Desktops and Notebooks: BlackBerry PlayBook Teardown: Small Battery, Big Cameras, Solid Design

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2011-04-26 Print this article Print
RIM BlackBerry PlayBook

RIM BlackBerry PlayBook

Months past its expected launch date, the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook went on sale April 19. Priced from $499 to $699, the PlayBook relies on a wireless tethering feature called BlackBerry Bridge, which uses the connectivity of a BlackBerry smartphone to display email, calendar and other information from the phone.
Research In Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook recently went under the screwdrivers and spudgers of the teardown team at repair site iFixit, who found no fewer than eight chips from Texas instruments, two impressive cameras and a battery smaller than the one Apple tucked into the iPad 2. The team came across nothing majorly exciting nor surprising, but sometimes no surprises is a good thing. "The machine is well-sorted internally, and the hardware RIM included is definitely nothing to scoff at," Miroslav Djuric, iFixit's director of technical communication, wrote in a statement. The PlayBook scored a 7 out of 10 on iFixit's repairability scale (10 being the best). While the back cover was easy enough to pop off, and RIM stuck with good old-fashioned Phillips screws—versus the tamper-averse ones Apple has taken to—the PlayBook missed points for having its display glass glued to its metal frame, as well as, Djuric added, "requiring the user to take out the motherboard and speaker assembly in order to replace the battery." If the rest of the world would limit its criticisms to these foibles, RIM's gamble with the PlayBook would be a sure thing.
Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.

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