1. AndyMulhearn's Avatar
    On Tuesday this week I succumbed to a bit of retail therapy and bought myself a 64GB Playbook. There was another reason, I've been interested in the Playbook for a while and with the price reduced to 129, even if it turned out to be a bit of a lemon in every other respect, I'd got myself a media player with some serious storage in it. Most of the comments below are from comparison with iOS which I've used on an iPad since the iPad 1 came out. And I currently own an iPad 2 with iOS 6 on it but my mobile phone is an Android...

    So, the good. Apart from the fact that it's pretty well put together and the back is not smooth aluminium which I always find slippery in the cold with dry hands, the best part for me is the way the gestures are implemented with the "active" bezel. Swiping a single finger up, left or right is far easier than the equivalent four-fingered gestures on an iPad. Unless the iPad happens to be aligned just right which it rarely is. This is the one area where Apple are way behind and could do with putting some more thought into the way the user interacts with the OS and how they implement multi-tasking. Battery life is pretty good too, I estimate 10 hours with wifi on and mid-level brightness which is more than enough for me, although a way behind an iPad. Have Apple hired everyone that knows how to squeeze battery life into a device? Overall I think the hardware is well designed and presented and works well with the OS.

    I like the Media player and it plays apple AAC format tracks, either downloaded or ripped, without any problems. But then the media player on my old Torch did the same so I expected that.

    The average. Apart from the rendering of web pages, the in built browser is pretty poor. Bookmark management is non-existent and tab handling is OK but who decided it was a good idea to make the close icons on tabs that small?

    The email client could do with some work. Yes, I know it's relatively new and yes it does manage to handle folders and work as an IMAP client which non-BES Blackberry phones don't manage to do even now - BIS begin way too limited IMHO - but even so, it's still pretty clunky. And if they go back to BIS when the converged Phone/Playbook OS ships, it'll be up there with Apple sacking Steve Jobs as one of the biggest mistakes in the history of computing and I won't be upgrading.

    The calendar and address book apps are functional but ugly, although being able to subscribe to iCal calendars would be nice. The need to go through Yahoo to get contact and calendars onto the Playbook, and other Blackberry devices, is a flaw I lay at the door of Apple, though RIM could do more about synchronisation on the host computer through the desktop software to make that easier for non-corporate users. Compared to the equivalent apps on iOS, I'd far rather have Safari and the iOS apps than the Playbook versions. Including no Flash in Safari which I've lived without on mobile devices for years and really could care less about. But they're good enough.

    The bad. Android player. I don't want it and wish there was some way to tell that an app I want to try in the app store is native or Android repackaged. Well there is one way to tell, experience has shown that most of the Android apps I've downloaded don't actually load. But what they do manage to do is crash the Android runtime, or something else very horrible, and leave me with loads of missing memory. So much so that I have to reboot to be able to run more than two apps at any one time. I think I see where they were going with this but I would rather I had the option to either turn it off or have it as a downloadable option

    And finally the truly Awful. I bought my Playbook with a "BlackBerry PlayBook Leather Book Binder" and it's a complete and utter piece of junk. The plastic "holder" is so thick that standard headphones don't fit the hole, the holder has started coming away from the leather, there is no way to close the binder and plug in a charger and the power and music controls are very poorly aligned and I find them much harder to use than on the naked Playbook. Compare it to the simplicity and functionality of the iPod Smart Cover and the two products could not be further apart. if I were in charge of the Playbook at RIM, I'd be way too embarrassed to ship the binder and would probably sack the team that designed it for incompetence.

    So if you got this far, hopefully I've not annoyed anyone too much with my first post and does anyone know of a case that I can add to my collection that allows me to keep the screen covered and still charge my Playbook? Either with the USB charger or the fast charging pod?
    BigAl_BB9900 likes this.
    10-07-12 12:00 PM
  2. Bobert_123's Avatar
    Everything that you would ever want accessory wise is either on amazon or the crackberry store, I agree with some of your points but I find the email on the playbook to be pretty good, but I guess thats just a matter of opinion.

