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BlackBerry PlayBook review

6.5/10 AVG.

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
1 GHz
Screen Size
5+ MP

What the Critics Are Saying...

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

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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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+ megapixel 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
Mobile / Cellular Data
No (Option available)
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
Operating System No

Compare BlackBerry Tablets

Processor OMAP4430 1 GHz
Internal Storage 32/64 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible No
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Data Cable, Manual
Power & battery
Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 5300 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
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 (Celluar) Unknown
Reading Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 13 days
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
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
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 Touchscreen
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Predictive Text Entry No
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 No
Email Protocols No
Additional Email Features -
Messaging No
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
Memory Expansion Slot No
Expansion Slot Info No
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out Yes
DLNA Support No
Main Camera
5+ megapixels
Dual lens
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
3+ megapixels
1x optical
Additional Front Camera Info
White balance
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MP3, AAC, WMA
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, DivX
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Stereo
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar No
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, Pre-installed
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed
Included Software / Apps -
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): BlackBerry BlackPad, BlackBerry Surfbook

Related Links Manual (PDF)
BlackBerry PlayBook Reviews
Where to buy BlackBerry PlayBook
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