Forget the Amazon Kindle Fire, the BB PlayBook is now the best low cost tablet

Summary:The PlayBook 2.0 update is out and takes a good 7 inch tablet and makes it excellent. I am a huge fan of the 7 inch form factor and am pleased to see the PlayBook finally where it should have been last year.

Thanks in large part to the success of the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Android tablet market is finally heating up and starting to impact Apple iPad market share. With the new OS 2.0 update available for the BB PlayBook, I recommend people seriously consider one for $199 instead of the $199 Amazon Kindle Fire if they are looking for more of a tablet than an ebook reader.

The Kindle Fire is excellent if you want the ultimate Amazon experience, but if you want a richer tablet experience then check out the updated PlayBook. You can get the Amazon experience on the PlayBook, but you can't get the PlayBook experience on the Kindle Fire. These devices share a common look and feel, which is one reason I loved the Kindle Fire since I find the PlayBook design and form factor to be extremely desirable. In addition to the slick UI of the QNX-based PlayBook OS, you can now run Android apps on your PlayBook so you get the best of both worlds with a much more powerful piece of hardware.

Advantages of the PlayBook over the Kindle Fire include:

  • Dual high quality cameras and a microphone
  • Bluetooth wireless radio
  • Integrated GPS
  • HDMI out (outputs EVERYTHING, unlike the iPad)
  • Dual stereo speakers
  • 1GB of RAM and more internal storage (16, 32 or 64 GB compared to 8GB)
  • Seamless connectivity with BB smartphone
  • Fast, powerful web browser made even better in the 2.0 update
  • Much nicer user interface

At $200 for both the Kindle Fire and the 16GB PlayBook, it really is a no-brainer to pick up the PlayBook instead now that OS 2.0 is out that addresses most of the original shortcomings. I bought a 16GB model to test out this week at Best Buy, but am enjoying it so much I just ordered a 64GB model online and will be returning the 16GB one in a few days. The next thing you know I will be getting another BlackBerry smartphone :)

The Android apps available in BlackBerry App World are slowly rolling out and so far I have loaded up Dolphin Browser, YouVersion Bible (works perfectly on the PlayBook), and Angry Birds Seasons. My friends at CrackBerry also have some great discussion forums that show you how to get the Kindle, Dropbox, Google Maps, and much more sideloaded onto your PlayBook. They have another post that lists .bar files for Android apps you can install on your BlackBerry PlayBook.

Another cool promotion for the OS 2.0 update is the free versions of Modern Combat 2 and Asphalt 6 Adrenaline that RIM has available in BB App World right now. I encourage you to go and download these before the offer is gone.

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Topics: Laptops, Amazon, BlackBerry, Hardware, Mobility, Tablets

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

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