There are plenty of reasons why a smart consumer should prefer the BlackBerry PlayBook over the Apple iPad or for that matter any other tablet in the market, foremost of which is the price. From a retail price of only two hundred dollars, the tab for this handy device has steadily gone down from $178 to $108 at Walmart. For someone who cannot afford the hefty price tab of the iPad, the BlackBerry PlayBook is an achievable dream. Some parents may even consider buying two or more for their kids come Christmas time.
At such an attractive price range, the BlackBerry tablet is one effective weapon to combat sibling rivalry in a typical family. The BlackBerry PlayBook is also a terrific way to get both kids and parents alike started on the tablet bandwagon. A tablet like the PlayBook uses only a fraction of the electricity that a notebook or for that matter; a desktop PC consumes. In addition, the user can take it anywhere and since it weighs less than a pound, it will not add to backpack stress.
The screen of the PlayBook stays clear and vivid even when reading under the sun, making it the darling of bookworms and writers alike. Two notable bonus points for writers are the built-in Microsoft Word and Excel, and a predictive text, on-screen keyboard. When buying a brand new PC or notebook, Word and Excel are usual add-ons that cost extra, well not so for the PlayBook. A fully licensed version of the popular Office suite is installed and ready to use. There is no PowerPoint or Access, but for someone who does not use these two programs often, such omission should not be a cause for serious concern.
The PlayBook’s predictive, on-screen keyboard should merit particular attention. Since it is using the already widespread touch screen technology, writing becomes a breeze because for the most part; tapping, not typing is involved in generating an essay. For every word the user begins to type, five possible words are suggested across the top of the screen; all the typist has to do is tap the right word. This also speeds up the process of spell checking. Chances are, the user might end up falling in love with writing because as one types, word choices appear magically on the screen decreasing the likelihood of writer’s block.
One thing that takes getting used to is finding where stuff is as the PlayBook uses an entirely different interface. For example, downloads are easily double the speed of the typical Microsoft PC, but only if the technology used is 3G or faster. Besides, the new user is likely to think that downloads are not supported in this device until he or she discovers that the download button can be easily accessed by swiping one’s finger across the top right of the screen.
Another matter that can cause initial user panic or take getting used to are cut and paste functions, which may seem absent at first until one taps a word on the screen by accident, thereby triggering the appearance of a rather curious-looking blue pencil, revealing the presence of functions so crucial to a writer. Swiping across the top from the black frame to the screen reveals many other features unique to the BlackBerry PlayBook, such as the ability to return quickly to the previous page while surfing, when another hyperlink or pop up screen is triggered by accident.
Once a writer discovers all these wonderful features, going back to typing on a regular keyboard may be highly unlikely. There is also something about the quality and the aesthetically pleasing look of what is typed on the screen that keeps the writing juices flowing, it is so tempting to take the extremely light computing device to bed, and write while on one’s back or elbows. For a tablet with a dual core processor, it is unbelievable that the battery lasts longer than expected, provided that the screen brightness is set in the medium range.
Advanced tablet users are highly likely to learn the secrets of operating the BlackBerry PlayBook without having to dial in to technical support which is available free of charge for the first three months. They will be happy to discover that the device’s email push technology automatically trashes emails received after a few weeks and even browsing history. Such feature seems intended to protect the device from running out of its limited 16 gigabytes of hard drive space. Hence, it is a marvellous idea to store one’s valuable data in an Internet cloud or server somewhere, to keep the available hard drive space in check. After all, there are many free data storage sites online such as Google, DriveSpace, ADrive, and 4Shared.
For its price and overall functionality, the BlackBerry PlayBook is certainly a terrific buy. One drawback is the fact that there are not many applications that can be installed. For example, the user cannot hope to use Internet Explorer or for that matter, Google Chrome on this device. However, the PlayBook’s proprietary Web browser works just as well, and for the new tablet explorer running on a budget, the sheer number of available programs to work with in this device might already be overwhelming at first. Have fun with the camera and video recorder, snapping photos and videos can become addicting it is so easy to go overboard. Along with the BlackBerry PlayBook’s typing prowess, anyone can be a writer, photographer and videographer all rolled into one.