I had to go down to Durban for 2 days for a series of meetings. So instead of lugging my laptop with me, I decided to just take the Playbook. This was not an easy decision to make as the last time I took the Playbook on a day out, it didn’t end too well…
However, having had played with the Playbook 2.0 for a while now, I was much more confident that it will handle my demands.
The same test apply – no Blackberry phone. Just the Playbook. I wanted to really stretch the Playbook as an independent tablet and not an extension of the Blackberry phone.
First thing: I ensured that the Playbook had been set up for my mail, contacts, calendar – see first post on the playbook
Next, I had to get all my documents onto the Playbook. This is where the Playbook is in a league of its own. Its insanely simple with either Print To Go or by enabling the Playbook’s Wi-Fi sharing which makes it a part of the network where I simply copied-and-pasted the documents I wanted directly onto the Playbook.
Next : a potential problem – the Playbook has no built in 3G SIM card – how do I get connectivity whilst travelling ?
Solution: I enabled my Wireless Portable Hotspot on my Galaxy Note, the Playbook recognised it and I connected to the internet with no problem [more info on how to use BBM with Android ] . Obviously at the hotel and airport I would be able to use the Wi-Fi there. With the Playbook 1 that was nightmare, however now this is a pleasure. A simple tap to connect to the Wi-Fi and log in and you can surf the web.
When I was at my meeting, I needed to get some info from the IOL news website. The website opened up just fine and I could read the article, however I noticed a new feature. A little “book” icon that when you click on it, it re-renders the website into a much nicer readable format so you don’t have to scroll left and right (and it cuts out all the ads too)
On a more serious work note: Word Documents were not an issue and neither was Excel. It even handled formals and graphs with ease.
What was really impressive was when I had to demonstrate something from a Power Point presentation that the client gave me – and it was a 12 mb .pptx file. The Playbook simply opened it up with no issues ! whew. nicely done.
Having breakfast at the hotel, I relaxed with a bit of comedy played back on the video and even had some fun with the waiters taking photos – all this whilst multi tasking several applications at once. I forgot the charger at home, however since it doesn’t have a propriety charger I simply borrowed someone’s Micro USB charger and it just worked. Might sound like a minor thing, but in today’s tablet where iPad and Samsung have their own “special” chargers, this is a big win for me.
Finally on the plan, I decided to give the free game a bash. Its called Modern Combat 2 and it frikkin awesome. I am not a games-person so I wasn’t really expecting much – but this is just amazing. The device is the perfect size for the game and the sound and video quality are crisp and fluid. I blame this Playbook for coming late to bed now as I just want to finish the next level !! My wife is not happy…
So in summary:
wow – I must say that I am really enjoying the Playbook 2.0. I am not a big tablet fan and have a variety of them lying around but time and time again, I seem to be going automatically for the Playbook choosing it over the others when I leave home.
My take on it is the following:
The hardware has always been superb. The software was buggy and is now fixed and all grown up. Lots of work went into redesigning it and it defiantly shows that RIM has listened to their clients.
The interactivity between the PC and the Playbook can’t be beat. There is no “synch” but a simple drag and drop when sharing the device on the network. When taking these screenshots, it was such a pleasure to simply copy it off the device.
The internet is a pleasure as it can handle Flash, Java and everything else I throw at it. YouTube in particular seems smoother on the device.
Overall, I find the Playbook a very pleasing experience. It is smooth, great carry form, does everything I need it to do and doesn’t pretend to be “the cure to all your travelling problems”. It handles both work and multi media with ease and thank goodness there is a spell check now built in.
So the big question: as I am not a big tablet fan, would I spend some money and buy one ? – hmmm actually YES, I would !