Why Not the Blackberry Playbook?

Info, linkedin, Software, Technology Dec 22, 2012 Comments Off

OK…so I’ve had a Blackberry 32GB Playbook for about a month now. It’s superbly designed, extremely fast, it multi-tasks (for real), and it gives me every bit of business information that I have on my Blackberry Curve and my desktop PC. So why isn’t the entire world in love with it? Why does the RIM bashing continue? Sure, the iPad is cool…great sound quality, beautiful industrial design, and waaaaay overpriced! And the iPad mini is every bit the mirror of its big brother…cool looking, skinny, and overpriced!

When you put the specs and functionality of the Playbook next to those of the mini, the mini begins to look…well…mini. The Playbook has a dock with a fast charger that gets it back up to speed in no time; not so the mini. The Playbook has HDMI out, so it will play back HD video on my big-ass monitor; not so the mini. The Playbook has 1GB of RAM, the mini has 512, or so everyone thinks – Apple’s not talking about it. The 32GB Playbook costs just south of 200 dollars; the mini – just north of 400 dollars. So just what is it that has kept the Playbook in the shadows? Apple mavens swear that there are no apps for the Playbook – thus far I haven’t had any problems with either the Blackberry App offerings, or the multitude of Android apps which are daily being ported to the Playbook, and which, by the way, any reasonably savvy user can do in about 10 minutes. I’ve got the ability to read and edit Microsoft Office Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Acrobat files. I have a Form designer which allows me to create custom small databases for various tracking purposes. There are at least two free teleprompter apps for video production, and the list goes on. I’m not into gaming, so maybe that’s where the Playbook choices lag; I couldn’t care less – the Playbook is a business tool. The two cameras on the Playbook are superior in megapixels – ok, one of them is the same – to the mini. And I could go on and on with the comparisons, most of which will be superior on the Playbook side.

The real comparison in any case is real world usage. I can’t begin to compare here, since I don’t own an iPad mini, but as a business user, my Playbook is my tool. I use it for business documents in client meetings, as a camera for site surveys for video production, to check my business and personal email, through two different portals. It also does yoeman duty for demo playback in HD.

And here is where I really love the Playbook. If you remember, RIM has always had the highest levels of security on their phone devices, which is why I settled on the Blackberry phone when starting my business; I often have to carry information which is under Non-Disclosure Agreement, so having a device with rock-solid security was tops on my list. The Playbook also has a built-in security feature, called Bridge; it allows me to have access to all of my emails, contacts, calendar, and other critical information, without a snippet of it actually living on the Playbook – this means that if my Playbook is lost or stolen, unless the thief has my phone as well, there’s no important information on it! And if I’m really paranoid, there’s a free app from Blackberry which allows me to wipe all of my personal information from my phone and Playbook, then track its location, so it can be found, and the thief brought to justice. I love it!

So I guess it’s all in the marketing – Blackberry has given us the best of all the tablets in their Playbook, but either no one has recognized it, or nobody cares. It doesn’t matter to me – the Playbook is my business tool of choice. And for a great article which compares the Playbook and iPad mini side by side, check this out.

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