[CES 2011] Tablets galore yet again – this time round we have Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook, and here is a video of it in action for those who are curious to know more about it. The interface is pretty smooth flowing – much faster than Android’s even when there are plenty of icons on the display. I tried it out for a bit, and came away impressed as it keeps up with the rest of the touchscreen crowd of devices. Needless to say, it has multi-touch support, and when it ran YouTube videos in the background alongside surfing some Flash-intensive sites, there was no noticeable slowdown at all.
Since it has only Wi-Fi connectivity without 3G, how do you get online when you are nowhere near a Wi-Fi hotspot? No matter, you can bridge it to your BlackBerry device via Bluetooth and access all your emails on the PlayBook itself. All the relevant security measures will also be made available on the PlayBook when hooked up to your BlackBerry device, so there’s no need to ring up the IT guy at the office and tell him/her you’re about to access some sensitive documents.
We would have liked to see the PlayBook being more productive by letting the BlackBerry it is connected to function as a keyboard, leaving the full display of the PlayBook as your viewing area. Instead, if you want to be productive on the road, half of the PlayBook’s display is taken up by a virtual keyboard. Since there are already Bluetooth-enabled keyboard devices for tablets like the iPad, why not include such a functionality into the BlackBerry ecosystem? After all, many people love the BlackBerry’s keypad for its speed and ease-of-use, and if this were to be implemented, RIM could have a winner here.
We do know that the PlayBook will be made available later this year from Sprint, and we do look forward to its availability across other carriers as well in due time (can’t wait to take advantage of Verizon’s 4G services that are super fast – how else do you think we serve up our live posts from the CES showfloor?). We hope that the PlayBook will be a winner in the end, as it does seem to shape up to be a pretty device that offers performance on demand simultaneously.