    Anyways welcome to cb, hope you enjoy your PlayBook as much as I have. Believe me when I tell you there is so much more you can do on a palybook then most other tablets, you just have to discover it first. Also with the BB10 upgrade coming in a few months you will have the best tablet ever made!
    diegonei likes this.
    10-07-12 02:59 PM
  3. Harryl6134's Avatar
    Welcome to CrackBerry. As for a case, check Amazon for the Blurex case for PB...I've been using it since February, and it's held up well. Real leather, and the ports are all accessible.
    jafobabe and AndyMulhearn like this.
    10-07-12 03:07 PM
  4. pacoman03's Avatar
    As to the android player, since you just purchased your PB, I'm sure it came preloaded with OS 2.0. If you haven't updated to 2.1, if you do you'll find that the android player is much better and runs much more stable.
    jafobabe likes this.
    10-07-12 03:13 PM
  5. diegonei's Avatar
    I hear you on the tabs! The guy that made the close button did not have tablets in mind! Hehe

    It was a good review, if you ask me. Sounds honest even after you do some comparison to Apple devices.

    Case-wise, I have the Journal Case. It works just fine, maybe you should look into it.

    That said, hope you enjoy you PlayBook! I know I do!

    And welcome to the forums.
    jafobabe and Bumble2000 like this.
    10-07-12 03:33 PM
  6. rotorwrench's Avatar
    On Tuesday this week I succumbed to a bit of retail therapy and bought myself a 64GB Playbook. There was another reason, I've been interested in the Playbook for a while and with the price reduced to 129, even if it turned out to be a bit of a lemon in every other respect, I'd got myself a media player with some serious storage in it. Most of the comments below are from comparison with iOS which I've used on an iPad since the iPad 1 came out. And I currently own an iPad 2 with iOS 6 on it but my mobile phone is an Android...

    So, the good. Apart from the fact that it's pretty well put together and the back is not smooth aluminium which I always find slippery in the cold with dry hands, the best part for me is the way the gestures are implemented with the "active" bezel. Swiping a single finger up, left or right is far easier than the equivalent four-fingered gestures on an iPad. Unless the iPad happens to be aligned just right which it rarely is. This is the one area where Apple are way behind and could do with putting some more thought into the way the user interacts with the OS and how they implement multi-tasking. Battery life is pretty good too, I estimate 10 hours with wifi on and mid-level brightness which is more than enough for me, although a way behind an iPad. Have Apple hired everyone that knows how to squeeze battery life into a device? Overall I think the hardware is well designed and presented and works well with the OS.

    I like the Media player and it plays apple AAC format tracks, either downloaded or ripped, without any problems. But then the media player on my old Torch did the same so I expected that.

    The average. Apart from the rendering of web pages, the in built browser is pretty poor. Bookmark management is non-existent and tab handling is OK but who decided it was a good idea to make the close icons on tabs that small?

    The email client could do with some work. Yes, I know it's relatively new and yes it does manage to handle folders and work as an IMAP client which non-BES Blackberry phones don't manage to do even now - BIS begin way too limited IMHO - but even so, it's still pretty clunky. And if they go back to BIS when the converged Phone/Playbook OS ships, it'll be up there with Apple sacking Steve Jobs as one of the biggest mistakes in the history of computing and I won't be upgrading.

    The calendar and address book apps are functional but ugly, although being able to subscribe to iCal calendars would be nice. The need to go through Yahoo to get contact and calendars onto the Playbook, and other Blackberry devices, is a flaw I lay at the door of Apple, though RIM could do more about synchronisation on the host computer through the desktop software to make that easier for non-corporate users. Compared to the equivalent apps on iOS, I'd far rather have Safari and the iOS apps than the Playbook versions. Including no Flash in Safari which I've lived without on mobile devices for years and really could care less about. But they're good enough.

    The bad. Android player. I don't want it and wish there was some way to tell that an app I want to try in the app store is native or Android repackaged. Well there is one way to tell, experience has shown that most of the Android apps I've downloaded don't actually load. But what they do manage to do is crash the Android runtime, or something else very horrible, and leave me with loads of missing memory. So much so that I have to reboot to be able to run more than two apps at any one time. I think I see where they were going with this but I would rather I had the option to either turn it off or have it as a downloadable option…

    And finally the truly Awful. I bought my Playbook with a "BlackBerry PlayBook Leather Book Binder" and it's a complete and utter piece of junk. The plastic "holder" is so thick that standard headphones don't fit the hole, the holder has started coming away from the leather, there is no way to close the binder and plug in a charger and the power and music controls are very poorly aligned and I find them much harder to use than on the naked Playbook. Compare it to the simplicity and functionality of the iPod Smart Cover and the two products could not be further apart. if I were in charge of the Playbook at RIM, I'd be way too embarrassed to ship the binder and would probably sack the team that designed it for incompetence.

