RIM claims a wide range of file formats and codecs will play back on the PlayBook, including M4A, M4V, MOV, AVI, WMV, WMA, MP4, AAC, MP3, Xvid and H.264. In tests, the tablet played nicely with many formats but not all, such as a couple of high-definition .mkv files. The videos that did play looked great on the PlayBook and standard def content transferred to the big screen with reasonable quality.
Attach a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable to the mini-HDMI socket on the PlayBook’s base and you can mirror what’s on the tablet on a flatscreen TV, which worked effortlessly.
Apps menu in landscape mode
When it comes to surfing the Internet, the experience is way better than on any other BlackBerry device. The browser is fast, accessible and attractive. It opens with a grid of favourites including Google, Amazon, Bing, Facebook, YouTube and more. Once you’re browsing the site you want, previous pages are stored offscreen – swipe down from the top and thumbnails drop into view.
RIM has made much of the PlayBook’s Flash capabilities – partly because a certain market-dominating tablet doesn’t have it – and the results are great. Testing it with the Flash-heavy cute animation of Apollo 11 readying for lift-off displayed smoothly, switching easily between video, audio and photos.
The PlayBook shoots 1080p video and has a 5Mp camera on the back which delivers decent results. The front-facing camera, mostly used for video calling, is also good, with a 3Mp resolution. Neither camera has flash and tablets don’t really lend themselves to being held comfortably for shooting – though this one is easier to manipulate than a 10-in tablet.
Image and video viewing is bright and crisp
Functioning as a eBook reader is one of the tasks tablets undertake and Kobo is the app of choice here. When it comes to turning pages, it lacks the graphical delights of Apple’s iBooks, but it’s an acceptable reader. The device is easier to hold because it’s lighter than an iPad, though no match for the Amazon Kindle.
Next page: The price is right?
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.
Call me when...
...they release a COMPLETE version with integrated email, contacts and security to a BES server.
Until then, it would be as unused as my ex-wifes phone number.
Re: Well, I'm sure...
"...that'll succeed as awesomely as the Palm Foleo did"
Guffaw, eh? Except that the Foleo was never released, and then the netbook surge happened despite idiot pundits claiming that nobody wanted anything less than a full-fat 10kg "runs Office on Windows" mega-laptop.
The only lesson is this: listen to common sense, not to pundits. Oh, and when learning from history, make sure you actually get the history and not someone's "did you hear...?" fiction.