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BlackBerry PlayBook Review Roundup: Critics Call It 'Half-Baked,' 'Unfinished'

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 04/14/11 11:36 AM ET   Updated: 06/14/11 06:12 AM ET

Unveiled last September, the BlackBerry PlayBook has tablet fans waiting to see whether it was worth the wait.

With a 7-inch screen and a 0.9-pound body weight, this little device looks wildly different from its biggest rival, the iPad 2. The PlayBook is built on BlackBerry's Tablet OS, an all-new tablet platform. The device supports Flash and multitasking and sports front- and rear-facing webcams.

RIM took a risk by releasing this device to reviewers without including all its final features. For instance, the PlayBook is WiFi-only for now, though RIM promises that several 4G offerings will be available later this year. Also missing are built-in apps for email, address book, notepad, calendar and BlackBerry Messenger. RIM hopes to make up for this with the "Bridge" feature, which allows the user to pair the tablet with a recent BlackBerry smartphone in order to access productivity data via the tablet's Bluetooth connection. RIM has also promised that the PlayBook will run Android apps, although that feature is not yet available.

The PlayBook goes on sale April 19 at an iPad-level price of $500 for a 16GB model, while 32GB and 64GB units will sell for $600 and $700, respectively. Before you reserve a unit, check out our roundup of reviews from the likes of Engadget, TechCrunch, All Things D, the Times, Gizmodo, Bloomberg and more.

Want reviews of the PlayBook's competitors? Mosey on over to our iPad 2 review roundup and Motorola Xoom review roundup.

Have you tried out the new BlackBerry PlayBook? What do you think of it? Send us your review by clicking "Add a Slide" below.
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Tim Stevens, Engadget
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Stevens praises the tablet for its "understated charm" and its convenient form factor. The unique operating system, he says, is "very intuitive to use and, even better, it feels really good." One of his biggest beefs: the device's lack of apps. "[W]hat we see at the moment is a framework with solid fundamentals but a framework that is, right now, unfinished," he concludes. "Right now, the BlackBerry PlayBook is a tablet that will come close to satisfying those users who gravitate toward the first word in its name: BlackBerry. Those who were more excited about the 'play' part would be well advised to look elsewhere, at least until Android compatibility joins the party."
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