    So if you got this far, hopefully I've not annoyed anyone too much with my first post and does anyone know of a case that I can add to my collection that allows me to keep the screen covered and still charge my Playbook? Either with the USB charger or the fast charging pod?
    Different strokes right? I can't use the native email on my work PB because it's disabled, all email and communications staying on the phone, which I prefer anyway. But I do use my Outlook acct on my personal PB somewhat, and while not glitzy I actually like the format. It works for me and isn't too busy like many email formats are. No sync problems either. I'm into function, and it does that well, for me that is.

    As for the case, I have the nice pebble grain journal case. Very nice leather, well made and durable, as well as classy looking when I travel and in meetings. I don't mind having the case open when usb or rapid charging and it pops out quickly for the stand use. Not a deal to me. Also with this case I have had no issues with any headphones or earphones I've tried, which are several. The jack holes are very large. No issues manipulating the buttons either. The same goes for my OtterBox case. I did originally have the convertible case but haven't used it since I got the journal case, and doubt I ever will again. The are many cases out there and a little search on the forums should help you pick what works best for you. Numerous threads on cases. Welcome and good luck
    jafobabe and AndyMulhearn like this.
    10-07-12 03:39 PM
  7. playbookpa's Avatar
    Very interesting and informative OP, thanks!

    For Android, I'm with you... up to a point : it's the only way to have some functionnality that might really lack in the official app world, depending on your needs, and if you accept to sideload (see below for pointers).

    Many scrap Android apps on the AppWorld, for sure, but many gems also, in and out of AppWorld, just takes (a lot of) time to test and sort!

    I've found I gain around 100MB free RAM (from 540-550 to 630-660 free) by stoping the Android player when not in use, very cool for browsing without clearing the cache every 2 minutes!

    Only drawback: it takes around 30s to re-start when you launch an Android ported app...
    ----------------------------------------------------
    3 ways to kill the player :
    • Open many huge apps in a row, until PlayBook OS closes Android player to make room...
    • Or sideload last free version of Android Reset (Overload) from: http://www.filearchivehaven.com/down...t_1.0.0.13.bar
    • Or buy Memory Eater or the last version of Overload from official AppWorld

    ----------------------------------------------------
    For sideloading "your essential" apps:

    I use DDPB, and it works very well for me
    (see DDPB installer utility for BlackBerry PlayBook updated to v1.0.9 | CrackBerry.com ,
    and a good tutorial here: UPDATED: [PlayBook] Side Load PlayBook Apps/Android Apps (Windows) BerryReview Forums)

    For Android apps that are not in the official AppWorld, the key words are "converted" ".apk" ".bar" "sideload"

    A good legit source is : Blackberry Playbook Android Apps | Good e-Reader Android APP Store - Playbook App Market

    I personnaly couldn't really enjoy my PlayBook to the fullest without:
    • - Repligo Reader for a real decent PDF reader
    • - Moon + Reader for other e-books
    • - ComicRack for comics
    • - Handrite and FreeNote for magical quick drawn Post-It notes
    • - WinAmp for radio
    • - Android Task Killer to gain a bit of RAM when I want to keep Android player open, but quiet! (Some say it's stupid to use that, I gain RAM, YMMV)
    • - Google Maps (Latitude) for... Maps & Navigation (sometimes a bit buggy, but sooooo nice )
    • - Some games (question of taste)


    Have a look in the sub-forum for Apps also, just here on CrackBerry.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Hope it might help some!
    For the record, I'm just compiling info learned for 99% here on the CrackBerry forums: many thanks to all who contribute(d) in this excellent (and sanity-saving when things go wrong with your beloved!) community!
    Last edited by playbookpa; 10-07-12 at 05:23 PM.
    10-07-12 04:51 PM
  8. bdegrande's Avatar
    As far as battery life, a 7" tablet has, by necessity, a MUCH smaller battery than a 10" iPad and will never match it for battery life. You have an iPad 2. If you had the latest version, you would find that the retina display shortens battery life despite an even larger battery.

    You will find the OSs very similar (a dock, creating folders by dragging one icon over another, etc.). I also prefer trhe PlayBook's gestures to iOSs, but I have had some problems using the wrong gestures, trying to use the iPad's five finger pinch on the PlayBook or the PlayBook's swipe from a bezel on the iPad.
    10-07-12 05:49 PM
  9. o. l. t.'s Avatar
    The need to go through Yahoo to get contact and calendars onto the Playbook, and other Blackberry devices, is a flaw I lay at the door of Apple, though RIM could do more about synchronisation on the host computer through the desktop software to make that easier for non-corporate users.
    I have several different contacts sources imported and I had to do nothing to have every one of my contacts on the PB. They all instantly imported when I connected to Facebook, same ones synced when I connected to Gmail, and the same ones again synced when I signed into twitter. I simply turned my PB on for the first time, signed into my social accounts, and had every contact instantly there all in contacts from every source I have.



