Blackberry made a name for itself with its business-centric phones and messaging applications. It has now entered to tablet business as well, producing the PlayBook, a light 7 inch tablet that runs its own OS, called BlackBerry Tablet OS.
We have to say we’re impressed with what we’ve seen so far. The few built-in applications for the platform are very solid, and run well on the 1GHz processor. That said, we daresay that RIM assumes that you have a BlackBerry mobile before buying the tablet. A lot of key features, including email, calendar, address book and IM are not really functional without being tethered to one.
The fact that BlackBerry is going it alone with the operating system does mean that third-party applications for the platform are few and far between. Admittedly, the platform is new, but we can’t see much development for the platform happening. RIM, the creators of BlackBerry, promise that at some point in the future the PlayBook will run Android apps, but that feature is not available yet.
The lack of third party apps really hurts the PlayBook when it comes to home entertainment applications. BlackBerry is pitching this as a product for both home and business use, and it does have a decent media player built in. It also has a very sharp screen, supports Adobe Flash and can output very crisp 1080p video over HDMI. But there’s no network streaming of media, spotty codec support for video playback and less than impressive audio output.
Needless to say, there’s not a lot for support for AV equipment control or home automation systems, and likely there never will be. While it might be a good business tool (especially once RIM delivers on all its promises), it doesn’t look to be the best home entertainment companion.