BlackBerry PlayBook: Weighing the Pros and Cons

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-04-14 Print this article Print

5. It's for the enterprise customer.

Although it will be available to consumers, the BlackBerry PlayBook is a decidedly enterprise-focused tablet. To corporate customers, that might be a good thing, since RIM has always been able to deliver worthwhile experiences. But for consumers who are still on the fence about which tablet to buy, the BlackBerry PlayBook probably isn't the best option.

6. Pricing is a consideration.

RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook will go on sale April 19 for $499 to $699 for between 16GB and 64GB of storage. With that deal, customers will get the same amount of storage (and functionality, since it's WiFi-only out of the box) as Apple's WiFi-only iPad 2, which retails for the same prices. The 32GB Motorola Xoom with 3G built-in and a free upgrade to 4G on the way retails for $600 with a two-year commitment with Verizon Wireless.

7. The iPad 2 is still out there.

Unfortunately for RIM, its tablet, like all others on the market, will be compared to the iPad 2. On paper, it might be a tough comparison for the BlackBerry PlayBook. As mentioned, the iPad 2 has a bigger screen, more applications, and a more consumer-friendly operating system. It's also the same price as the BlackBerry PlayBook. It's worth considering that before deciding which tablet-the PlayBook or the iPad 2-one should buy.

8. Other tablets are coming soon.

Although it gets all the attention, the iPad 2 isn't the only tablet on store shelves. In fact, several devices, including new Galaxy Tabs from Samsung and the HP TouchPad, are on their way to store shelves. For corporate customers, the Cisco Cius is still in the works. At this point, it might be a good idea to wait and see what other devices come out before making a buying decision.

9. It's a new operating system.

If there's anything that corporate customers don't like, it's adopting a new technology that they aren't familiar with. That's the reason the enterprise has been slow to adopt tablets. And it might also be the reason the BlackBerry PlayBook has a hard time attracting customers in the short term. Not only is the device new, but the software is new to the BlackBerry environment. And that could be enough to scare some CIOs and IT executives. Until all the kinks are worked out and corporate customers can learn more about the OS, RIM's PlayBook might sit on store shelves.

10. Reviews are mixed.

Unfortunately for RIM, reviews of its BlackBerry PlayBook have been mixed to this point. Some reviewers have been pleased with the device's display and the software's multitasking, while others have criticized the tablet for being too tied to a BlackBerry smartphone. Mixed reviews don't mean that the tablet is a poor product by any means. But they are worth considering before one opts for one tablet or another. 


Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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