    The bad. Android player. I don't want it and wish there was some way to tell that an app I want to try in the app store is native or Android repackaged. Well there is one way to tell, experience has shown that most of the Android apps I've downloaded don't actually load. But what they do manage to do is crash the Android runtime, or something else very horrible, and leave me with loads of missing memory. So much so that I have to reboot to be able to run more than two apps at any one time. I think I see where they were going with this but I would rather I had the option to either turn it off or have it as a downloadable option…
    Side loading......... learn it, love it.
    10-07-12 06:10 PM
  10. AndyMulhearn's Avatar
    Everything that you would ever want accessory wise is either on amazon or the crackberry store, I agree with some of your points but I find the email on the playbook to be pretty good, but I guess thats just a matter of opinion.

    Anyways welcome to cb, hope you enjoy your PlayBook as much as I have. Believe me when I tell you there is so much more you can do on a palybook then most other tablets, you just have to discover it first. Also with the BB10 upgrade coming in a few months you will have the best tablet ever made!
    I'll be interested to see how the email client evolves in BB10. if it goes back to needing BIS I may just pass on the upgrade having had enough of that with my Torch.
    10-08-12 03:13 PM
  11. AndyMulhearn's Avatar
    Thanks Harry, I'll give it a look.
    10-08-12 03:14 PM
  12. AndyMulhearn's Avatar
    As to the android player, since you just purchased your PB, I'm sure it came preloaded with OS 2.0. If you haven't updated to 2.1, if you do you'll find that the android player is much better and runs much more stable.
    No, as an early OS adopter I upgraded to 2.1 as soon as it came out. Still no luck with Android apps
    10-08-12 03:16 PM
  13. AndyMulhearn's Avatar
    I hear you on the tabs! The guy that made the close button did not have tablets in mind! Hehe

    It was a good review, if you ask me. Sounds honest even after you do some comparison to Apple devices.

    Case-wise, I have the Journal Case. It works just fine, maybe you should look into it.

    That said, hope you enjoy you PlayBook! I know I do!

    And welcome to the forums.
    Cheers. I managed to find a nice tutorial to get Calendars synced (How to sync multiple Gmail calendars on your BlackBerry PlayBook | CrackBerry.com) and I'm not pretty close to what I have on my iPad. All I'm missing is being able to read iBooks content but that's an Apple problem, not Blackberry...
    10-08-12 03:20 PM
  14. AndyMulhearn's Avatar
    Thanks playbookpa, a lot of useful stuff there.
    playbookpa likes this.
    10-08-12 03:22 PM
  15. AndyMulhearn's Avatar
    As far as battery life, a 7" tablet has, by necessity, a MUCH smaller battery than a 10" iPad and will never match it for battery life. You have an iPad 2. If you had the latest version, you would find that the retina display shortens battery life despite an even larger battery.
    I actually thought the Playbook was far thicker than the iPad but holding them side by side, I see it's not. That was why I questioned the battery life. Bearing that in mind makes the battery life even more impressive.

    You will find the OSs very similar (a dock, creating folders by dragging one icon over another, etc.). I also prefer trhe PlayBook's gestures to iOSs, but I have had some problems using the wrong gestures, trying to use the iPad's five finger pinch on the PlayBook or the PlayBook's swipe from a bezel on the iPad.
    Strangely, I find the reverse. I keep using single finger wipes from the bezel on my iPad. And thanks for the folder tip, it hadn't occurred to me that would work
    10-08-12 03:28 PM
  16. AndyMulhearn's Avatar
    I have several different contacts sources imported and I had to do nothing to have every one of my contacts on the PB. They all instantly imported when I connected to Facebook, same ones synced when I connected to Gmail, and the same ones again synced when I signed into twitter. I simply turned my PB on for the first time, signed into my social accounts, and had every contact instantly there all in contacts from every source I have.
    Contacts worked fine, it was calendars that gave me the problem - I have several different public calendar synced to my Air and iPad and spent a lot of time on friday trying to sync them. The tutorial here - How to sync multiple Gmail calendars on your BlackBerry PlayBook | CrackBerry.com worked perfectly and they're all synced fine.

    Side loading......... learn it, love it.
    With the troubles I've had with Android apps? :-)
    10-08-12 03:31 PM

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