Internet are your main uses then the Playbook will be a suitable device.
    2) The camera is very good but you will be limited by the available memory on the Playbook unless you are also bringing your laptop. You can also upload photos to Dropbox or a similar cloud storage service.

    I do own two Playbooks and don't regret buying them but if I were buying a new tablet today I probably wouldn't buy a Playbook.
    1) As I mentioned above, BlackBerry doesn't seem too keen on the future of the device.
    2) I don't know where I would buy one if I did want another one.

    I would get an Android device. The Nexus 7 for example.
    06-21-13 03:38 PM
  13. DurdenLunarius's Avatar
    I agree with the majority here that if all you're looking for is creature comforts at a fairly decent price, then the PlayBook will suit your needs. I recently upgraded my girlfriend from a Kindle Fire to a 32GB WiFi PlayBook and she loves it. We load a season or two of Dexter or American Horror Story, maybe a movie too for the kids, and either hook it up via HDMI to the TV for couch relaxation or just take with us with some headphones to keep the kids occupied. She also has a better screen, coming from the Fire, for reading her books on the sideloaded Kindle app.

    It's a great, functional little machine with some quirks and some novelties (as stated, excellent stereo speakers) and obviously some limitations that are either not going to be addressed, or can be addressed through sideloading apps.

    Do what fits your needs, since you'll be the one using it. That's what I kept telling my girlfriend when she was shopping around. 'Don't ask me what I use it for, because that's what I use it for.' If you think you'll want to hang on to something a little more robust in terms of support and app economy, then yes you should check on Android tablets or an iPad, since it's still unclear for certain on if BB10 is coming to the PlayBook. But BB10 aside, it still warrants a look for the price.
    06-21-13 04:12 PM
  14. DurdenLunarius's Avatar
    1) Relevant? No, not really when it comes to todays offerings. BlackBerry hasn't mentioned anything about the future of the Playbook in about 6 months.
    You mentioned that you intend to use a tablet to read books or watch videos. If those two and browsing the Internet are your main uses then the Playbook will be a suitable device.
    2) The camera is very good but you will be limited by the available memory on the Playbook unless you are also bringing your laptop. You can also upload photos to Dropbox or a similar cloud storage service.

    I do own two Playbooks and don't regret buying them but if I were buying a new tablet today I probably wouldn't buy a Playbook.
    1) As I mentioned above, BlackBerry doesn't seem too keen on the future of the device.
    2)I don't know where I would buy one if I did want another one.

    I would get an Android device. The Nexus 7 for example.
    eBay is where I got my girlfriend's 32GB for about $110.
    06-21-13 04:13 PM
  15. Hirazi Blue's Avatar
    Personally I wouldn't let its apparent status as being EOL bother you too much. It's a capable little machine. It surely is flawed, but most gadgets are one way or another. For me, as a very late adopter, it does most of what I want it to do. And I hope it will do so for quite a while more, EOL or no EOL... Simply put: MY Playbook will reach EOL status no sooner than the moment it actually literally dies...
    06-21-13 04:14 PM
  16. rupam95's Avatar
    Don't. PlayBook is dead.
    06-21-13 04:14 PM
  17. DurdenLunarius's Avatar
    Don't. PlayBook is dead.
    Attached Thumbnails Should I buy a Blackberry Playbook Tablet ?-jiffm.jpg  
    zeratul65535 likes this.
    06-21-13 04:18 PM
  18. njblackberry's Avatar
    The Playbook is for special people who enjoy being in the 1%. The Playbook is non existent. Don't bother with the facepalm. The Playbook is dead.

    If you can get it for a rock bottom price, don't mind an approach of "you don't need that app" or "it will be coming soon" and the ever present "you can sideload a bad Android port" and can deal with that, then get it. It's old, it is barely supported by the manufacturer ("BB 10 is coming soon") and is a collector's item.

    Yet some people - a VERY small number in comparison to the total tablet toting population - love it. At night they put it next to the Betamax, which was clearly superior to VHS.

    gingerdude likes this.
    06-21-13 04:30 PM
  19. DurdenLunarius's Avatar
    The Playbook is for special people who enjoy being in the 1%. The Playbook is non existent. Don't bother with the facepalm. The Playbook is dead.

    If you can get it for a rock bottom price, don't mind an approach of "you don't need that app" or "it will be coming soon" and the ever present "you can sideload a bad Android port" and can deal with that, then get it. It's old, it is barely supported by the manufacturer ("BB 10 is coming soon") and is a collector's item.

    Yet some people - a VERY small number in comparison to the total tablet toting population - love it. At night they put it next to the Betamax, which was clearly superior to VHS.

    The facepalm was only due to not adding any constructive criticism one way or the other to the OP's question.
    06-21-13 04:37 PM
  20. gingerdude's Avatar
    IMO dont buy playbook, I got one shortly after it came out.... got frustrated sold it, then waited another year and purchased another one hoping the app selection had improved, but sadly it hadn't. All Playbook is good for its a device to buy for next to nothing on eBay take on holiday as a reasonable gaming/ internet tablet and when someone steals it you won't really care as it was pretty crappy anyway. It could have been great 18 mpnths ago if it was supported but now its just frustrating.
    06-21-13 04:39 PM
  21. rupam95's Avatar
    The facepalm was only due to not adding any constructive criticism one way or the other to the OP's question.
    Should I buy a Blackberry Playbook Tablet ?-.jpg
    DurdenLunarius likes this.
    06-21-13 05:04 PM
  22. blackmoe's Avatar
    Don't. PlayBook is dead.
    That's funny mine seems very much alive, and it does everything I bought it for as well as it did the day I bought it. RIM Could disappear tomorrow and it will still keep on working.
    KittyBomb likes this.
    06-21-13 05:11 PM
  23. bloodyrek's Avatar
    Ordered a 32GB Blackberry Playbook wednesday and it came in just 10mins ago! yes buy one!!
    DurdenLunarius likes this.
    06-21-13 05:16 PM
  24. rupam95's Avatar
    That's funny mine seems very much alive, and it does everything I bought it for as well as it did the day I bought it. RIM Could disappear tomorrow and it will still keep on working.
    My friend's HP Touch Pad is very much alive, but it's support is DEAD just like the PlayBook. Why bother with a dead tablet? Well, at least HP allowed us to install other real tablet OS's right onto the Touch Pad.
    06-21-13 05:16 PM
  25. bitek's Avatar
    if you can get playbook cheap then go for it. otherwise i would look somewhere else. i keep my playbook because i've invested money into apps plus i find it to be best alarm clock ever (thank you Antair for your awesome app) it is great to watch movies due to front speakers. If the browser was good like it is on Z10 i would recommend this tablet in heart beat. unfortunately Playbook browser sucks imo. there are some good paid alternatives but they are still considerably slower than z10 browser.
    06-21-13 05:42 PM
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