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NYT's David Pogue

https://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/14/technology/personaltech/14pogue.html?_r=1&ref=technology

[T]he PlayBook does three impressive things that its rivals — the iPad and the Android tablets — can only dream about.

First, with a special HDMI cable (not included), you can hook it up to a TV or projector, which is great for PowerPoint presentations...

The second cool feature has to do with loading the tablet with your music, photos and music. [O]nce you’ve set up this process using a USB cable, you can do it thereafter over Wi-Fi — wirelessly. The PlayBook can even accept such wireless transfers when it’s in sleep mode, sitting in your purse or briefcase across the room.

Finally, there’s a wild, wireless Bluetooth connection feature called BlackBerry Bridge. In this setup, the PlayBook acts as a giant viewing window onto the contents of a BlackBerry phone. Whatever e-mail, calendar, address book and instant messages are on the BlackBerry now show up on the PlayBook’s much roomier screen — a live, encrypted two-way link.
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The PlayBook, then, is convenient, fast and coherently designed. But in its current half-baked form, it seems almost silly to try to assess it, let alone buy it.

Remember, the primary competition is an iPad — the same price, but much thinner, much bigger screen and a library of 300,000 apps. In that light, does it make sense to buy a fledgling tablet with no built-in e-mail or calendar, no cellular connection, no videochat, Skype, no Notes app, no GPS app, no videochat, no Pandora radio and no Angry Birds?

You should also know that even now, only days before the PlayBook goes on sale April 19, the software is buggy and still undergoing feverish daily revision. And the all-important BlackBerry Bridge feature is still in beta testing. It’s missing important features, like the ability to view e-mail file attachments or click a link in an e-mail.

If all of this gets fixed, the apps arrive, and the PlayBook can survive this year’s onslaught of rival tablets, then it may one day wind up in the pantheon of greats. For now, there are too many features that live only in R.I.M.’s playbook — and not enough in its PlayBook.
 

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Review by Walt Mossberg was negative.

He liked the device and the user interface but was negative on the inability to do email etc without being tethered to a blackberry and the lack of apps.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There are a few pieces of software that are not available at launch time and tethering is the short term solution.

These items are coming but not at launch.

Not a issue for me since my Blackberry smartphone works fine with my POP3 personal email but I'll be glad to have it on the device as well. I'll be patient.

I can also access email via webmail.

Once wifi tethering comes out for Blackberry handsets, it will also improve the overall experience since my experience with bluetooth tethering wasn't as straight forward.
 

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Review by Walt Mossberg was negative.

He liked the device and the user interface but was negative on the inability to do email etc without being tethered to a blackberry and the lack of apps.
The user interface is the most important factor. Those two negatives are temporary -though you can do email and everything else with the browser.
 

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Isn't the Playbook supposed to be able to run Android apps? I haven't seen a review of that functionality.
 

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Not a very warm reception looking at the first half-dozen or so reviews that are coming across the wire, with most reviewers panning the lack of apps, browser performance and particularly Flash performance as below expectations.

Most reviews concede there is strong potential, but many important elements are not available at launch. Given that RIM is last one to the party, I would have hoped they could waited and released a mature product instead of racing in with an unfinished offering. At the very least, an email client and a PIM, which is the one thing they should have had going for them!!!

But...reviewers are known to be twits, so let's see how the market responds. Here's hoping that RIM can reinvent themselves with Playbook!
 

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Android apps will run in VM.
Android runs on Cellphones, in VM.
Cellphones with Android boot the Linux kernel then run the VM engine.

All RIM has to do (not that minor, but do-able) convert VM engine from Linux to QNX.
 

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Interesting how much leeway james99 is willing to give Blackberry on their release, while so quick to find fault with the iPhone and iPad. ;)

From the reviews, it sounds like they're rushing it out the doors just to say they have it released; for all intents and purposes, though, it sounds like another few months of development time would have lead to a much stronger first impression among many pundits.
 

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Yeah but it does Flash!

IMO, I think this is a huge disaster for Blackberry.

Coming to market with a half baked product was a huge mistake. No one will care six months from now when the PlayBook finally lets you send texts and emails with it.

And don't get me started on the tethering issue!

Since it's baseball season, I'd say Apple's hit a home run, the Tab struck out, Xoom hit a single and the Playbook got on base with a walk.

Next up: Acer and HP.
 

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RIM's approach always seems to be staid. I really don't see them taking the general tablet market by storm any time soon. They just don't have the "flash" (sorry) to capture that audience. As good, solid business tools, they rule, but I don't see a solid business reason for the Playbook. Do I really want to have to carry both?
 

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Yup. Releasing a tablet that requires tethering to a another device shows the kind of arrogance that's going to kill RIM off one day. Not only are their devices essentially the same as they were three years ago (the incremental changes in that time from the Curve 8330 sitting here beside me are negligible compared to what Android and iOS devices have done) but they have the stones to think that their customer base is so loyal that they'll snap up a half-finished device that was rushed to release with the need for tethering and minimal app support.
 

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there should be a filter for "quality" apps though, when people are doing these comparisons


sure some platforms have hundreds of thousands of apps

there's less than 500 decent ones though
 

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I don't think it requires tethering, it's just a wifi tablet. AFAIK, the only part that requires tethering is BIS access.
From the reviews that I have read:
You can connect to the internet via wifi and use the regular browser.

You can connect to the internet via bluetooth through any bluetooth-enabled phone that supports tethering.

You can connect to the internet via the Blackberry Bridge through most blackberries. Blackberry Bridge allows you to access your email and calendar on your blackberry, as well as the files on any internal SD card. It also includes a browser with which you can browse the internet through your BB -- this method does not involve tethering (should your carrier charge extra for tethering). There are indications that you might be able to use it to browse your corporate intranet as well (through your BES server).

There isn't any built-in way to access your email without using Blackberry Bridge, but there should be email apps available soon such as this one: http://www.playbookdaily.com/2011/04/16/another-look-at-the-playbook-email-app-early-bird-video/
 
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