Hands on with the BlackBerry PlayBook

Tablets might be a ten a penny at CES, but I was eager to have a look at the BlackBerry PlayBook, a new step in terms of business technology. Merging the functionality of a BlackBerry with a stylish tablet, the 7 inch PlayBook could potentially be a market changer, in terms of business conferences and office functionality.  It features a 7 inch multitouch capacitative screen and is 10mm thick.

The BlackBerry PlayBook was surprisingly comfortable to hold, far lighter than the iPad (it weighs 0.4kg compared to the iPad’s  0.68kg) and felt good in the hand. The gloss finish was attractive and the screen was beautiful to behold.  The multitouch was a tad tricky to use, with a little display lag when zooming in and out of the pages- ‘it’s extra sensitive’, the spokesperson claimed, before elaborating that the model we had was still ‘unfinished’.

We couldn’t look at document editing or spreadsheets as they weren’t yet installed, which was a shame, as that’s going to be one of the big draws for people.

The PlayBook features two cameras, a frontward facing 3megapixel camera and a 5megapixel rear camera. Connectivity wise, you get an HDMI port, a micro USB port and WiFi. As well as Adobe Flash 10.1. You can play videos in 1080p on the screen, and what we saw looked great, with rich vibrant colours and it was easy to adjust controls such as volume and brightness with a finger swoosh.

As the PlayBook is designed to cater for the business user, you have full BlackBerry support, from integrated calendars to Blackberry Messaging services. In terms of video conferencing, you’re able to use both cameras, and it has a 1GHz dual core processor for fast speeds, and 1GB RAM.

There are more functions than just business to this device, as it provides an all round multimedia experience, with music, videos, pictures and games all as standard.

Out later this year, price TBC.

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