Tools & Technologies

5 Minutes with the BlackBerry Playbook

A FedEx package arrived to the office this afternoon in Geneva, and inside was a 7″ BlackBerry Playbook. It wasn’t for me, but I got a chance to have 5 minutes with it.

Some immediate comments:

1. It’s not immediately obvious how to go back to the main screen. There was no button to push. The big difference from the iPad, and actually I like it now that I’ve been shown, is that the black border around the screen is active and does something. When you swipe your finger on the word “BlackBerry” at the bottom on the Playbook (or whatever is the “bottom” of the screen based on orientation), you head back to the main screen.

2. The keyboard is functional, and you can opt to have a tapping sound. It’s only QWERTY though, and as with the iPad, does not support a Dvorak keyboard layout. Oh well …

3. It opens Youtube fine, and plays videos well via the browser or the Youtube application. I found it strange that the Youtube application didn’t use the standard Youtube icon though.

4. Rotating the screen from landscape to portrait mode feels slower than the iPad. My (unscientific) test – hold both side-by-side and rotate back and forth 10 times – pegs the iPad with a slight advantage.

5. There’s no Kindle client on the device. There could have been, and would have linked the device straight to Amazon. While Amazon have said they will support the Kindle, it doesn’t look like it’s been released yet.

Overall – after 5 minutes – I like it. I’d take it home and spend some days with it …

Categories: Tools & Technologies