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

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.

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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, Hardware, Mobility, BlackBerry, Tablets

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152 comments
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  • RE: Forget the Amazon Kindle Fire, the BB PlayBook is now the best low cost tablet

    Unless those cameras are fighting each other it should probably read "dual."
    dsf3g
    • RE: Forget the Amazon Kindle Fire, the BB PlayBook is now the best low cost tablet

      @dsf3g .
      dsf3g
    • RE: Forget the Amazon Kindle Fire, the BB PlayBook is now the best low cost tablet

      @dsf3g Was the very first thing I saw in the entire article as well.
      Aerowind
      • RE: Forget the Amazon Kindle Fire, the BB PlayBook is now the best low cost tablet

        @Aerowind : He He - I guess the days of editors and writers ever winning spelling bees are gone, eh?? Even with electronic assist, if it isn't used, it is worthless.
        Willnott
    • RE: Forget the Amazon Kindle Fire, the BB PlayBook is now the best low cost tablet

      @dsf3g, I'd pay good money to see that matchup!

      "So, Monsieur iPad, we meet again! En garde!"

      (Unless they're using dueling pistols. Then I'd head for the hills.)
      Muzhik1
    • RE: Forget the Amazon Kindle Fire, the BB PlayBook is now the best low cost tablet

      @dsf3g I hate it when cameras fight. Why can't we all get along...
      happyharry_z
  • RE: Forget the Amazon Kindle Fire, the BB PlayBook is now the best low cost tablet

    No MicroSD no Sale. I like QNX OS but the lack of support for additional storage is a deal killer.
    mrlinux
    • RE: Forget the Amazon Kindle Fire, the BB PlayBook is now the best low cost tablet

      @mrlinux <br>You can get additional storage by using wifi from your computer. I can link with my playbook using wifi and it shows up as a network drive.<br>Additionally if you choose to jailbreak your playbook you can hook up a usb drive to the playbook. I haven't tried the new os (2.0) yet to see if that feature is now built in, but it can be done.
      damndirtyapes
      • RE: Forget the Amazon Kindle Fire, the BB PlayBook is now the best low cost tablet

        @damndirtyapes
        How well does that work on the subway, or in the backseat of a car, or on an airplane, or the hotel in Cancun?

        I don't mean to be too snotty - if you primarily use your tablet at home, what you suggest makes plenty of sense and is pretty great.

        But if you primarily use it to bring media or light computing 'on the road', the wifi solution won't do, and external USB storage options get cumbersome.
        BK Phil
    • RE: Forget the Amazon Kindle Fire, the BB PlayBook is now the best low cost tablet

      @mrlinux
      For a high end tablet like the iPad, I agree, no external storage, no sale. However, RIM is now (smartly I think) marketing the Playbook as a low end tablet, and for a low end tablet no external storage is something I can live with....for $499.99 you definitely have the right to expect that 'everything' would be included', but for $199.99 you know that you're not getting the most advanced hardware on the market.
      Doctor Demento
      • RE: Forget the Amazon Kindle Fire, the BB PlayBook is now the best low cost tablet

        @Doctor Demento

        No external storage available for the Playbook? Or did you mean no external storage available for the iPad?

        I know that external storage options for the iPad have recently become available. I use, on occasion, a 500 GB wireless external Seagate GoFlex Satellite and WiFi transmitter for my requirements. There are similar products available for the iPad ecosystem.

        As for external storage options for the Playbook, I can't give an opinion on that.
        kenosha77a
      • RE: Forget the Amazon Kindle Fire, the BB PlayBook is now the best low cost tablet

        @Doctor Demento

        Funny thing is, it's the best tablet out there. And yes, I've used all the iPad, Android configurations out there.
        Clawdawg
      • RE: Forget the Amazon Kindle Fire, the BB PlayBook is now the best low cost tablet

        @ClawDawg

        You're right, that IS a funny thing! I mean...it was a joke, right? Definitely a good one.
        thisnameisok
      • The B&N Nook Has what the Playbook and the Fire has and more

        You can get the storage you need in a B&N Nook.
        jnheroy
    • RE: Forget the Amazon Kindle Fire, the BB PlayBook is now the best low cost tablet

      @mrlinux
      I definitely agree with you. The ability to use Micro SDs is what sold me on the Nook Tablet.
      alceste007
    • RE: Forget the Amazon Kindle Fire, the BB PlayBook is now the best low cost tablet

      @mrlinux

      You're telling me you need more than 64 G of storage at a time? Common. Apple fanboys crawling this site as per usual. Bet $5.00 you've never even touched a Playbook. The new 2.0 OS is lightning fast and with the new 1.5 Gigs of ram with the new 7" coming out with Near Field Communication as well as the 10" set to come out near Christmas, watch out iPad! Even the remote control option using the Bridge feature on my Torch and the new look of the App world is nice to see.
      Clawdawg
      • RE: Forget the Amazon Kindle Fire, the BB PlayBook is now the best low cost tablet

        @Clawdawg I always love the "Watch out iPad when product X comes out" statements. They're always entertaining.
        themarty
      • Seriously?

        "the 10" set to come out near Christmas" really. that's what you got.. 10 months (or 2 iterations of the iPad away) and that's what RIM it's fanboys are boasting.. an additional half gig of ram and 10" form factor. solid.
        wasabitobiko
      • Why do iPad users care?

        Whats with themart and wasbitobiko? Why do care so much that some people have the audacity to actually like a product not called iPad?

        I have both the iPad2 and the PB. I was a vocal critic of RIM for all their broken promises. I was happy to see the co-CEO's finally resign. However, I can honestly say that the new upgrade is kick ass. The new client apps blow away iPad2's weak email and contact clients.

        I have both products. Until you both experience them, simply shut up and listen to more intelligent people.
        ryork272
        • Well said...

          Research and test them before you complain or comment, also try to update and download necessary applications then you will know what you are all talking about.
          Kenren6484