Posted by: docdenbow | January 12, 2013

I Love My Blackberry Playbook

I started writing a post about what this post is going to be about but somehow I got sidetracked and lost my train of thought. Well no that’s not quite true it was more a case of I ended up getting on the wrong train. It was supposed to be about the manifold joys of owning a tablet computer thingy. It unfortunately got away from me as I was going to try to compare the format wars on tablet PC’s between Android, iMacs, Windows, Linux and Blackberry with the format wars in the old video cassette days of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Of course I missed the spot when I mentioned C120’s, marathon snogging sessions, joss sticks and Mateus Rose. Enough of that….

I’m not as young as I was (stupid cliche, as I’m not as young as I was when I started writing this) but these touch screen mini laptops really took my fancy. Both my daughter and a friend called Bobbence have the iPad, but as I already own two laptops as well as Mrs Denbow owning her own laptop I didn’t spending the sort of £££££ that an iPad costs. I have an Android phone and I quite like that but all of the Android tablets I saw were, in my opinion, either overpriced or felt more than a little flimsy. I decided to set a budget of £150 or so and started looking. The Kindle Fire seemed ok, but as I already own a Kindle for reading I thought that buying an uprated version of the same thing to be a bit pointless, especially as the Kindle was less than 6 months old.

Trawling the internet looking at reviews, online stores offers and such like one name kept appearing and gnawed its’ way into my mind. That name? Blackberry PlayBook. I decided to work out exactly what I wanted a tablet to do and even made a list.

View photographs
Play films and videos
Play Music
Record videos
Take photographs

Checking things out it appeared that the Playbook and I guessed a whole lot more. I asked around with the geeks at work and they all told me not to bother and to get a Samsung or whatever. I decided to go and have a look at the choices in the flesh so to speak in PC World, it was there that I discovered the flimsiness (AKA Thin) of most of the tablets on show. The Playbook, however, felt like it was built to last. 64gb flash drive and just £129, got to say that I was intrigued. I had a few prods and pokes at the touch screen and all seemed fine. I couldn’t work it out immediately as I’m a bit of a pleb. So like any wise buyer of a second hand car I walked away to think.

Over the course of the next week or so I read and reread everything I could find about the PlayBook. It seemed to me that it had had a bad press. On launch it was grossly overpriced matching almost pound for pound with the iPad. Well there was only ever going to be one winner there. The PlayBook was originally launched in the UK for £559 and didn’t sell. The iPad was, I think, £599 and that did. I reasoned that the PlayBook was killed more by price than quality and besides a Playbook would deliver everything that I wanted from a tablet – I handed over the cash and bought one.

Thoughts on it? Well I had it now for a few months now and I have to say that I’m really happy with it. There is no Skype available on it, nor will there ever be from what I gather but there is a Blackberry video chat App and as my brother in Turkey has a Playbook as well we’ll have to try that out and see how good it is. The navigation on the touchscreen is excellent and the screen quality is great. The shock was just how good the sound is that comes out of the, what must be tiny, speakers. My Nick Drake stuff sounds very clear and detailed.

The Twitter “App” is nothing of the kind and frankly sucks, but I download Blaq as a Twitter client which cost all of £1 and that more than does the job. It is a bit picky as to what video files it will play but using a free PC app called DVD studio you can convert any movie type file to a PlayBook friendly format. I do believe that I have barely scratched the surface of what can be done with the PlayBook, but having just used used it for the basics so far I have to say I’d recommend one to anybody.

Once I have sussed out more about it I will update you all.

Ciao For Now




  1. Oh dear… you must hate me then, I have an iPad mini which has completely replaced my netbook and an iPhone inbound next wednesday….

    • But ahh, I crave ownership of a Blackberry phone…..

  2. I love android, Mostly because of the free stuff you can get. I spent on a Samsung phone over a year ago, rooted it, and now I’m still playing with it. I love the free e-reader I have on my phone and ignore kindle despite my missus loving hers. I also have an amazing piece of software on my tower PC (I own not a lap top and hopefully never will, I’m digging my heels in fella!) that allows me edit and read all formats of e-reader. I’m hoping to do a nice blog post on it soon. I hope you’re finding tech blog posts more fulfilling. I know my Samsung Rooting post has given me far more posts than any other post I’ve uploaded in a year and still does keep giving.

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