The "1-Minute" Review
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)