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BlackBerry PlayBook review

6.5/10 AVG.
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BlackBerry PlayBook
BlackBerry PlayBook
BlackBerry PlayBook
BlackBerry PlayBook

Informr score
The BlackBerry PlayBook currently has an Informr score of 6.5 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 30 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The BlackBerry PlayBook is RIM's latest foray into the tablet market, going for a practical business look rather than focusing on fun. It comes packed with some of the fastest hardware available in a tablet and features a very sleek and smooth design.

The biggest strength of the PlayBook is its ability to handle corporate and enterprise tasks. It is by far the most complete tablet on the market today if your primary need is for business. The keyboard is slick to use and the touchscreen is responsive. It displays Powerpoint presentations in all their glory and has enhanced security features to keep your sensitive data safe.

BlackBerry did not compromise when choosing hardware for the PlayBook. It features a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and three levels of storage to choose from (16, 32, or 64GB). This leads to an enjoyable experience as apps load nearly instantly and multitasking does not slow the PlayBook down much at all. Battery life is good overall, but not the best. Expect around seven hours between charges compared to ten hours on the iPad 2. Unfortunately, memory management issues come up every now and again and need a reboot to fix them.

The controls on the outside of the device are a low point. The power button is the only way to disable the screen and it is in a rather annoying place and requires too much pressure to activate. The PlayBook is also missing many apps that are available on Apple and Android tablets. If you are buying a tablet for fun and not for business, you might want to look elsewhere.

Need to Know: BlackBerry PlayBook

1. Second to none when it comes to business and enterprise work. RIM has this part of the market well in hand. (The Good)

2. Impressive hardware specs make for an enjoyable user experience. (The Good)

3. Lacks apps that Apple and Android users take for granted. (The Bad)

4. Memory management issues can slow the device to a crawl at times. (The Bad)

Operating system
Operating system
1 GHz
1 GHz
Screen Size
Screen Size
5+ MP
5+ MP
5300 mAh

What the Critics Are Saying...

Tech Advisor
Tech Advisor

RIM's revised BlackBerry PlayBook addresses all the original tablet's shortcomings.

- Martyn Casserly, Tech Advisor

The much needed software upgrade for the PlayBook tablet does make it a lot better in a number of ways. The three main apps significantly improve the PlayBook and RIM has done a great job of including good features and making them work well.However, we can't bypass the fact that these should have be...

- Chris Martin, V3

Without a doubt, every Tablet OS 2.0 change and addition makes the PlayBook a better tablet. The email app and its calendar, contacts and social media integration may have arrived too late for iPad owners to ditch Apple’s tablet for a PlayBook, but the new clients are certainly not too little....

- Jamison Cush, TabletPCReview
The Verge
The Verge

It may be labeled version 2.0, but this is the operating system the Playbook should have shipped with. It’s relatively complete, mostly bug-free, and though it’s filled with plenty of oddities, quirks, and issues none are hugely problematic. The additions are smart ones, the new apps are...

- David Pierce, The Verge

Ultimately, it’s early days for the PlayBook, if RIM can live up to their promises this is one tablet that could be the main set for businesses everywhere. But if those promises aren’t kept and the apps fail to materialise you’ll be left with something that’s really only good...

- Stuart Miles, Pocket-lint

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Quick view

Screen Size

The BlackBerry PlayBook's screen size is 7 inches with x pixels resolution.

1 GHz

There is a OMAP4430 1 GHz processor (CPU).


The tablet runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

5+ MP
You can take photos or capture video with the tablet's onboard 5+ MP camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 3+ megapixels resolution.
32/64 GB

Internal memory is 32/64 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.


The tablet is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 5300 mAh battery. BlackBerry's performance ratings are 13 days standby time, 8 hours Wi-Fi surfing.

BlackBerry PlayBook Specs

Release Date April 19, 2011
Regions Available USA, Canada
Operating System No

Compare BlackBerry Smartphones

Processor OMAP4430 1 GHz
Internal Storage 64 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible No
SAR Unknown
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Data Cable, Manual
Mobile / Cellular Data
No (Option available)
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 2.1
Bluetooth Profiles DUN, HID
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Memory Expansion Slot No
Expansion Slot Info
Main Camera
Resolution / Aperture
5+ Megapixels
Additional Main Camera Info
White balance
Video Recording Formats
H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, DivX
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution / Aperture
3+ Megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
White balance
Video Recording Parameters
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size 7 inches
Sensors Ambient Light, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive Touchscreen
Power & Battery
Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 5300 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 4 hours
Video Playback Time Up to 6 hours
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to 8 hours
Internet Use (Cellular) Unknown
Standby Time Up to 13 days
Mixed Usage
Physical Characteristics
Material Unknown
Colors Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 13.0 x 19.4 x 1.0 cm (5.1 x 7.6 x 0.4 in)
Weight 425 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Headset Jack 3.5mm
External Speakers Stereo
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key No
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Additional Information Graphics: Yes
Backlit Illumination: Yes
Zoom / Magnification: Yes
Screen Orientation Lock: Yes
Predictive Text Entry: No
Keypad/Screen Lock: Yes
Web Browser: Yes
PC Synchronization: Yes
TV Out Info: HDMI
Audio Formats: MP3, AAC, WMA
Video Playback Formats: H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, DivX
Streaming Video: Yes
Custom Ringtones: Yes
Vibration Alert: Yes
Viewable document types: BMP, DOC, DOCX, GIF, HTML, JPG, PDF, PPT, TXT, XLS
Games: Downloadable, Pre-installed
Apps: Downloadable, Pre-installed
Included Software / Apps: -
Alarm, Stop Watch, Timer, Calculator, Weather, Maps, Voice Memos / Recorder

Other Names (AKA): BlackBerry BlackPad, BlackBerry Surfbook
Related Links Manual (PDF)
BlackBerry PlayBook Reviews
Where to buy BlackBerry PlayBook
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