Touch and go
Anyway, there’s much more to the PlayBook. Take the design. There’s no button on the front of the device and the power button on the top edge is so recessed it’s fiddly, though RIM has told me that its adjusting this so it’s easier to use. But most of the time you don’t need it thanks to the bezel.
Like the Motorola Xoom, powering on from the back can be a bit of a fiddle
That bezel surrounding the display is wide for a reason – it’s touch-sensitive and when you swipe a finger between two opposite sides it wakes the screen in a way that’s rather pleasing. The display is bright, colourful and detailed: the 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169dpi, is proportionally higher than the iPad’s 1024 x 768 screen at 132dpi. Indeed, video playback looks excellent on this screen.
The operating system, called BlackBerry Tablet OS, is noticeably different from that of the phones, though clearly related. In fact, the OS here is one of the slickest and most enjoyable yet on a touchscreen. It’s not as instantly intuitive as the iPad, which is why a pair of videos appear onscreen to show you what to do when you first power up, but it’s easy and quick to master.
The home screen has a tray of apps along the bottom, and here it does resemble BlackBerry phones, so you can swipe between trays of Games, Favourites, Media and more. Swipe down from the top of the screen and a menu drops down.
To dismiss a program you swipe up to minimise it to a thumbnail, then up again to flick it off-screen. Palm Pre users will recognise this as similar to the OS there. In both cases it’s an enjoyable way of doing things. The PlayBook is good at multi-tasking, too, and you can flip easily between open applications.
Not always intuitive, but easy once you know how
It’s a more straightforward system than BlackBerry OS, but there are idiosyncrasies. If you want to change the background image you might think that comes under the Screen menu. No, you want the Pictures shortcut, from where you display the image you like and then swipe the menu down to choose ‘Set as Wallpaper’. Easy when you know how.
Next page: Appetite stimulant
It's half finished, but might be good one day. But gets a good score?!
How can a tablet possibly justify a 75% rating, when it doesn't offer much in the way of apps and there's no native email even?
Are you going to start reviewing all products based on what they might do one day? Give buggy, unplayable games top ratings because the developers say there will be a patch in a few months?
Also, RIM's excuse for the lack of email: It's a small device and you might lose it on the train, which is a security risk. Okay, so the solution to that is to keep your email on a smaller, and even more easily lost phone. But it'll be available on the tablet soon, somehow magically fixing the problem that made it impossible at launch. This is pure bullshit if ever I heard it, it's not security related, it just wasn't finished in time.
Sure, but its good to have the option
You can use the desktop management software to handle full syncing if you like.
But the easy and fast drag-and-drop is perfect for getting a photo you've just taken off, or loading in a video before you go catch a train etc. Having the flexibility to do either is very handy
@Jemma, do TRY to do your homework
""RIM has no native email" - um excuse me, what 'native email' does iOS for TechMuppets have - Gmail - thats not a native application. iOS proper has no native email either, just varying clients."
Completely wrong. iOS has one email client that knows how to connect to different types of email servers (GMail, MS Exchange, Mobile Me, IMAP and POP3) just like, say, outlook on your desktop. The playbook doesn't know how to connect to any of these. The ONLY thing a Playbook can do is tether to a BB.