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BlackBerry PlayBook 4G LTE review

8/10 AVG.
RATING



8/10
Informr score
The BlackBerry PlayBook 4G LTE currently has an Informr score of 8 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 4 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

It was quite a long time coming, but after 1.5 years the BlackBerry PlayBook 4G LTE tablet finally got released to the market. It doesn’t differ much from its non-4G LTE-enabled counterpart but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, it takes a lot of hardware cues from the sleek and slim model that came before it, and yet somehow it manages to come out on top in terms of computing power and maximum battery life.

For a tablet that’s being released to the market in 2012, the BlackBerry PlayBook 4G LTE comes with a few rather disappointing features. For one thing, RIM has not seen it fit to update the 7-inch 1024x600 pixel resolution screen, and the main camera on the back still works with a 5-megapixel sensor that does not have an accompanying flash. Hardware improvements are indeed present, though. The fact that these are mostly out of sight doesn’t have to mean they don’t make a difference.

The biggest difference between this and the original BlackBerry PlayBook can be seen in the overall speed in menu or app navigation and Web browsing. This is because of the improved dual-core processor that’s clocked at a higher speed than the one on the previous model. There’s still only 1GB of RAM, but the 4G LTE model makes good use of it as evidenced by the responsiveness of the system during usage. And storage options have now been tripled to include 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB variants for those who need it.

Because of the above-mentioned feature improvements and the fact that the casing is still only 10mm thin, the BlackBerry PlayBook 4G LTE looks like an excellent choice for those who want in on the tablet craze that has taken over the world. The only problem is when you take a look at what RIM’s competition has to offer, you’ll realize that the asking price for a 4G-enabled BlackBerry PlayBook might be a bit too high. BlackBerry fans and those who need 4G support may do good to lean towards this tablet, but if you think that 4G data as a feature is an unnecessary option, you’re better off setting your sights elsewhere.

Need To Know: BlackBerry PlayBook 4G LTE

1. 1.5GHz dual-core processor coupled with 4G LTE speeds makes for very fast Web browsing. (The Good)

2. Overall quality of hardware is top-notch and the casing is as sleek as they come with a 10mm profile. (The Good)

3. The 7-inch screen has a low native resolution of 1024x600 pixels. (The Bad)

4. The retail price for a BlackBerry PlayBook 4G LTE tablet without a contract may be a bit too high for some considering what a user gets as part of the overall package—including the app ecosystem and third-party software/hardware support. (The Bad)


Operating system
BlackBerry
Processor
1.5 GHz
Screen Size
7"
Camera
5+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


TelecomTiger

The RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook is a great entry into Tablet market and surely is successful. Two HD camera’s, 1 GHz processor, 1 GB RAM, stereo speakers and microphone, HDMI connectivity, etc. makes it powerful and competitive with Apple and Samsung. Its 7 inch screen size is less in comp...

- TT Gadget Editor, TelecomTiger
Ars Technica

One of the most important features of the PlayBook is its ability to seamlessly integrate with a BlackBerry smartphone, but unfortunately, we did not have a device on hand to test this functionality. RIM has managed to fix the Bridge issue since we last reviewed it, so the PlayBook no longer require...

- Florence Ion, Ars Technica
CrackBerry

The upgraded processor and LTE are nice additions and add to the overall PlayBook experience. Everything just seems to work more fluidly vs. the Wi-Fi version.

- Bla1ze, CrackBerry
N4BB

With 4G connectivity, a faster processor and NFC, the 4G PlayBook is a rock-solid upgrade from the original PlayBook. I’m actually surprised they didn’t call it the PlayBook 2, or the new PlayBook for that matter. The processor is a straight-up beast, the build is still solid, the LTE sp...

- Ross Cheriton, N4BB


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Quick view

Screen Size
7"

The BlackBerry PlayBook 4G LTE's screen size is 7 inches with x pixels resolution.

Processor
1.5 GHz

There is a 1.5 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The tablet runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

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

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

Battery
4800mAh

The tablet is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 4800 mAh battery. BlackBerry's performance ratings are 6 hours Wi-Fi surfing.

PlayBook 4G LTE Specs

Overview
Release date August 9, 2012
Regions available Canada
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
UMTS:
850/900/1700/1900 /2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/700 MHz
Data:
HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Micro-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System No

Compare BlackBerry Tablets

Processor 1.5 GHz
Internal Storage 32 GB
RAM 1 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 4800 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 3 hours
Video Playback Time Up to: 6 hours
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 6 hours
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Reading Time No
Standby Time Unknown
Physical Characteristics
Material Plastic
Colors Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 13.0 x 19.3 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
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size 7 inches
Sensors Ambient Light, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Unknown
Multiple Numbers Per Contact No
Contact Groups No
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP
Additional Email Features -
Messaging No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 2.1
Bluetooth Profiles DUN, HID
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
Expansion Slot Info No
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out Yes
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
No
Additional Main Camera Info
White balance
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, ASF, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
3+ megapixels
Zoom
1x optical
Additional Front Camera Info
White balance
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MIDI, MP3, MP4, AAC, AMR, WMA, WAV, QCP, M4A, OGG
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, ASF, AVI
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types BMP, DOC, DOCX, GIF, HTML, JPG, PDF, PPT, TXT, XLS
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): BlackBerry PlayBook Wi-Fi + Cellular

Related Links Manual (PDF)
BlackBerry PlayBook 4G LTE Reviews
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