The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet had an industry launch in New York yesterday, and although the QNX-based user interface seems to have gone down well with industry watchers, the feeling is that it is lacking in various departments.
RIM’s PlayBook will go on sale on April 19th, with three versions: 16 GB for $500, 32 GB for 600$ and $700 for the 64 GB. Although the tablet features a 1GHz dual-core processor, two high-resolution cameras and a micro-HDMI output; it seems to be missing some functions that could be regarded as basic, such as, a built-in email program and calendar, contacts database, stand alone 3G or 4G network connection and chat application.
Upon its launch, scheduled for April 19th in US, PlayBook buyers will be able to browse through 3,000 applications, twenty times less than Apple's App Store currently has. Also, its 7-inch screen could be considered another “victory” for the iPad2; although Mike Lazaridis, Co-CEO of RIM, said "I just love its form factor, it's so light I can put it in my pocket .... It’s just the right size for me."
One of the biggest shortcomings of the QNX based tablet is the lack of the innate email program. In order to set up email on PlayBook, one has to establish an Internet Wi-Fi connection and use the web browser, or create a Bluetooth link using the Bridge function. Users will have to tether it to their BlackBerry for full email efficiency.
“That’s something I think is a huge disadvantage. If you’re in a hotel and you leave your cell phone upstairs and go to the lobby and want to use the tablet, you have to go back upstairs and get the phone,” Sarah Rotman Epps, analyst with Forrester Research complained.