BlackBerry PlayBook “Hands On” and First Impressions Roundup

RIM has finally announced the Blackberry PlayBook, a 7″ BlackBerry Tablet designed with professional users in mind at, at DEVCON. After the unveiling of the BlackBerry Tablet journalists were able to get up close with the BlackBerry Tablet and share their first impressions which we have rounded up below.

While the demo models were encased in glass so there aren’t any real hands on that will answer questions about the OS and performance we have collected the first impressions of the BlackBerry PlayBook and videos of the BlackBerry Tablet into one post for easy access.

If you haven’t had time to read the spec sheet for the BlackBerry PlayBook here are the highlights.

  • 7-inch LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen with full multi-touch and gesture support
  • BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing), supports 1080p HD video recording
  • Video playback: 1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV
  • Audio playback: MP3, AAC, WMA
  • HDMI video output
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Weighs less than a pound

The BlackBerry PlayBook is WiFI only, and will connect to the internet by tethering, or hooking up to, your BlackBerry.

BlackBerry PlayBook Hands On and First Impressions Roundup:

BlackBerry PlayBook Hands On Video – CrackBerry: “The form factor is pretty cool. It’s a lot smaller than an iPad, but a lot bigger then your typical BlackBerry. Overall, I’m liking the form factor. It definitely fits with the “first professional tablet” branding as well. Going sorta hands-on we could see that they had on display both 16GB and 32GB versions of the PlayBook. No removable battery either – that’s a new one for us BlackBerry users to have to deal with. It’s hawt though.” – Kevin Michaluk

BlackBerry Playbook Hands On” and first Impressions NetBookNews: Nicole Scott and Sascha P. of NetBookNews bring an up close look at the buttons and hardware.

BlackBerry PlayBook Hardware Upclose – SlashGear: “Features like 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, a non-SurePress touchscreen, and the overall size of the PlayBook tablet could indeed work in its favor. The ability to work from your BlackBerry smartphone, to your BlackBerry PlayBook will probably be a welcomed addition to BlackBerry users out there, making it much easier for them to get things done, while keeping everything mobile. With POSIX and OpenGL support, the PlayBook could indeed be positioned as a gaming tablet, too, but it will remain to be seen if RIM goes out of their way to make it look like that, as well as a professional tablet.” – Evan Selleck

BlackBerry PlayBook First Eyes On – Engadget: “Anyhow, the screen seems pretty great — we’re not sure if it’s IPS, but it’s definitely high-res and should function really well for video and gaming. All told, it looks like it’ll be about as easy to lug around as the Galaxy Tab, which makes sense considering we’re looking at the same size display and roughly the same form factor.” – Chris Ziegler

First look: RIM’s QNX-powered BlackBerry PlayBook (BlackPad) tablet – IntoMobile: “But, we still have no idea how well the QNX UI works in real-world usage. Sure, the demo video of the PlayBook was a mouth-watering clip of fancy menu animations and finger-friendly swipes, but so was the original BlackBerry Storm demo video. And we all know how good” the Storm turned out to be. Without putting our hands on the actual device, we can say that the UI looks interesting and is compelling enough for us to hunt down a tablet to fiddle with right quick. The hardware looks amazing, but again, we have no idea how it feels.” – Will

First Impressions of the BlackBerry PlayBook – Information Week: “The Playbook is small and thin. RIM did a good job with the design. Because it has a 7-inch, 16:9 aspect ratio display, it is more rectangular than square. It looks sharp and professional — definitely more business-oriented than the recently announced Samsung Galaxy Tab, which has a decidedly more consumer feel to it.

There are a few controls placed around the outer edge of the PlayBook. Along the bottom are all the ports, including microUSB and microHDMI. RIM wisely placed them right in the middle, which will help the PlayBook work well with docks and other accessories. I can already see the accessory makers’ eyes glistening with opportunity.” – Eric Zeman

BlackBerry PlayBook, first impressions – CNet: “Battery life is going to be an obvious concern, especially considering the powerful dual-core processor and support for Adobe Flash, which Apple famously maligned as a big drain on battery life. Other features, such as multitasking, HD video playback, HDMI output, and HD video recording, are also well known battery-life killers. Currently, we’ve yet to see a competing tablet match the 10-hour battery time of the iPad, and we think it’s fair to say that if RIM could brag about this spec, it would have mentioned it.” – Donald Bell

BlackBerry PlayBook: Hot Hardware, But At What Price? – ZDNet: “RIM can probably get away with a list price of $1,500, as that price would drop substantially once bundled with operator service. But if RIM really wants to protect its enterprise house, the benefits of listing at $999 can’t be underestimated, even if enterprises aren’t price-sensitive like consumers. Witness how hard Apple worked to get its entry-level iPad under $500, and how that seems to be reaping benefits with consumers, enterprises and schools. And surveys showing that potential Android tablet buyers are expecting sub-$300 tablets.” – Eric Lai

BlackBerry PlayBack Short Video – “I could see the device is thin, they had three on display with different colors. Not sure if RIM will offer different colors when it is launched but it sure would be cool if they do.” – Luis Merlos

Android Fan Reactions to the BlackBerry PlayBook on Forums: We haven’t yet seen a through analysis from an outed Android Fanboy, but we do bring you some excerpts from the Android Forums.

“The Playbook is Pretty Damn Nice…” and “Looks nice but without great apps its worthless. That will be the key to its success.” at Android Central

“RIM announced the new BlackBerry Playbook today. While the hardware is impressive, I still believe the OS is just behind the times” – dandroid at

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