Hands on Review: Playbook 2.0– the initial take

I received my new Blackberry Playbook loaded with the new & much anticipated 2.0  software. Having had the first Playbook, I was rather keen to see just how much it has changed and I was particularly interested to see if the original irrigations have been fixed. Its time to take this baby out for a test ride !

The main problem of Playbook 1.0 was that it was heavily reliant on the person owing a Blackberry phone, however with 2.0 this is apparently no longer the case.

hmmm lets test that shall we….

So no Blackberry phone was bridged and only used my WiFi network for internet connectivity. This will test just how independent the Playbook has become.

Calendar, Contacts, Email:

First up : What does every tablet need? The essentials -  Calendar, Contacts and Email. Previously, you got all this info from a bridged Blackberry phone. Now, you just tap on Settings & Accounts and simply added my Gmail account. I was then asked to choose what I wanted to synchronise with my Playbook and so I chose Calendar, Contracts and Email.  Minutes later, I opened up the Calendar application and sure enough everything was there. Same with Email and Contacts. Thumbs up

Playbook 2.0 - Accounts

The Calendar application is pretty awesome with its unique way of displaying how busy each of your days are. The more meetings you have on the day the larger and bolder the Date becomes. It also has three little tabs on the top left: Day which shows your day at a glance, Agenda which shows just your appointment for the day and People that shows who you are meeting on the day. This is really cool as you can tap on any person’s name and it will pull out further information about that person from your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts (once these have been setup on the Playbook).

Playbook 2.0 - Calendar

The Email is wrapped up with all your various accounts so it becomes  a unified messaging system where you are able to get a view of all your communications from one location. I really like the search facility to instantly find information from any communication I have.  The most important addition to 2.0 is SPELL CHECK which is now included into every element.

Playbook 2.0 - email

The Contact app automatically downloads your contacts from the various accounts you have added including Gmail, LinkedIn and Twitter. So once again, all information is in one location.

Playbook 2.0 - Contacts

Connectivity:

Playbook 1.0 had dreadful connectivity issues. WiFi kept dropping as only certain types of WiFi networks were stable. Glad to report that this has been fixed. So far I have not had a single network failure on both private WiFi that I can control and public WiFi that I have connected to. No more delays in connecting, no more “time-outs-and-restart”  another Thumbs up

Playbook 2.0 - Wifi

Print To Go:

Now this is a pretty cool add-on to the Playbook 2.0. Print To Go allows you to “print” a document from your computer to your Playbook and eliminates the need for physical printouts. it has a cool interface that you can access all your document printed in one location and even sort them so you have instant access to information.

Playbook 2.0 - Print To GoPlaybook 2.0 - Print To Go

Playbook 2.0 - Print To GoPlaybook 2.0 - Print To Go

another Thumbs up for me as I take a lot of documents with me so this makes it simple without having to sift through files.

So In Summary:

Overall the Playbook has a more mature feeling to it. Even the editing of words is really simple and the predictive text on the keyboard works very well too.

Next task it to take it on the road for a day and see if I can finally keep Blackberry’s promise of “leave your laptop behind”

so far – all signs are good !

watch this space…

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